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Please provide only relevant evidence that will be used at the hearing and is relevant to the issue being adjudicated.
What is evidence?
Evidence is information to support and help you prove your case at a rental hearing. It can be provided to the Rental Office in a number of ways:
- Written evidence can be rental agreements, photos, text messages, e-mails, letters, reports or other relevant printed information. Filing a document as evidence must generally be done by a person who has first-hand knowledge of the document and its contents. For example, a photo can be filed by the person who took the photo, the person who appears in the photo or by someone who was present when the photo was taken. The same rule applies for other documents. For example, a rental agreement can be filed by the person who prepared it or the person who signed it.
When submitting photographs, please do not send 10 photographs of the same item if 1 or 2 will be sufficient.
- Recorded evidence of audio and video recordings of conversations, incidents or events may also be submitted into evidence. Like written evidence, recordings generally must be submitted by a person who has first-hand knowledge of the recorded event. This is necessary so that the person submitting the evidence is able to answer questions asked by the Rental Property Officer or the other party during the hearing.
- Witness evidence is simply having someone speak at the hearing and answer questions about the person’s first-hand knowledge about the case. Testimony is given under oath or affirmation, which are tools used to encourage witnesses to tell the truth. An affidavit is a written sworn statement of a witness’s first-hand knowledge about issues within the application.
Please notify the Rental Office before the hearing if you wish to have a witness present evidence in support of your case at the hearing.
If evidence is not provided to the Rental Office by the evidence submission deadline, the evidence may not be accepted by the Rental Officer or considered in the decision making process.
Submitting evidence to the Rental Office
Each party is responsible for providing the Rental Office with all evidence they intend to rely on at the hearing. Evidence may be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 902-566-4076, provided in-person to any Access PEI location, or dropped into the drop-box outside of our office. If e-mailing evidence, please send documentation in PDF format only. Do not send multiple copies of evidence (i.e. duplicate emails).
Please note that an exact copy of all documents submitted into evidence by you will be provided to the other party. If you wish to conceal any identifying information of third parties, you may redact (blacking out or marking out) this information from your evidence prior to submission. The Rental Office will not modify your evidence after it has been submitted.
After the evidence submission deadline noted on your Notice of Hearing has passed, the Rental Office will compile all of the evidence and then provide each party with an evidence package by e-mail prior to the hearing.
Rules of evidence
The four main criteria that guides the Rental Officer in deciding whether or not to accept evidence are:
- Relevance: the evidence must have a link to the case;
- Reliability: the evidence must be worthy of belief. For example, the testimony from a person who did not witness an event is not considered reliable;
- Necessity: the use of evidence that is necessary to reach a decision. For example, if 200 people witness the same event and one party wants to prove this event, it is not necessary to have all 200 people testify;
- Fairness: allowing a piece of evidence must not create an injustice for the other party. For example, it would be unjust to allow evidence against a party if it was obtained illegally by the other party.
Evidence must normally meet all four of these criteria in order to be accepted by Rental Officer. If the evidence does not meet these criteria, the Rental Officer may not accept it. In these cases, the evidence will not be considered in the decision-making process.
The effect of the evidence
The Rental Officer hearing the rental dispute decides what evidence is allowed (this is called admissibility).
The Rental Officer hearing the rental dispute decides how important the evidence is (this is called weight).
In the written decision (called an Order), the Rental Officer may specify what evidence they relied upon in making their decision. They may also explain why they decided not to take into account certain other evidence.
The admissibility or volume of evidence is not an indication of its usefulness or weight in proving or disproving a particular fact of the case. Evidence may be admissible but carry only little or no weight in proving a case.