Frequently Asked Questions


Rental of Residential Property Act Appeals

The following information is intended as a guide to appeals under the Rental of Residential Property Act and not as a legal reference.  The Rental of Residential Property Act should be consulted for an exact statement of law.

 

1.

How do I file an appeal with the Commission?

You must file a Notice of Appeal document.  The portion of Notice of Appeal applicable to the Notice of Appeal document states: 

21.0 Methods of Filing  

 1.  A document may be filed with the Commission by any of the following methods:  

(a) delivering a copy to the Commission office;
(b) mailing a copy to the Commission office;
(c) transmitting a copy to the Commission via fax or e-mail; or
(d) such other manner as the Commission may determine.
 

2.  A document must be filed with the Commission during business hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., every day except a holiday. A document received by the Commission after 4:00 p.m. or on a holiday shall be deemed to have been filed on the next day that is not a holiday.

2.

Can I appeal a decision of the Office of the Director of Residential Rental Property (the Director)?

Yes, you can appeal a decision of the Director to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (the Commission), provided that:

(a) you appeared, or had been represented, at the hearing before the Director; and

(b) the Notice of Appeal is filed no later than 20 days after the date of the Order.

 

3.

I was not present, or represented, at the hearing before the Director. Can I still appeal?

You may file a Notice of Appeal form with the Commission.  On the form you must provide the Commission with a full explanation as to why you were not present or represented at the hearing.  The Commission will consider your Notice of Appeal form and will either disallow the appeal, or, under extraordinary circumstances, proceed to a hearing.

 

4.

I received my Order from the Director in the mail today.  How is the 20 day appeal period calculated? 

Pursuant to subsection 33 (3) the Rental of Residential Property Act:

"33 (3)  Where a document is delivered by ordinary mail, it is deemed to have been delivered on the third day after the date of mailing."

Example:  An Order from the Director is dated March 1st and was mailed the same day.  It is deemed to have been delivered by March 4th.  The 20 day appeal period begins on March 4th so the Notice of Appeal must be filed by March 23rd. 

 

5.

Does the 20 day appeal period include weekends and holidays?

Yes, the 20 day appeal period does include weekends and holidays.  If the last day for filing the Notice of Appeal falls either on a weekend or a holiday, section 23 of the Interpretation Act, states as follows: 

"23 (2) Where the time for doing an act falls or expires on a holiday, the time is extended to the next day that is not a holiday".

 

6.

Is there a cost to file an appeal?

There is no charge to file a Rental of Residential Property Act appeal with the Commission.

 

7.

Do I need to use the Commission's Notice of Appeal form when I file an appeal?

The Notice of Appeal form is required and must be signed by you.  Using the form will help you comply with the requirements of the notice of appeal set out in section 25 of the Rental of Residential Property Act.

A copy of the Notice of Appeal form in PDF format, can be obtained by clicking here.

 

8.

Can I fax my completed Notice of Appeal to the Commission?

You may fax your signed Notice of Appeal to the Commission.  The fax number is (902) 566-4076.

 

9.

Can I email my completed Notice of Appeal form to the Commission?

Yes, you can email the Notice of Appeal form to info@irac.pe.ca.  However you must ensure that the emailed form is signed.  You may scan a signed Notice of Appeal and email the scanned version.  If you email an unsigned but otherwise complete Notice of Appeal, you must afterwards follow up with a signed Notice of Appeal by fax, email or personal delivery.

 

10.

Can I send my completed Notice of Appeal to the Commission by ordinary mail?

Yes, but allow plenty of extra time for delivery. Do not rely on typical or usual delivery times. If you send your Notice of Appeal form to the Commission by ordinary mail, you must accept the risk that the Commission may not receive your Notice of Appeal within the 20 day appeal period and the Commission will then be unable to hear your appeal.  If you are approaching the end of the 20 day appeal period, personal delivery or faxing your signed and completed Notice of Appeal form is crucial to preserve your right to appeal.

 

11.

I feel that a section of the Rental of Residential Property Act is unfair.  Can I still file an appeal?

Yes, you may file an appeal; however, you must be aware that the Commission does not have the legal authority to change any provision of the Act.  The Commission's role is to determine whether the Act was correctly applied when the Director made his/her decision.

 

12.

Do I need to inform the other party that I have filed an appeal?

You must serve all parties by providing them with a copy of the Notice of Appeal. The process is described in section 33 of the Rental of Residential Property Act.

 

13.

If I file an appeal, does that stop the Sheriff from taking possession of the rental premises?

When you file an appeal, the Order from the Director is briefly put in abeyance (on hold) until the Commission makes its decision.

 

14.

How much time will it take for the Commission to hear my appeal?

As every appeal is different, the length of the appeal process varies. However, section 25 (2) of the Rental of Residential Property Act states:

"(2) Appeals made to the Commission shall be heard by it within thirty days of receipt of the appeal."

It is strongly recommended that you start preparing your case immediately as the hearing can take place within days of the Notice of Appeal being filed.

 

15.

I have filed an appeal, so what is the next step?

Commission staff will provide a copy of the Notice of Appeal to the Director and the Director in turn will provide Commission staff with a photocopy of the file.  A panel of Commissioners is selected and a hearing date and time is set.  Commission staff will mail to both parties a Notice of Appeal Hearing and a Proposed Exhibit List (which consists of the file plus the Notice of Appeal).   A copy of these documents is also provided to the panel.

 

16.

I have filed an appeal with the Commission but I would like to see if the other party and I could resolve our differences.  Can the Commission help with this?

While Commission staff cannot provide legal advice, the Commission encourages the parties to try to resolve their differences prior to the hearing. 

 

17.

Can I withdraw my appeal?

You can withdraw your appeal.  The withdrawal must be in writing, signed and delivered to the Commission before the time and date set by the Commission staff.  Commission staff will inform the other party.  In withdrawing an appeal, please be aware that the Order of the Director will be valid and can be acted upon by the other party.

 

18.

What happens if I cannot appear at the Appeal hearing in person?

It is the Commission's preference for parties to appear in person.  However, if circumstances warrant it, the Commission will allow a party to participate by speakerphone.  Alternatively, you can have a person represent you at the hearing.  Please contact Commission staff prior to the hearing to discuss this matter in more detail. 

 

19.

What happens if I do not appear at the hearing?

If you do not attend, or have a representative appear on your behalf, the Commission may proceed in your absence.   

If you filed the appeal, the Commission will consider your non-appearance as an abandonment of the appeal and will decide that the Director's Order is valid and in full force and effect.   

If you are responding to the appeal, there is no statutory requirement for you to appear.  However, if you do not appear you will not be able to respond to the evidence presented at the hearing, or provide evidence at the hearing.

 

20.

How do I prepare for the hearing?

Prior to the hearing, you should carefully review the Notice of Appeal Hearing and Proposed Exhibit List received from Commission staff to ensure that the file is complete.   

You need to come prepared to the hearing with all of the evidence you have that relates to your arguments.  If you intend to submit further documentary evidence, please ensure that you have six copies of each item for submission to the Commission. 

Your witnesses should be made aware of the date, time and location of the hearing.   

In some cases, parties find it useful to prepare a written summary of the evidence and arguments that they wish to present at the hearing.

PLEASE NOTE:   The Commission is not an investigative body.  Any request by you to the Commission to contact a witness, or seek out additional evidence, will not be granted.

 
21.

What if I have additional evidence that I want to present?

The hearing before the Commission is a new hearing. The Commission will consider the evidence contained in the Proposed Exhibit List as well as new evidence presented by you.  This evidence can take the form of oral testimony and documents (for example: receipts, printed photographs, letters, etc.). 

If you intend to enter additional documents, please ensure you have six copies of each item to present at the hearing.

 

22.

How is the hearing conducted?

The hearing is conducted before a panel of at least two Commissioners. It is recorded in order to ensure an accurate record of the proceedings.  Parties and/or witnesses are not permitted to record the proceedings. 

The Panel Chair's opening remarks will instruct the parties as to the format of the hearing.  The format includes:  

(a) a review of the Proposed List of Exhibits and hear any objections;

(b) all parties and their witnesses will be sworn in or affirm their testimony;

(c) opening statements;

(d) presentation of evidence and submission of further evidence;

(e) cross-examination of parties and witnesses; and

(f) closing statements. 

 
23.

Do I need a lawyer to represent me on an appeal?

You are not required to have a lawyer at a Rental of Residential Property Act appeal.  However, you are entitled to hire a lawyer to advise or represent you.  You are responsible for paying your lawyer's fees.

The Canadian legal system recognizes that a person has the right to legal representation when appearing before a court or tribunal. 

 
24.

How long will my hearing last?

Most appeals take less than a complete morning.  It is important that parties prepare for the hearing in advance and present evidence that only relates to the issue at hand.

 

25.

Is the hearing open to the public?  Is it broadcast over the internet?

All hearings before the Commission are open to the public and a Notice of the hearing is posted on the Commission's website.  Unlike some other hearings heard by the Commission, appeal hearings under the Rental of Residential Property Act are usually not broadcast on the internet.  However, there have been cases where the Commission has broadcast a hearing which has a greater public interest.

 

26.

Can a witness testify in private?

No. A witness presents his or her testimony at the public hearing.

 

27.

Can I speak to, or send mail or email to, the Commission panel members for my appeal? During the hearing, you may speak to the panel about relevant matters to your appeal.  However, it is not appropriate to contact the Commission panel members outside the hearing room.  This is to avoid any possibility of bias or impression of preferential treatment.  You should contact Commission staff if you need assistance or have questions.
 

28.

The Commission heard my appeal a week ago and I just thought of something important to add concerning my appeal. Can I send a letter containing this information to the Commission? No, unless the Commission requests written submissions or further information from the parties following the hearing, the Commission makes its decision based on the evidence and submissions presented at the hearing. It is important to carefully prepare for the hearing.
 

29.

Can I get a transcript of the hearing?

The Commission does not provide written transcripts of its hearings.  However, on request, a digital recording of the hearing can be provided at a nominal charge.  You may use this digital recording to obtain an official transcript at your own expense.

 

30.

How long will I have to wait for the written decision?

The Commission strives to issue its written decision within 30 days of the hearing. 

 

31.

Does the Commission make its decisions available to the public? 

Yes. All Rental of Residential Property Act appeal decisions are published on the Commission's website.  

 

32.

What can I do if I don't agree with the Commission's decision?

You can appeal to the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island. Attached to the Commission's Order is a Notice explaining the procedure to follow.

NOTICE

Sections 26.(2), 26.(3), 26.(4) and 26.(5) of the Rental of Residential Property Act provide as follows:

26.(2) A lessor or lessee may, within fifteen days of the decision of the Commission, appeal to the court on a question of law only.

(3) The rules of court governing appeals apply to an appeal under subsection (2).

(4) Where the Commission has confirmed, reversed or varied an order of the Director and no appeal has been taken within the time specified in subsection (2), the lessor or lessee may file the order in the court.

(5) Where an order is filed pursuant to subsection (4), it may be enforced as if it were an order of the court.

 

Any questions relating to the appeal process of the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island should be directed to the Court. 

 

33.

Whom can I contact at the Commission?

If you have any questions concerning Rental of Residential Property Act appeals, please contact: 

Susan Jefferson
Commission Administrator
5th Floor, National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, PO Box 577
Charlottetown, PE  C1A 7L1
Tel. (902) 892-3501
Or PEI toll-free @ 1-800-501-6268
Fax (902) 566-4076

 

Last Reviewed or Updated : February 20, 2019