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A landlord can deliver an LTB Notice (such as an N4) by email as long as the tenant has consented, in writing.
If you've dealt with the Landlord and Tenant Board before, you know they're strict about their rules.
I've seen people wait 8 months for a hearing only to find out that they incorrectly served the original notice form.
So let's clear something up.
Can you deliver a Notice Form by email?
Yes... with written consent.
The authority for this is found in the LTB Rules of Procedure.
LTB Rule 3.1 states:
"In addition to methods of service identified in the RTA a document may be served on a person or party, other than a party covered by Rule 3.3, by:
...(h) by email if the person or party receiving it has consented in writing to service by email."
Obviously, its too late to ask a tenant for written consent once there is a dispute that requires notice.
But you should be advising landlords to obtain written consent when signing new leases.
The Ontario Standard Lease provides a section for this now:
The LTB Rules also include additional comments about service by email:
3.5 Parties may consent in writing at any time to service by email.
3.6 Consent to service by email may be revoked at any time by giving notice in writing to the person or party.
3.7 Where a party does not consent to service of a document by e-mail, the LTB may permit the document be served by e-mail on such terms as are just.
The most important one to note is 3.6 - a tenant can revoke their consent at any time, forcing the landlord to deliver notice by other methods provided for in the Form Instructions.
One last thing, if the tenant (or former tenant) is no longer in possession of the unit, you can serve documents by email only if:
- during the tenancy the tenant or former tenant had consented in writing to service by email; and
- if it can be proven that the contents actually came to the attention of the tenant or former tenant.
So you have that additional obligation here of proving that the contents came to their attention. Off the top of my head, I can think of a reply to the email or a "read" receipt serving as evidence.
Real Estate Lawyer
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