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!"

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

 

 

Add Your Voice To Our Submission To Premier Doug Ford And The Ministry To Make Important Changes To Protect Landlords!

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is having a key consultation with stake-holders on how to create more high quality housing in our province. Making it “easier” to be an Ontario landlord is an important part of the consultation. 

The Ontario Landlords Association is submitting what will be a game-changing submission on changes small landlords need to be successful. 

We ask our members to share your ideas and experiences for our submission by taking our survey.  

For more detailed debate and discussion please post in our Private Members Forum (for verified landlords only). Also, if members want to attend preparatory meetings and the consultations join the discussion in the Private Members Forum.

Create your own user feedback survey

The Forum That Changed The Industry Is Back Better Than Ever!  As Landlords Face Huge Challenges Experienced and Successful Landlords & Property Managers Are Here To Help You!

-Network With 1000s of Successful Ontario Landlords & Expert Property Managers

-Ask Questions On A Problem and Get Some Guidance From Other Landlords

-Chat With Landlords Who Are Multi-Millionaires due to investing in Ontario rentals

-Chat With Real Landlords, Avoid Paying $1000’s to “landlord reps” Who Charge You With No Guarantees Of Success

It wasn’t that long ago the serious concerns of small landlords went unheard. There was no voice for small landlords. Nothing. No one cared about our concerns.

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Ontario Landlords Can Now Access Landlord & Tenant Board Information Via F.O.I. Requests!

Since May 1, 2019 The Rules For Accessing Information Have Changed. This Can Help Landlords Avoid “Tenants From Hell”

I’m a long-time landlord.  I bought my first rental in the late 1990s.  After some major (and expensive) mistakes I put a huge amount of my energy on screening my tenants.

I found that one of the keys to success as a landlord is to make sure you rent to good tenants and avoid the “game players” who abuse the system to rip off landlords. Sadly, there are a lot of “game players” out there.

As a long time Ontario Landlords Association member I learned a lot of great tips and tricks on weeding out “Tenants From Hell”. 

Tenant Screening Only Goes So Far In Ontario

The problem I kept facing is that in Ontario is was impossible to thoroughly screen potential tenants.  This meant that every person I rented to was a huge potential risk for me and my family. 

And what a risk renting to a bad tenant is!

In Ontario is is almost impossible to evict crafty tenants.  The process takes months/years and even if you get them out they can destroy your rental property and you can lose thousands of dollars. Even an Ontario superior court judge says the rules for landlords are unfair and ridiculous.

The problem is we had no access to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) cases. So we were blind to whether or not a potential tenant had a history of issues with the LTB.

When I joined the OLA in 2009 I found I wasn’t the only one who wanted this changed.

Thousands of other landlords also wanted access and for years the the Ontario Landlords Association has worked relentlessly contacting MPPs (and the current Premier) to make changes.

Why is this access important?

1) Credit Checks Do Not Tell The Whole Story

The truth is credit checks don’t really tell you who will be a good tenant. High credit scores can be people who simply pay their Rogers or Telus bills every month.

A credit score has nothing to do with rent and is basically useless!

Since non-payment of rent can’t be reported, that “super applicant” with a high credit score might have ripped off their last 10 landlords!

2) Landlord References Are Often Dishonest

In the beginning I relied on the honesty of other landlords. But I quickly found out that the most glowing references were often from landlords who wanted to get their tenants to move out because they were trouble makers!

Some landlords who didn’t give references but the tenants wrote them down in their application were also bad. 

I called them for a reference and when the landlord found out their tenants were looking to move they offered their good tenants rent discounts and other goodies to keep them!

3) So-Called “A.I” Is Nothing But Shameful and Shady Marketing

Just like ‘blockchains’, A.I. or ‘artificial intelligence’ is a fad these days. But it is a gimmick and just shady marketing.

How can you get a “pet risk score” by asking a tenant applicant to send in a picture of their dog?  And they say “the cuter the picture, the higher the score”.  It’s a bad joke and in my opinion it’s fraud that hurts both landlords and good tenants.

No wonder their are lots of Privacy Commission investigations going on as tenants rightfully complain.

4) Employment References Are Limited

Someone can be a great employee and a bad tenant. Sure, it’s important to find out someone works to pay the rent, but that’s where it ends.

5) Criminal Checks Only Check Tell One Story

These are really helpful but they only screen out criminals and in Ontario not paying rent or damaging property is not a criminal offense (it’s common and accepted!)

6) Face To Face Interviews Are Risky

Ask the landlords who rented to Nina WillisShe had a great story and a charming personality…then made her landlords lives a living nightmare.

Landlords Can Now Access Landlord and Tenant Board Records!

Fellow Ontario Landlords Association Members…We Did It! 

Years of lobbying and explaining and supporting court challenges as why this needed to be done, thousands of phone calls, zillions of face to face meetings…and OLA members see the fruits of our labour!

Beginning on May 1st, 2019 Ontario tribunals are now more transparent, including the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

You can read the new rules here.

What Does This Mean For Small Landlords?

It means the LTB can no longer hide from landlords making a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to see if a potential tenant has been before the LTB before. 

We can check out tenant evictions and make sure our applicants aren’t “predatory Tenants from Hell!

50 “Hits” Showing This Potential Tenant Was A Serial Bad Tenant Who Ripped Off Lots Of Landlords

 Can you imagine renting to some who:

-Has Great Credit

-Has References From A Bunch Of Former Landlords

-Has A Good Job

-Has A High “A.I.” Score Because Their Dog Is Cute And They Are Cool On Facebook

-Has No Criminal Record

Sounds like an ideal tenant right?

Wrong.

This tenant applicant has been to the LTB 50 times! And many of those times was due to not paying rent.

Run A F.O.I (Freedom of Information) To Find Out About Your Potential Tenant

This is the gold standard for landlords to really do proper tenant screening!

Ontario Landlords Association Keeps The Pressure On To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

We are landlords just like you. And we defend the rights of good tenants who don’t like to be smeared due to a group that wants to rip off landlords who they view has weak and vulnerable.

So we keep fighting and getting our message out to help both good landlords and good tenants.

We kept the pressure on for years about transparency at the LTB and now we finally got it. 

This is a great start, and we are not finished. Now we need a damage deposit and more. 

How Can I Do An F.O.I. Request To See My Potential Tenants LTB Records?

Join us in the Ontario landlord forum because this is a hot topic and we want every landlord to make sure you do it to protect yourself, your family and your rental property!

Can My Landlord Charge Me For Air Conditioning?

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.

Tenants Know Your Rights When It Comes To Air Conditioners

Our weather is changing. In particular, Canada is facing more severe climate change than any other nation.

Not long ago we could expect snowy winters and comfortable summers. Due to a lack of carbon taxes in previous years, our weather is now erratic and hard to predict. The build up of carbon due our misuse and waste of fossil fuels is destroying our environment.

One thing is for sure: our summers are getting hotter.

And while wealthy landlords can enjoy their air conditioned houses, dips in their backyard pool, breezing winds while boating, and expensive vacations to avoid the heat, Tenants are left to suffer.

It really reminds me of the excellent Matt Damon movie called Elysium.

In this movie the Earth’s environment has been destroyed and hard working common people are suffering. Meanwhile the landlord and other elite live on the moon in perfect luxury, continuing to abuse Earth to pay for their air conditioned lunar homes.

Tenants are the ones paying expensive rents, while landlords collect it and can use it to make sure they personally don’t feel the serious impacts of climate change

Tenants Protect Your Rights And Fight Back On A/C Charges!

Many tenants are reporting Landlords are demanding tenants pay $200-$300 dollars in order to operate an air conditioner.

The main question we’re getting – is this legal? Let’s break it down

1) Landlords can charge a monthly fee to tenants with air conditioners if they have done so every year you’ve been a tenant, or if this is your first year of tenancy. This fee must be monthly, and must be only for cost recovery for the landlord

2) Landlords are not allowed to charge their tenants a one time fee for an air conditioner. Landlords cannot introduce a charge for something that has been previously included in the rent. A landlord cannot remove something that was previously provided to you

3) Finally, if your landlord is asking for this fee, they will need to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board to enforce it – so do your research before you pay!

It’s Time To Make A Maximum Allowed Temperature As Part Of the Residential Tenancy Act

We’ve been saying this for years. It’s time for a maximum temperature in rentals law.

In the winter, landlords are forced by law to maintain the heat. It’s time the government amended the RTA to make sure landlords are forced to also maintain a MAXIMUM temperature during the summer.

With Severe Climate Change and Dangerously Hot Summers, Tenants Can Die In Our Homes!

Tenants Be Careful And Fight Like Hell For Your Rights – It’s A Matter Of Life And Death! Make Sure You Survive And You And Your Children Don’t Die!

As our summers get hotter and hotter all tenants must fight back. What is even scarier is the neo-Cons want to ignore climate change and this means things are going to become Hellish soon. Many experts say we have 12 years before it’s all over.

Remember your rights and if the landlord is breaking your rights contact your MPP and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Fight Back To Survive As Climate Change Makes Our Summer Hotter Than Hell!

Ontario Standard Form of Lease – Top 100 Clauses You Need To Add To Avoid Potential Disaster!

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.
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The Landlord and Tenant Board Is A Nightmare! (Part 1)

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair, Biased & Unprofessional 

It Needs To Be Replaced With A Better System!

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.

For the first two years my venture into becoming a residential landlord had turned out pretty well. I got into the industry because of Scott McgilIvray and his show ‘Income Property’ on HGTV.

Scott is an attractive sales person and made it seem like not only a simple investment, but something I needed to do or I would miss out on a historic opportunity to make money.

The more I looked into it the better this investment vehicle looked.

This Was An Exciting Investment And I Was ‘All In”

Real estate prices were appreciating so my investment could really pay off whenever I decided to sell it.

And with so many young people looking for good housing due to the low vacancy rate there would be lots of “good tenant clients.” These tenants would not only provide a new income stream for me, but also take care of my properties while they appreciated.

This was exciting and I was all in. This was going to make sure I would be financially ready for retirement.

A Great Start To My New Investment

I made sure the property was attractive and in a good location. Scott said it was important my rent was at the ‘market’ level of the area.

The first people who applied where a young couple who were saving for their own place. They were very up front and said they expected this would take about a while and requested a two year lease.

After getting some good advice from the Ontario landlord forum, I said we would start with a one year lease. 

I also told them if things went well we could re-sign for another year. It worked out perfectly.

Great Tenants, And Two Years Went By Fast

Looking back, I was lucky.  I found two really responsible people for my first tenants.  A young teacher and his partner a young nurse. Rent was paid on time and we had a friendly and professional relationship.

Wow, This Is Easy!

After reading about some bad tenants I thought “wow this is easy” and “why are so many other landlords complaining? Maybe it’s their own fault?”

I didn’t really have to do anything except collect the rent.  The couple were very serious about building up their credit score and savings for a downpayment and near the end of the second year they bought their own property.

They asked to break the lease a six months early because they wanted to move into the new place. I agreed to this and they left.

A Month Of Vacancy For Clean Up and Damages 

Sure there were some holes in the drywall from the big screen tv hooks, mirrors and paintings they put up but I didn’t mind.  And the stove/oven wasn’t cleaned, but it wasn’t damaged. 

There were some other issues which I was a bit surprised they left. It would cost me at least $1000 for the repairs/clean up. They said they would leave the place as the found it…but they didn’t.

Still my thinking was “they stayed for a year and half.  And this will give me a month to clean up, do repairs, and find even better tenants. 

Finding My Next Tenants

My next tenant was a very personable lady who was a single mom. She had a  job and some really good references. Her credit score was really high too. But the key thing is she was very friendly and open.

She said her fiance was working in a high paid job in another province and the plan was for them to get married in a few years. He was really busy in his job.

I was really happy to meet her and provide great housing to her and her child.

First and last was paid and she said she might want to stay for many years and this sounded great to me. We signed the lease and I made sure the property was better than ever.

Who Is This Guy Yelling At Me? I Never Rented To Him

Things changed fast.

Within a week I received a call from a neighbour about the one parking spot I gave to the tenant was now being filled and a second car which was being either squeezed in (with part of it sticking over on to the road) or parked illegally on the road overnight.

I went to check it out and went to talk to my tenant.

Instead of my tenant, a guy who I had never seen before answered the door. He was big and menacing.

A Stranger Living In My House, Let’s Call Him “Mr. X”

When I asked who he was he said he was now living there with my tenant. I asked him why he was living there.  He said he was living with his girlfriend.

Okay, But I Have To Protect Myself

I asked “Can you please give me your name?”

He said “I don’t have to tell you that, legally!”

I asked “Since you are living here can I add you to the lease?”

He said “No, I’m a guest and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

I asked “Since you are living in my property you need to give me your information.”

He said “No I don’t. Don’t be a slumlord. Contact the Landlord Tenant Board and be careful.”

I asked told him about the parking and he said he would deal with it to avoid any issues with the City.

He seemed worried about the city but not worried about me, the property owner.

I called the Landlord and Tenant Board And They Were Useless

The Landlord and Tenant Board told me:

“Landlords can’t stop tenants from having friends over.  Above this advice you need to get your own legal help.”

OMG. My tax dollars at work?!

Rent Not Paid

The beginning of the next month the rent was not paid.

I tried to contact the tenant by phone, text and email.  I thought visiting there should not be part of the first step as Mr. X was aggressive and I wanted to avoid confrontation.

The next day still nothing.

Serving The Notice N4 – Pay Rent Or Be Evicted

On the third day I went to the property and knocked on the door.

No one answered. And this lack of response continued.

I Gave Them Every Chance To Pay But Now Decided To Evict Them

I tried to be fair and provided them a week but still no response. 

I personally served the N4 which would give them 14 days to pay or they would have to move.

I Won’t Pay Rent Because the Property Is Unsafe And You Are Irresponsible!

After sending the N4 my tenant called me and immediately started screaming at me as if I was some bad person.

She said the eviction notice was “unacceptable” because she didn’t pay rent because she and her baby were afraid to live in such a dangerous and poorly maintained property.

She said I, the landlord, was harassing her and unapproachable and only wanted ‘rent, with no concern for her safety”.

She read me a list of maintenance issues her guest had found and demanded they be fixed within 48 hours or give them a rent abatement or they would “take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What Issues? The Place Is Well Maintained!

I said I will try but I would need to check out the issues myself.

I also said if there were issues I would certainly fix them.  But it would take more than 48 hours to book a professional and certified contractor to do any repairs.

She said if things were not fixed she would file against me at the Landlord and Tenant Board….or she “would accept $3,000 cash or against the rent (three months rent!)

The Property Was Well Maintained Before She Moved In, Now So Many Problems?

I provided 24 hour notice and went in to see the so-called problems.

The boyfriend/guest was the one guiding me to show why they needed $3000 in either cash or free rent, or “immediate repairs” for their “reasonable enjoyment.”

He was a big guy and I felt pretty scared and he was bullying. I felt he would destroy the property in an instant if I angered him.

He said f I “didn’t play ball” he said he would take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board where, he bragged “I will win and you will lose! I’ve been there before.”

So What Were the “Maintenance Issues?”

As I was guided around my own property I was presented with a big list of problems.

1. The 3 Year Old “Top Of The Line” Kitchen Aid Stove

The burners don’t work and the oven doesn’t heat properly.  This meant the tenants couldn’t cook and had to order pizza and Chinese food, as they had a ‘baby’.

2. The 3 Year Old “Top Of the Line” Samsung Dryer

The dryer didn’t work and they had to dry the baby’s clothes at the laundry mat which was far away and they had to take taxis. 

3. The 3 Year Old “Top of the Line” Samsung Washing Machine

The washer didn’t work and they had to dry the baby’s clothes at the laundry mat which was far away and they had to take taxis.  

4. Mold in the Bathroom

He said this was a huge concern and he would also call the city if I didn’t pay $3000 or give the rent discount. He said the mold could seriously harm the baby.

5. Cracks in the Drywall

He said he was worried the rental would “fall down and kill them all” due to this. 

He said this was a “matter of life and death” and I needed to deal with this fast as the “entire property is unsafe.”  He sad the property might need to be torn down due to all the infractions.

These are just the top 5 “problems” he presented to me.  There were lots more.

These Issues Never Existed Before

I explained to “Mr. X”  I had previous renters who never had any of these issues. I said I would need time to investigate them.

You Have 48 Hours

He said “you have 48 hours”. 

I texted my tenant and said I was taking this seriously and was investigating it and would contact her.

I Took This Super Seriously

I spoke with representatives from Samsung and Kitchen Aid.

I asked whether or not these types of issues are common. The replies where they were not.

I spoke with a mold specialist and he said if there wasn’t mold before and if the bathroom has a fan there should be no problem, especially only after a month of them living there.

YES THERE WAS A FAN.

I spoke to a dry wall installer and he said the cracks were probably due to kicking or punching and there should be no problem with a three year old property

The Next Month Came, No Rent Paid Again

For the very next month the rent check bounced.

No one answered the phone and I went to visit. I notice the window was smashed (the tenant never informed me). No one answered the door.

A Served an N4 For Non-Payment of Rent

As they didn’t pay rent I served them a form N4 – Notice to Evict for Non-Payment of rent.

A Tenants Rights Form Was Sent To My Mailing Address The Next Day by Courier!

I received notice that I was failing to maintain the property and was failing to protect the tenants “reasonable enjoyment of the property” under the law.  I was told that I was required to attend an official Hearing for my neglect. 

So I Did Everything Right…But Now I Had To Defend Myself Against False Accusations!

I was accused of being a bad landlord by someone I never met, rent was not paid, and the worst was yet to come!

 

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease

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

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.

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease In 2019!

Because of the hard work of Tenants we finally have some new changes that are fair and promote justice for Tenants.

All the law-abiding landlords out there will support this post because it’s just explaining the rules and laws to help tenants, just as landlords help each other.

Landlords Can’t Lock Tenants In To Fixed Term Leases

In April 2017 we saw the provincial government finally listen to our concerns and they created the Rental Fairness Act which makes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Now landlords can’t collect arrears for rent due once Tenants receive a “Termination Notice”.

You can see in the Residential Tenancies Act, Section 37, that states that once the landlord gives the Tenant a notice of termination, the tenancy ends of that date of termination the landlord put in the notice.

With the Rental Fairness Act we finally get some real clear facts on once the Tenant gets the termination date, you break your lease:

134(1.1) No landlord shall, directly or indirectly, with respect to any rental unit, collect or require or attempt to collect or require from a former tenant of the rental unit any amount of money purporting to be rent in respect of,

(a) any period after the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit; or

(b) any period after the tenant’s interest in the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit. 2017, c. 13, s. 24 (2).

What Does This Mean For Tenants? It Means You Can Get Out of Fixed Term Leases

The best thing that all Ontario Tenants should know is this gives you an easy way to break your fixed term lease.

And landlords cannot go after you in small claims court or the Landlord and Tenant Board for breaking the lease, because it’s landlords who told YOU TO MOVE.

For example you might want to move because the landlord is a jerk, or the neighbours are noisy or smoking, or maybe you found a nicer or cheaper place.  You are no longer “locked in” like a slave.

How Can Tenants Break a Fixed Term Lease Under the New Rules?

Remember, if the landlord gives you a notice with a “termination date” of “do this or the tenancy ends” you can just….don’t do what they say…and break the lease! 

“Pay By This Date Or Move Out”…Ok, just move out and it’s terminated!

What’s the Best Way For Tenants To Break A Fixed Term Lease?

There are lots of ways now! Sure it’s a little bit sneaky but Tenants have to do what have to do to survive in this unfair situation.

(1) Don’t Pay Rent and Get the N4

Probably the best way to break the lease is just don’t pay rent. The landlord will give you an N4 ‘Pay Up or Be Evicted Notice’ with a termination date. The termination date will usually be 15 days after they give the notice. Since they are the ones who want to terminate the lease you just don’t pay and agree with them…and there is nothing the landlord can do! Again, here’s how it works.

Step 1 – Rent is Due

Step 2 – You Don’t Pay Rent

Step 3 – The landlord wants your money so will give you N4 Notice to End The Tenancy For Non-Payment of Rent

Step 4 – The N4 says: “Pay this amount by…. (This is called the termination date) or Move Out By the Termination Date

Step 5 – Just move out at the termination date and the lease is broken and you are home free!!

(2) Make Some Disturbances and Get the N5

Make lots of noise and the landlord will probably give you an N5 Notice to End Your Tenancy For Interfering With Others, Damage or Overcrowding. It will have a termination date and then you get out of it. I am giving you this notice because I want to end your tenancy. I want you to move out of your rental unit by the following termination date _____

Step 1:  Make Noise, Damages or Overcrowd the rental

Step 2: The Landlord Will Give You an N5

Step 3. The N5 Will Have A Termination Date

Step 4 On or Before the Termination Date……….just move out by the termination date and you are home free!!

Try not to bother other Tenants so much, but noise, smoking or these types of things will lead to an N5 and then you can leave free and in peace for a better, cheaper apartment.

Try to talk with other tenants so if you are making noise or going to smoke or flood the place, they can complain quickly to the landlord get get the N5 process going fast without really creating any trouble for your fellow Tenants.

Being Able To Break Fixed Term Leases Easily Is the First Step in Creating a Better Rental Industry – Especially When It’s The Landlord Telling You To “Obey or Get Out”…So Get Out!

Things are still really unfair. But I want to make sure Tenants are at least aware how the new rules make it okay to break fixed term leases. I’ll write more later on and hope other Tenants and fair-minded landlords can make positive contributions here.

It’s Time For Real Fairness For Ontario Tenants

Let’s work together and finally create a fair playing field for Ontario Tenants. I know many of you will be amazed at my first contribution and there will be many more to come because it’s time for FAIRNESS.