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 our members' 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.

They are filled with important information and are a must-read for those looking for insights into the real estate industry in Ontario.

He is also a lawyer, speaker and author and we recommend checking out his website and his services.

How To Avoid Bad Tenants

Along with lots of advice on how to screen tenants, the column explained the importance of credit checks on tenants.

It recommend landlords “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.”

How Do You Screen Your Tenants?

Let’s look at a typical situation that landlords face when trying to rent out your property.

Potential tenants call you (or text you, or email you) and you set up an appointment for them to look at your rental.

They arrive and seem like really nice people.

It’s Time To Show Potential Tenants Your Rental

As you show them around the rental property they are cheery and compliment the property.

It feels good to hear the compliments. After all, you’ve put in a lot of time, effort and money to create a terrific rental unit…the type of place you would want to rent if you were a tenant.

While you show them the kitchen, the spotless bathroom, and the rest of the apartment you notice how nice the people are and how they get along so well.

They notice a few minor issues with property.

For example, the eaves troughs might need a bit of cleaning because of a build up of leaves.

Or the ice-maker in the refrigerator you are providing isn’t hooked up.

The tenants tell you they are “handy” and if you rent to them they will gladly do these minor repairs because you if you rent to them they will treat the property like it’s their own home.

After the showing the tenants say they love the place and want to move in as soon as possible and will be happy to fix the small maintenance issues when they move in.

These people are ideal tenants. They are outgoing, cheerful, nice and friendly.

And they will even fix the house up!

Would You Rent To These Tenants?

Many landlords will be happy they found such good people and rent to them.

Now take a seat and hold on. Why? Because we just outlined the way what the Toronto Star calls a “Tenant From Hell” tricks landlords.

Here’s What Comes Next If You Rent To Bad Tenants

Bad tenants will move in and they know how to manipulate the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board system.

In the case of the “Tenant From Hell”, well, remember when our hypothetical tenants said they would do all the minor repairs?

In reality bad tenants will call the City By-law department to demand the landlord do the repairs.

Then they will use the need for repairs as an excuse not to pay you rent!

Tenant Tricks To Cheat Landlords

It’s not just this one Tenant from Hell who plays these types of games.

A Hamilton landlord rented to bad tenants who didn’t pay rent for eight months which led her to being unable to keep up with her mortgage payments. These tenants put garbage outside the property and called the media in an attempt to portray themselves as ‘victims’ of a bad landlord.

The landlord lost months of rent and could not pay her mortgage payments. She ended up losing the house to the bank who sold it as a Power of Sale.

All because her tenants used the system to stop paying rent of over half a year.

Protect Yourself From Bad Tenants

Ontario landlords face a very unfair system that helps (and some would say even encourages) tenants who don’t pay rent to continue to stay in their rentals.

Instead of “no pay, no stay” it’s “no pay, but that’s okay…”

To a lesser extent BC landlords are also facing these types of professional tenants and protecting themselves with tenant credit checks.

Even Alberta landlords need to be careful who they rent to or they could end up losing over $100,000 in damages and end up having to sell their property.

How Can Landlords Rent to Good Tenants?

They key is to also include a tenant credit check on all the people who want to rent your property.

You can read more about why this is an extremely important decision at the Ontario Landlord Credit Check site.

How Can I Run Credit Checks On My Tenants?

You can join the Ontario Landlords Association.

For only a one-time registration fee you can start running premium credit checks for only $10/check.

It’s really the smart landlords deal of a life-time.

Ontario Landlords – Find Great Tenants!

Run Ontario Tenant Credit Checks from your own home computer for only $10 per check!  

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 Rent Increase Guideline 2015

 Rent Increase Guideline 2015 Ontario

Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 1.6% in 2015

With the cost of running a rental property rising Ontario landlords know raising rents to keep up with increasing expenses is important.

Each year the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces what is called the ‘Rent Increase Guideline.’

What Is the Rent Increase Guideline?

This informs residential landlords how much they can raise the rent on tenants.

How Does It Inform Landlords on Raising the Rent?

It’s tells you what the cap is for any increases of rent on your tenants. You can’t raise the rent more than the cap unless you apply and get it approved at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

When Does The 1.6% Rent Increase Cap Start?

This will starting on January 1st, 2015 and end on December 31st, 2015.

How Was The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline for 2015 Calculated?

It’s calculated by measuring inflation.

This measurement comes from data provided by Statistics Canada which creates the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

An Increase of Only 1.6% Is Too Low! My Costs are Much Higher!

Many small residential landlords in Ontario agree with you.

The Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) upon which the Guideline is based does not include many inflation factors that small landlords face. The formula needs to change.

For example, BC landlords also have an annual rent increase guideline.

However, the government there understands the financial pressures landlords face and the limits of the basing the rent increase on CIP. This means they will take the CPI and also add another 2% to come up with British Columbia Rent Increase Guideline.

Some provinces encourage investment in residential rental properties by not even having this type of rent control.

Alberta landlords can raise the rent according to the market as long as they provide their tenants with proper notice.

Are All Ontario Residential Rental Properties Covered by Rent Control?

No. Some Ontario properties are exempt and don’t have to follow the cap. These are rental buildings built before November 1991.

But around 85% of rentals in Ontario are covered.

Rent Increase Guideline 2015 – With another low cap for rent increases it’s important Ontario Landlords choose good tenants for your rental properties.

Make sure you screen your tenants carefully and always run a tenant credit check to make sure you know who you are renting to.

Ontario Landlords – Nightmare tenant Nina Willis battling with new landlord over 7th eviction

 Ontario Landlords – Make Sure You Rent To Great Tenants (And Avoid Nightmare Tenants) With Good Tenant Screening, Including a Credit Check!

Ontario Landlords – Make Sure You Rent To Great Tenants (And Avoid Nightmare Tenants) With Good Tenant Screening, Including a Credit Check!

The story in the Toronto Star last Friday was shocking for many residential landlords across Ontario.

It was about a person the Toronto Star calls a “Tenant from Hell” who is facing being evicted from her Scarborough rental property.

It’s brought a lot of discussion at the Ontario Landlords forum.

Nina Willis is in the process of appealing a Landlord and Tenant Board decision ordering her to either pay rent on time or move out of the rental property she is staying in

The original Landlord and Tenant Board Order told her she had to move by March 2014.

However, she is “appealing” the Order which means she can delay the eviction (and avoid paying rent) for more months until she gets her say in the next court.

She has done this is each of her previous cases. It’s an easy way for tenants to continue to stay in a rental property and live “rent free” for months.

This isn’t the first time the Toronto Star has reported on this tenant and her tactics to rip off small landlords.

The Star says this is the 7th case of Nina Willis being evicted since 2005.

The Ontario Landlords association has also written about this “Tenant From Hell” in the past to warn landlords.

At least seven different landlords who have been cheated out of rent and dragged through the tribunal system. A system that can be expensive, time-consuming and extremely stressful.

Nina’s current Scarborough landlord won’t even talk to the media as they try to evict Nina from their rental property.

Why Do Landlords Rent To Bad Tenants?

No landlord wants to rent to bad tenants.

The worst tenants (meaning tenants who have a plan to rip off small landlords from Day 1 are often very crafty.

For example, Willis will do an Academy Award worthy performance when she first meets a potential landlord.

Bad tenants will be exceptionally friendly when they first meet you.

They will appear to be really “decent people” who will convince you they will pay rent on time and take care of your rental property like it is their own home.

It’s only when you rent to them that you begin to see their true face.

You won’t believe how they change as they accuse you of neglecting maintenance issues and even harassing them.

How Can I Find Good Tenants and Avoid the Bad Ones?

One of Nina’s former landlords is now an OLA member and is very careful to screen her tenants to avoid “tenants from hell.”

One of the best tenant screening tools is a credit check.

Check out the Ontario Landlord Credit Check site for more information on the importance of doing credit checks on tenants. This site was created to help Ontario landlords learn how to find good tenants and avoid tenants from Hell.

How Can a Tenant Credit Check Help Landlords?

Conducting a tenant credit check will give you the essential information you need to know about a potential renter before you rent to them.

This isn’t only important for Ontario landlords, but also key for Alberta landlords and British Columbia landlords who are also facing challenges.

How Can Tenant Credit Checks Help Me Avoid Tenants From Hell?

That’s an excellent question. After all, small landlords are often on tight budgets and conducting a credit check is an extra expense.

Let’s take a closer look at how a tenant credit check can help Ontario landlords find good tenants and avoid tenants from hell.

#1 Current and Past Addresses

A credit check from the Ontario Landlords Association will show you the current and past addresses of your potential tenant.

You don’t have to ‘trust’ what the tenant tells you. You can see the FACTS on the credit report.

You can then make sure you talk to the REAL current and previous landlords and learn the TRUTH about the tenant who wants to rent your rental property.

#2 Current and Past Employment

It’s very common for bad tenants to lie about their employment history.

They lie because they know landlords want to rent to tenants with stable jobs that provide enough income to cover the rent.

A tenant credit check from the Ontario Landlords Association will show you the REAL employment situation of the potential renter.

#3 Financial Responsibility

Bad tenants will smile and tell you they always pay their bills on time.

A tenant credit check will show you the TRUTH.

Do they pay their bills on time? Do they owe anyone money? Are there judgements against them? Are there any collection agencies after them?

Even British Columbia landlords are now recognizing the importance of credit checks as they face some serial bad tenants ripping off landlords in BC.

We often think of Alberta as the best place to own rental properties in Canada. Yet even Alberta landlords are conducting tenant credit checks to make sure they avoid pro tenants who can end up costing landlords tens of thousands of dollars.

How Can I Run a Credit Check On My Prospective Tenants?

In the past running a credit check was complicated and expensive.

Some of the landlord credit check companies out there add on all sorts of extra fees on you and have a complicated start up process.

As a small landlord, you want everything open and up-front.

You also want low fees and a fast and efficient system.

Join the Ontario Landlords Association

For only a one-time registration fee , Ontario landlords can get access to premium credit checks for only $10/check!

That’s right. No annual fee. Just a one-time registration fee.

You can then access premium credit checks foronly $10/check for credit checks that give you a credit score, addresses, employment and all the information you need to make a smart, informed decision on whether or not you will rent to a tenant.

You will even get a recommendation from the credit report.

Ontario Landlords – Bad Tenants Are Out There But You Can Protect Yourself!\

Become a Member of the Ontario Landlords Association and Get Premium Credit Checks For Only $10/check from your Home or Office Computer.

It Really Is the Landlord Deal of a Life Time!

Ontario Landlords Association Teams Up With the University of Toronto To Help You Find Tenants!

 May 1st, 2014

Ontario Landlords Association Teams Up With the University of Toronto

Ontario Landlords Association Members – Find Student Tenants By Advertising on the University of Toronto Housing Services Portal for a Discounted Member Price !

The University of Toronto is a world famous university with lots of international students.

We were fortunate to have Jennifer Radley, the manager of Housing Services for the University of Toronto, provide important tips and advice on how you can become a successful student landlord.

It was very helpful news for Ontario Landlords and must-see reading for anyone interested in renting to students.

You can read the article here: Top Tips for Renting to Students in Ontario.

Lots of Positive Feedback

We had a great amount of positive feedback after we posted the student landlord tips Jennifer provided.

A Toronto landlord wrote in:

“Read the OLA post with all the tips…thanks, it was helpful and I learned from it… Give Jennifer my thanks!”

There was a thankful email from an Ottawa landlord who feels more confident now:

“I’ve been thinking of becoming a landlord for the past few years but haven’t pulled the trigger because of all the ‘Tenant From Hell’ stories. 

I’m now more confident and will focus on renting to student tenants in Ottawa.”

We even had an Alberta Landlord email us this message:

“Good advice wherever you are. Make sure students know you are better than the rest and you care about them.”

The University of Toronto Teams Up With the Ontario Landlords Association

Housing Services for the University of Toronto is a portal for landlords to reach student tenants.

Here are some of the benefits for landlords to advertise at the University of Toronto portal:

Benefits:

#1  Lots of Student Visitors

15,000+ visitors each month, including U of T, George Brown, OCAD, and ESL students, as well as staff and faculty and students of other post-secondary institutions

#2  Pricing Options for Landlords

Various pricing options to meet your needs and save you money

#3  Insider Tips

Insider tips on topics such as creating a more attractive ad, average rental prices in your area, and current legislation

#4  Find Student Tenants for Electives and Sabbaticals

The best place to advertise housing for medical electives and sabbatical rentals

#5  Customer Service

Customer service available to help at (416) 978-8045

Features For Landlords With Ads at the University of Toronto Portal

There is a huge group of good tenants looking for good landlords renting out safe and well-maintained rental properties.

Here are some of the benefits of with the U of T:

Features:

-Create and maintain your own ad

-Online exposure 24/7

-Track how many times your ad has been viewed

-Include extensive details, and up to 10 photos

-Cost effective for landlords:

    • $39.99 for 6 weeks
    • $19.99 to renew
    • $149 for an annual ad (ideal for week-to-week rentals)
    • $349 for an annual multi-unit building ad

Discounts for OLA Members!

Members of the Ontario Landlords Association are fast gaining a reputation as a group of professional small landlords who understand and follow the Residential Tenancies Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Tenants around Ontario know OLA members put our focus on renting out well-maintained and affordable properties.

Members who want to use the University of Toronto portal to find good student tenants will receive a 25% discount on advertising prices!

Ontario Landlords – Are You Thinking of Renting To Students?

Canada landlords from BC to Newfoundland are investing in student rental properties.

Become a Member of the Ontario Landlords Association and Receive a Big Discount To Advertise and Find Great Student Tenants For Your Toronto Rental Property.

Toronto Star: Ontario Tenants Can Offer Rent Upfront

April 1st, 2014

Ontario Tenants Can Offer Rent Upfront

Can tenants voluntarily pay the landlord extra rent or a deposit for pets?

A recent column in the Toronto Star has caused a lot of excitement for residential landlords all over the province.

Ontario landlords often complain about the challenges caused by not being able to charge tenants a damage deposit.

It’s common for landlords to face a big clean up job or lots of needed repairs when tenants move out.

This not only costs landlords a lot of money, it also has a negative impact on new tenants who move in and expect a clean and well maintained property as this The Grid article explains.

To recoup the costs of cleaning the rental unit or fixing the property landlords have to pursue their former tenants and take them to Ontario Small Claims Court.

Some landlords are successful at this, as you can see at this story ‘Ontario Landlords and Small Claims Court‘, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

Some landlords simply cannot find their ex-tenants to serve them court papers to get the process even started.

Background

The Toronto Star story explained the background to their story.

Mississauga landlord Tanveer Bumbia rented to a tenant who was in Canada on a visitor visa.

At first Bumbia had concerns the tenant would be able to continue to fulfill the terms of the lease and keep paying rent.

However, he rented to her because the tenant paid one year of rent up front and a security deposit.

After moving in the tenant filed to get the extra rent and security deposit back because the Residential Tenancies Act states landlords can only request ‘first and last months’ rent.”

During the case an email from the tenant’s Realtor was disclosed.

The email clearly stated the tenant would pay all twelve months of rent.

Since the tenant offered the money voluntarily the judge decided it was legal (while the damage deposit was not because the tenant hadn’t offered it).

The tenant appealed the verdict and in February 2014 another decision was made a Superior Court judge.

This new decision (which can be read here) agreed with the first one. 

Judge Marrocco explained:

1. A landlord cannot require the tenant to pay anything more than just ‘first and last   

   month’s rent’ in order to agree to rent t the tenant.

2. If the tenant offered to pay more rent money upfront the landlord could accept it and it  

    would be legal

3. The landlord would be required to pay the tenant interest on this extra rent according

     to the Act

What Does This Mean For Ontario Landlords?

According to the Toronto Star story, the decision will have an impact on how tenants and landlords do business together.

For example, you can’t put in your rental advertisement that you will require anything more than just first and last months’ rental payment.

You also can’t advertise you will charge a security or pet deposit.

If the tenant voluntarily offers to pay the landlord extra rent the landlord can accept it.

Also, if the tenant volunteers the landlord can accept a deposit for things such as potential pet damages.

Landlords Speak Out

The Star story has caused a stir for landlords.

You can see this on some of the post at the Ontario Landlord Forum.

Some landlords are excited about giving tenants more options to negotiation with them.

“This could really be a game changer and help landlords and good tenants.

Tenants who might have bad credit or pets and are having a hard time finding a landlord to rent them because of the risks for the landlord…”

An new Ottawa landlord is confused about what the real rules for landlords are:

“What’s going on? I called the Landlord and Tenant Board 1-888 telephone number and asked about this. The customer service representative informed me landlords can only collect ‘first’ and ‘last’ months’ rent.”

An Alberta landlord finds the who situation bizarre because it doesn’t make sense to ever deny tenants the right to negotiate to rent from a landlord:

“Many of us out there think it’s insane landlords in Ontario can’t charge a damage, security or pet deposit.

This means the tenants don’ t have any ‘skin in the game’ and won’t treat your property right.

The fact that a person who wants to rent from you offer you more money might not be able to do so is just bizarre.”

Tenants Should Have the Right To Freely Negotiate

We support a tenant’s right to negotiate with a potential landlord.

We also feel it’s time to change the Residential Tenancies Act to allow landlords to ask for security and pet deposits.

With some protection against damages more people will invest in residential rental property in Ontario which will lead to more high quality rentals and more choices for tenants.

We will follow this carefully to help Ontario landlords navigate an ever more confusing legal environment.