Standing up for Housing Rights

Housing Rights

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Tenants in Hamilton are up against some bad landlords & greedy developers, and other threats to the neighbourhood. Often, these challenges result in legal problems that the Hamilton community legal clinic (HCLC) can help with. From disrepair and harassment by landlords to illegal rent increases and threats of eviction, the HCLC can help tenants to ensure that their rights are respected.

The law that deals with most landlord and tenant disputes is the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. This legislation outlines tenant rights and landlord rights, as well as a dispute resolution process to enforce those rights when they are breached. The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) is a Tribunal that is similar to a Court and it adjudicates disputes between landlord and tenants. It is the only authority that can issue an eviction order to a tenant that is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act.

Common legal issues raised by tenants against landlords include:

  • Disrepair and maintenance issues
  • Harassment and threats
  • Lack of heat or not enough heat during wintertime
  • Illegal charges  or rent increases collected by landlords
  • Landlord’s failure to accommodate disability related needs
  • Loss of rent subsidy (for those receiving subsidized rent, subject to the Housing Services Act)

How we can help

We provide legal advice on housing matters to tenants. We do not provide any advice to landlords.

Depending on the case, we can:

  • Advise you on your rights and the process for enforcing your rights;
  • Help you defend against your landlord’s application for eviction;
  • Assist you with completing an application to the LTB to enforce your rights through our “Forms Clinic”;
  • Assist with revocation of your subsidy; and/or
  • Represent you at your LTB hearing.

We also provides public legal education to tenant groups and service providers.

Tips for Tenants

  • You do not have to move out based on a Notice of Termination. Tenants have the right to a hearing to defend their housing.
  • Only the Landlord and Tenant Board has the authority to order an eviction.
  • If you receive a Notice of Termination from your landlord, contact us immediately for advice on your rights.
  • It is best not to sign anything your landlord gives you without receiving legal advice first. Contact us first to make sure you know the legal meaning of the document you are about to sign.
  • Know your rights
  • Tenant Rights Toolkit
  • What to do after you file your tenant application


Landlord and Tenant Board

City of Hamilton By-Law Enforcement/ Property Standards

Public Health

Access to Housing

Housing Help Centre

Housing Emergency Loan Program/Rent Bank (HELP)

Housing Help Centre
119 Main Street East, Hamilton
905-526-8100 ext. 27

Rental Housing Enforcement Unit

Tenant Defense Fund Pilot Program (for Above Guideline Rent Increases)