Receivable/Accounts - Information for Credit and Collection Issues

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Landlord's Dilemma


I have recently received an email from my blog email from a landlord who has an outstanding account. They have successfully received an order from the Ontario Housing and Rent Tribunal, in the amount of thousands of dollars, but have no idea how to execute on it.

Often landlord’s have problem tenants, and the Tribunal is user-friendly enough to assist them in getting a Tribunal Order, but not helpful enough to execute on it.


What To Do With a Tribunal Order

If you have a tenant that has not paid their rent, and you wish to evict them and receive an order for payment, I recommend the following PDF document: http://www.ontla.on.ca/library/repository/mon/3000/10303625.pdf

When a tenant has not paid their rent, and a successful Tribunal Order is received, it will include a deadline to either vacate the premises or pay an outstanding amount. This amount will be broken into two sections – the arrears of rent, and the “per diem” that can be charged for each day past the order until the unit is vacated.

Obviously, if the tenant pays their arrears, they need not vacate the unit, and may remain. If they do not pay the Order, they must leave the premises, and are in default of the order to pay – which can be transferred to a judgment.

In the old days, you needed to get a court order to evict a tenant, and then go back to court for your judgment on arrears – with the formation of the Ontario Housing and Rental Tribunal, it is all done in one process.


Getting a Judgment

With a certified true copy of the Tribunal Order and a Certificate of Judgment form in the local small claims court, the Order can be transferred to a judgment, and include pre- and post-judgment interest on the total sum of the Order, as determined by the court. They will assign the matter a small claims court number that will be used henceforth.


What Good Is A Judgment?

With this judgment, you can now execute on the matter through a garnishment order, writ of seizure and sale, and/or a notice of examination. You can do this at the same time as filing the Certificate of Judgment, if you have the paperwork filled out and ready to go.

As well, if you have a judgment, the matter becomes public knowledge. Whether you are a landlord or a collection agency, you can now speak to a payroll department about garnishing someone’s wages. Or go into the debtor’s local bank and seize their account if you have the information.


Summary

If you feel capable of executing on these matters yourself, small claims court forms can be found here: http://www.ontariocourtforms.on.ca/english/scc/. A court clerk cannot give you advice on your claim, however, they will point out any mistakes you might make in filling out the form, as long as you are polite and do not overly waste their time. To properly execute a Tribunal Order through a garnishment, you are looking at approximately $200 in costs for court fees and process serving.

As I told the person inquiring earlier, if you wish to retain a paralegal or collection agency to act on your tribunal order, many are very experienced in these matters, and may be able to collect the account without resorting to court fees. However, many will charge hourly rates or an exceedingly high commission rate. If you need assistance finding representation, please feel free to give me a call at my office, at 226-444-5695.

Blair Wettlaufer
Kingston Data and Credit
Cambridge, Ontario
226-444-5695