If you are having issues with your landlord that just aren’t getting resolved; or perhaps your landlord hasn’t acted on a 14 day notice. It’s time to consider your next steps. We strongly recommend talking to OUSA Student Support if you reach this point so we can help you navigate your way through effective communication and, if it comes to it, the Tenancy Tribunal.
Here is the path we recommend taking:
- Communication and attempting self-resolution: Outline clearly what the issue is and why it is in breach of the Residential Tenancies Act. The landlord may still disagree with you, but letting them know you are aware of your rights could be enough to help them reconsider. We recommend all correspondence with your landlord is done in writing at all times. If you discuss any important issues over the phone or in person, send an email afterwards as confirmation of what was discussed.
- Mediation: You still may have trouble reaching a resolution, but think you might be able to come to an agreement outside of the Tenancy Tribunal – a mediation may be your best option. This gives both parties the opportunity to explain their view of the situation in front of a knowledgeable mediator who can offer input about tenancy law. They will not make a decision for you and cannot enforce any follow up measures, but they can facilitate a conversation that is fair and respectful and provide relevant information to help you and your landlord come to a decision.
- Tenancy Tribunal: If a mediation won’t do the trick in reaching an agreement, it might be time to take the issue to Tenancy Tribunal. This is like a mini court hearing where tenants and landlords present their side of the story and relevant evidence in front of an adjudicator. The adjudicator decides on an appropriate course of action based on what breaches of the Residential Tenancy Act have occurred. This may include monetary payments, work orders (to have things fixed), or termination of the tenancy. You and your landlord are legally required to follow through with what has been ordered by the Tenancy Tribunal. OUSA Student Support can help you right through this process to help you get the best outcome.
- Sometimes a landlord doesn’t honour the Tenancy Tribunal order. Come and speak to us. We can help you negotiate a payment plan or take the issue to the Collections Unit of the Ministry of Justice.