I am a long time tenant in downtown Hamilton. My current landlord is a slumlord, my third in ten years (out of three). I’d finally had enough, so my roomate and I made application to the Landlord Tenant Board on December 23, 2016, asking that our landlord be ordered to repair our unit.

As of this date (June 25, 2019), we have had in excess of 30 hearings, our landlord has had three representatives, and our first application (the one filed on December 23, 2016) has yet to be heard. The delays are due to a combination of an ethically challenged paralegal (our landlord’s first representative, Vidywattie Yahkni, who has since ceased her practice), our landlord constantly filing eviction applications based on pure falsehoods (and provable ones), an adjudicator who is even more aggressive about pushing mediation that the usual LTB member (his methods were coercive and he refused to listen to our reasons why we would not engage in mediation with our landlord), the same adjudicator who refused for the better part of a year to allow me to present the case in the way it needed to be presented (chronologically, the only way it CAN be told), the general dysfunction of the LTB (due in part to the ridiculous case load, and due in part to the over reliance on mediation; a process that cannot produce a just outcome other than by chance. The LTB is far more interested in closing files than justice these days.

There have been at least 14 visits by police due to complaints of criminal activity made by us, our landlord and the superintendant of the building.

So, after two and a half years, which our landlord exploited to turn our lives into a living hell, we will be having our first hearing of a two and a half year old Maintenance Application that is as close to a slam dunk as it is possible to get (briefly, there are Compliance orders written by the City of Hamilton for most of this work. Those compliance orders are findings of fact in an LTB merits hearing.) The current applications (there are more coming) will require at least five (and more likely seven) days of LTB hearing time, as our landlord is amoral and does not hesitate to make false accusations. When it comes to hearing time, the applications are withdrawn (after putting us to the time and expense of preparing our defence). This has happened twice now. There are no consequences to a landlord who does this.

Here’s how it happened, and why it keeps happening.

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