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!"

 

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

We Want Win-Win Business Relationships With Tenants

A Landlord Reveals Her Goals To Tenants

Dear Tenant,

I am an a person who invested in an Ontario property. This makes me an Ontario “landlord”. The term “landlord” has a lot of negativity. It brings back memories of British Lords with castles and ripping off working class people. 

That’s not me.  I work two jobs and have a mortgage. My one rental property is nicer than my own house I live in. My car has over 200,000 kms on it and is 12 years old.

So please call me an Ontario “housing provider” or an Ontario “resident who wants to be a great owner of a property people rent from me.”

This open letter to you is to share information so that we can be a team.

After all, you need me, and I need you. 

Let’s be partners in this venture, working together for both sides to succeed!

1. I am not getting rich on this venture.

In fact, for the first 12-18 months of me buying this property, I am going to lose money. Even then, this duplex/triplex that you are living in will net me approx $200-$300 per month after all expenses have been paid. Doing the math, I believe that works out to $2,400-$3,600 per year.

At some point in time, I hope that this property gains value, and I can sell it for more that I bought it. It’s a great concept that you could work towards in your lifetime – if you are so inclined.

Until then, you need a place to live, and I need a tenant.

2. Please take care of our property.

It’s your home, but it’s my house.

If I know that you will keep your home in decent condition, I will be much more motivated to ask you to help me pick out a colour next time I paint the walls, or replace the carpet.

Please don’t be a don’t be a bad tenant who thinks I’m some kind of super rich predator sucking you you dry and spending your rent on Ferrari’s and caviar.

3. I promise to respect you and your personal rights.

I will give you all the notice I can before I have to enter your apartment. After all, this is your home, but it’s my house. If I need to replace a toilet, or fix something, I will give you advanced notice.

I hope the respect will be mutual. After all, it’s the little things that count. If we can all get along, we will both enjoy working with each other. I am not here to mess with your life.

4. I was you once, perhaps you will be me one day.

I know what it’s like to rent. I know what it’s like to be a tenant. It’s actually a decent way to live.

I never worried about the roof, the plumbing, needing a new stove, or fridge, or even if the carpet was getting worn down and needed replacing.

I never worried if the city increased utilities, or taxes – I paid a flat rent, which can only increase by a very small amount each year. I let my landlord worry and take care of all of that.

You need me, and I need you. If neither one of us are jerks, this will work out just fine.

Sincerely,

Ms. Ontario Landlord

Discuss this at the Ontario Landlord forums

Ontario Landlords Association Fire Safety Campaign 2019-2020!

Ontario Landlords Association Fire Safety Campaign Rental Property

Experienced Ontario landlords know safe rentals are key!

Providing safe rental properties is a vital part of your rental property business. Fire departments across Ontario are making sure Fines laid for smoke alarm violations . Sadly there are still horrible stories of  tragic fire related events that could have been avoided.

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 for 2019-2020 to make sure residential landlords across the province are aware of their responsibilities for owning rental properties.

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

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 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 Campaign Against Discrimination

Let’s Make Sure Every Landlord In Ontario Follows The Human Rights Code And Doesn’t Discriminate

Many Ontario landlords were surprised to read a story in the Toronto Star about a tenant applicant who was being discriminated against.

This was an applicant most experienced and successful landlords would consider to potentially be an ideal tenant…someone we all want to rent from us.

She had a strong financial history (with good credit and a good job). She was established with good references.

However, she found herself being regularly refused by landlords because, she believes, strictly due to her race.

It was not only surprising but also shocking because our members are aware of the Human Rights Code and follow it.

Ontario Landlords Association Defends Small Landlords

A member of the Ontario Landlords Association was in the Toronto Star story defending all the good landlords out there. The member explained:  

“We educate our members on the laws and rules in Ontario.  We also educate landlords on what ‘really matters’ when screening (such as a credit and reference check, conversations with the tenants, etc.)”

“We teach you should never turn away a qualified tenant applicant because of their race, place of birth or beliefs.”

In our Ontario landlord forum one landlord commented on the Star story:

“You would have to be nuts to not rent to qualified applicants no matter where they are from or what they look like. These must be very inexperienced landlords and they won’t last.”

Another member said – “This makes us all look bad! I’m angry at these landlords! Learn the law!”

Ontario Landlords Association Members Follow The Rules

Our province-wide landlord community wants to fix the system to help good landlords, good tenants and increase the rental supply in Ontario.

This is the reason our province-wide community organization started over a decade ago…to improve the rental industry for both good landlords and good tenants.

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How Much Can Ontario Landlords Raise the Rent in 2020?

2020 Ontario Rent Increase Guideline Is 2.2%

Every year the government of Ontario announces what is called the “Rent Increase Guideline” for the next calendar year.

The Rent Increase Guideline means how much a landlord can increase the rent without having to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

(If the you want to raise the rent higher than the guideline you must get approval by the Board to do so.)

How Much Can An Ontario Landlord Raise the Rent in 2020?

Many small residential landlords are facing challenges and need to increase rents to cover their costs.

Today the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced the Rent Increase Guideline for next year.

You can raise the rent 2.2% in 2020

The government says this will help landlords keep up with new expenses.  But many landlords say it is unrealistic and unfair. 

How Did They Come Up With This Figure?

The Ontario annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is a a measure of inflation. It’s calculated monthly by Statistics Canada.

The CPI is regarded as an objective, reliable measure of inflation. The CPI charts the change in the price of all goods and services in the provincial economy.

However, many landlords want a new formula that better illustrates our true expenses.

How Do I Raise the Rent For My Existing Tenants?

In most cases, the rent for a unit can be increased if at least 12 months have passed since the tenant first moved in, or since his or her last rent increase. The tenant must be given proper written notice of the rent increase at least 90 days before the increase takes effect.

For more information see the Landlord and Tenant Board Website

To discuss this and other issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

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!

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. (more…)

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.