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.”

It’s a situation landlords all over face when renting out a property.

Everyone wants to rent to good tenants who pay the rent on time and respect you and your rental property.

Successful landlords rent to good tenants (and avoid the pro tenants out there who want to rip you off for thousands of dollars!)

This is especially important considering costs for landlords are rising and we can only raise the rent 1.6% in 2015.

Toronto Star Advice For Ontario Landlords 

There is an excellent column for landlords in the Toronto Star called “How Ontario landlords can avoid bad tenants.”

It’s written by Mark Weisleder who writes regularly for The Star.

Mr. Weisleder’s columns are very helpful for real estate investors and landlords and highly recommended.


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 Landlords Association Launches Fire Safety Campaign!

Ontario Landlords Association Fire Safety Campaign Rental Property

Successful Ontario landlords know how important fire safety is for their rental business!

Providing safe rental properties is a key part of your rental property business. Fire departments across Ontario are making sure Fines laid for smoke alarm violations .

Safe rentals are also a great way to let all the good tenants out there know you are a responsible and professional landlord who takes being a landlord seriously.  Successful landlords know good tenants want to rent from responsible landlords who rent out safe and well maintained rental housing units.

The Ontario Landlords Association has launched our Fire Safety Campaign to make sure residential landlords across the province are aware of their responsibilities for owning rental properties.

We also want to help all the great landlords who have safe properties to work with their tenants to make sure it’s a “win-win” situation for everyone.

We want every small residential landlord in Ontario to make sure their rental property is safe for tenant In order to help education our Ontario Landlord Community we have reached out to fire professionals for assistance. Whether you are an Ottawa landlord or a Toronto landlord, we want to help!

The great news for landlords is our provincial fire departments have been extremely helpful and share our goal for better and for safer residential rental properties across Ontario.

The issue of safety in residential rental properties is often in the media in St Catharines, Ontario. So the OLA reached out to the Chief Fire Prevention Officer of St Catharines. 

The Chief is Frank Donati and he was happy to help and cares deeply about fire safety. We thank Chief Donati for his time and for helping us get this important message out to residential landlords across the province.

1. What are the responsibilities of private residential landlords when it comes to fire safety in our rental properties?

Landlords are responsible for their property to comply with all applicable requirements of the Ontario Fire Code. Under the Ontario Fire Code, it is the owner’s responsibility to comply with the provisions of the Code, in the case of a rental suite the landlord shall be considered to be the owner (Division B, Article and Article, O. Reg 213/07 as amended).

2. What are the rules in St Catharines for rental properties regarding making the property fire safe?

St Catharines requires the same level of conformity as the rest of the municipalities in Ontario – comply with the requirements of the Ontario Fire Code and all referenced Standards.

3. Are these rules the same in the rest of Ontario?

The Ontario Fire Code is applicable throughout the Province as the minimum fire and life safety requirements. Some municipalities or jurisdictions may have more stringent requirements in some cases – always contact your local Fire Prevention department for specific requirements in your area.

4. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to smoke alarms?

It’s the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every story and outside all sleeping areas in each dwelling unit. Landlords must ensure their rental properties comply with the law. Specifically, a landlord is responsible for installing smoke alarms and keeping them in working condition, including testing, repairs and replacement if necessary. Furthermore, the landlord of each rental suite shall give the tenant a copy of the smoke alarm manufacturer’s maintenance instructions or approved alternative maintenance instructions. A landlord must also act to correct any problem or concern reported about the operation of an installed smoke alarm.

5. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to carbon monoxide alarms?

As with smoke alarms, landlords are responsible for the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms. The landlord is also responsible for providing the tenant with carbon monoxide alarm maintenance instructions. Testing of the carbon monoxide alarms and providing the tenant with carbon monoxide alarm maintenance instructions is also the responsibility of the landlord.

6. Regarding enforcement of the laws, what type of fines can landlords face if they are not following the laws?

Failure to comply with the Ontario Fire Code smoke and carbon monoxide alarm requirements could result in a ticket up to $295.00 + surcharges or a fine up to $50,000.00 for individuals and $100,000.00 for corporations may be imposed by the court upon conviction of an offence.

7. What can tenants do if they worry their rental home isn’t safe?

If a tenant is concerned about the safety of their rental unit, they should contact the Fire Prevention Division with their concerns and request an inspection. Ontario Fire departments are required to respond to complaints or requests for inspections under Ontario Regulation 365/13 -Mandatory Assessment of Complaints and Requests for Approval.

8 What happens if a tenant disables a smoke alarm in St Catharines? Can they be fined?

Intentional disabling of a smoke or carbon monoxide are both violations of the Ontario Fire Code (Division B, Article and respectively of O.Reg 213/07 as amended) and could result up to $295.00 + surcharges or a fine of up to $50,000.00 may be imposed by the court upon conviction of an offence that the tenant has disabled the alarm. Landlords are reminded to ensure they retain documentation that they have provide working alarms, instructions, and maintenance records upon request by the Fire Prevention Office.

9. Are there any great resources you recommend for residential landlords to learn more about their responsibilities when it comes to fire safety?

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management has a wealth of information for residential landlords located at http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.ca.ca/english/FireMarshal/OFM_main.html You can also find information and contact numbers at the St Catharines Fire Services website at https://ww.stcatharines.ca/en/livin/Fire.asp

10. St Catharines is becoming know by people all over Ontario that your fire department takes fire safety and the safety of tenants extremely seriously. We have members who admire your actions and with their own local cities were like your team. What is the goal of your fire department and why are you acting so diligently on this?

St Catharines Fire Services strives to serve and protect all citizens of and visitors to St Catharines from the ravages of fire. Through education and proactive programs St Catharines Fire continues to work towards our goal of no fire related loss of persons or property and continued high quality of life through knowledge of fire and life safety.

The Ontario Landlords Association has launched our Fire Safety Campaign.  Landlords make sure you know the rules and regulations and make your property safe for your tenants.

University of Toronto Gives Advice for Ontario Landlords Association Members

University of Toronto student landlords Ontario Landlords Association

The Ontario Landlords Association Asked the University of Toronto for Advice On How To Successfully Rent to Great Student Tenants!

Lots of new landlords want to rent to students. And why not? Students are focused on their studies and want to live in a great, safe, comfortable rental property that in no way will distract them from their goal of getting high grades and obtaining their degree. And renting to students is different than renting to experienced tenants from hell.

We contacted the University of Toronto to get some advice we could share for our members. For our previous chat see this link: University of Toronto, How Can Landlords Rent to Students in Ontario

1. I want to rent to U of T students. How can your service help me?

We offer a site where you can advertise your rental unit whether it be short- or long-term, private or shared accommodation. Our HousingFinder site averages 13,000+ visitors each month including U of T, George Brown, OCAD, and ESL school students, as well as U of T staff and faculty and students of other post-secondary institutions.

We offer various pricing options, insider tips on topics such as creating a more attractive ad for students, average rental rates in your area, and current legislation.

Your ad will be visible to our users 24/7, you can track how many times your ad has been viewed, include extensive details, and up to 10 photos.

2. How has your service changed since 2014?

For the first time, we’ve invited our landlords to attend our spring and summer Housing Fairs. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your property, meet prospective tenants, and learn more about our service! Our last fair of 2015 will be on August 22nd.

We’ve also added a new annual ad option ideal for those offering week-to-week rentals to medical electives and sabbaticals.

3. What are U of T students looking for in a good rental and good landlord in 2015?

No matter who you are renting to, a good landlord is someone who follows the guidelines of the RTA and stands by their responsibilities to maintain their unit accordingly.

Students are looking for places that are fairly close to campus (or near a subway line), offer competitive rental rates, include utilities, and a flexible lease agreement (i.e. month-to-month, 8-month leases, or ability to sublet in the summer).

We encourage you to include in the ad any amenities and features about your unit that might be attractive to students such as nearby shops, restaurants or attractions, a backyard or patio, natural lighting, air conditioning, or WIFI.

4. How are students choosing properties to rent? How do they decide?

Many students start by browsing the listings that have photos, match their desired move-in date, and are within their budget. The budget is ultimately the deciding factor but students are definitely attracted to a place that offers some of the amenities and features mentioned above.

5. How can good landlords communicate their goodness and professionalism to student tenants?

When students are calling or viewing a place it’s also an opportunity for the tenant to interview the landlord. Being genuine and professional from the start will not only get your relationship with your tenant off to a good start, but also provide an opportunity for future referrals (word of mouth).

How Much Can Ontario Landlords Raise The Rent in 2016?

Rent Increase Guideline 2016 Ontario

The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline is 2.0% in 2016

Sent:     June 19, 2015

To:        Ontario Landlords Association

From:   Housing Policy Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

For OLA Members,

The 2016 annual rent increase guideline, which was announced on Friday, June 19, 2015, is 2.0 per cent.

Please find links to the increase, which are available in both English and French at the Ministry website. If you have any questions about the increase please contact us.

Thank you,

Housing Policy Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

City of Mississauga and Landlord Licensing

Mississauga landlords landlord licensing

Mississauga Landlords – Do You Know Landlords Need To Get a City Licence in 2014? Read Our Interview With Mickey Frost, Director of Enforcement for the City of Mississauga

Mississauga landlords know they live in a dynamic and growing city.

With a growing population there is increased demand for high quality rental housing. This means many home-owners are renting out basement apartments to good tenants who are looking for safe and affordable housing.

Some Mississauga landlords are unaware of the need to get a license from the City if you are renting out your basement or other part of your home.

We wrote about this before in an article last year called “Mississauga Landlords Ask: What’s Going On With Landlord Licensing?

This has led to hundreds of emails and even more posts in the Ontario Landlords Private Members forum from landlords asking a multiple of questions about how the law applies to them.

It’s important that Mississauga landlords are aware of the requirements to rent out property and follow the rules carefully. This way tenants are assured of safe rental properties.

In an effort to help get the message you we interviewed Mickey Frost the Director of Enforcement for the City of Mississauga.

We thank Mr. Frost for his time and want to help get his important message out to Mississauga landlords:

Why does Mississauga require small landlords get a licence when big cities such as Toronto do not?

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to permit second units on July 3, 2013.

The plan includes official plan policies, zoning regulations and licensing requirements.

The official plan policies permit second units within detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, where appropriate. 

Part of this plan included a requirement to licence second units. This was initiated to ensure that these units meet health and safety requirements, property standards requirements and are compliant with the Ontario Fire and Building Codes. 

The licensing system also provides a mechanism through which ongoing inspections can take place to ensure that the secondary units are maintained and meet the requirements of City of Mississauga By-laws.

As to why Toronto has chosen not to pursue a licensing regimen for second units, we would be unable to address that question.

What is the reason we need to get a licence in Mississauga?

The Second Unit Licensing By-law 2014-13, as amended, Section 2 (1) requires that:

No Person shall own or operate a Second Unit unless the Person is licensed under this By-law.”

If I don’t have a landlord licence and apply for one now will I be punished?

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to permit second units on July 3, 2013. The plan includes official plan policies, zoning regulations and licensing requirements.

The official plan policies permit second units within detached, semi-detached and townhouse dwellings, where appropriate. 

Part of this plan included a requirement to licence second units. This was initiated to ensure that these units meet health and safety requirements, property standards requirements and are compliant with the Ontario Fire and Building Codes.

Property owners who fail to obtain a second unit licence may be charged with an offence under the by-law and if found guilty are liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation.

Can my basement be ‘grandfathered’ in? I did lots of improvements years ago to make my unit “safe”.

There is no “grandfathering” provision contained in the by-law.

If a second unit is present in a residential property, a license is required.

Question: Do I have to pay a licensing fee every year?

Yes. The required license is valid for one year and must be renewed every year.

If I have a tenant who doesn’t pay rent do I still have to pay for a licence even though I don’t get rent?


Is there any way I can lose my landlord licence?

The Manager has the authority to refuse to issue or renew a licence. This is identified in Section 8 of the Second Unit Licensing By-law 2014-13 as amended.

What happens if a vindictive tenant calls the city of Mississauga by-laws and claims my licensed unit is unsafe? Will I lose my license?

No If a complaint is received, a Municipal Law Enforcement Officer will be assigned and will investigate to determine its validity and take any action that is necessary.

Do big rental buildings require a landlord licence?

No, “big rental buildings” are not eligible for second unit licences. Second units are only permitted in a detached house, a semi-detached house or a row house.

How can I get a Mississauga landlord licence fast? 

Please visit the City’s website for the process to obtain a licence.


Mississauga Landlords Make Sure You Get a License For Your Rental Unit

Thank you Mr. Frost for helping us get the message out.

Make sure your rental property is legal and safe. Use a good tenant screening including tenant credit checks to make sure you find great tenants for your legal and safe rental apartment.

Ontario Landlords – How To Attract Good Tenants

 Ontario Landlord Marketing How To Make Your Rentals Attractive For Great Tenants

Great Tenants Want to Rent Attractive Properties. Here’s A Way To Get Tenants To Want to Rent Your Rental Property!

Ontario landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants.

This means landlords need to screen applicants carefully before handing over the keys to their rental unit.

Experienced Ontario landlords know careful tenant screening should also include an Ontario landlord credit check on all potential renters.

How Can I Find Good Tenants?

In order to rent to good tenants you need to be able to attract them to your property and they need to want to rent from you.

This means you need to have a well-maintained and high quality property.

How Can I Make My Rental Property More Attractive For Good Tenants?

A recent post at the Ontario Landlords Forum from a Toronto landlord asked how to improve curb appeal.

Here’s the post:

“I have a multiplex in Toronto that I put a lot of time and money into to make the inside very attractive. I’m in an area where this is a lot of competition for qualified tenants… The problem is the outside of the property isn’t appealing and it turns off a lot of good potential tenant from even wanting to view the inside of the rental. How can I improve the curb appeal of the property without spending a fortune?”

Improve Your Rental Property By Planting Trees and Shrubs

An Alberta landlord replied with the advice of planting trees and shrubs to improve curb appeal. This landlord said after adding some leafy shrubs and a few trees her rental property attracted a lot more applications from interested tenants.

A BC Landlord echoed the opinion and stated that the trees near his rental has attracted a lot of great tenants.

Fortunately, for landlords in Toronto and the GTA planting trees and shrubs is a terrific and affordable options thanks to a program called LEAF.

LEAF – Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests

LEAF is a non-profit organization that has been offering a subsidized tree planting program in York Region for the past 18 years.

LEAF offers a full-service planting program to help multi-units in Toronto and York Region plant trees and shrubs on the private property around buildings. This includes a consultation and site assessment with one of our expert arborists and full planting service.

Melissa Williams, Acting Program Manager for LEAF

The Ontario Landlords Association interviewed Melissa Williams for more information on the LEAF program.

We thank Melissa for her enthusiasm to help landlords know about the program and how it can help landlords create attractive rental properties.

1.            Could you tell us how your program can help residential landlords?

LEAF offers a full-service planting program to help multi-units in Toronto and York Region plant trees and shrubs on the private property around buildings at affordable rates. This includes a consultation and site assessment with one of our expert arborists and full planting service. LEAF is a non-profit organization that receives funding to offer this subsidized program for private property plantings. 

Trees and shrubs increase the aesthetic value of your property which in turn can increase property value by as much as 30%! Trees also reduce air and noise pollution, lower summer air temperatures and provide much-needed shade.

2.            Are all landlords in Toronto and York Region eligible for this?

All residential landlords in Toronto and York Region are eligible for the program.

3.           We have lots of members all over Ontario.  

                    Can Mississauga landlords and Ottawa landlords access the program?

At present time we only offer the program in Toronto and York Region. We would recommend that landlords in other cities check with their local municipality or conservation authority to see if similar programs are offered in their area.  

4.            What happens during the consultation/assessment of the property?

During the consultation, a LEAF arborist will assess the site conditions such as soil type, sun exposure and spacing restrictions, and speak with you about what your preferences are in terms of trees and shrubs for the property.

The arborist will then recommend suitable native species that will do well on your property, and determine planting locations with you as well. We would then come back and plant the trees and shrubs for you in either our spring (April-June) or fall (September-November) planting season.

5.            What are the costs involved for the landlord and what does this include?

The cost for the program ranges from $150-$220 per tree, depending on the species selected. This price includes a site consultation with an arborist, a 5-8 foot tall tree, and delivery and planting service.

The full value of this service is approximately $300-$400, and the difference is paid by our funding partners. Native shrubs can also be purchased for $25 each.

6.            How can landlords interested in this opportunity get started?

We recommend visiting our website at www.yourleaf.org/multi-units-and-businesses to learn more about how the program works and to fill out our application form. We can also be reached by email at info@yourleaf.org

Make Your Toronto or York Region Rental Property Look Good!

Toronto and GTA landlords can take advantage of this program to make your rental property more attractive to renters.

Whether you are landlord in Toronto or cities in the GTA make your rental property sparkle and attract good tenants.