Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant Board’ Category

Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB) Fees Are Going Up in 2017

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

ontario-landlords-association-education-campaign

Ontario Landlords Filing Applications at the LTB Will See Fees Rise in 2017

Experienced Ontario landlords know one of the keys to success in this industry is having strong, mutually respectful relationships with your tenants.

You provide a terrific, safe, fairly priced rental property to your tenants. You are a service-oriented landlord and that means when things need fixing or issues arise, you make it a priority and get things fixed fast. When you fix these issues you cooperate with your tenant to make sure both sides are satisfied with the solution.

Great Tenants

In return your tenants take care of the rental home and pay their rent on time. When they want to move out to buy their own home or move to another area they provide proper notice and allow showings according to the Residential Tenancies Act. When you do the showings the tenants are cooperative and keep the place clean. (Many of our most successful members even have tenants recommend their rentals to new prospective tenants during showings).

It’s a win-win situation and it’s what everyone wants.

In Reality Sometimes Things Go Wrong

It happens.

Let’s face it, the LTB is very busy and this is why it can take such a long time to get a Hearing date.

Some landlords don’t fulfill their responsibilities. Important repairs are neglected and safety issues not taken as seriously as they need to be taken.

Other times your tenants don’t fulfill their end of the deal.

We’ve had landlords write about rent being consistently paid late. Or sometimes they don’t get paid at all by their tenants.  There are even examples of tenants who make big damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

One of the most common complaints our members have discussed recently have been from landlords owning multiplex units. They have to deal with tenants arguing with other tenants in the building and get drawn into it.

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

When these type of issues happen landlords and tenants can go to the LTB to try to resolve the issues.

We’ve written before about the Landlord and Tenant Board and the longer you are a landlord the greater the chance that at some point you will need to go to a Hearing.

Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Application Fees Are Increasing January 16, 2017

There are going to be some higher prices for landlords filing applications beginning on January 16, 2017. There are also going to be some increases for a couple of tenant applications.

The LTB wants it to be known that fees are going up around 10% and haven’t been increased since back in 2009. You can see the new 2017 fees versus the older ones here.

Fee Waivers For Those On a Low Income

If you are on a low income you can make a request for a ‘fee waiver’.  The threshold to get this fee waiver has increased and you can find more information here.

Discounts With E-Filing

Four of the most common landlord and tenant applications can be filed through the LTB e-filing system.  These forms make up about eighty percent of the applications filed. 

These applications are:

(a) Form L1 – Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent and to Collect the Rent the Tenant Owes

(b) Form L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant

(c) Form T2 – Application about Tenant Rights

(d) Form T6 – Tenant Application about Maintenance

Be aware of the discount if you are e-filing one of these.

Landlords and the Landlord Tenant Board 2017

Successful Ontario landlords know the importance of choosing good tenants and developing a mutually respectful relationship. Just as good landlords appreciate good tenants, good tenants also are looking for professional and knowledgeable landlords.

If you do go to the LTB make sure you are aware of the process and that includes knowing how much the fees are.

An Ontario Landlord Story Part 5 – The Landlord Tenant Board Needs To Change

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

August 1st, 2013 

landlord tenant lose money

The Long Expensive Journey for a Compassionate & Caring Landlord Finally Ends

It was finally over. It has been a crazy journey to get to this point.

The final tally for lost rent, providing them with all of the amenities they would have been entitled to had they actually been paying rent, damages and garbage removal, and fees related to the LTB and Sheriff are between 9 and 10 thousand dollars – which is more than our combined income for those 4 months!

And we’re still dealing with their nonsense, as he has reportedly been seen entering the building on more than one occasion.  

Being evicted is, apparently, not enough to charge him with trespassing; we must discover his new address and serve him with a trespass letter before the police will even consider charging him. 

And to add insult to injury, until January, in spite of the fact that they paid no rent, and her partner was working full time, she continued to receive her full shelter allowance through OW.

I did provide her worker, and then the fraud unit, with reams of documentation and she was eventually cut off – but all it took for her to be reinstated, apparently, was for him to provide a (clearly forged) rent receipt for a room he supposedly lived in in another city.

I would love to know when or how he ever managed to get there, since both of his vehicles were constantly parked in front of the unit except when he was at work.

We were required to support them for 4 months at our expense, to deal with constant abuse and harassment, to risk my employment and inconvenience hundreds of students (there are no substitute teachers at the college level) – and to support them through our taxes as well!

I work part-time; my husband has a seasonal business – clearly we cannot afford to be landlords in Ontario.

Walk into any hotel in Ontario and try to stay an extra day without paying – the police will not only remove you, but also lay charges.

That is theft – but steal for months from a landlord – that is not. That is perfectly acceptable, and in fact, the agencies which are supposed to help all pile on and demand extra money to – eventually – deal with removing them.

Is it any wonder that in my mind, LTB stands not for Landlord and Tenant Board, but rather for the Legalized Theft Board?

A worthless piece of paper – an order that cannot be enforced is – contrary to every officer of the board, the police, and the Sheriff’s Office’s opinion – not reasonable compensation.

Ah well – at least having lost more than 15% of our gross income for the year might reduce the amount of taxes we’ll have to pay to support this ridiculous system.

And at least we are no longer so naïve as to believe that part of landlording in Ontario should be providing safe, reasonably priced housing to people who need a break.

To discuss this and other issues facing Ontario landlords go to the free Ontario Landlord Forum.

An Ontario Landlord Story Part 3 “Does the Landlord and Tenant Board Follow Their Own Rules?”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

July 13th, 2013

Landlord and Tenant Board Adjudicator Tenant Duty Counsel

(Click to read Part 1 and Part 2)

To give the tenant the power to destroy the landlord’s employment hardly seems reasonable to me, but as it happened, I was able to send my eldest daughter to the house with a permission form, and the squatters did sign it.

Even so, it took a great many phone calls and tears before a manager at the Landlord and Tenant Board finally intervened and agreed to schedule all three of our hearings for the same day – and on a Tuesday.

Still not ideal, as I teach at 11 am on Tuesdays, and they do not typically allow such minor details to influence the adjudicator’s schedule, but the manager did agree to write a letter requesting that if at all possible, our issues be dealt with as early as possible on that day. 

Unfortunately, in order to “accommodate” me to this extent, the hearing was delayed by several weeks – and of course, the tenants paid no rent for January either.  Nor February.

Over the course of the time while we were waiting for the hearing, the tenants made numerous complaints to various agencies, resulting in our receiving almost daily phone calls, and even threats, from by-law officers, fire chiefs, and the police.

They complained that the vacuum my husband used in the basement unit of the building disturbed them, which resulted in a police officer first of all, entering our unit without permission, and secondly, instructing my husband to leave to cease interfering with her “enjoyment.”  

They objected to him stopping at the work site on the highway where the partner worked and writing down the name of his employer from the side of the work trucks, and called the police for that as well.

They provided a list of repairs they wanted completed in the unit. These ranged from the frivolous such as “our light fixtures don’t work” (light bulbs) and 2 elements and the oven don’t work (they removed the elements, and the oven timer needed turning to the off position) to the ridiculous (we want the wall that we ripped out in the bathroom and the deck that we trucked away from the back door replaced).

When we did attend to attempt to make repairs we were verbally abused and/or denied entry, and the few repairs they did allow were promptly and publicly undone.  We also heard regularly from people in our small town that they were crowing about how they were successfully “screwing” both us and OW

And of course, they continued to toss their garbage – mountains of it – into not only the back yard, now, but also in the front, and in the parking areas.

Finally the day of the hearing arrived. And we were, in fact, one of the first cases to be dealt with. The tenants were not actually present when we were called to the front of the room – they arrived several minutes in, more than an hour past the time we were – supposedly – required to sign in. 

It was abundantly clear that the rules about signing in and providing three copies of any evidence to be offered only applied to landlords. 

The issues were dealt with relatively easily, and we – we thought – were successful on all three counts.

The adjudicator told us that he found that our evidence was credible and the tenants’ was not, and that they had indeed given notice for the end of November, refused to vacate, and paid no rent since.

He would, he said, order that the stay of the original eviction order be lifted, requiring them to vacate the unit by 31-Jan. As well, his order would direct that they pay the rent owing and for the damages we were able to prove at that point.

As we left the building, naively thinking that we had won, the tenants were heading back in

– it was not until the written order arrived more than a week later that we discovered that we should, perhaps, have followed them. The written order was not as the adjudicator had stated. It seems likely that when they went back in, the tenant was able to speak to the Duty Council and – in spite of the principles stated on the LTB website which include that:

5. A Member will not communicate directly or indirectly with any party, witness or representative in respect of a proceeding outside of a hearing or pre-hearing conference, except in the presence of all parties and their representatives

He was somehow able to have it amended.

When it arrived, her partner had been deemed to be not a tenant and therefore removed from the order – and the adjudicator found that due to her circumstances it was “not unfair” to permit her additional time, so rather than 31-Jan, he gave her until 15-Feb.

Which, given the Sheriff’s “process” meant that we would be on the hook for all of February and possibly well into March. How nice of him to be so charitable with our money! 

And while the order would allow for us to be paid a pro-rated amount for the additional period, since she was on OW (Ontario Works), the fact that he was removed from the order ensured that we would not be able to collect a single cent of the more than $5,000 owing to us at that point.

This left us asking ourselves – Does the Landlord and Tenant Board Follow their Own Rules?

To Be Continued…

Landlord and Tenant Board News

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

July 1st, 2013

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board L1 L9

What’s New at the Landlord and Tenant Board? Rule 33 and Revised L1/L9 Information Update Form

In Ontario the Landlord and Tenant Board’s role is to provide information about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) and to resolve disputes between most residential landlords and tenants. 

Many small residential landlords have experienced frustration when going to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Thousands of emails and thousands of OLA members have made it clear things need to change.

It can be a complicated and intimidating process for small landlords.  It can be especially stressful as tenants in Ontario can get free legal help at Hearings.

With legal reps for landlords charging up to thousands of dollars with no guarantees and often unsatisfactory results, more and more landlords are choosing to represent themselves at the LTB.

We know because the emails keep pouring in regarding landlords who paid thousands and are extremely unhappy!

This is why we are pleased that as part of its ongoing efforts to improve service, the Board has introduced changes to some of its processes and the forms and Rules of Practice that support those processes.

Earlier in 2013 the Board posted draft versions of the revised L1 / L9 Information as of the Hearing Day form and a new Rule, Rule 33 – The L1/L9 Information as of the Hearing Day Form for public review and feedback.

Based on the comments received, the Landlord and Tenant Board has finalized the form, and finalized the Rule.

The good news is the form can now be easily completed online compared to the complications of the previous one.

Click here to access the L1 / L9 Information as of the Hearing Day Form.

Click here to access Rule 33 – The L1 / L9 Information as of the Hearing Day Form.

Make Your Voice Heard

The Landlord and Tenant Board says they thank everyone who provided comments on the L1/L9 process and the update form.

We know many of our members participated in providing these comments.

The result – a better system that particularly helps small landlords new to the process.

Let’s keep making sure our voices are heard.

The people who run the system need to know the challenges small residential landlords face. We have a new Premier who has proven she listens and invites us to talk more.

Let’s keep communicating our message and change the system to encourage more investment in safe and affordable rental housing in Ontario.

Whether your are a landlord in Barrie, Toronto, Ottawa or anywhere in Ontario let’s continue to let people know it’s important to support small landlords who risk a lot to provide safe and affordable rental housing all over Ontario!

An Ontario Landlord Story Part 2 “Dealing With the LTB and the Sheriff”

Friday, May 31st, 2013

June 1st, 2013

system-broken-sign-300x225

(To Read Part 1 of this important story click Here)

When she did not vacate the property, nor pay rent for December, I filed an L3 – Application to Terminate a Tenancy:  Applicant gave Notice or Agreed to Terminate the Tenancy.  I did not, on the advice of the LTB customer service person, file any additional issues at this time, as these were likely, he said, to prolong the process by requiring hearings.

This application was accepted and I received an eviction order within two days! For all the good it did us. When I spoke to the Sheriff’s Office it became clear that there would be no immediate resolution in spite of the order. The earliest they might possibly trouble themselves to come out and serve her with the notice of eviction was “sometime late January.” 

I found this extremely problematic, and did a great deal of research online, only to discover that delays of weeks, or even months, are apparently quite common in Ontario.

The Sheriff has a monopoly on evictions, and eviction orders only say “on or after” … they don’t set any sort of guidelines for what “after” might mean. Phone calls to my MPP’s office, the Ontario Ombudsman, and the Ministry of the Attorney General which oversees this “service” had no impact.

In any case, on the day which the eviction order could be turned into the Sheriff’s Office I (stupidly!!!!) I did exactly that, paying $401 for the Sheriff to not do his job. When I arrived at home, I discovered that the tenants had stopped by to serve us with a notice of a hearing and a stay of the eviction order.

The hearing date given on that set of papers was a Monday, but in Mississauga – an interesting choice, given that the Barrie office is significantly closer – but since I did not teach on Mondays, I was fine with that.

Since we were having a hearing anyway, we decided to cover all of the issues and I paid another $170 to file an L1 re: nonpayment of rent, and an L3, notice to evict based on the second N5. I also included a note asking that, due to my teaching schedule, hearings not be scheduled on Thursdays or Fridays, and a copy of my timetable.

When I received my notice of hearings, they were scheduled for not one, but two consecutive Thursdays – and when I called to complain about this, I was told that the tenant had requested that the initial hearing be moved and that this was also scheduled, now, on a Thursday, although not either those on which mine were scheduled. 

Apparently, no one at the LTB thought anything of forcing me to miss work not once, but on three consecutive Thursdays. If I was stupid enough to rent to deadbeats, clearly I deserved to also lose my job – although how they think that landlords will be able to continue to pay all the bills for the deadbeats without employment is beyond me.

They would not even consider rescheduling anything until I obtained written permission from the tenants!

This is a ridiculous requirement – the tenant certainly did not obtain my permission to move the initial hearing from a date on which I could attend without placing my job at risk to one which did exactly that – nor did she ever bother to notify me of the change.

Presumably she thought I would like to drive to Mississauga to find out that the date had been changed…

TO BE CONTINUED

To discuss this story welcome to the free Ontario Landlord Forum