Fighting an eviction
What happens at the hearing
If there is a hearing, a Board member will listen to why your landlord wants to evict you and why you think you should not be evicted.
It is up to your landlord to prove to the Board that there is a legal reason to evict you. You have the right to question or challenge any witnesses or evidence your landlord brings to the hearing. And you have the right to speak and to bring your own evidence and witnesses.
Even if the Board member agrees that there is a legal reason to evict you, the member can still decide not to evict you. The Board member must always look at all the facts, for example, how being evicted would affect you or your family. The Board member must also look at whether your landlord has been following the law and the rental agreement.
In some situations, the Board must let you stay even if there is a legal reason to evict you. This applies if the Board member agrees that your landlord:
- has seriously failed to follow the law or the rental agreement, or
- is trying to evict you because you did something to protect your legal rights or because you have children.
So, at your hearing, make sure to tell the Board member everything that you want the member to think about when deciding whether to evict you. You might want to make notes and take them to the hearing so you can remember everything you want to say.
Key Point: To help you prove what you are saying, it is very important to bring evidence to your hearing, such as witnesses, photos, audio or video recordings, inspectors' reports, work orders, letters, or receipts.
If your landlord's application is about you owing rent and if the Board member decides that your landlord has not been following the law or the rental agreement, the member can also make orders to deal with those problems. For example, if the Board member decides that there are repair problems, the member could order your landlord to fix the problems or cancel some of the rent that you owe.
The Board will almost never cancel all the rent you owe. So, if you do owe rent, you should still try to suggest a payment plan that you think you will be able to follow.
The Board member will make a decision either at the end of the hearing or later. The Board will put this order in writing and send copies to you and your landlord.