After a long drawn out battle with the lawyer for Briar Lane, tenants have won a substantial victory. The Board ruled that the landlord could not unilaterally switch tenants to paying their own hydro from what the Board called "the landlords third party service provider".
The tenants relied on, and the Board agreed, the wording of section 125 of the Act which requires an agreement to be in place.
The Board also ruled that even if there is a clause in a lease that purports to allow the landlord to force tenants to pay their own hydro sometime in the future, that this also does not meet the requirements of section 125.
The Board said "Further, the actions of the landlord to: mislead the Tenant's regarding the landlord's legal rights: and to attempt to force the tenants to enter into a contract with the "provider" so that the tenants could avoid threats and/or concerns that their electricity would be cut off constitute coercion and interference with the tenants rights under their leases."
They also said "The landlord's communications to the tenants and action constitute harassment."
Congratulations to Ben Ries, and Claire Hepburn of Downtown Legal Services for their great work on this case. And congratulations to the tenants for fighting the good fight -- and winning!