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.

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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

 

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?

Yes.

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.

http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/housingchoicessecondunits

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 telephone at 416-413-9244 ext.0 or 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.

University of Toronto: How Can Landlords Rent to Students In Ontario?

Toronto landlords rent to students

University of Toronto – More Top Tips for Ontario Landlords Who Want To Rent to Students

Our post last Spring advising Ontario landlords how to successfully rent to students led to hundreds of emails coming in.

Landlords across Ontario kept telling us how much they appreciated the advice presented by the helpful Manager of Rental Housing Service for the University of Toronto.

It looks like more investors are looking at renting to students as way to create a profitable rental business. We even had some Alberta landlords send some questions in.

One of the highlights of the mail was from a BC landlord. She wrote how the latest CBC News story on some “serial tenants” in British Columbia has led her to thinking of changing her rental business strategy to renting to students only and thanked us for the tips.

The manager is Jennifer Radley and the U of T is lucky to have such an helpful person who cares about student tenants and wants to help student landlords (because creating more educated and professional landlords helps students in the long run).

Here are more questions and answers from Jennifer to help landlords successfully rent to great student tenants.

1. Do students normally have guarantors who can sign the lease?

Not always, especially if they are international students.

Some students will obtain a letter from their Professor or Registrar confirming that they are a F/T student and most likely have the financial means to study/live at U of T.

2. Do students like furnished apartments (beds, tables, chairs, etc.)?And will they

    be willing to pay for the furnishings?

Yes, many students do like furnished apartments. The ideal situation is where furnishings is optional. Depending on how much extra, they could be willing to pay.

3. Most students are pretty young.  Is it worthwhile to do a tenant credit check on

    them before renting?”

We do recommend that landlords protect themselves, but many students may not have much of a credit history, so what you find out may be limited.

However, most students do have funding to cover the costs for their studies, including housing, which they may be able to provide you with evidence of, and may also be able to show they have been responsible in paying off their tuition and other fees to date.

4. How can I screen student tenants?

 We recommend treating a viewing like an interview – ask them questions about past tenancies (if applicable), their source(s) of funding (e.g. OSAP, grants, awards, employment income, etc.), how long they are here to study, etc. and also ask for references – past landlords, registrars, residence deans, etc.

5. Engineering students have a reputation as party animals who wreck their  

    residences.  Any truth to this in 2014?

Not in our experience – most of our residences actually have the opposite experience: Engineering students are so busy with their heavy workload, they do not do engage in enough social activities.

Most engineering students tell us they can only afford to do non-school related activities one night a week.

6. Is it true Masters & PhD students are better tenants compared to undergrads?

Not necessarily. U of T is a challenging school that attracts high caliber students for all its programs.

Most U of T students are hard workers who take their studies, and their financial commitments, very seriously.  

7. How can I explain to students I’m a good landlord who only wants rent paid on   

    time and won’t bother the students at all and will fix things?”

Tell them. Students are looking for honest, kind and hard-working landlords – similar to hat landlords look for in a tenant.

8. Should I hire a female property manager if all the tenants are female nursing

    students?”

 That is not required.

 9. Does the University of Toronto have a department to deal with tenant complaints?”

Yes, Housing Services! We have a formal complaints process for both landlords and student tenants.

Ontario Landlords – Do you want to rent to students?

Learn from the advice provided by the University of Toronto and become the type of landlord student tenants are looking for.

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.