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Ontario Court of Appeal upholds 2-year limitation period where damages against landlord exceed the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court

July 26, 2017

 

The action arose out of a slip and fall accident which occurred in December 2011. The estate commenced an action for $500,000 in damages for injuries the deceased suffered when he slipped and fell over a damaged carpet in his residential unit. The action was commenced 23 months later, within the 2-year limitation period. The landlord brought a motion to dismiss under rule 21 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. The motion judge dismissed the action holding that the claim fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board, and was outside the 1-year limitation period prescribed under s. 29(2) of the Residential Tenancies Act. The estate appealed.

 

The Ontario Court of Appeal stated as follows at para 5:

 

A plain reading of the four relevant provisions of the Act demonstrates the Act does not grant the Board exclusive jurisdiction over all claims of non-repair against a landlord.

...

Section 207(1) [of the Residential Tenancies Act] provides that the Board may, "where it otherwise has the jurisdiction, order the payment to any given person of an amount of money up to the greater of $10,000 and the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court." 

 

Section 207(2) of the Act, provides that "a person entitled to apply under the Act but whose claim exceeds the Board's monetary jurisdiction may commence a proceeding in [court] for an order requiring payment of that sum and...the court may exercise any power that the Board could have exercised if the proceeding had been before the Board and within its monetary jurisdiction".

...

Because the estate claimed damages exceeding the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court, and therefore exceeded the jurisdiction of the Board, there was no question that the appellants were entitled to commence their proceeding in the Superior Court. [Emphasis added.]

 

Accordingly, the Superior Court has jurisdiction over an of this kind. This case is important for Plaintiffs in Ontario as well as to LawPRO which was placed on notice with regards to claims where the one year limitation may have been upheld.

 

 

Letestu Estate v Ritlyn Investments, 2017 ONCA 442

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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