Landlord Tenant Boards Announce Emergency Plans in Event of Postal Strike

by Chris on June 6, 2011

 Victoria, B.C. and  Moncton, N.B. next in line

In response to rolling postal strikes across Canada, a number of landlord tenant boards have announced emergency rules that landlords must follow in the event a strike interferes with legal notice requirements and rent payments:
British Columbia

B.C’s Residential Tenancy Branch has changed its policy for service of documents when mail service is disrupted by a Canada Post labour dispute.

There are many ways that a landlord person can serve a document as established by the RTA Sections 88-90:

In person, by handing it to the other party

By leaving it with another adult; when the person is a tenant, with an adult who apparently resides at the rental unit; when the person is a landlord, with an agent of the landlord

By leaving a copy in a mailbox or mail slot at a tenant’s residence or the place where the landlord does business

By attaching a copy to the door or other conspicuous place

By sending by fax, except when the document relates to a Notice of Hearing, an Order of Possession for the landlord, a landlord’s application for an early end to the tenancy or a review of a decision

By sending it by regular or registered mail

When postal service is disrupted by a strike in your community, a landlord or tenant may also serve documents by:

Courier

Fax transmission, when the party serving the documents can provide evidence to confirm the receiving party provided the fax number to them as a number to be used for the service of documents.

The person serving the documents should obtain receipts that show the documents were served on the other party. Acceptable proof would include a courier receipt showing it was delivered and/or a fax transmission report. It is also a good idea for the party serving documents to follow up with a phone call to the recipient confirming they have received the documents sent by fax.

In the event of a hearing, Dispute Resolution Officers will determine if parties have been sufficiently served with all pertinent documents related to individual disputes, in accordance with the above policy.

Documents relating to dispute resolution applications and hearings may be filed or picked up at Residential Tenancy Branch or Service BC offices throughout the province. People living in other communities are encouraged to fax other time-sensitive material to the Residential Tenancy Branch.

A landlord or tenant always has the option of applying for dispute resolution using the Residential Tenancy Branch’s E-Service. The application fee must be paid by credit card when the application is submitted.

People applying for dispute resolution who are not able to apply online or visit a Residential Tenancy Branch or Service BC Office should phone the Residential Tenancy Branch at 1-800-665-8779 (toll free) for assistance.

New Brunswick

The Office of the Rentalsman is taking steps to reduce, as much as possible, inconvenience to landlords and tenants in New Brunswick.

Security Deposit Refunds: Alternate Methods of Deliverys

The Office of the Rentalsman normally sends all Security Deposit Refund cheques by mail. In light of the current postal service disruption, Service New Brunswick will offer alternative delivery methods for the duration of the strike:

Once the Office of the Rentalsman has printed your security deposit refund cheque, the Office of the Rentalsman will attempt to contact you by telephone.

You will be offered a choice to retrieve your refund cheque to one of nine Service New Brunswick Centres. Upon arrival at the Service Centre, you will be required to:

Identify yourself by presenting one photo ID OR two pieces of identification without photos, and sign for your refund cheque.

You may authorize a designate to retrieve your refund cheque. Please indicate your preference when contacted.

Tenancy Dispute Resolution

This strike may also disrupt normal dispute resolution procedures. We encourage landlords and tenants to engage in dialogue in order to complete as much of the resolution process as possible prior to involving the Office of the Rentalsman. It might be a good opportunity to discover the services we have available online.

Conclusion

While the current postal service disruption does impact our operations, the Office of the Rentalsman is committed to providing the best possible customer service under less than ideal circumstances.

Ontario
If mail service is disrupted, sending documents by mail will not be an acceptable method for serving documents.

Landlords and tenants must make sure that they use an alternate method of serving documents to each other and to the Landlord and Tenant Board. If sending by courier, you must make sure that the recipient will be able to receive the documents using this method of service, otherwise use a different method for serving the documents.

If you want to file documents with the Landlord and Tenant Board during the mail service disruption, you can send your documents by courier, or you may file in person at one of the Board offices, or at a ServiceOntario location that accepts Board documents. As well, you can send your documents by fax to an LTB office.

If you have any questions, please contact the LTB and speak to a Customer Service Officer. (416)645-8080 or toll-free at 1-888-332-3234.

Alberta
Service Alberta has not activated its emergency plan for mail disruption at this time.However, an emergency mail plan is ready in the event Canada Post service is disrupted.

As part of its emergency mail plan, the Government of Alberta will use provincial offices to ensure critical mail continues to flow between Albertans and the provincial government in the event of a prolonged service disruption.

“Albertans can rest assured that important mail from the provincial government, such as benefit cheques, will continue to be available,” said Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Service Alberta.

Provincial offices across the province will be used as mail collection and drop-off points during the postal strike.

Albertans who need to send mail to a provincial government department can deliver it to the nearest provincial office. No stamps will be required, and to avoid delivery delays envelopes should contain full addresses of both the sender and recipient.

Albertans who receive mail from the provincial government will be notified of the time and location their mail will be available for pick-up, unless departments have made alternate arrangements. Generally, Albertans will be directed to the nearest provincial office or government courier location in their community to pick up their mail.

Some departments will be participating in a Canada Post program to deliver provincial government socio-economic cheques one day per month during the strike. Albertans who receive these cheques are reminded that many departments offer direct deposit services. For more information, or to sign up for direct deposit, contact the government department that issues the payment.

To find out when the emergency mail plan has been activated, Albertans can 310-0000 toll free.

Manitoba

In the event of a strike, landlords must tell tenants where to pay the rent in person.

Tenants are responsible to pay their rent on time. Tenants who receive cheques from Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) must pick up their May cheque from a distribution depot. 

Landlords who receive rent directly from EIA need to pick up the cheques at theLandlords who receive rent directly from EIA need to pick up the cheques at the appropriate distribution depot. If landlords don’t pick up their cheques, they can’t charge tenants late payment fees.

A list of EIA distribution depots is posted at www.gov.mb.ca.A list of EIA distribution depots is posted at www.gov.mb.ca.

If you have questions or concerns about mail service or cheque pickup arrangements please call the Government of Manitoba Citizen’s Inquiry Line at 945-3744 in Winnipeg, 1-866-626-4862 (toll-free) or the government website at www.gov.mb.ca.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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