Archive for the ‘Landlord legal’ Category

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) Has Changed

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

ontario-landlords-association-education-campaign

Keeping Ontario Landlords Informed: Tenants who are the victims of sexual and domestic violence can now end their tenancy in 28 days 

Successful Ontario landlords know the importance of following the rules and laws for running a successful rental businesses. We also know to follow the rules you need to be aware of them.

Sometimes that can be a challenge. Most small residential Ontario landlords have full-time jobs.  Our members aren’t large corporations with full-time staff and stocks and bonds.

We have members who are nurses, teachers, Toronto fire-fighters, carpenters, plumbers, professional athletes (including some famous ones), lawyers, doctors, electricians, full time Mums and Dads, receptionists, dentists, and investors who don’t even live in Canada (but have invested a lot of money, hired property managers and created terrific rentals.)

With such busy lives it can be hard to keep track of changes that are important for our professional and service-oriented landlords.

This is another way the OLA helps out because we reach a huge audience of small landlords across Ontario and let them know about important changes. For example, we still have Mississauga landlords thanking us for letting them know about the changes to the landlord licensing system in that city.

At first glance the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) can look very complicated and even intimidating. The reality is the RTA is complicated and can be a bit scary for new landlords (and even for some vets).

Over the years we’ve had thousands of small residential landlords from across the province contact us for help and assistance.

This is one of the reasons why the OLA has been asking the government to improve the Residential Tenancies Act to help small landlords and encourage more investment in rental properties in Ontario.

The RTA Has Changed in 2016

There has been a change in the RTA recently.  It’s a change to help victims of sexual and domestic violence be able to escape bad situations.

Many of our landlord members were tenants at one point in our lives. Or they have relatives or friends who rent now.  They recognize this is a positive changes to help tenants in trouble and our membership agrees with helping tenants who are honestly in abusive and  dangerous situations.

Our members want to rent out high quality, legal rental units, to all the good tenants out there and be great landlords. We encourage rule changes, to help good tenants and to help good landlords.

New Notice Allows Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence To End Tenancy in 28 Days

There has been a change is section 47.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants who are the victims of sexual or domestic violence can now end their tenancy in just 28 days if they think they or a child living with them might be harmed or even injured if they don’t get out of the rental property.

Tenants in this type of situation can give notice at any time during the duration of their tenants.In order to do this the tenant must give the landlord 2 documents.

(a) Tenants Notice to End Tenancy because of Fear of Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse (Form N15)

Landlords (and all the tenants who read here) can get more information here.

(b) Tenant’s Statement about Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse.

Landlords and tenants can get more information here.

(c) Court Order

Tenants can also give the landlord a copy of the court order. For example, they can give you a copy of a peace bond or a restraining order).

Successful Ontario Landlords Know The Rules and Follow Them

Make sure you are aware and follow the laws and rules for landlords in Ontario. We encourage and welcome changes to help tenants.  We also want to encourage some changes to help all the good landlords in this province.

The OLA is the voice of small residential landlords so if you have any ideas for change to your business and encourage other to invest in rentals in Ontario please let us know and we will present it to the Ministry.

We all have the goal to create rules and procedures that promotes and protects both good tenants and good landlords and improves the residential rental industry in Ontario.

Let’s continue to make positive and important changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for both tenants and small residential landlords.

Ontario Landlords and Small Claims Court

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

August 23, 2013

Ontario landlord small claims court

 An Ontario Landlord Goes To Small Claims Courts and Wins Against a Bad Tenant

When a tenant moves out they have up to one year to file a complaint against their former landlord at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

Do Ontario landlords have the same rights?  No.

In fact Ontario landlords have few rights under the current Residential Tenancies Act after the Ontario Liberals amended it in 2007.

Once tenants move out landlords cannot file against their former tenants at the LTB. Your only choice is to go to Ontario Small Claims Court.

Many landlords ask “I have to go to court?”

They say “I’ve never been to court before! I always follow the law!”

Yes, it can be intimidating. Not only do you have to find your ex-tenants to serve them, many small law-abiding landlords have never even visited their regional court house before and find the whole idea of ‘suing’ a former tenant to be time-consuming and downright scary.

Fortunately thanks to the Ontario Landlords Association‘s fight for landlord networking, education for landlords, and a demand for transparency and demystification of the various processes, landlords can learn the system and then use the system to get justice.

Here is an OLA Member who after serving his ex-tenant explains what it’s like for the next step, the Settlement Conference.

You Successfully Served Your Ex-Tenants. What’s Next?

Just had my Settlement conference with an ex-tenant. For those who haven’t been through the ol’ small claims process here’s what happened and what it’s like. If this helps even one person here collect what they are owed I’ll be happy.

What’s the Background Story to This?

Ex-tenant broke the lease and left a mess and his ‘repairs’ where not up to my standards. What personally irked me is leaving a refrigerator full of old pizza, old container full of food and lots of sauce all over it. The oven, full of grease. These things are just rude because he and his sons could have easily at least put in an effort.

How Did You Serve the Ex-Tenant?

It took a few weeks for service. I went to his his company. Personal service. Can’t challenge it.

After Serving What Was the Next Step?

In Small Claims once you start the process both sides get called for a Settlement Conference before a real judge.

What Are the Differences Between “Mediation” At the Landlord and Tenant Board?

Unlike ‘mediation‘ at the Landlord and Tenant Board, the judge isn’t there to push you to “give the poor tenant a break” or create “a payment plan” (that often ends up as a non-payment plan) and you are allowed to speak candidly without being accused of “harassing your victim”. It’s perfectly acceptable to let loose what you really feel as long as you don’t make threats or use the worst foul language.

The judge has read the case and lets you and the defendant speak directly.

I made it very clear that I wasn’t happy with what happened. He said he tried to repair things, tried to clean up. I said “reality is reality” and “we are going to trial and you are going to pay me what you owe me.”

He directed the next comments to the judge. “I was having financial difficulties. I can’t pay what you want. I tried my best to leave the place in good condition…”

How Did the Judge React?

The judge gave his perspective on things. He told us the rules for giving notice are clear and the defendant didn’t do it. He said the clean up and repairs were clear in the pictures I took. He strongly suggested the defendant try to work something out with me. Ex-tenant wasn’t happy to hear this.

What Happened Next?

We went over the list of what he owes and he was very willing to go over it and started agreeing with the expenses.

-Carpet cleaning. Ok
-One month rent (as I re-rented after a month of cleaning/repairs). Ok
-The list went on……Ok.

I agreed that a few things could come off my list if we worked it out here and now. In return I want checks coming in starting September 1st.

What Happened Next?

The judge let us go back and forth and we agreed. All my main expenses would be covered. A few beautification expenses I dropped. Still about 90% of what I wanted.

I also said I want the cheques to be $300/month or we go to trial and I’ll win and garnish him at work.

He agreed, the judge wrote up the order and said he thought it was a good settlement. The debt will be paid off in a year and if he doesn’t pay I’ll call a motion and drag his butt back to court.

What Does This All Mean For Me?

After your tenants move out landlords have two choices: either ‘eat the costs’ or go to Ontario Small Claims court.

As the above OLA member describes Small Claims Court doesn’t need to be scary or intimidating.

We encourage small landlords to never ‘eat the costs’ and make sure you defend your rights and pursue ex-tenants who owe you money.

To Discuss This And Other Ontario Landlord and Tenant Issues Go To the Free Ontario Landlord Forum