Archive for the ‘Good Tenant Tips’ Category

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Tenants Speak Out & Share Their Concerns & Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements.

Most of us used to rent to and we have tried to become the landlords we always wanted to rent from but could never find.

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 in a win-win business relationship.

To contribute your experiences and advice please email us at:  tenantexperiences@groupmail.com (All contributions must be a minimum of 300 words and include your name, contact number, address, a copy of your lease, all which will all be kept private and destroyed upon confirmation.)

The post below has been recommended by the Tenant Community as extremely helpful and important information. 

By Working Together Tenants And Small Landlords Can Get A Better Understanding of the Issues And Improve The Ontario Rental Industry.

Let’s all face issues straight on and work to make the Ontario Rental Industry not only an example for Canada, but for the world!

 

TENANTS CAN NOW GET A FREE LAWYER TO HELP YOU FIGHT YOUR LANDLORD!

Monday, March 1st, 2021

EVICTION HELP: THE TENANT-LAWYER CONNECTION PORTAL

There was an excellent story by CBC news explaining how Tenants can now get free legal help from an Ontario lawyer.

YES, FREE LEGAL HELP FROM AN ONTARIO LAWYER.

Unlike the venomous “work for the highest bidder” low-life legal reps that want to evict tenants, hurt families and destroy lives, there are lots of good lawyers out there.

They are successful already and don’t have to be “bottom-feeders” like what many landlords are hiring to try to destroy tenant lives.

Good lawyers believe in justice and fairness and they can protect you from the low-class sharks that are used as weapons against Tenants during the current corrupt LTB Hearing system.

They aren’t desperate to make a “quick buck” abusing the system to please their landlord paymasters.

A Lawyer Is Like Your Bodyguard Against Landlord Bullies!

“DON’T BULLY MY CLIENT LANDLORD! OBEY THE LAW OR GET WRECKED!”

Having your own lawyer makes sure your landlords treat you with respect! If they think you are weak they will bully you, but if they know you are protected they will change their tune fast!

The Ontario Bar Association has launched a new pro bono legal service to help tenants at risk of losing their homes when residential evictions resume across the province in the coming weeks.

The enforcement of eviction orders was paused in Ontario when the provincial government introduced a stay-at-home order on Jan. 14 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Evictions have since resumed across most of the province, though the moratorium will remain for Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay-Parry Sound until at least March 8.

Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board is expected to begin processing a growing backlog of cases as enforcement resumes more widely across the province.

“There will be a wave of hearings,” said Doug Ferguson, the bar association’s chair of pro bono work.

“And there will be a wave of evictions.”

The new service offers 30 minutes of free legal advice for tenants facing eviction hearings.

‘Tenants are stuck’

Ferguson said lawyers who volunteer for the program will walk clients through their tenant rights, and help them to negotiate agreements with landlords, such as deferring payments or delaying an eventual move-out date.

The goal, he said, is to better prepare tenants for hearings that have the potential to fundamentally disrupt their lives.

“The tenants are stuck,” Ferguson said. “When you don’t have the legal training or the information you need, it makes it very difficult to make your point.”

The bar association says it has enough volunteer lawyers to assist 100 clients per week. Some tenants in particularly complicated situations may receive more than the 30 minutes of free counsel, if the lawyer agrees to help them further.

The provincial government says it encourages tenants and landlords to reach “fair arrangements,” such as deferring rent or finding alternative payment arrangements.

Thousands of Toronto tenants facing evictions

Renters across Canada have reported difficulty making their rent throughout the pandemic, mainly due to job losses and increased economic instability.

A survey released in January by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation found that rent arrears increased nationally due to COVID-19, with 58.3 per cent of survey respondents reporting a higher rent arrears rate in 2020 than the previous year.

Toronto recorded the highest arrears rate, with 34,858 units, more than 10 per cent of the city’s rental stock, in arrears in 2020. The estimated amount of unpaid rent reached $55 million in Toronto last year.

Kiri Vadivelu is among the thousands of local tenants in arrears and now facing eviction. He hasn’t paid rent at his Scarborough apartment since April 2020 when he lost his job as a security guard.

“It is extremely, extremely frightening because if my landlord can evict me, I have no means to pay, and I have [nowhere] to go. What am I going to do?” said Vadivelu.

He and his wife are awaiting the birth of their first child this spring.

“I’m afraid our family is going to be homeless.”

Vadivelu is also an organizer with the tenant advocacy group Toronto ACORN, which has called on the provincial government to ban all residential evictions, hearings and orders until the pandemic ends.

The Ontario NDP has made similar demands.

Ferguson, of the bar association, did not echo those calls, though he did raise similar concerns about the possibility of tenants across the province being pushed out of their homes.

“At this point in the pandemic, to have thousands of people homeless cannot be good for our communities,” he said.

“Not good for public health and not good for our economy.”

Don’t Estimate The Depths Landlord Desperate Legal Reps Will Go!

“I will evict each and everyone of these tenants so I can finally make enough cash to buy my Ferrari and Miami beach luxury condo!”

Tenants know that landlords (including small landlords) are hiring expensive legal help to try to steamroll Tenants and kick us out of our homes.

Get Help Here.

With LTB hearings now online, many Tenants claim adjudicators (judges) at the Landlord and Tenant Board are stomping on our legal and human rights!

Make sure you get a free lawyer and make sure your landlord knows you have a lawyer helping you so they must RESPECT YOU!

How Ontario Tenants Can Break Your Lease in 2021

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Get Tenant Tips And Tricks From Experienced Tenants On How “Things Really Work” And How You Can Protect Yourself in 2021!

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease In 2021!

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.

How You Can Avoid Evictions…Never, Ever, Agree To A “Payment Plan” Directly With Your Landlord (It’s a trap!)

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

The Ford Government Has Created An Evil Secret “Loophole” For Landlords To Steal Your Legal Rights And Get You And Your Family Evicted “Under The Table”!

“My Landlord Said We Could Just Work Out A Payment Plan Together and Avoid All The Paperwork Of Going To The Landlord And Tenant Board. It Sounds Fair And Easy. The Landlord Is Being Very Nice To Me Asking Me To Sign It…Should I?”

Sign a payment plan directly with no Hearing?

Don’t Do It!

The evil corporate landlord written Bill 184 has passed. It was written by the corporate landlord lobby group and the government keeps trying to pathetically spin it and avoid the real changes that hurt tenants.

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant is now open to begin mass evictions!

The Minister of Housing wrote an article in the Toronto Sun admitting that due to Covid-19 there was a backlog of cases now that the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) waas going to re-open.

This “backlog” will mean it will take months and months for your landlord to get a Hearing date.

What Happens If You Refuse A Payment Plan And Demand A Hearing?

Your landlord might will have to wait until 2021 to get a Hearing date (and can’t evict you even if you don’t pay rent!) You win and your landlord loses!

All tenants are protected when you go to an official Hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board! You are not protected if you don’t go.

Why Tenants Should Always Demand Your Right To Hearing At the LTB?

You get free legal help and professional government mediators (for payment plans) and adjudicators (judges). They make sure landlords do not bully, intimidate or use ‘dirty tactics.

Government Helping Bad Landlords “Trick Tenants” And Bypass The LTB Without Tenants Knowing!

Instead of working with tenants to help us the Ford government brought forth Bill 184 which is pro-landlord and a fascist attack on Tenants and tramples on our legal rights.

These new laws allow landlords to try to trick tenants to by-pass a real legal hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board so you give up your legal rights!

Landlords already using new law to threaten & bully tenants!

Why Is This New Law Dangerous for Tenants?

The new law allows landlords to get you to sign a payment plan without the protection of the LTB!

The ‘spin’ by Ford is:

(1) The landlord has to file it with the LTB and it must be accepted …but they will all be accepted!

(2) Tenants can fight the payment plan…but your time is limited and we are renters not lawyers (like the ones the landlords hire!) The Ford gov’t is not clearly explaining the options tenant have, because they want low income tenants kicked out and homeless

And if you are late for even a little bit of money the landlord can evict you immediately! You have NO LEGAL RIGHTS AND WILL GET KICKED OUT.

What Happens If I Just Sign A Payment Plan With My Landlord Directly (Instead of going to an LTB Hearing?)

You just signed…GOTCHA!!!  You just lost your legal rights, hit the streets!

Again: you lose all your legal protections.

If you agree to create a “payment plan” directly your landlord gets all the power.

How?

Landlord says “Let’s be friends and work this out. Now sign here!!!!”

Like we wrote, if you need a change of the payment plan your landlord can skip the legal process and evict you without you being able to defend yourself if you don’t act quickly and be an expert at “legalese”!

Tenants Have a Legal Right To A Hearing At the LTB (“a real court date”), Free Legal Help, And A Professional Fair Mediator!

The government wants tenants to void our right to an LTB Hearing in order to help landlords get quick, easy evictions because they didn’t hire enough adjudicators and want to trick tenants.

The government hates the fact that tenants have the legal right to defend ourselves. This means they have to pay for more adjudicators and they don’t get the psychotic enjoyment of seeing families dumped into shelters during a global pandemic.

But they are so afraid of bad media and bad publicity they are trying to say “oh tenants can have a hearing date” but landlords can pressure you to sign a payment plan directly with them and then evict you without your chance to defend yourself.

Don’t Give Up Your Legal Rights!

Remember:

(a) Avoid any attempts by your landlord to go to a mediated “payment plan” meeting with just you and the landlord. Just don’t do it. If your landlord wants a payment plan (and you want one) wait for your LTB hearing where you will get legal help and professional, unbiased government mediator to help you make a ‘good’ deal.

(b) Remember even if you want a payment plan, you can get it at your legal LTB Hearing (where you have a strong voice) and don’t need to do it directly with your landlord

(c) If your landlord wants to make a payment plan tell them want one too, but you want it down at the LTB! Put this in an email or in writing.

ALWAYS DEMAND TO GO TO THE LTB WHERE YOU ARE PROTECTED AND HAVE LEGAL RIGHTS IN CANADA!

Signing A Payment Plan Directly With Your Landlord And Not At The Landlord and Tenant Board Takes This Power Away From You!

These will take months for landlords to get, maybe up to a year or more. That is not your problem that is the governments problem for not having more adjudicators.

LTB Hearings are safe and professional and you even get free legal help

1. Every Tenant Has The Right To A Hearing At the Landlord and Tenant Board – Which Is Professional And Fair And Protects You

Unlike this USA style stabbing tenants in the face “payment plan” garbage, a real hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board protects your Tenant Rights.

The Landlord and Tenant Board is very serious and professional. It’s a real court that will allow you to explain why you couldn’t pay and it’s highly unlikely you will be evicted as long as you have a good excuse.

2. Every Tenant Has the Right To Free Legal Help At Your Hearing

If you go to your Hearing at the LTB you can get free legal help from government paid for lawyers and paralegals. They can help you beat your landlord!

3. Every Tenant Has the Right To Negotiate In Front Of a Trained And Fair Government Mediator

Never negotiate directly with your landlord. Get the government involved! At your LTB Hearing you can attempt to negotiation a payment plan with your landlord…but you have a government “referee” to help guide you and make sure you know what you are signing and to make sure it’s fair!

Don’t Fall For Ford’s Tricks To Help His Donors (Big Landlords)

Ford and his cronies are slaves to the corporate landlords. They have changed the law just to cull and destroy tenants quickly (like hamburger).

Don’t fall for Ford’s tricks.

-SAY NO TO DIRECT PAYMENT PLANS WITH YOUR LANDLORD!

-SAY YES TO WORKING THINGS OUT AT THE LANDLORD AND TENANT BOARD WHERE BOTH LANDLORDS AND TENANTS HAVE A FAIR AND HONEST COURT WITH A JUDGE AND TENANTS GET A FREE LAWYER!

…Your hearing might be in 2021 and you don’t have to pay rent and your landlord can’t evict you.

..if you demand for a REAL LANDLORD AND TENANT HEARING AND DON’T GET TRICKED INTO SIGNING A SLEAZY “PAYMENT PLAN” DIRECTLY WITH YOUR LANDLORD SO THEY CAN EVICT YOU FAST AND TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHTS.

Ontario Tenants Are Facing Evictions…But You Can Win As Knowledge IS Power!

Never, ever sign an agreement directly with your landlord. If they want to make a payment plan tell them you want an LTB hearing and you will negotiate at the LTB hearing with a professional government negotiator and tenants get free legal help!

Top 10 Landlord Answers That Are Illegal (And a warning you should not rent from them!)

Monday, February 1st, 2021

FINDING A RENTAL IS NOW EASY AND TENANTS CAN DEMAND OUR RIGHTS: HERE ARE 10 ANSWERS FROM LANDLORDS THAT SHOULD LEAD YOU TO WALK OUT!)

With vacancy rates so high in Toronto and across Ontario tenant applicants can be tough and demand landlords follow the law!

Times have changed and tenants are now in the drivers seat!

When the vacancy rates were so low just a year ago many innocent and vulnerable tenant victims were afraid to ask their potential landlords important questions or they might not never find a home.

Not Being Careful When Choosing A Landlord Can Lead To Problems Later On

While it seems at first something you don’t really need to do, not screening your potential landlord can lead to huge problems down the road.

And these huge problems will occur when you not only least expect them, but when you don’t need need extra stress in your life.

For example, the landlord problems often happen when you have exams, or have important work meetings, or have important relationships visiting you or moving in.

Rental Properties Are A Dime A Dozen And Landlords Need YOU (and your $$$ to cover their costs!)

Please rent my place! Don’t you know I have a mortgage to cover, property taxes, condo fees!

Due to Covid19 many rental properties are empty. This means unlike times prior to the pandemic landlords and their over mortgaged rental properties are a dime a dozen.

Landlords need to fill their rentals and are DESPERATE to get someone in to pay their mortgage for them.

They took the risk and over-leveraged…their whole investment strategy was to sit back and collect rent!

Don’t Listen To The USA Sites!

Many American sites will tell you landlords can ask for things that are illegal covered under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act.

For example, some American sites your landlord can say:

-We have our own screening policy

This is meaningless because Ontario landlords must follow the rules for screening tenants according the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

If they don’t follow these rules you can take them to the Human Rights Commission and get a huge penalty against them.

The rules in Ontario include:

Housing is a human right

International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.

As a tenant, you have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment.

You cannot be refused an apartment, harassed by a housing provider or other tenants, or otherwise treated unfairly because of your:

  • race, colour or ethnic background
  • religious beliefs or practices
  • ancestry, including people of Aboriginal descent
  • place of origin
  • citizenship, including refugee status
  • sex (including pregnancy and gender identity)
  • family status
  • marital status, including people with a same-sex partner
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age, including people who are 16 or 17 years old and no longer living with their parents
  • receipt of public assistance.

You are also protected if you face discrimination because you are a friend or relative of someone identified above.

-We have our own pet policy

In Ontario it is illegal to not allow a tenant to have pets. You can even lie to a corrupt, rule breaking landlord and say you don’t have pets, move in, and then bring in your pets and there is nothing your landlord can do!

-We have our own guest policy

In Ontario tenants can have guests and it’s none of the landlords damn business.

-We have our own lease renewal policy

This is meaningless because in Ontario a lease automatically goes to “month by month” at the end of a fixed term lease.  A landlord can’t kick you out when your lease ends.

-We have our own repairs policy

In Ontario this is meaningless because the landlord is responsible for all repairs.

-We have our own notice to leave policy

This is also all covered in the Residential Tenancies Act. A landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice to the tenant and served to the tenant in a legally acceptable way.

-We have our own policy for you to pay us huge fees for sublets

If you want to move it’s easy in Ontario and already legally covered. You can assign or sublet your apartment.

An even easier way is to just learn how Ontario tenants can legally break a fixed term lease.

-We charge a security deposit, it’s our policy

In Ontario any money other than “first and last” is ILLEGAL.  If the landlords demand it you can pay it, then move in, and take your landlord to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and get all the money back!

-What is your citizenship or refugee status, it’s our policy to know

This is illegal in Ontario.

-You need to inform me what is your source of income?

This is illegal in Ontario

Tenants Don’t Rent From Unlawful Landlords!

The rental industry is highly regulated in Ontario. Many of your concerns are already protected under LAW and there are severe penalties you can apply to your potential landlord if they break them.

How Can I File A Human Rights Complaint Against An Illegal Landlord?

Yes, and it’s easy.

And many expert tenants say it’s very easy for tenants to win at the OHRC. Go for it!

If you need human rights legal advice or help filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, contact the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre at: 416-597-4900 or 1-866-625-5179 and speak with a Human Rights Advisor.

To file an application directly with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, visit their website and follow the instructions for How to file an application.

We (The Ontario Human Rights Commission) have many progressive human rights policies that may support your application before the Human Rights Tribunal. If you want the Tribunal to consider our policy position, you have to let them know

I can’t afford another month of an empty rental! My Realtor lied to me!

Do Not Rent From Desperate Landlords Who Break The Law!

Tenants now have power with vacancy rates so high. They are desperate to find someone to rent from them to pay their mortgages and other expenses.

Demand landlords follow the law and find good landlords who know and follow the law.

Reward only lawful landlords with your rent money they are desperate to get from you to survive!