Archive for the ‘landlord advocacy’ Category

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected – The Current System Just Isn’t Fair!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

ola landlords speak out

Ontario Landlords Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Fair For Landlords – Ontario Small Landlords Need More Protection

ola it's not fair

Tens of thousands of small landlords emailed in as part of our drive to create a way for landlords and tenants to communicate with each other to find positive common ground. While there are some unethical landlords out there, by far the vast majority of us try our best to be excellent landlords with attractive, well-maintained rentals.

The vast majority of small Ontario landlords play by the rules and care for our tenants and our properties.

The Ontario Rules Do Not Protect Small Landlords And This Isn’t Fair

One of the most common themes in all the replies was that while landlords want to learn and follow the rules those same rules often don’t adequately protect small landlords.

This means landlords who make sure they do everything according to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board still find themselves in very difficult situations stemming from bad tenants. These bad situations often mean losing thousands of dollars.

However it also goes beyond just financial losses.

Under the existing system landlords experiencing incredible stress, worry and sleepless nights when they are just using the system in place and following the rules. This isn’t right and this isn’t fair.

Good people making huge investments in our province need to be protected and must not be subjected to tenants who can easily manipulate the rules to cause harm and huge financial losses. Recently there was a good media story of a tenant who created a fake credit report to trick landlords into renting to him. He then ripped off his landlords and also cheated other tenants. He is now wanted by the police.

Let’s Protect Good Tenants, But We Also Need to Protect Good Landlords

Most of our small landlord members were renting themselves not that long ago. We are the working class looking to support our retirements and hopefully get some cash flow as a return on our investments. Many of us rented as students at Ontario universities and colleges and many others rented while beginning their careers.

We support protections for tenants, but we need to also protect good landlords. Currently things are simply not balanced.

What Happened To The Changes To Encourage More People To Invest in Rental Properties?

It was only a year or so ago that that landlords were asked to present needed changes to the Ministry. The request was for current landlords to suggest new policy ideas to help them succeed, and this would in turn encourage more people to become landlords in Ontario.

It was a good idea as with a better, fairer system more people would invest in rental properties and this would lead to more choices for tenants and more affordable rental housing in Ontario.

Our landlord members were not worried about increased competition from new landlords and investors. In fact, they were very enthusiastic and excited about getting changes that are desperately needed to help landlords continue to even run existing rentals. With a better system and more protections, landlords could better deal with bad tenants who abuse the system.

More Protections for Ontario Tenants But What About Fairness for Small Landlords?

When the Rental Fairness Act was announced in April many landlords were excited and expected to hear about new protections for small landlords. An Ottawa landlord organized an online event and many our members networked and watched the news conference on the Premier’s YouTube channel.

After the news conference good Ontario landlords were extremely disappointed, and many were upset.

For while there were many changes designed to help tenants, there was little to help small landlords. No one objected to helping good tenants but wasn’t the goal to encourage more great people to invest and create a lot more amazing rental properties?

A Toronto Landlord asked: “Why are the concerns of small landlords ignored as we are key stake-holders in Ontario and important rental housing providers!?”

Some of the major challenges Ontario landlords are facing include:

Evicting for Smoking

Dealing with tenants who smoke, and have this smoke bother other tenants, has been a problem for many small landlords for years. With new laws regarding marijuana this issue is just going to become larger and we need to find a solution.

Creating a New System to Help Landlords and Tenants with Pets

Our landlord members love pets and many have pets of their own. However, we need a way to make sure tenants take care of their pets and don’t damage the rental property. 

Ontario Landlords Association members suggested we create a voluntary “pet deposit”. Tenants with pets would pay a deposit to protect the small landlord from any damages from the pets (and they do happen). When the tenants move out they will get the deposit back if there aren’t any big damages. If their aren’t any pet damages and the landlord doesn’t give the deposit back the tenant can take pictures, file at the LTB, and get the deposit back.

Making the Rent Increase Guideline More Fair For Service Oriented Small Landlords

With even newer rental properties covered by the rent increase guideline (which is only 1.8% in 2018) we need a way to make sure the guideline covers the true cost increases landlords face.

Making the Landlord and Tenant Board More Efficient and Effective

When landlords have problems with renters in their properties we have to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to seek justice and fix the problems. While most LTB staff are hard working and professional, the way the LTB is designed needs to be improved.

-We cannot continue to have landlords waiting for weeks or even months to even get a Hearing date.

-We cannot continue to have tenants ‘ambushing’ landlords with maintenance claims at the Hearing.

-We need the Enforcement Office to enforce LTB evictions in a time sensitive way, meaning days not weeks or months 

This is just the start of issues that need to be addressed.

Closing Loopholes Exploited By Bad Tenants

We need to make sure the Landlord and Tenant Board process is fair and end loopholes that delay evictions. Some unethical tenants can delay being evicted for months.

The Rules For Small Landlords Need To Change

Small landlords are not huge corporations, massive REITS with stockholders and millions of dollars available from investors from all over the country and around the world.

Small Ontario landlords are working people who believe in the future of our province and have invested their hard-earned savings into Ontario rentals hoping for a better future. Many landlords are newcomers to Canada who want to run successful rental businesses as part of their contributions to their new country.

Ontario Landlords and Tenants Speak Out: “I Wish The Rental Fairness Act Was Fair For Landlords!”

We have asked many of the landlords who emailed in to expand on their concerns and stories of challenges they have faced owning rental properties in Ontario. We have also asked Ontario tenants who wrote in the same thing and look forward to posting their opinions and ideas.

By working together we can create a better, fairer Ontario rental industry that helps both good landlords and good tenants.

The current system just isn’t fair for small Ontario Landlords and that’s not fair

We need changes to be made to protect small landlords or we will see a big drop in investment and less high quality and affordable rental properties. We aren’t huge corporations who can put up ads near Queen’s Park and hold golf tournaments and invite Brian Mulroney to sip champagne with us…we are too busy working and taking care of our rental properties.

Who are small landlords?

We are teachers, contractors, electricians, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, Realtors…we are the people of Ontario. And we have been treated unfairly for too long.

Small landlords need support as we truly are important stake-holders in Ontario and need to be protected as the current system simply isn’t fair.

BC Landlords & Tenants Are Asking For Our Help In Dealing With Pets

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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You Can Play An Important Role in Helping Improve the Canadian Rental Industry By Sharing Your Experiences To Help BC Landlords And Tenants Create New Rental Policy On The Pet Issue in British Columbia

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 landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com In this case let’s help BC Landlords and Tenants!

Let’s Help BC Create Fair Rules for BC Landlords and BC Tenants With Pets

Ontario Landlords know how important it is to work together to come up with ideas and solutions to improve the rental industry. Our members came up with thousands of emails sent in when we made key suggestions to the province on what changes need to be made to improve the Ontario rental industry.

Led by our many experienced and successful landlords we have also come up with thousands of tips and strategies for landlords to succeed. And a key aspect of all the great advice provided to OLA members is how important it is to have a ‘win-win’ business relationship with your tenants.

Experienced landlords know great tenants are looking for great landlords with amazing rental properties. You need to be extremely careful not to rent to bad, unethical tenants who will manipulate the system. These are tenants who will “play games” with you and use the Landlord and Tenant Board to delay evictions.

The good news is the reality is there are lots of great people out there looking to rent a property. These are people who will pay the rent on time, respect the law, and treat you and your rental property with respect.

These great tenants are looking for knowledgeable, professional landlords who not only know the the Landlord and Tenant Board and Residential Tenancy Act, but also are willing to work with their tenant clients for a win-win business relationship!

An Ottawa landlord posted in our members forum:

“A young couple saw my rental and liked it. But they had a bunch of questions for me. The questions where everything to what would happen is something breaks to how to deal with a move out after one year.

I told them I was an OLA member and a professional landlord and answered all their questions clearly based on the law. They were super impressed and decided to rent my condo over the others they saw. They told me “my professionalism made the difference and why they decided to rent my place…because of me!”

By working with your tenants you can create a win-win situation.”

british columbia landlords pets

BC Landlords And Tenants Have Asked For Our Help

These days BC landlords and tenants are having an important debate on dealing with renting to tenants who have pets.

It’s a very important issue out there as the new government is looking at making a lot of big changes in the way the BC rental business is run. Even the media is doing some major reporting on the issue of BC tenants and pets recently.

Let’s Speak Out To Help BC Landlords And Tenants Create New and Fair Rental Policy

Here are some facts about how the “pet situation” is currently in British Columbia:

1. As of now BC Landlords Can Demand “No Pets” to Tenants

While many small landlords will think this make sense it’s important to see the social consequences of this policy.

2. BC Families Forced to “Give Up” Their Pets Who Are Part of Their Family

According to facts provided over 1,700 families who need to rent were forced to give up their pets and companion animals in order to secure a rental property.  It’s a pretty shocking number and it certainly is something that needs to be changed there.

3. Forcing to Abandon a Pet/Family Member Just to Get Accepted For a Rental Isn’t Fair

Many tenants feel landlords need to treat tenants with pets equally with tenants who don’t have pets.

Let’s Help BC Landlords and Tenants Create a Better Rental Industry Based On Your Experiences

BC Landlords and tenants are asking for your help based on your experiences. They want real world advice and not some salaried spokesperson who doesn’t even own rentals speaking down to small landlords.

BC landlords, BC tenants and the provincial government are looking for our feedback to help improve the BC rental industry.

Ontario landlords what are your experiences dealing with tenants with pets?

Many OLA members are pet owners and pet lovers and the current situation in British Columbia needs to change.

However, we advise our BC friends that it’s not as simple as a “make it illegal” for landlords to refuse pets.  It’s complicated and we want to help.

For example what about pet damages?

What if pets bother other tenants?

We want your feedback!

Let’s Help BC Create Fair Rules for BC Landlords and BC Tenants With Pets

There is talk that soon British Columbia landlords will have to follow the Ontario model. In BC some people want a “no pets” policy to be Human Rights Violation and the Residential Tenancy Act to not allow “no pets” policies.

Ontario Landlords know this is a complicated situation and so we ask you to share your thoughts. And sent them soon as new rules and legislation is on the way.

Mississauga Landlords Make Your Voice Heard – Secondary Unit Strategy Meeting

Monday, February 25th, 2013

February 24th, 2013

Mississauga Landlords Second Unit Implementation Strategy Public Meeting February 25th, 2013

On February 25th, 2013 Mississauga Landlords Can Make Your Voice Heard To Government on Secondary Suites

Mississauga landlords have been in the news recently. This time it’s good news.

-Are you a Mississauga landlord with an existing secondary suite?

-Would you like to add a secondary suite to your house to create a wealth through a rental stream?

-Are you considering buying a rental property with a secondary suite?

You have a chance to to make your voice heard on the Mississauga Secondary Unit Implementation Strategy

The city is having a public meeting on February 25th, 2013.

At this meeting you will have a chance to ask questions about the proposed new policy regarding secondary units. You will also have the opportunity to review the current proposals and provide important feedback to the government.

The Provincial Planning Act requires all Ontario municipalities to have policies regarding second units in homes.

Research Findings in the Report Include the Following Points:
1.There are real benefits of allowing second units 

Adding secondary units can help families pay their mortgage, help seniors remain in homes, and create a living space for relatives.

2. There is a real impact on Mississauga neighbourhoods

Secondary suites can create issues with parking, noise and other issues. This is dangerous because it can easily change the entire character of an existing, successful neighbourhood.

3. There are issues concerning safety

This is a serious concern. There are many current illegal units which do not meet either the Fire Code or the Building Code. Licensing second units can prevent this. Units currently ‘under the radar’ will surface and be required to meet safety requirements.

To view the report on feedback and thoughts on the strategy over 5 workshops held by the city, click here.

For more information contact the City of Mississauga at

300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5B 3C1
Customer Service: Call 3-1-1 (905-615-4311 outside city limits)

Mississauga Landlords Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard! To Discuss This And Other Ontario Landlord Issues Go To The Free Landlord Forum for Ontario Landlords!

Tenant from Hell Launches Appeal to Stop Eviction

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May 23, 2012

A True “Tenant from Hell”

A couple of weeks ago Star reporter Emily Mathieu wrote an article about a “Tenant from Hell” named Nina Willis.

It really was one of the best mainstream media stories about the rental industry published in years.   Thanks Emily!  You have lots of fans across Ontario!

One of the landlords in the story who had been victimized by Nina Willis  joined the Ontario Landlords Association to receive help.  Virginia received the help she needed and managed to get Willis to move! 

Here’s the scam.  Nina Willis passes herself off as a wonderful tenant, friendly, well-spoken, clean as hell and comes with glowing references, according to her many previous landlords.

Once inside the games begin.  She starts by failing  to pay rent, or pays only portions, and uses board rules that allow her to raise maintenance issues with absolutely no warning to delay the process and appeals her eviction orders.

Nina has duped landlord after landlord into renting to her. The Star found that provincial privacy legislation stopped small landlords from learning that she had a crazy record before at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

It’s Great That Nina is Finally Evicted and Her Last Landlord Can Try to Recover and Re-coup His Losses

Who said she’s been evicted? 

Many small landlords  praise Vincent Ching as one of the most professional and fair adjudicators at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  Last month board adjudicator Ching said he failed to find Willis “credible in any way” and said that if she didn’t pay what she owed by the she would be evicted.

The problem is Mr. Ching’s word is not the final verdict.

You Mean Nina Willis Still Hasn’t Been Evicted?!

She’s still in the rental property of her current landlord.  Can you imagine the stress the landlord feels?

How Did She Manage to Stay?

A tenant from hell (Nina Willis) with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices has done it again.  She staved off eviction with an appeal to Divisional Court.  Court records and interviews with past landlords, lawyers and paralegals confirm tenant Nina Willis, 48, has been ordered out of at least six homes since 2005. However, the Landlord and Tenant Board says it cannot release her record of many appearances before the board.

Last week Willis filed a notice of appeal to Divisional Court, announcing she intended to fight the most recent eviction ruling, this one from Landlord and Tenant Board adjudicator Vincent Ching.

By submitting the paperwork Willis’s eviction from a Don Mills home — scheduled for the end of the month — was (Get This!) automatically put on hold.

Willis has been living inside a home in Don Mills since August 2011, failing to pay rent to landlord Darius Vakili for many of those months.

In her court pleadings, Willis is asking for a new hearing, alleging the board ordered her out because of a factual “error” and she didn’t have an “opportunity to participate” in her hearing.

Willis has asked for an opportunity to present “oral evidence” heard at the board. She will have to order a CD of the hearing, which will need to be transcribed by a court reporter.

Once the transcript is ready she will have two months to assemble and file her documents before a date will be set, according to appeal guidelines from Divisional Court.

What Does the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Have to Say About This?

The Landlord and Tenant Board has declined to comment further on Willis’s case or board procedures.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has defined the board as an “independent, quasi-judicial, arm’s-length body that sets its own procedures” and said questions about practices should be directed to it.

Ministry spokesperson Richard Stromberg said in an email that because the appeal was before the courts it would be “inappropriate” to comment.

Is the Ontario System Really This Out of Touch With Reality?  How Can the Landlord Survive Financially?

Sadly, yes.  The entire system governing the Ontario rental industry is broken.  Nina Willis is just one of many tenants who use the current system to punish landlords.

Things Need to Change.  And Fast!

Landlords need access to any previous cases involving tenants.   The Landlord and Tenant Board must become more efficient.  The Residential Tenancy Act needs to change.

It’s very risky to become a landlord in Ontario in 2012.  If you decide to do so, screening is key.  Or invest elsewhere where you you and your investment is appreciated.

Discuss this on the Ontario Landlords Advice forums here.

A Warning For All Landlords in Ontario

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

May 5th, 2012

Tenant Nina Willis, 48, faces two fraud and two forgery charges in relation to her tenancy at a Toronto landlord’s house.

The Story about the latest “Tenant From Hell” begins

It seem like the beginning of a mystery novel.  Unfortunately it isn’t fiction.  It isn’t a novel.  And it isn’t a mystery.

“Nina Willis seemed like the ideal tenant” says the Toronto Star investigation.

The investigation goes on.

“She was well-spoken and tidy, posing as an employee for a cellphone company with offices in Toronto and Montreal. She came with glowing references.”

Here comes the surprise.

“What landlord Darius Vakili, 63, didn’t know was that the 48-year-old Willis was a tenant from hell, with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices.”

The Story Continues, Implicating the System Landlords Face in Ontario

“A Star investigation reveals that the rules governing the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board have allowed people like Willis to flourish. Privacy legislation means her dodgy past as a tenant is kept secret from prospective landlords.”

Thank you Toronto Star

The Ontario Landlords Association would like to thank the Toronto Star for their story on the latest “Tenant From Hell.”

We are an association of small private residential landlords, and while many of us have faced terrible tenant problems due to an unfair Residential Tenancy Act and an unfair Landlord and Tenant Board, facing tenants such as the one in the Toronto Star article is a wake-up call for all of us.

The OLA Speaks Up for Landlords

This story is especially important for the OLA because one of the landlords in the article is a new reader of the OLA.

Furthermore, when we first heard about what was going on, OLA editors worked hard to get the story in the news and get the ball rolling for justice.

The OLA began the push to get her story into the media, resulting in a Toronto Star story on October 18th, 2011.  The Star story was headlined

“A bad tenant cost me $28,000 over 9 months!” and can be found here.

So What Can We Learn From This?

There are lessons we can learn from the Toronto Star story about Nina Willis.  Lessons that landlords can learn, unfiltered by lawyers or paralegals or others who make money representing landlords in need.  If there is no “need” there is no money paid.  Paying out huge legal fees means only more losses for landlords already suffering.

Lesson #1:  The Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board Need To Change

We call on the government to have summit of stake holders to re-examine the RTA and take a close look at how the Landlord and Tenant Board  operates and how we must change the RTA and reform the LTB.

Lesson #2: If You are a Landlord In Ontario You Must Be Professional in How you Do Business

Landlords young and old, wherever you are, we advise you to do proper screening to avoid ‘pro tenants’.  The OLA offers a low-cost path to incredible screening tools.

If the landlords in the Toronto Star article were OLA members, and did a credit check costing only $10…they would have avoided their “Tenant From Hell” and the emotional and financial nightmares associated with having such a tenant.