Having resources to advance or defend your case is useful, but that alone may not be enough to win your case. That's where we step in and lend our expertise.
There is no right or wrong way to argue your case before the RTB, but we have created this page to showcase a (small) sample of the work we do for our clients that has worked well for us.
If you have any questions on our process or any of the steps we take on your behalf, please don't hesitate to contact us!
Our initial consultation is an opportunity for us to meet and talk about the situation that has brought you to us. We will review any relevant documents that are related to your current (or prospective) dispute and will give you feedback and direction on how to proceed.
At this stage, the legal advice we provide may be enough to solve your issue and that is ultimately our main goal. If we believe your case would benefit from legal coaching or representation, however, we will let you know during this consultation.
If you decide to hire our services, we will discuss our rates, billing, and retainers, tailored to your particular situation, at the end of our meeting.
While our initial consultation allows us to get a birds-eye-view of your situation, the evidence gathering stage is where we prepare for negotiating on your behalf or representing you at an upcoming hearing.
We will be conducting a thorough interview with you about the facts related to your case and we will request that you provide us with any documentary evidence that you have available, like a tenancy agreement, condition inspection report, or any correspondences like email or text message, that are relevant. This allows us to get a better understanding of your case when negotiating, and in the case of a hearing, we can prepare an evidence package to rely on at the hearing.
Preparation of Written Submissions
Residential Tenancy Branch hearings are conducted by telephone and are scheduled for a total of one (1) hour. This leaves very little time to introduce yourself, provide your oral evidence, explain your documentary evidence, and to offer any rebuttal to your opponent's arguments who will also want to argue their case in this one-hour-timeframe.
The purpose of written submissions is to give an arbitrator an outline or a summary of the facts that you will be giving, as well as the law that you are relying on. More generally, written submissions allow an arbitrator to supplement their own understanding and notes from the hearing when deciding your case.
Here is a sample of the written submissions that we prepared, taken from a real case (but abridged and redacted for confidentiality reasons, of course). A quick look through these sample submissions gives you a very good idea what our client's position was without having attended the hearing. Since an arbitrator likely has no background in the facts of your case, written submissions provide an invaluable introduction and summary of your dispute.
Written submissions are not required for RTB hearings, but this is where most of the value is added to your case. In the event you need to judicially review your decision, your written submissions will give a judge a good idea what your position was at the hearing making it easier to advance or defend a judicial review.
The hearing is where every piece of your case is presented and argued before an arbitrator for the Residential Tenancy Branch, who will listen to you, your opponent, and any witnesses either of you call. You will be asked to present your evidence under oath (or solemn affirmation, if you prefer). After each party has presented their respective evidence, the arbitrator may ask some questions before finally concluding a hearing.
Once your hearing is over and you have your order, there are a few remaining steps that need to be taken, such as serving the order or collecting on your monetary award. If you need help with this process, get in touch - we'd love to help you!