The CRRA received the following information from Patricia Tolppanen, Administrator & Director of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS).
As a frequent user of the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolutions Service (RTDRS), we are making you aware of an upcoming pilot program that will change the standard duration of the initial hearing of claims for damages and abatement of rent.
The RTDRS now receives over 13,000 applications per year, all of which are competing for limited hearing time and must be scheduled as efficiently and effectively as possible. In auditing the hearing schedule we have noted that, very often, hearings for damages or abatement of rent claims do not proceed on the initial hearing date as the application package has not been properly served or the parties are unprepared.
Therefore, effective September 19, 2022, the time set aside initially to hear these types of claims is being converted to a preliminary 30 minutes. Within the preliminary hearing, the claim could be resolved but, if not, the Tenancy Dispute Officer will address matters of procedure with the parties and then set the full hearing over to another date.
By instituting this practice, the RTDRS will be able to shorten the wait time for hearing applications for possession and termination. Also, parties to a damages or abatement of rent claim will be better prepared for a full hearing, should it be put over to a later date, after discussing important matters of procedure with the Tenancy Dispute Officer at the preliminary hearing.
While you will see information about this change written on future Notices of Telephone Hearing (NOTH), any NOTH you have already received remains accurate, so please continue to appear for all hearings accordingly. This email is simply to make you aware that the initial hearing may be preliminary only.
If you have questions, or want to provide feedback on this pilot after it has been in effect for a few months, you are invited to contact RTDRS Service Delivery Manager – Shelley Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrator and Director of the
Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service