Section 1

General Issues

Sub-Section 1.7



s. 3, 152(1), The Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Rent Regulation
The Condominium Act
The Cooperatives Act
The Life Leases Act


Mortgagor: a person or corporation who borrows money from another person, mortgage company or financial institution to finance a property.

Mortgagee: a person, mortgage company or financial institution that takes a mortgage interest in a property as security for a loan.


The Branch has exclusive authority to investigate, mediate and determine a question or matter under The Residential Tenancies Act and The Life Leases Act.


The Branch has the jurisdiction to deal with certain sections of The Condominium Act. The Branch may:

  • decide a tenant’s term of occupancy when a landlord converts a residential complex to a condominium;
  • grant or deny a condominium corporation’s Application for an Order of Possession.


The Branch also receives annual reserve fund statements from condominium corporations.


At the request of the parties, the Branch may also arrange for arbitration of a dispute between a condominium corporation and a unit owner or a dispute between unit owners.


The Branch gives general information on the other sections of The Condominium Act. For more specific information or advice, people should speak to their own lawyer.


The Branch has very limited jurisdiction to deal with housing cooperatives. The Branch may consider a cooperative’s Application for an Order of Possession. However, it cannot offer mediation as a way of resolving the application. The Branch can only review the procedures to ensure the cooperative followed the required steps. The Branch does not have the authority to consider whether the directors had a valid reason or grounds under the cooperative’s bylaw for issuing a notice of termination.


The Branch doesn’t have the authority to resolve a dispute involving a breach of a mortgage agreement. When a mortgagor and mortgagee sign a mortgage agreement or any other security agreement, they usually don’t intend to create a landlord and tenant relationship. Some mortgage agreements mention that the mortgagor will become a tenant if they default on their mortgage payments. This wording isn’t enough to create a tenancy agreement.

The owner becomes a tenant only when they enter into an actual tenancy agreement with the mortgagee or new owner. The Branch can deal with claims, applications and any other issues under these arrangements.


The Branch doesn’t have jurisdiction to deal with occupancy arrangements that are set up under marital separation agreements. For example: As part of a separation agreement, a husband remains in the house and pays compensation to the wife for the right to live in the house. Since there was no intent to create a landlord/tenant relationship, the Branch has no jurisdiction.

The Branch doesn’t have jurisdiction to decide who is right or wrong in a dispute between tenants or order one tenant to pay compensation to another.

The Branch also doesn’t have jurisdiction to resolve a dispute about:


The Branch may have jurisdiction to determine a matter involving a landlord and a corporate tenant if the facts show that a residential tenancy exists. The Branch considers the length of time the occupant of the unit lives there, whether they are required to take their personal belongings with them if they leave for a period of time and whether the agreement between the landlord and the corporate tenant specifies the name of the occupant.


A landlord or tenant may dispute the Branch’s jurisdiction to deal with an issue. If the issue involves a claim for compensation or an Application for an Order of Possession, the Branch hears the information and evidence on both the jurisdiction issue and the claim or application at a hearing. If the Branch decides it has jurisdiction, it issues a decision on both the jurisdiction and the claim or application. If the Branch decides it doesn’t have jurisdiction, then the decision deals only with the jurisdiction issue.

In some cases parties may ask the Branch to determine if the Act applies to their situation. For example: A person living in the basement of a home asks the Branch to decide if they are a tenant. In this case, the Branch makes a decision on jurisdiction and bases the decision on either written submissions from the parties or information received at a hearing or both.



A landlord or tenant files a claim or application with the Branch or ask the Branch for help. The officer learns that either the landlord or tenant questions the Branch's jurisdiction to deal with the claim, application or issue. The officer provides information and, if necessary, may make a decision about the Branch's jurisdiction.

Steps ▼

1.The officer receives information that either the landlord or tenant questions the Branch’s jurisdiction.

2.The officer contacts the person who questions the authority. The officer explains the Branch’s role and jurisdiction.

3.If necessary, the officer may schedule a hearing to consider whether or not the Branch has jurisdiction. If there is already a scheduled hearing for a claim or application, the officer explains that the jurisdiction question will be dealt with at the hearing along with the claim or application. The officer notes on the file that there is a question on jurisdiction.

Forms & Form Letters


For information on Mediation, see this section.
For more information on Orders of Possession and Cooperatives, see section 8.
For details on Hearings, see section 11.

Policy Developed

October, 2002

Last Revision

May, 2015

Other Resources


Previous | Next


Return to the Guidebook Table of Contents

The contents of this page are subject to this standard warning note