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.”
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.
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.”
Newcomer to Canada Believed in the ‘Canadian Dream” And Invested In Ontario Rental Properties, Now Demands Changes Because The Rules Are Not Fair For Small Landlords
I’m a newcomer to Ontario originally from India. Go ahead and call me an immigrant and that’s fine. My wife and I are were successful professionals in our home country and had a pretty good life-style.
We also had a dream.
And that dream was all about freedom. We viewed Canada as a place we wanted to move to. Not only was it a democracy it was a ‘free market’ where talented people could achieve their dreams. We thought that in Canada family connections and ‘who you knew’ weren’t the keys to success. And the rule of law was supreme no matter who you are.
We thought Canada was a meritocracy where if you study hard, work hard, and make a positive influence in Canadian society you will be rewarded for your hard efforts.
Canada was a place where we wanted to raise our children to give them every opportunity in the world for them to succeed. It didn’t matter that mom and daddy were not leaders or part of the elite of this Canadian society. What mattered was the right attitude and hard work to achieve your dreams.
We Put Our Hopes And Dreams Into Ontario
We knew about Toronto because we had some friends who moved here years ago. Fifteen or so years the we also heard about the Toronto Raptors who are a very good team now and also fifteen years ago. In our country the NBA player ‘Vince Carter’ was a star because of his amazing dunks. Toronto was the place we wanted to move to as it was so exciting and open.
Freedom Means Political and Economic Freedom
In Canada I found a job and we also invested in a rental property as an investment for my family and our future financial success. We also rented out our basement to help us cover the expensive mortgage and allow us to be homeowners.
Shocked At The Ontario Rules For Landlords and Tenants
Many new Ontario landlords like us were unaware of the rules we must follow when owning a rental property here and renting to Ontario tenants. They often think the rules are fair and being a landlord in Ontario is simple and renting out a property should be easy and profitable.
Being An Ontario Landlord is Overly Complicated and the Rules Are Actually Insane
Many new landlords are unaware of the landlord/tenants regulations in Ontario and are shocked to learn how these rules interfere with the normal process of simply renting out your property to someone.
We spend our energy and financial resources on creating safe and attractive spaces for people to rent out at affordable prices. Isn’t this a good thing?
The New Rules Just Make Things Harder For Good Landlords Who Want To Own Amazing Rental Properties
Many landlords were expecting some help to run successful rental businesses…and not allow bad tenants to bankrupt us.
Just look at the news! So many landlords are being ripped off by tenants who can easily manipulate the system to even stay our properties for months not paying rent.
Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge Legal Damage Deposits To Protect Our Investments
When you rent from a small landlord you are renting from a person or family that has invested a lot of money. This includes payments to Realtors, lawyers, government. And we also pay contractors, plumbers, painters to make sure the property is attractive and we can find renters.
We can’t accept what this Windsor Landlord went through. The tenant moved out and left hundreds of drug material behind for the landlord to clean. Is it even safe for us to touch these drug materials? Or will we have to pay thousands of dollars to hire a professional to clean it all?
If someone leaves a hotel room like this they could be criminally charged! But we had something similar happen to us not once, on twice, but three times already!
If we could charge a damage deposit would this tenant not work hard to at least clean the drug equipment?
Why Is “Landlord Charges a Damage Deposit” So Complicated In Ontario (The Rest of The World Does This)
Many of us who came to Ontario with a dream of working hard for success are very angry at the rules for small landlords here! Alberta landlords and BC landlords can charge a deposit.
Why have you set up such a crazy system in Ontario?
The media never reports how angry many of us who came to Ontario are. We were not told of the crazy rules and anti-business attitude here. We are ANGRY!
Only the Ontario Landlords Association made us aware of what we have gotten in to. Before no one else told the truth!
The Ontario Tenant Activists Just Don’t Make Sense
Who are these people?
Do they actually have jobs or are they paid by the government to fight hard-working landlords who have invested our money to become small landlords here? Let’s look at at at their main arguments and refute them for the drivel they are!
1. Tenant Activists Say A Damage Deposit of Even $1000 Will Not Be Enough To Protect Landlords
The Toronto tenant activists don’t get it. Smart landlords screen carefully and we don’t rent to tenants who will cause ten thousand dollars of damages.
But because we can’t charge damage deposits many tenants leave the rental unit with garbage and lots of repairs. Look at the above picture of what an Ottawa landlord faced.
It’s common for tenants to not clean up when they move. If the landlord has a damage deposit of course the tenants will clean up their mess.
Even if we could charge $1000 many tenants will work hard to leave the unit in good condition to get the money back. How many hours will the tenant have to work to pay $1000?
Of course they will clean the property to get this money back!
2. Tenant Activists Say Landlords Won’t Pay Back Any Damage Deposits
It’s So Simple: Tenants Who Don’t Get the Deposit Back Go To the LTB (It’s not rocket science!)
We keep reading at the Ontario Landlords Association forum from tenants saying landlords who get a deposit never pay it back. This is foolish and just manipulation.
It would be easy for tenants who didn’t do anything wrong to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board, make their case, and if true, get their money back. The “tenant activists” are deceiving people and are afraid to come up and realize there is a simple solution to this issue.”
Let’s look at what happens for BC landlords who can charge both a damage deposit and a pet deposit.
According to the BC Residential Tenancies Branch when the tenancy ends and after the tenant gives the landlord a forwarding address in writing the residential landlord must return all of the deposit unless the tenant agrees in writing to allow the landlord to keep the deposit or even some of it. If they have a disagreement it goes to an arbitrator who will decide.
See, tenants won’t get ripped off by bad landlords. This is so easy to do to be fair to everyone.
Let’s Have Different Rules For Small Landlords and Huge Corporate Landlords
Some tenant activists say charging a deposit will be a “windfall” for big corporate landlords. Okay, let’s make some different rules for large corporate landlords with big buildings and us small landlords with a condo, renting our basement or a duplex.
Sorry but unlike the big corporate landlords I cannot afford a lawyer and cannot afford to keep spending money to fix things and clean up from sloppy tenants who treat my rental units like a rented mule!
Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry By Letting Ontario Landlords Charge a Damage/Security Deposit
It is absolutely insane that small Ontario landlords cannot demand even a small damage deposit to tenants. This leads tenants to not care about the rental and landlords have to pray and hope the tenants don’t wreck the property.
With the vacancy rate so low in Toronto and all over Ontario we need to encourage more good people to invest in rental properties and give more choices for tenants.
I have experienced tenants leaving a mess behind that me, my wife and even my children have had to clean up to try to re-rent.
My family regrets being landlords in Ontario and demands changes be made!
I Don’t Want To Keep One Cent Of A Tenant Damage Deposit
If Ontario landlords can charge a damage deposit I will be very happy to pay them back every cent when they move out. I don’t want to keep any of it.
And if I don’t keep any of it this means they have treated me and my family and our rental investment property with respect. They left it like when them moved in. They made sure the oven and fridge are clean like it was when they moved in. They made sure to take out the trash and get rid of tires, batteries, and old toys and bikes.
I will be the happiest landlord to return the tenant their deposit in full for cleaning the property and not leaving the disaster to me and my family!
Thank you to the Ontario Landlords Association for allowing me to get my voice heard on this issue.
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 Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry
“Ontario Tenants Will Soon Be Able To Smoke Marijuana In Their Homes And There’s Nothing Landlords Can Do About It”
The uproar from landlords and their friends in the media regarding marijuana is both frustrating and frightening. While landlords are allowed to frame the debate regarding the non-existent “tenants smoking marijuana issue” there has been a great racist and class discriminating wall preventing tenants from sharing our opinions and experiences.
Hey Media! I am aware landlords spend millions of dollars in advertising dollars to the media, but couldn’t you even give tenants a few iotas of your precious ad space, I mean news stories.
It’s clear the landlords in Ontario, both big and small, have spent a lot of time and money working together to create a plan to try to prevent tenants in Ontario from using marijuana in our homes.
I can just imagine all the secretive meetings between all the landlord lobby groups at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto to prepare a “united front” against tenants. While sipping $100 bottle Bordeaux at the Cafe Boulud they talk about how tough life is being a landlord.
And “oh how dare the working class enjoy smoking cannabis now that it will soon be legal” they sigh while downing dishes the average worker could never afford!
It seems they only want wealthy homeowners to be allowed to enjoy a toke of a nice strain due to their wealth and privileged position in society.
Tenants Have the Human Rights To Do The Same Things in Their Homes That Homeowners Do In Theirs
Homeowners need to realize that when you rent to a tenant in Ontario it is no longer “your property”. It is now the tenant’s home. And just like you tenants can do what they want in their home.
So just like you in your home, tenants in our home can do things like:
-cook really tasty popcorn to eat while we watch our favorite shows
-play with our pets
-have passionate sex with whomever we choose to do so
-pray to our gods and goddesses without discrimination or fear
-smoke marijuana and grow our own plants with sweet as hell strains that the LCBO chains will never match
It almost seems landlords think a tenant should pay the rent and yet never even live in the property.
I often think the ideal tenant for Ontario landlords is a flight attendant.
He rents from you and is never home as he flies across the country earning a wage to pay rent. Oh and if he ever brings his boyfriend back the landlord will be livid and preparing evictions notices.
Or suddenly things don’t get fixed. Or there are constant needless repairs. Constant harassment to move. (Probably because both Mr. and Mrs. Landlord are jealous of what they are missing). Unless the hook up is short and the tenant leaves again and seems to just disappear while the rent money keeps flowing in like a river.
Too many landlords view their rental apartments as only a money making machine and not a place where real people live. I will soon submit my next article on rentals with no parking, ha ha!
The Whole “Oh Marijuana Smells So Bad” is a Straw man Argument and Not Logical
Does curry smell bad? No, I get hungry when I smell it because it was part of my family’s regular food supply. Does marijuana smell bad? For me, no not at all. I can barely even smell it and if I do notice it I’m reminded of my family garden as a child.
Smell is subjective and based on the life experiences of the person smelling. Some people don’t like the small of curry and “Indian food” or garlic and “Chinese food”.
It’s like asking 10 people “What do you think of this perfume?” Some will love it, some will like it, some will dislike it and some will hate it. Everyone has a different opinion and it’s the same with the smell of marijuana (if there really is a smell, because I usually don’t even notice it).
What would I like to ban?
Fat slobs who over cook animal flesh. I don’t like the smell of burnt meat. It reminds me of how much the cow must have screamed while being slaughtered.
But since meat is typical “landlord” food there’s nothing I can do about it. Stop eating meat! And notice they advertise this as “hungry-MAN.” That says a lot. Another reason to never rent from male landlords.
Tenants Can Smoke Marijuana And There Is Nothing Landlords Can Do About It
I have felt so threatened and angry over the past few weeks. Maybe I need to give up social media.
The good news is tenants can smoke marijuana and grow plants in our homes and there is nothing landlords can do about it. It is reassuring to know that tenants have the same rights as homeowners and that means tenants are protected from landlords who only want to enjoy the benefits of marijuana to themselves and their land owning class.
And don’t think any “no smoking clause” will work for you because the tenant can just say she wasn’t smoking and it was the smell on her clothes or something. You won’t get your eviction!
I want to create some balance here so landlords repeat after me:
What the Tenants Are Doing In Their Homes Is Our Business And If We Are Smoking Marijuana and Growing Some Plants There Is Nothing You Can Do About It.
Marijuana is not only for the wealthiest in our society and not only for the homeowner class.
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. Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at email@example.com Submissions should be between 500 to 2000 words and up to 5 pictures.)
Ontario Has A New Standard Lease Which Will Be Used Beginning April 30th. Experienced and Successful Landlords Say That You Can Still Put In Important (and legal) Clauses To Protect You and Your Rental Property
What happens when a tenant wants to rent from an Ontario residential landlord? Both the landlord and the tenant agree to create a business relationship by signing a residential tenancy agreement. This is also called a lease and is signed by both sides.
According a report on CBC news the Ministry of Housing has now created a new mandatory document for landlords and tenants to sign to begin this business relationship. You can download the new Ontario Landlord Standard Lease here.
Standard Lease For Ontario Landlords
The new standard lease will be required to be used by landlords and tenants beginning April 30, 2018. According to some tenant activists Ontario tenants have been demanding this since 2012. Furthermore these activists state this will be an excellent improvement on the current situation to protect tenants from bad landlords.
Are Landlords Bad and Always Trying To Rip Off Tenants As Some Tenant Activists Believe?
According to some tenant activists, landlords write lots of “illegal clauses” into leases to trick poor unsuspecting tenants into traps. They says it’s like a bad cheesy John Wayne western movie, or the “Wild West”, out there with few controls on what landlords can do. The radical activists also state “almost every lease in Ontario you could find something illegal” and they receive daily calls from frightened and scared tenants about these clauses.
OLA Members Disagree. The Reality is Most Landlords Just Want To Find Good Tenants For A Win-Win Situation
First of all many landlords use OLA documents which do not have any illegal clauses. What we have are carefully thought out (legal) clauses which protect both the landlord and the tenants.
For years our members have complained about the poorly written OREA lease document that many new landlords and Realtors use. It’s a document that is inadequate and doesn’t protect landlords properly (especially if you go to Small Claims Court which many of our members have done).
Successful Ontario Landlords Know Good Lease Clauses Are Helpful for Both Landlords and Tenants
While the tenant activists want to label anyone renting out their property as inherently evil it’s not true. Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know that creating smart, legal lease clauses is a key part of their success.
By creating a comprehensive lease, both the landlord and tenant can avoid potential confusion and conflict by making rules clear prior to the tenancy beginning.
For example one long term landlord wrote on the Ontario Landlords Association forum:
“I own a lot of duplexes. Two of the biggest problems I used to face was use of the shared laundry room and use of the yard.
When I first started I didn’t make the usage clear using the real estate agent lease. i used the OREA lease. It was constant tenant vs. tenant conflict. Both sides kept complaining to me. They both wanted me to be “on their side” and evict the other tenants.
When I joined the Ontario Landlords Association I was taught that it was important to go beyond just “how much is the rent” and “who is the landlord/who is the tenant”. I added in information to my tenants about what their laundry privileges were (times and dates for each parties usage) and what part of the yard each side got.
Since I did this the amount of tenant vs. tenant conflict has vanished.
In 2010 I was even thinking of selling! Now my rental business is smooth and it’s scary even thinking I almost bailed as now my cash flow is good and my properties have appreciated greatly! Fellow landlords at the OLA saved my rental business.”
The Standard Lease Distracts From The Real Issues To Help Landlords and Tenants: Changes Are Needed in the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board
Creating a standardized lease sounds good. It sounds fair. And in fact most OLA members don’t mind it (and we contributed ideas to the Ministry as you will read about soon).
However the real key to improve the Ontario rental industry is not a new lease template. The real key is to fix the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.”
Let’s look at a couple things that need to change.
Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit
When tenants pay a damage deposit they have ‘skin in the game’. This means they will be careful in the property and report any problems quickly to the landlord. With no damage deposit landlords regularly face garbage left behind, dirty properties and worse. This also cause problems with new tenants moving in. They move in and see garbage left around, fridges full of food and worse.
The Landlord and Tenant Board Must Speed Up the Process for Evictions
Even evictions for what should be simple things can take months and months at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
And many OLA members complain about some adjudicators and Tenant Duty Counsel acting disrespectfully and even rude towards small landlords (especially those who can’t afford legal representation and have to represent themselves).
Important News: Ontario Landlords Can Still Add In Clauses in the Standard Lease!
Thousands of Ontario landlords wrote in to us when we asked for ideas when the Ministry was create the standard lease.
One of the most important points we pressed for was allowing landlords and tenants to add “clauses” to the new standard lease…and we got it!
This is really key for landlords, new and experienced alike, from Toronto to Ottawa to Thunder bay to Windsor and every where in between.
The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)
In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”.
Of course smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even thing about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you. However you can add some important clauses to protect you and your rental business (and protect your tenants too!)
Ontario Standard Lease And Additional Terms
We need to improve the Ontario rental industry to help both good landlords and good tenants. The standard lease doesn’t do this. We need real reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Smart landlords will make sure they use Part 15, Page 6 “Additional Terms” in the Ontario standard lease to protect your rental properties and your tenants.
We Need Your Help For Submissions To the Government On Important Ontario Landlord Issues in 2018!
The legalization of marijuana (we’ll call in marijuana, but some people will use the term ‘weed’ or cannabis) in 2018 is a very important policy with huge potential consequences for all Canadian landlords. For more background on the legalization of marijuana check out this link.
In Ontario cannabis will be available to buy at a soon to be created new provincial retailer that will be managed by the LCBO. The plan is for there to be 150 stores open by the year 2020, starting with approximately 40 stores in July, 2018.
The age limit to be able legally smoke and grow marijuana will be 19 and there will be bans on using it in public places, workplaces and while driving.
What About the Impact To Ontario Landlords?
While there has been a lot of media talk on the impact legal weed will have on Canadian society, there has been very little on the impact it will have on landlords.
1. Tenants Smoking Marijuana in the Rental Property
Long-term Ontario landlords already know how the issue of tenants simply smoking cigarettes can become complicated and lead to lots of problems.
A Toronto landlord has already told us of the challenges of dealing with one tenant smoking and bothering other tenants and how it led to huge financial losses and several trips to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board. What happens when tenants begin legally smoking weed?
2. Tenants Will be Able to Grow up to 4 Marijuana Plants in the Rental Property
So our rentals can become grow-ops? This should concern every small landlord in Ontario.
Even Conservative MP Peter Kent agrees as he said that “Having plants in the home is just wacky, it’s just unacceptable, it’s just dangerous for Canadian society.” The new laws will allow tenants to grow up to four plants in the rental.
And the plants don’t have to be small, they can be up to 1 metre tall in height!
3. Issues with Mold, Smoke and Maintenance Problems
We know how tobacco smoke and pet odours can basically make your property “un-rentable” for new tenants. What happens when the smell of weed is ingrained into the drywall and vents? It can lead to small landlords having to pay thousands of dollars to clean between tenancies and not being to re-rent while the current tenants are still in the unit (but have given notice).
4. Insurance and Mortgage Issues
It’s already difficult to get good insurance coverage for rentals in Ontario. And mortgages are tougher to get. What happens if you rent to a tenant who starts growing plants?
Where are the Corporate Landlords On This?
Unfortunately the corporate landlords are very quiet on this issue. Instead they seem to be focusing on the issue of rental control for their buildings…rent control which most small landlords have had to deal with for years. And while we made the issue public there wasn’t a peep from our corporate cousins to help us as we pushed the fact that rent control limits supply.
The reality is small landlords need to face these issues head on by ourselves.
What Does the Legalization of Marijuana Mean For Small Landlords?
This is a huge issue for small Ontario landlords and we need to make our voices heard. If we have tenants using our rental properties as places to grow marijuana and smoke it as they like it could lead to financial disaster. And the impact on other tenants in multi-unit buildings will be massive, hurting both good tenants and good landlords.
Formal Submissions To Provide A Voice For Ontario Landlords
Let us know your thoughts and concerns as we will make formal submissions to both the provincial and national governments. We already had huge discussions on this topic at the Ontario Landlords Association forum and want you to join in.
Make Your Voice Heard On This Important Issue That Will Have a Dramatic Impact On the Industry
Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Getting the Message Out to Small Landlords Across Ontario! Be Aware The Law Is Changing For Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018
Successful Ontario landlords know it’s important to always be aware of new laws that regulate our industry. If you are not careful and don’t know the latest changes you could face some severe financial penalties. Those of who have been unfortunate enough to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board know you must be 100% ‘on your game’ and become an expert on the rules and regulations if you are going to succeed.
And there have been many changes since the beginning of 2017.
One of the biggest changes that has impacted small landlords is the change in how we can use “own use” applications to get our properties back. We wrote about these Ontario landlord changes earlier to let everyone know about what is going on so you can prepare and be aware.
Other changes have included the fact landlords with properties built after 1991 are now included under the government rent control umbrella and changes to above guideline rent increases.
An Ottawa landlord wrote on our Members forum in what turned out to be huge thread:
“I have kept my rent increases low over the past few years, sometimes not even raising the rent in order to keep my tenants from looking at other properties and potentially moving. I pay for power and now my bills are becoming so high it’s jeopardizing my ability to even cover my costs! Has anyone ever done an above the guideline increase? Thanks in advance.”
Unfortunately it’s not good news for this landlord as the news about changes didn’t reach her.
New Laws For Above Guideline Rent Increase for Ontario Landlords
Everyone who owns rentals across Ontario please carefully read this message from the Ministry to us, as they know we can reach landlords all over the province:
To: Ontario Landlords Association
Above Guideline Rent Increase Application – The Law Is Changing
On January 1, 2018, two changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that relate to the landlord’s Application For a Rent Increase above the Guideline will come into effect
1. A landlord will no longer be able to apply for a rent increase above the guideline because of utility costs (e.g. fuel, electricity or water) have increased.
2. If a landlord has not complied with an order to fix an elevator (issued by the LTB, the municipality or the technical standards and safety authority) the LTB can dismiss the application or require the landlord to fix the elevators before ordering an above the guideline increase.
A landlord can still apply to the LTB for an increase above the guideline if:
The landlord’s costs for municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly The landlord has done major repairs or renovations (these are called capital expenditures)
or, The landlord has operation costs for security services performed by person who are not employees of the landlord.
Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board Form L5
The Landlord and Tenant Board has updated the L5: Application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase to reflect the changes.
Landlords need to begin using this new form immediately. Make sure you are getting the latest version of the form by clearing your browser cache to avoid any mistakes. The old version of this forum will be accepted until January 30, 2018.
Getting the Message Out to Ontario Landlords
Small Ontario landlords have faced unfair rules that are biased for bad tenants for years. Now there are even more changes coming that are unfair for Ontario landlords. However, you must follow the rules and be aware of them.
The Ontario Landlords Association is reaching landlords all over the province and helping them be aware of new rules and changes to the way small landlords can run their rental business.
There have been important changes to how the L5 works starting today. We will provide updates on this and how other new changes are impacting our landlord community throughout the years.
Knowledge is power and Ontario Landlords need to be aware of these rule changes in order to succeed.