Getting legal help

Housing (tenant/landlord)

Tenants can get help with housing issues at most community legal clinics. If you live in the Ottawa area and are a tenant facing eviction, you can ask your legal clinic to refer you to the Ottawa Integrated Legal Services Office, where lawyers and legal workers may be able to help you.

At community legal clinics, lawyers and legal workers provide information and legal advice, and can represent low-income people on housing issues.

Community legal clinics do not charge legal fees. However, they may ask clients who have the money to pay some or all of the expenses of a case, such as court filing fees and medical expenses.

Not all tenant/landlord issues are covered, and you must be financially eligible to qualify for these services.

Find a community legal clinic near you.

Tenant duty counsel

Tenant duty counsel are lawyers and community legal workers who can assist you at most Landlord and Tenant Board locations across the province. You may have to prove that you cant afford your own lawyer. Tenant duty counsel can:

  • give advice about legal rights, obligations and the tribunal process
  • review documents, and help prepare forms
  • provide referrals for other services
  • assist tenants at hearings with procedures, such as urgent review applications and requests for adjournments.

If tenant duty counsel is available at your Landlord and Tenant Board location, you can see them when you arrive for your hearing. You do not need to make an appointment. Tenant duty counsel gives priority to tenants with eviction hearings.

Eviction Prevention Project at Western University

London-area residents facing eviction can call Community Legal Services at Western University at 519-661-3352. Specially trained students are available to provide advice and also attend the Landlord and Tenant Board on your behalf.

Other resources:

Please note that these are external links and Legal Aid Ontario is not responsible for their content.

Tenant resources

  • The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO)
    Defends Ontario’s low-income renters, co-op members and the homeless. Much of ACTO’s advocacy involves test-case litigation, lobbying the government and developing housing policy.
  • The Federation of Metro Tenants' Associations (FMTA)
    Runs a hotline for tenant issues. They also publish information brochures, including the Tenant Survival Manual, and have a tenant outreach program.
  • Human Rights Legal Support
    The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers free legal services to people throughout Ontario who believe their human rights under the Code have been violated and who want to file an application to the Tribunal. The Centre’s services range from legal advice and assistance in filing an application, to representation at mediations and hearings before the Tribunal.
  • Your Legal Rights: Housing Law
    Read about eviction, rental agreements, maintenance and more. From Your Legal Rights.

Resources for tenants and landlords

  • Administrative Justice Support Network
    The Administrative Justice Support Network mission is to support people to feel competent and confident to proceed with an appeal before an administrative board or tribunal whether or not they have legal representation.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
    Ensures availability, accessibility and choice of housing funding to Canadians. The key Canadian source of reliable and objective housing information.
  • Landlord and Tenant Board
    Resolves disputes between landlords and tenants and provides information about the The Residential Tenancies Act and rights and obligations under the Act. Requests can be made to review an order under certain conditions.
  • Landlord Self-Help Centre
    Landlord's Self-Help Centre is a non-profit community legal clinic which supports Ontario's small-scale landlord community exclusively.
  • Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)
    The Commission is an agency established to administer Ontario's Human Rights Code, which protects people against discrimination in employment, accomodation, goods, services and and facilities, and membership in vocational association and trade unions.