Ontario Landlords Association


Welcome to the OLA for Small Business Landlords

The Ontario Landlords Association (OLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Toronto Star – Join A Group Such As The Ontario Landlords Association To Avoid Bad Tenants

Toronto Star Ontario Landlords Use Credit Checks To Avoid Bad Tenants

Toronto Star – “Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association  where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.”

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The Ontario Landlords Association is the Recognized Voice For Residential Landlords in Ontario

 

“The Ministry greatly values the role the Ontario Landlords Association and its members play in providing quality, affordable rental housing in Ontario and recognizes the OLA provides an important voice for small private residential landlords.”

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

 

Ontario Landlord Tenant Criminal Checks – Take Your Tenant Screening System To the Next Level!

Ontario landlords criminal checks

With So Many Problems From A Small Group of Bad Tenants Out There More Landlords Are Using Criminal Checks to Protect Their Rental Properties…And Now You Can Too For a Discounted Price!

Ontario landlords are excited about how many great tenants are out there.  These are tenants who pay their rent on time and respect both the rental property and their landlord in a mature and professional manner.  With rents rising and vacancy rates shrinking smart landlords are making sure to take tenant screening very carefully.

Take Your Tenant Screening System To A Higher Level (Not Just Credit Checks, Social Media and References)

The Ontario Landlords Association has brought forth a revolution in tenant screening over the past decade. 

Experienced and successful landlords in our community were the ones who educated others on the importance of screening your tenants very carefully.  Before we came along there was very little talk about landlord issues and few Ontario landlords even knew they could run credit checks on tenants (and why they should run them).

With so many good people looking for a place to ‘call home’ and rent from you, it is essential that small landlords avoid the professional tenants out there.

These professional tenants know how to manipulate the system and can lead small landlords to not only sleepless nights, but to financial ruin.

Professional Tenants Hurt Good Tenants, Not Only Their Landlord

These types of people who make leave huge damages and owed rent behind not only hurt the landlord, it hurts good tenants who are looking for a nice rental property. Landlords who face huge financial losses often leave the industry.  Or they will raise rents to help pay for the repair costs.

Sadly, we continue to see some landlords not being careful and being ripped off by these professional tenants.

Windsor Landlords Fed Up With Bad Tenants Now Looking At Criminal Checks As Part Of Their Tenant Screening System

After dealing with unpaid rent, destroyed rental apartments and a long process to even try to get paid money that is owed some Windsor landlords are saying they will make their tenant screening system even tighter. 

According to a CBC report a property manager has had enough of professional tenants causing huge financial hardship on small landlords.

Huge Challenges For Ontario Landlords

Already small landlords aren’t making huge profits and many are just breaking even (and some even cash-flow negative). 

So if you aren’t super careful and rent to a tenant who doesn’t pay rent, causes damages, or causes problems with the landlord or other tenants in the property it can lead to huge headaches.

Tenant Leaves Behind Huge, Expensive Damages

The Windsor property manager said one of the biggest problems he faces it from renters who leave behind huge messes to clean up. 

Tenant Was a Drug Addict, Leaving 200 Syringes In the Rental

When one Windsor tenant moved out he made sure to leave a mess behind.  This time it was more then two hundred syringes all over the floors.

Used syringes

Over 200 hundred syringes were left behind, and it got even worse!

Windsor Landlord Will Now Begin Running Criminal Checks

According to property manager Morawetz after so many tenant problems he wants to “take things a step further.” He says in order to protect rental properties he and lots of other landlords will be “tightening up” their tenant screening criteria “to a level never seen before.” 

Make Sure You Follow The Ontario Human Rights Code On Screening At All Times

According to the CBC news report running criminal record checks in some circumstances may be considered discriminatory….but in other circumstances “it might make sense” The report uses an example where a single mom is wants to rent out a room in her house and making sure all the applicants interested require a criminal check could be reasonable because of concerns for her and her family’s safety. 

And the Human Rights Commission states that: 4.2.9  Criminal or other police record checks, Nothing in section 21(3) of the Code or Regulation 290/98 permits the use of criminal or other police record check in the context of rental housing.

Of course, landlords must get permission before running a criminal check and if you have any questions contact the OHRC to make sure you are doing the right thing.

Ontario landlords criminal check on tenants

Ontario Landlords Can Now Begin Running Premium Criminal Checks on Tenants

Join our community and get the tools you need to succeed.  This now includes CRIMINAL CHECKS at a great low price with our ONTARIO LANDLORD EXPERT MEMBER.

And it’s all for only a one time fee (no annual fee). We landlords just like you and we know how tight the budgets are for many Ontario Landlords and this is why we want to keep your costs down for the best services out there.

Ontario Landlord Tenant Criminal Checks – Become a EXPERT Member And You Can Add Criminal Checks To Your Tenant Screening System For A Huge Discount for Members!

Ontario Standard Form of Lease – Top 100 Clauses You Need To Add

Ontario Standard Lease

Protect Your Rental Business By Adding The Top 100 Key Clauses to the Ontario Standard Lease Recommended by Experienced & Success Ontario Landlords & Property Managers. This is “VITAL” for Ontario Landlords!

We wrote before about the fact that as of April 30th, 2018 Ontario Landlords have to use a government created “Ontario Standard Lease” when you rent to new tenants. The Ontario government created a new lease that landlords much use after tenant activists accused landlords of using illegal clauses in leases and creating a “wild west” environment.

You can download the Ontario Standard Lease here

Experienced and Successful Landlords And Property Managers Agree ‘The Standard Lease Doesn’t Protect Us’

The Ontario Standard Lease tries to please everyone but in reality puts small Ontario landlords at risk for big problems and huge financial losses. Actually, it is a very dangerous document. Some tenants activists are calling it a “Renter’s Dream“. Many experienced Ontario landlords are calling it a Landlord’s Nightmare.

Why Is the Ontario Standard Lease Dangerous for Landlords?

It only requires the most basic information from tenants and the majority of the information in the document is about “tenant rights” and how tenants can protect themselves.  But the cupboard is bare when it comes for protections for landlords. This lack of required information leaves landlords wide-open to lots of problems during and after a tenancy. So while the premier says it will cut down on landlord and tenant disputes it will do the opposite. This is what happens when people who have good motives don’t have any experience and cause more harm than good!

So How Can Landlords Protect Ourselves? 

Let’s face it, the government is all about “protecting tenants” and not worried about us “rich” landlords and property investors. Yes, they view us small landlords this way.  We know we are just trying to invest for our retirement, we face huge cost increases for things like insurance, water, and power and most of us are trying to cover our mortgages every month.

You need to ACT to protect your rental business in this extreme “anti-landlord” environment….and here is how.

The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)

In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”.

Ontario Landlords Association members lobbied hard to include this in the Ontario Standard Lease. 

And some tenant activists are very unhappy about the fact we got this included to help Ontario Landlords.

What About Landlords Who Include Illegal Clauses?

The reality of the situation is smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even think about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you or you will simply lose any change at the LTB. 

It is important for new landlords to understand you cannot add clauses that do not follow the Residential Tenancies Act. 

For example, you cannot add things to the lease such as: 

a) Demand a damage deposit

b) Financial penalties on late rent

c) Controlling who can visit the rental and who can’t

d) Forcing tenants to move out on a certain date

e) Making tenants responsible for maintenance repairs 

Experienced and Successful Landlords and Property Managers Understand the Art of Successful Tenancies

Listen to the advice of experienced and successful landlords and pro landlords.  We have been “in the trenches” and know “what works in reality.” We are actually in the “renting to tenants business” and have a “stake in being successful with our tenants.

Non-landlords with no experience might tell you to put in a billion clauses in the lease because they aren’t aware if you do that as a landlord you will turn off potential tenants. Good tenants have lots of choices and you don’t want to turn them away.

Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know you need a balance:

1. Protect Your Rental Business

Take the additional clauses you can put in super seriously because if you don’t you are not protected 

2. Don’t Scare Off Good Tenants

Non-landlords like to lecture us and act as ‘experts’ but are unaware of the realities we face. Good tenants are often scared off by landlords with 30 page leases and simply won’t rent from you if you demand this.  So only add the “most vital clauses” that protect you and don’t scare good tenant applicants.

3. Prepare For Potential Problems

These vital clauses will prepare you for any future problems.

4. Protect Yourself From Tenant vs.Tenant Fights

If you own a multi-unit property you need to add vital clauses to make things clear and avoid future issues.

5. Get Ready In Case You Have to Go To Small Claims Court

When tenants move out and left damages or owed rent you will have to go to Ontario Small Claims Court

Many OLA members have been to Small Claims Court and they say Judges want to see things clearly spelled out in your lease (if you want to win and not lose)

Ontario landlords standard lease top 100 clauses

Add the “Vital” Clauses to Protect Your Rental Business, While Also Don’t Scare Good Tenants

We’ve been in the trenches and know what works and what doesn’t. Just adding a ton of clauses will turn off potential good tenants and you need to focus on VITAL ADDITIONAL CLAUSES and not just the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ that non-landlords will try to market to you.

For example, learn how you can be proactive to deal with potential issues. 

Ontario landlords standard lease book

GET THE TOP 100 CLAUSES YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOURSELF WITH THE ONTARIO STANDARD LEASE

1. Smoking

This is a huge issue, especially with marijuana legalization coming. How can your protect your rental property. Get the clauses you need!

2. Fire Safety

What about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors? ? What about other fire safety issues? You need to make the rules CLEAR in your lease to avoid seriously problems later on.

3. Tenant vs. Tenant Problems

Experienced landlords say if you own a multiplex on of the biggest problems is tenants fighting other tenants in the rental. Make sure you protect yourself and make things crystal clear from Day 1!

4. N.S. Fees

Tenants need to know the rules you have set for your rental property.

5. Appliances

This is vital as you need to make things clear and avoid problems with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

6. Move Out Procedures

So what happens when the tenants leave?  You need to be careful to avoid tenants who leave behind huge damages and a big mess. 

7. Pets

While a no pets clause are not enforceable you need to spell out the rules for pet owning tenants.

8. Insurance

Another huge issue regarding liability.  Protect yourself with vital clauses to your lease.

9. Laundry

If you provide laundry you need to make the rules clear.  If the laundry is shared it becomes even more important to lay down the rules!

10. Parking

Experienced and successful landlords know that if you don’t deal with the parking issue right off the bat it can become a huge headache.  So add these clauses to avoid problems and have a successful rental business. 

11. Lots More

And there are lots more. Remember, these are clauses that are important, yet make sense and won’t scare away your good tenants…

Get our CD (and written documents) On Important Clauses For Only a Low One Time Fee

Join a huge community or real Ontario landlords who are working hard to share ideas, tips, advice, and network to help all of us succeed. Yes, for only a one time registration fee. One time, not annual. 

Join our  Huge Community at the Ontario Landlords Association!

We are working hard to help you succeed.  We are all small landlords just like you!  We’ve been in the trenches and succeed and we are on your side! 

The Ontario Standard Lease is not only inadequate…it’s dangerous!  Network with pros who are actually landlords and share tips and strategies on how to protect your rental business.  Add 100 Key Clauses To the Ontario Standard Lease to Protect Your Rental Property and Your Investment!

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Legal ‘Damage Deposit’ to Protect Our Rental Properties

Ontario Landlords Association Damage Deposit Landlord Rights

Newcomer to Canada Believed in the ‘Canadian Dream” And Invested In Ontario Rental Properties, Now Demands Changes Because The Rules Are Not Fair For Small Landlords

I’m a newcomer to Ontario originally from India. Go ahead and call me an immigrant and that’s fine. My wife and I are were successful professionals in our home country and had a pretty good life-style.

We also had a dream.

And that dream was all about freedom. We viewed Canada as a place we wanted to move to. Not only was it a democracy it was a ‘free market’ where talented people could achieve their dreams. We thought that in Canada family connections and ‘who you knew’ weren’t the keys to success. And the rule of law was supreme no matter who you are.

We thought Canada was a meritocracy where if you study hard, work hard, and make a positive influence in Canadian society you will be rewarded for your hard efforts.

Canada was a place where we wanted to raise our children to give them every opportunity in the world for them to succeed. It didn’t matter that mom and daddy were not leaders or part of the elite of this Canadian society. What mattered was the right attitude and hard work to achieve your dreams.

We Put Our Hopes And Dreams Into Ontario

We knew about Toronto because we had some friends who moved here years ago. Fifteen or so years the we also heard about the Toronto Raptors who are a very good team now and also fifteen years ago. In our country the NBA player ‘Vince Carter’ was a star because of his amazing dunks. Toronto was the place we wanted to move to as it was so exciting and open.

Freedom Means Political and Economic Freedom

In Canada I found a job and we also invested in a rental property as an investment for my family and our future financial success. We also rented out our basement to help us cover the expensive mortgage and allow us to be homeowners.

Shocked At The Ontario Rules For Landlords and Tenants

Many new Ontario landlords like us were unaware of the rules we must follow when owning a rental property here and renting to Ontario tenants. They often think the rules are fair and being a landlord in Ontario is simple and renting out a property should be easy and profitable.

Being An Ontario Landlord is Overly Complicated and the Rules Are Actually Insane

Many new landlords are unaware of the landlord/tenants regulations in Ontario and are shocked to learn how these rules interfere with the normal process of simply renting out your property to someone.

We spend our energy and financial resources on creating safe and attractive spaces for people to rent out at affordable prices. Isn’t this a good thing?

The New Rules Just Make Things Harder For Good Landlords Who Want To Own Amazing Rental Properties

Many landlords were expecting some help to run successful rental businesses…and not allow bad tenants to bankrupt us.

Just look at the news! So many landlords are being ripped off by tenants who can easily manipulate the system to even stay our properties for months not paying rent.

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge Legal Damage Deposits To Protect Our Investments

When you rent from a small landlord you are renting from a person or family that has invested a lot of money.  This includes payments to Realtors, lawyers, government. And we also pay contractors, plumbers, painters to make sure the property is attractive and we can find renters.

We can’t accept what this Windsor Landlord went through. The tenant moved out and left hundreds of drug material behind for the landlord to clean. Is it even safe for us to touch these drug materials? Or will we have to pay thousands of dollars to hire a professional to clean it all?

ontario landlords association damage deposit syringes

More than 200 of these syringes were found scattered across a one-bedroom apartment, leaving the homeowner to pay to clean up the mess

If someone leaves a hotel room like this they could be criminally charged! But we had something similar happen to us not once, on twice, but three times already!

If we could charge a damage deposit would this tenant not work hard to at least clean the drug equipment?

Why Is “Landlord Charges a Damage Deposit” So Complicated In Ontario (The Rest of The World Does This)

Ontario landlords security deposit damage deposit

A Damage or Security Deposit Will Help Protect Small Landlords. It will lead to even good tenants to be careful.

Many of us who came to Ontario with a dream of working hard for success are very angry at the rules for small landlords here! Alberta landlords and BC landlords can charge a deposit.

Why have you set up such a crazy system in Ontario? 

The media never reports how angry many of us who came to Ontario are.  We were not told of the crazy rules and anti-business attitude here. We are ANGRY! 

Only the Ontario Landlords Association made us aware of what we have gotten in to. Before no one else told the truth!

The Ontario Tenant Activists Just Don’t Make Sense

Who are these people?

Do they actually have jobs or are they paid by the government to fight hard-working landlords who have invested our money to become small landlords here? Let’s look at at at their main arguments and refute them for the drivel they are!

1. Tenant Activists Say A Damage Deposit of Even $1000 Will Not Be Enough To Protect Landlords

Ottawa landlords bad tenants 2018 4

Will tenants leave the fridge like this if the landlord has some sort of damage/security deposit? No way!

The Toronto tenant activists don’t get it. Smart landlords screen carefully and we don’t rent to tenants who will cause ten thousand dollars of damages. 

But because we can’t charge damage deposits many tenants leave the rental unit with garbage and lots of repairs.  Look at the above picture of what an Ottawa landlord faced.

It’s common for tenants to not clean up when they move. If the landlord has a damage deposit of course the tenants will clean up their mess. 

Even if we could charge $1000 many tenants will work hard to leave the unit in good condition to get the money back. How many hours will the tenant have to work to pay $1000? 

Of course they will clean the property to get this money back!

2. Tenant Activists Say Landlords Won’t Pay Back Any Damage Deposits

It’s So Simple: Tenants Who Don’t Get the Deposit Back Go To the LTB (It’s not rocket science!)

We keep reading at the Ontario Landlords Association forum from tenants saying landlords who get a deposit never pay it back. This is foolish and just manipulation.

It would be easy for tenants who didn’t do anything wrong to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board, make their case, and if true, get their money back. The “tenant activists” are deceiving people and are afraid to come up and realize there is a simple solution to this issue.”

Let’s look at what happens for BC landlords who can charge both a damage deposit and a pet deposit.

According to the BC Residential Tenancies Branch when the tenancy ends and after the tenant gives the landlord a forwarding address in writing the residential landlord must return all of the deposit unless the tenant agrees in writing to allow the landlord to keep the deposit or even some of it. If they have a disagreement it goes to an arbitrator who will decide.

See, tenants won’t get ripped off by bad landlords. This is so easy to do to be fair to everyone.

Let’s Have Different Rules For Small Landlords and Huge Corporate Landlords

Some tenant activists say charging a deposit will be a “windfall” for big corporate landlords.  Okay, let’s make some different rules for large corporate landlords with big buildings and us small landlords with a condo, renting our basement or a duplex. 

Sorry but unlike the big corporate landlords I cannot afford a lawyer and cannot afford to keep spending money to fix things and clean up from sloppy tenants who treat my rental units like a rented mule!

Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry By Letting Ontario Landlords Charge a Damage/Security Deposit

It is absolutely insane that small Ontario landlords cannot demand even a small damage deposit to tenants. This leads tenants to not care about the rental and landlords have to pray and hope the tenants don’t wreck the property.

With the vacancy rate so low in Toronto and all over Ontario we need to encourage more good people to invest in rental properties and give more choices for tenants.

I have experienced tenants leaving a mess behind that me, my wife and even my children have had to clean up to try to re-rent. 

My family regrets being landlords in Ontario and demands changes be made!

I Don’t Want To Keep One Cent Of A Tenant Damage Deposit

If Ontario landlords can charge a damage deposit I will be very happy to pay them back every cent when they move out. I don’t want to keep any of it.

And if I don’t keep any of it this means they have treated me and my family and our rental investment property with respect. They left it like when them moved in. They made sure the oven and fridge are clean like it was when they moved in. They made sure to take out the trash and get rid of tires, batteries, and old toys and bikes. 

I will be the happiest landlord to return the tenant their deposit in full for cleaning the property and not leaving the disaster to me and my family!

Thank you to the Ontario Landlords Association for allowing me to get my voice heard on this issue.

 

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

“Ontario Tenants Will Be Able To Smoke Marijuana And There’s Nothing Landlords Can Do About It”

Ontario tenants speak out

Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

marijuana tenants ontario 1

“Ontario Tenants Will Soon Be Able To Smoke Marijuana In Their Homes And There’s Nothing Landlords Can Do About It”

The uproar from landlords and their friends in the media regarding marijuana is both frustrating and frightening. While landlords are allowed to frame the debate regarding the non-existent “tenants smoking marijuana issue” there has been a great racist and class discriminating wall preventing tenants from sharing our opinions and experiences.

Hey Media! I am aware landlords spend millions of dollars in advertising dollars to the media, but couldn’t you even give tenants a few iotas of your precious ad space, I mean news stories.

It’s clear the landlords in Ontario, both big and small, have spent a lot of time and money working together to create a plan to try to prevent tenants in Ontario from using marijuana in our homes.

I can just imagine all the secretive meetings between all the landlord lobby groups at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto to prepare a “united front” against tenants. While sipping $100 bottle Bordeaux at the Cafe Boulud they talk about how tough life is being a landlord. 

And “oh how dare the working class enjoy smoking cannabis now that it will soon be legal” they sigh while downing dishes the average worker could never afford!

It seems they only want wealthy homeowners to be allowed to enjoy a toke of a nice strain due to their wealth and privileged position in society.

Tenants Have the Human Rights To Do The Same Things in Their Homes That Homeowners Do In Theirs

Homeowners need to realize that when you rent to a tenant in Ontario it is no longer “your property”. It is now the tenant’s home. And just like you tenants can do what they want in their home. 

So just like you in your home, tenants in our home can do things like:

-play scrabble

-watch Netflix

-cook really tasty popcorn to eat while we watch our favorite shows

-play with our pets

-have passionate sex with whomever we choose to do so

-pray to our gods and goddesses without discrimination or fear

-smoke marijuana and grow our own plants with sweet as hell strains that the LCBO chains will never match

It almost seems landlords think a tenant should pay the rent and yet never even live in the property.

ontario tenants flight attendant hot

Ideal Tenant – Never Home!

I often think the ideal tenant for Ontario landlords is a flight attendant.

He rents from you and is never home as he flies across the country earning a wage to pay rent.  Oh and if he ever brings his boyfriend back the landlord will be livid and preparing evictions notices.

Or suddenly things don’t get fixed.  Or there are constant needless repairs. Constant harassment to move. (Probably because both Mr. and Mrs. Landlord are jealous of what they are missing). Unless the hook up is short and the tenant leaves again and seems to just disappear while the rent money keeps flowing in like a river.

Too many landlords view their rental apartments as only a money making machine and not a place where real people live.  I will soon submit my next article on rentals with no parking, ha ha!

The Whole “Oh Marijuana Smells So Bad” is a Straw man Argument and Not Logical   

Does curry smell bad? No, I get hungry when I smell it because it was part of my family’s regular food supply. Does marijuana smell bad? For me, no not at all. I can barely even smell it and if I do notice it I’m reminded of my family garden as a child.

Smell is subjective and based on the life experiences of the person smelling. Some people don’t like the small of curry and “Indian food” or garlic and “Chinese food”.

It’s like asking 10 people “What do you think of this perfume?” Some will love it, some will like it, some will dislike it and some will hate it.  Everyone has a different opinion and it’s the same with the smell of marijuana (if there really is a smell, because I usually don’t even notice it).

What would I like to ban? 

Fat slobs who over cook animal flesh.  I don’t like the smell of burnt meat. It reminds me of how much the cow must have screamed while being slaughtered. 

Ontario tenants marijuana tv dinner

Burn animal flesh reminds me of the pain the animal felt. Let’s make tortured meat smell a way to evict people

But since meat is typical “landlord” food there’s nothing I can do about it. Stop eating meat! And notice they advertise this as “hungry-MAN.”  That says a lot. Another reason to never rent from male landlords.

Tenants Can Smoke Marijuana And There Is Nothing Landlords Can Do About It

I have felt so threatened and angry over the past few weeks. Maybe I need to give up social media. 

The good news is tenants can smoke marijuana and grow plants in our homes and there is nothing landlords can do about it. It is reassuring to know that tenants have the same rights as homeowners and that means tenants are protected from landlords who only want to enjoy the benefits of marijuana to themselves and their land owning class.

And don’t think any “no smoking clause” will work for you because the tenant can just say she wasn’t smoking and it was the smell on her clothes or something. You won’t get your eviction!

I want to create some balance here so landlords repeat after me:

What the Tenants Are Doing In Their Homes Is Our Business And If We Are Smoking Marijuana and Growing Some Plants There Is Nothing You Can Do About It. 

Marijuana is not only for the wealthiest in our society and not only for the homeowner class.

 

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.  Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com Submissions should be between 500 to 2000 words and up to 5 pictures.)

Ontario’s New Standard Lease (And How Smart Landlords Can Succeed Using It)

Ontario Landlords Association Advocacy Credibility

Ontario Has A New Standard Lease Which Will Be Used Beginning April 30th. Experienced and Successful Landlords Say That You Can Still Put In Important (and legal) Clauses To Protect You and Your Rental Property 

What happens when a tenant wants to rent from an Ontario residential landlord? Both the landlord and the tenant agree to create a business relationship by signing a residential tenancy agreement.  This is also called a lease and is signed by both sides.

According a report on CBC news the Ministry of Housing has now created a new mandatory document for landlords and tenants to sign to begin this business relationship. You can download the new Ontario Landlord Standard Lease here.

Standard Lease For Ontario Landlords

The new standard lease will be required to be used by landlords and tenants beginning April 30, 2018.  According to some tenant activists Ontario tenants have been demanding this since 2012. Furthermore these activists state this will be an excellent improvement on the current situation to protect tenants from bad landlords.

Are Landlords Bad and Always Trying To Rip Off Tenants As Some Tenant Activists Believe?

According to some tenant activists, landlords write lots of “illegal clauses” into leases to trick poor unsuspecting tenants into traps. They says it’s like a bad cheesy John Wayne western movie, or the “Wild West”, out there with few controls on what landlords can do. The radical activists also state “almost every lease in Ontario you could find something illegal” and they receive daily calls from frightened and scared tenants about these clauses.

OLA Members Disagree. The Reality is Most Landlords Just Want To Find Good Tenants For A Win-Win Situation

First of all many landlords use OLA documents which do not have any illegal clauses. What we have are carefully thought out (legal) clauses which protect both the landlord and the tenants.

For years our members have complained about the poorly written OREA lease document that many new landlords and Realtors use. It’s a document that is inadequate and doesn’t protect landlords properly (especially if you go to Small Claims Court which many of our members have done).

Successful Ontario Landlords Know Good Lease Clauses Are Helpful for Both Landlords and Tenants

While the tenant activists want to label anyone renting out their property as inherently evil it’s not true.  Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know that creating smart, legal lease clauses is a key part of their success.

By creating a comprehensive lease, both the landlord and tenant can avoid potential confusion and conflict by making rules clear prior to the tenancy beginning.

For example one long term landlord wrote on the Ontario Landlords Association forum:

“I own a lot of duplexes. Two of the biggest problems I used to face was use of the shared laundry room and use of the yard.

When I first started I didn’t make the usage clear using the real estate agent lease. i used the OREA lease. It was constant tenant vs. tenant conflict. Both sides kept complaining to me. They both wanted me to be “on their side” and evict the other tenants.

When I joined the Ontario Landlords Association I was taught that it was important to go beyond just “how much is the rent” and “who is the landlord/who is the tenant”. I added in information to my tenants about what their laundry privileges were (times and dates for each parties usage) and what part of the yard each side got.

Since I did this the amount of tenant vs. tenant conflict has vanished. 

In 2010 I was even thinking of selling!  Now my rental business is smooth and it’s scary even thinking I almost bailed as now my cash flow is good and my properties have appreciated greatly! Fellow landlords at the OLA saved my rental business.”

The Standard Lease Distracts From The Real Issues To Help Landlords and Tenants: Changes Are Needed in the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board

Creating a standardized lease sounds good. It sounds fair. And in fact most OLA members don’t mind it (and we contributed ideas to the Ministry as you will read about soon).

However the real key to improve the Ontario rental industry is not a new lease template. The real key is to fix the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.”

Let’s look at a couple things that need to change.

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit

Ottawa landlords bad tenants 2018 4

When tenants pay a damage deposit they have ‘skin in the game’. This means they will be careful in the property and report any problems quickly to the landlord. With no damage deposit landlords regularly face garbage left behind, dirty properties and worse. This also cause problems with new tenants moving in. They move in and see garbage left around, fridges full of food and worse.

The Landlord and Tenant Board Must Speed Up the Process for Evictions

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Even evictions for what should be simple things can take months and months at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

And many OLA members complain about some adjudicators and Tenant Duty Counsel acting disrespectfully and even rude towards small landlords (especially those who can’t afford legal representation and have to represent themselves).

Important News: Ontario Landlords Can Still Add In Clauses in the Standard Lease!

Thousands of Ontario landlords wrote in to us when we asked for ideas when the Ministry was create the standard lease.

One of the most important points we pressed for was allowing landlords and tenants to add “clauses” to the new standard lease…and we got it!

This is really key for landlords, new and experienced alike, from Toronto to Ottawa to Thunder bay to Windsor and every where in between.

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The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)

In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”. 

Of course smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even thing about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you.  However you can add some important clauses to protect you and your rental business (and protect your tenants too!)

Ontario Standard Lease And Additional Terms

We need to improve the Ontario rental industry to help both good landlords and good tenants. The standard lease doesn’t do this. We need real reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Smart landlords will make sure they use Part 15, Page 6 “Additional Terms” in the Ontario standard lease to protect your rental properties and your tenants.