Letter to Vice-Chair Landlord Tenant Board

{Sent 3 May 2016}

Landlord Tenant Board

RE: Application of the RTA in a Seasonal Campground to a Land Lease Home.

1) Putnam v. Grand River Conservation Authority, 2006 CanLII 18526 (ON SCDC)
2) Matthews v. Algoma Timberlakes Corporation, 2010 ONCA 468 (CanLII)
3)Luis Dos Santos v Green Acre RV Park – Order_SWT-68358-14
4)John & Maria  Saraiva  v Paul  Bunyan  Trailer  Camp  Limited  – Order_SWT-65538-14

I am only a concerned citizen in the matter I wish to discuss here. I am a resident of a Seasonal Campground in such a Land Lease Home. I have a Park Model Trailer with an attached Sunroom.

I have looked extensively at four cases presided over by the LTB, two of which were appealed and overturned, and two of which were not appealed.

All four cases appear to hinge on the interpretation of exemption rule 5(a). The LTB interpretation does not coinside with that of the appeals courts. I do understand that you are NOT Required to follow case law in your subsequent rulings. However this bodes  the obvious probability of being overturned on appeal. Why do you not follow case law here and accept the rulings of both Mathews and Putnam, where they both rule that the list of places is provided to the tenant by the landlord.

All the definitions in the RTA are absolute, with no conditional comments limiting their effectiveness  to seasonal or temporary period.
“land lease home” means a dwelling, other than a mobile home, that is a permanent structure where the owner of the dwelling leases the land used or intended for use as the site for the dwelling.

From Algoma
“Occupants of residential units are entitled to the protection of the Act, whatever they do inside or outside of their premises during their waking hours and regardless of whether they live in the accommodation 52 weeks a year or some lesser amount of time, or whether the unit in question is their primary or secondary residence.

A land lease home is not to be confused with a mobile home
“mobile home” means a dwelling that is designed to be made mobile and that is being used as a permanent residence;

Another valid interpretation is that the Living accomodations referenced in 5(a) are also considered a rental unit by RTA Definitions.
“rental unit” means any living accommodation used or intended for use as rented residential premises, and “rental unit” includes,(a) a site for a mobile home or site on which there is a land lease home used or intended for use as rented residential premises. In this regard, the rental premises are occupied all year, and the rent paid for the rental site covers the winter months where the park is closed, especially if the tenant pays winter storage fees. In the case of winter storage fees, if the tenant declines to pay, he is required to vacate and clear the site at the end of the season.

“rent” includes the amount of any consideration paid or given or required to be paid or given by or on behalf of a tenant to a landlord or the landlord’s agent for the right to occupy a rental unit and for any services and facilities and any privilege, accommodation or thing that the landlord provides for the tenant in respect of the occupancy of the rental unit, whether or not a separate charge is made for services and facilities or for the privilege, accommodation or thing.

Another vaid reason for not excluding a land lease home with rule 5(a) resides in the definitions of Campground and Trailer Park. The RTA does not provide a definition of these terms.

Campgrounds and Trailer Parks are defined by the Canadian Government Terminology Database (Termium Plus). These two definitions appear to relate to the vacationing public who want a site for a temporary period of time and are NOT applicable to Land Lease Home/Land Lease Community.

  1. Campground/Campsite – An area which provides a tent site or a trailer space for campers,
  2. Trailer Park – [A campground] equipped with running water, electricity, and other facilities, for accommodating automobile trailers.

The LTB has overlooked the possibility, that landlords running camps that operate all year long can (with the LTB interpretation of rule 5(a)), have sites excluded from the RTA where the normally permanent residents go south for a few months during the winter.

Yet another thought on this issue is MPAC, where they have decided that the site is required to pay property taxes, the  site is a permenant site, land lease home and should be covered by the RTA

In Santos the board decided that the coittages in Algoma were not similar to the case in question. However it was not the cottages and their particular situation that was being ruled on. The actual ruling stated that the cotages were “Land Lease Homes” and that Land Lease Homes were entitled to the protections of the RTA.

. Where the cottage or cabin is a permanent structure constructed on lands leased year-round by the tenant, the cottage or cabin is a “land lease home” and the tenant is entitled to the protections of the RTA.

Anoter rule that I believe the LTB has misappropriated for their own use is 202

  1. (1) In making findings on an application, the Board shall ascertain the real substance of all transactions and activities relating to a residential complex or a rental unit and the good faith of the participants and in doing so,

(a) may disregard the outward form of a transaction or the separate corporate existence of participants; and
ie: to me this means  Disregard Lease Contents and any other document that exists that connects the tenant and landlord

(b) may have regard to the pattern of activities relating to the residential complex or the rental unit.  2006, c. 17, s. 202.
This part of the rule seems to have been competely disregarded

ie: Tenant Activities:

  1.  Pays Rent for trailer to reside on a site all year, year after year.
  2. Lives in the Accommodations (While the Park is Open)
  3. Maintains the property( Garden and Grass)
  4. Responsible for his own repairs to the trailer/deck/sunroom etc.
  5. Makes use of the common facilities provided by the park
  6. Participates in community activities
  7. Pays for Hydro according to readings on a Hydro Meter at the end of the Park’s Operating Season.(where a meter is present)

I am not a lawyer, but I am a citizen who percieves a grave injustice being perpetrated here. I can ony surmise the level of erosion of confidence in the Tribunal Justice System.

The LTB appears to have a myopic view of what the RTA should cover in these cases. Why should a tenant be required  to appeal these decisions to get real justice. I have no doubt that had Santos and Saraiva been appealed, they would have been overturned as well. If any new cases come with the same verdict, I believe an appeal to divisional cout would overturn the LTB decision as the Judge in Divsional Court is required to adhere to case law.  Is there some other agenda here that I am not seeing, and the LTB is gambling on no appeal taking place?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this issue and why the LTB contiues to abide by an interpretation of rule5(a) that is clearly (to a non professional)  not valid, by case law or definition. Why is the LTB fighting to withhold RTA status from Land Lease Homes in Seasonal Parks.

Phil Thompson C.E.T. BaSc
Phone: 905-309-0070
Cell: 905-870-1035

ps. This email was generated at the suggestion of Ontario Ombudmans Office which declined to to get involved with this issue at this time.