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Quick Facts
  • You have one year after the termination of a rental agreement to file a claim with Service NL.
  • Filing an application up to the amount of a security deposit is free. All other applications cost $20.
  • A Notice of Hearing must be properly served at least ten days before a hearing to be valid.
What You Need to Know

When disagreements arise between a landlord and tenant an Application for Dispute Resolution can be filed with Service NL to bring the matter to a hearing in front of an adjudicator. The adjudicator will decide on the matter after taking all the facts and evidence into consideration.

It is important to read over the instructions carefully when completing the application form. Inaccurate information on the form could lead to delays hearing your case.

There are several different reasons why a landlord or tenant may want to file an application with Service NL, and the applicant is required to indicate the reason on the application form.

Below we will go over the different reasons why someone may want to file an application.

 

Types of Applications

Validity of Notice of Termination

A landlord or tenant would file this type of application to have Service NL make a decision on whether a termination notice is valid or not.

Refund of Security Deposit

A tenant would file this type of application when seeking a refund of the security deposit or a remaining balance of the security deposit.

Refund of Rent

A tenant would file this type of application to ask for a partial refund of the rent paid to the landlord. Typically, these types of applications would be made in cases where the rental unit was left in disrepair by the landlord, even after they were notified of issues requiring repair or maintenance. This type of application can also be filed in cases where there was a loss of a privilege or service that was previously included in the rent and the amount of rent wasn’t reduced accordingly, such as the loss of a parking spot.

Compensation for Inconvenience

A tenant would file this type of application when they are seeking compensation for items payable for inconvenience. An example of this could be if the tenant is locked out of the rental premises by the landlord and has to pay money for accommodation elsewhere. In most cases actual receipts are required at the hearing.

Repairs/Rent to be Paid in Trust

A tenant would file this type of application when they require repairs to the rental unit. The tenant must be able to show that a notice has been given to the landlord (proof of service required) and a reasonable amount of time has been given to the landlord to repair or correct a situation. Rent must be paid up-to-date. The tenant may request that rent be reduced or paid in trust to Service NL until such time as the repairs are completed.

Return of Possessions

A landlord or tenant would file this type of application for the return of personal property taken by the other party. In cases where the property cannot be returned Service NL can award compensation to the owner of the property that was taken.

Vacant Possession of Property

A landlord would file this type of application when they are requesting possession of their property (rental unit, apartment) based upon a notice of termination. A landlord should have a copy of the notice of termination with him when filing this type of application as this notice must be attached to the application.

Payment of Rent

A landlord would file this type of application when it is believed the tenant owes money for rent. The landlord must provide a breakdown of the rent periods claimed and a breakdown of the rent owing. The landlord is required to provide their complete rental records at the hearing.

Compensation for Damages

A landlord would file this type of application when they believe the tenant is responsible for damages to the rental property. A breakdown of the damages and amount for each item is required.

A tenant would file this type of application when they believe the landlord is responsible for damages to their personal property. A breakdown of the damages and amount of each item is required.

It is very important to ensure the information provided as part of the claim is clear so that the other party can tell what they are being charged with damaging and the cost of materials and labour to repair the damages. Actual receipts and/or estimates are required at the hearing. Rental premises condition reports, photographs, videos, witnesses, etc. may be used as evidence at the hearing. The age of the damaged items (flooring, painting, etc.) may be considered as awards are generally based on depreciation of items.

Payment of Utilities

A tenant would file this type of application when it is believed that utility charges were paid which may have been the responsibility of the landlord.

A landlord would file this type of application when it is believed the tenant did not pay utility charges for which they were responsible for paying to the landlord.

Payment of Late Fees

A landlord would file this type of application if they were seeking late fees in addition to any money that the tenant owes for rent.

Application of Security Deposit to Payment Owed

The landlord would file this type of application if seeking permission to apply the security deposit toward any amount awarded.

 

 

Mediation Service

As part of the dispute resolution process Service NL offers a free mediation service prior to a hearing. Mediation offers the landlord and tenant the chance to come to an agreement with the help of a mediator, without bringing the issue to a hearing. If an agreement is reached in mediation it is final and binding on the landlord and the tenant.

 

Cancelling or Rescheduling a Hearing

If you need to cancel or reschedule a hearing for any reason you should contact Service NL as soon as possible. In some cases, it may not be possible to reschedule a hearing, so contacting Service NL as soon as possible will improve the likelihood that your request will be granted.

 

Notice of Hearing

Once an application has been filed and a hearing date has been scheduled you will be provided with a copy of the completed application form, with the hearing information included, a copy of which must be served on each respondent. You must provide a copy of this notice to the other parties at least 10 days before the hearing date.

Notice can be served by:

  • Giving it personally to the other party;
  • Sending it to the other party by prepaid registered mail or prepaid express post at an address provided by the other party;
  • Sending it electronically where
    • It is provided in the same or substantially the same form as the written notice or document,
    • The other party has provided an electronic address for receipt of documents, and
    • It is sent to that electronic address; or
  • Sending it to the other party by courier service at an address provided by the other party.

Where the landlord is a company, a notice may be served by giving it personally to a director, manager or other officer of that company or by leaving it at, or sending it to, the registered office of that company by registered mail, courier, or electronically.

If a notice or document is sent by registered mail or express post, it shall be considered to have been served on the fifth day after mailing, and the service may be proved by providing evidence that the notice or document was prepaid and properly addressed and sent.

If a notice or document is sent electronically, it shall be considered to have been served on the day it is sent, if the document is sent by 4 p.m., or the next day that is not a weekend or holiday, if the document is sent after 4 p.m.

If the respondent does not attend the hearing or contact Service NL, the applicant will be asked to prove that the respondent was properly served the application not less than 10 clear days before the hearing date. Proof of service may include an affidavit by the person who delivered the notice and/or the delivery confirmation from the post office. These 10 days do not include the day of service or day of the hearing.

If for some reason you are not able to serve the notice as required (i.e. you do not have a valid mailing address for the respondent) you must contact Service NL as soon as possible. You may be able to reschedule the hearing for a later date to allow more time for the notice to be served.

If you have made reasonable efforts to serve a notice on someone and haven’t been able to properly serve them, you can apply to the Director of Residential Tenancies at Service NL for permission to use some other method to serve your documents. For your application to be successful you will need to show that the method being proposed for serving your notice is likely to reach the intended recipient and that you have a history of communicating with the other person that way.

 

Counterclaims

A respondent who believes that he or she has a claim against the applicant may make a counterclaim. A counterclaim follows all the same rules and procedures as a regular claim, as explained above. If both parties were given proper notice prior to the hearing both the original claim and the counterclaim will be heard at the same hearing. In cases where one party has not given proper notice of the hearing to the other, the hearing may be rescheduled for a later date unless both parties agree to hear both applications at the original hearing. In some cases, a claim and a counterclaim can be split and heard separately if deemed appropriate by the adjudicator.

 

Application Fees

Applications up to the amount of the Security Deposit – Free

All other applications – $20

Was this information helpful?

Files / Documents
This form can be used by landlord and tenants to file a claim with Service NL and bring a matter to a hearing.
Tenants and landlords can use this form to request permission from Service NL to serve notices on your landlord some way other than writing.
Resources
A fact sheet from Service NL explaining the dispute resolution process.
Legislation

Requirements for notices

34. A notice under this Act shall

(a) be in writing in the form prescribed by the minister;

(b) contain the name and address of the recipient;

(c) identify the residential premises for which the notice is given; and

(d) state the section of this Act under which the notice is given.

 

Service of documents

35. (1) A notice or other document under this Act other than an application under section 42 shall be served by a tenant on a landlord by

(a) giving it personally to the landlord;

(b) giving it to a person 16 years of age or older who apparently lives with the landlord;

(c) posting it in a conspicuous place on the landlord's premises;

(d) placing it in the landlord's mailbox or under a door in the landlord's premises;

(e) sending it to the landlord by prepaid registered mail or prepaid express post at an address

(i) where rent is payable,

(ii) provided under subsection 7(7) or (8), or

(iii) where the landlord carries on business;

(f) sending it electronically where

(i) it is provided in the same or substantially the same form as the written notice or document,

(ii) the landlord has provided an electronic address to receive documents, and

(iii) it is sent to that electronic address; or

(g) sending it to the landlord by courier service at an address set out in paragraph (e).

(2) A notice or other document under this Act other than an application under section 42 shall be served by a landlord on a tenant by

(a) giving it personally to the tenant;

(b) giving it to a person 16 years of age or older who apparently lives with the tenant;

(c) posting it in a conspicuous place on the tenant's residential premises;

(d) placing it in the tenant's mailbox or under a door in the tenant's residential premises;

(e) sending it to the tenant by prepaid registered mail or prepaid express post at an address

(i) provided by the tenant, or

(ii) where the tenant carries on business;

(f) sending it electronically where

(i) it is provided in the same or substantially the same form as the written notice or document,

(ii) the tenant has provided an electronic address for receipt of documents, and

(iii) it is sent to that electronic address; or

(g) sending it to the tenant by courier service at an address set out in paragraph (e).

(3) Where the landlord is a company, a notice under subsection (1) may be served by giving it personally to a director, manager or other officer of that company or by leaving it at, or sending it to the registered office of that company by a method set out in paragraph (1)(e), (f) or (g).

(4) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), a tenant or landlord may apply to the director and the director may issue an order authorizing another method of service where, after making reasonable efforts,

(a) a tenant has been unable to serve a landlord under subsection (1); or

(b) a landlord has been unable to serve a tenant under subsection (2).

(5) For the purpose of this section, where a notice or document is sent by registered mail or express post, it shall be considered to have been served on the fifth day after mailing, and the service may be proved by providing evidence that the notice or document was prepaid and properly addressed and sent.

(6) For the purpose of this section, where a notice or document is sent electronically, it shall be considered to have been served on the day it is sent, if the document is sent by 4 p.m., or the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday, if the document is sent after 4 p.m.

 

Application to director

42. (1) A landlord or tenant may, within one year after termination of the rental agreement, apply to the director to determine

(a) a question arising under this Act or the regulations;

(b) whether a provision of a rental agreement has been contravened; or

(c) whether a provision of this Act or the regulations has been contravened.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall be submitted to the director in the form and with the fee set by the minister.

(3) The applicant shall serve the application submitted to the director under subsection (2) by

(a) giving it personally to the other party;

(b) sending it to the other party by prepaid registered mail or prepaid express post at an address provided by the other party;

(c) sending it electronically where

(i) it is provided in the same or substantially the same form as the written notice or document,

(ii) the other party has provided an electronic address for receipt of documents, and

(iii) it is sent to that electronic address; or

(d) sending it to the other party by courier service at an address provided by the other party.

(4) Where the other party is a company, a copy of the application may be served by giving it personally to a director, manager or other officer of that company or by leaving it at, or sending it to the registered office of that company by a method set out in paragraphs (3)(b) to (d).

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (3), an applicant may apply to the director and the director may issue an order authorizing another method of service where, after making reasonable efforts, the applicant has been unable to serve the other party under subsection (3).

(6) For the purpose of this section, where a copy of the application is sent by registered mail or express post, it shall be considered to have been served on the fifth day after mailing, and the service may be proved by providing evidence that the copy of the application was prepaid and properly addressed and sent.

(7) For the purpose of this section, where a copy of the application is sent electronically, it shall be considered to have been served on the day it is sent, if the document is sent before 4 p.m., or the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday, if the copy of the application is sent after 4 p.m.

(8) Where an application is submitted to the director under subsection (2), the director shall, where that application is not withdrawn by the applicant under section 44,

(a) refuse to accept the application under section 43;

(b) dismiss the application under section 43;

(c) attempt to mediate a settlement of the matter in the application under section 45;

(d) require a hearing of the application to be conducted in accordance with section 46; or

(e) issue an order without a hearing under section 48.

(9) Where the date, time or place of the hearing of the application under this section is changed, the director shall notify the landlord and tenant of the change by a method set out in subsection (3).

(10) Notwithstanding subsection (9), where the matter involves more than 50 tenants who live in the same residential complex, the notice that the date, time or place of the hearing of the application under this section is changed may be placed in the mailbox of each tenant and posted in a conspicuous place in the residential premises.

 

Refusal or dismissal of application

43. The director may refuse to accept an application under section 42 or may dismiss an application at any time where, in the director's opinion, the matter is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or has not been initiated in good faith, and may issue an order to that effect.

 

Withdrawal of application

44. An applicant may, in writing, withdraw an application submitted under section 42 before an order is issued.

 

Mediation

45. (1) The director shall review an application submitted under section 42 and where the application is not refused or dismissed under section 43, may attempt to mediate a settlement of a matter where the director is of the opinion that the matter may be settled by mediation.

(2) A settlement of a matter under subsection (1)

(a) shall be in writing and signed by the parties; and

(b) is not subject to appeal to a court.

(3) Where the parties mediate a settlement of a matter under subsection (1) and one or more of the parties does not comply with the settlement, the director may, without holding a hearing, issue an order under subsection 47(1).

(4) The director may immediately order that a hearing be held to determine the matter where, in the director's opinion, the parties are unlikely to settle the matter by mediation within 14 days after mediation begins.

 

Hearing

46. (1) The director may require a hearing of an application under this Act to be conducted

(a) orally, including by telephone, teleconference or other electronic means which enables the parties to participate in the hearing instantaneously and simultaneously;

(b) in writing; or

(c) partly orally and partly in writing.

(2) The director may

(a) prescribe rules of procedure and evidence for a hearing;

(b) order the type and nature of information to be provided by a person to the director before or during a hearing; and

(c) receive or accept evidence and information on oath, affirmation, affidavit or otherwise, whether or not that evidence or information is admissible as evidence in a court.

(3) A person shall provide information as ordered by the director under paragraph (2)(b).

(4) For the purpose of a hearing,

(a) the director and a person authorized by the director have the powers, privileges and immunities that are or may be conferred on a commission under the Public Inquiries Act, 2006 ;

(b) the director and a person authorized by the director are considered to be an investigating body for the purpose of the Public Investigations Evidence Act ;

(c) the director and a person authorized by the director shall have full right to examine and cross-examine a witness and to bring forward evidence in response and reply; and

(d) subsection 8(1) of the Public Inquiries Act, 2006 shall apply to a witness.

(5) A person is not required to appear as a witness unless the person is paid or is offered the witness fee set by the minister.

 

Order of director

47. (1) After hearing an application the director may make an order

(a) determining the rights and obligations of a landlord and tenant;

(b) directing the payment or repayment of money from a landlord to a tenant or from a tenant to a landlord;

(c) requiring a landlord or tenant who has contravened an obligation of a rental agreement to comply with or perform the obligation;

(d) requiring a landlord to compensate a tenant or a tenant to compensate a landlord for loss suffered or expense incurred as a result of a contravention of this Act or the rental agreement;

(e) directing a tenant to vacate the residential premises on a specified date;

(f) directing a landlord to deliver to a tenant possession of personal property taken in contravention of this Act or the rental agreement or to compensate a tenant for the value of the personal property taken;

(g) directing a tenant to deliver to a landlord possession of personal property taken in contravention of this Act or the rental agreement or to compensate a landlord for the value of the personal property taken;

(h) directing a landlord to pay to a tenant an amount as compensation for inconvenience as a result of a contravention of this Act or the rental agreement, and authorizing the tenant to offset that amount against future rent;

(i) authorizing a tenant to offset, in the manner specified in the order, money a landlord owes to the tenant against money the tenant owes to the landlord;

(j) authorizing a landlord to offset, in the manner specified in the order, money a tenant owes to the landlord against money the landlord owes to the tenant, other than a security deposit where the landlord has not made an application under subsection 14(10);

(k) directing a tenant to pay rent or a specified amount of rent to the director;

(l) determining the validity of a notice to terminate a rental agreement;

(m) determining the disposition of a security deposit;

(n) extending the notice period under subsection 18(4);

(o) extending or reducing the notice period under subsection 28(9);

(p) imposing terms and conditions the director considers appropriate, including terms and conditions to ensure compliance with this Act and the rental agreement; and

(q) requiring an unsuccessful party to an application to pay costs to a successful party to an application.

(2) Where

(a) a party named in an order issued under subsection (1) was served with the order; and

(b) that party has not complied with the order

(i) by the date specified in the order, or

(ii) within a reasonable time where there is no date specified in the order,

the director may issue a certified order at the request of a party named in the order.

(3) An order certified under subsection (2) may be enforced as, or in the same manner as, a judgment of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

(4) Where an order certified under subsection (2) requires the payment of an amount of money that is within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court under the Small Claims Act , that certified order shall be entered and enforced as a judgment or order of the Provincial Court by filing it with that court.

(5) An order under paragraphs (1)(e), (f) and (g) that is certified under subsection (2) shall be sent to the sheriff for enforcement.

(6) The director is not prohibited from conducting a hearing and making an order by reason of having attempted to mediate the matter under section 45.

 

Order without hearing

48. Notwithstanding subsection 42(3), the director may, without service on or notice to the other party, without attempting to mediate the matter and without holding a hearing, make an order under subsection 47(1) where

(a) the matter is urgent and involves the safety or security of a landlord or a tenant;

(b) the tenant or a person permitted on the residential premises by the tenant has put the landlord's property at significant risk; or

(c) the landlord does not make an application in accordance with subsection 14(10) and does not return the security deposit to the tenant in accordance with subsection 14(12).

 

Copy of order

49. (1) The director shall provide the landlord and tenant with a copy of an order by

(a) giving it personally to the landlord or tenant;

(b) sending it by prepaid registered mail or prepaid express post at an address provided by the landlord or tenant;

(c) sending it electronically where

(i) it is provided in the same or substantially the same form as the written order,

(ii) the landlord or tenant has provided an electronic address for receipt of documents, and

(iii) it is sent to that electronic address;

(d) sending it by courier service at an address provided by the landlord or tenant; or

(e) another method determined by the director.

(2) The director may, for the purpose of notification under this section, use the address of a landlord provided under subsections 7(7) or (8).

(3) Where the landlord is a company, a copy of the order may be provided by giving it personally to a director, manager or other officer of that company or by leaving it at, or sending it to the registered office of that company by a method set out in paragraphs (1)(b) to (e).

(4) For the purpose of this section, where a copy of the order is sent by registered mail or express post, it shall be considered to have been provided on the fifth day after mailing, and the provision of the copy of the order may be proved by providing evidence that the copy of the order was prepaid and properly addressed and sent.

(5) For the purpose of this section, where a copy of the order is sent electronically, it shall be considered to have been provided on the day it is sent, if the copy of the order is sent before 4 p.m., or the next day that is not a Saturday or holiday, if the copy of the order is sent after 4 p.m.

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the matter involves more than 50 tenants who live in the same residential complex, copies of the order may be placed in the mailbox of each tenant and a copy of the order posted in a conspicuous place in the residential premises.

 

Appeal from director's order

50. (1) An appeal lies to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador from an order of the director under subsection 47(1) on a question of jurisdiction or law.

(2) An appeal under subsection (1) shall be made not later than 30 days after a copy of the director's order is provided to the person commencing the appeal.