Archive for the ‘Ontario Residential Tenancy Act’ Category

We Invite Good Tenants To Help Us Improve The Ontario Rental Industry in 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

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Good Tenants Are Invited To Write Blog Posts, Help Our Tenants Forum & Contribute to Policy Recommendations

It all seems so simple. You own a property and you want to rent it out.  You have a great property and are looking for awesome tenants. You set your rent at a competitive market rate and advertise it.

Or you are looking for a property to rent and want to find a good apartment. An apartment that is clean, safe and priced right. You are looking to rent from a knowledgeable and responsible landlord to avoid any potential headaches.

Simple right?

Yet without good leadership and a strong voice from all those involved even the simplest things can become complicated. This is the reality in Ontario these days as the rental process has become overly complicated and filled with needless conflict and potential land mines for both good landlords and good tenants.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

What Do Good Small Ontario Landlords Want?

Good landlords who are service-oriented and caring with superb rental properties are looking for good tenants.

We don’t want too much. Our criteria is actually very simple and it’s nothing personal, just business. For years we’ve been told by tenant activists to run our rentals as a business.

We look for tenants who pay rent on time and respect the rental property and other tenants. For example, if you agreed to “no smoking” in the property then don’t smoke in it.  If you need your fix go outside and don’t bother other tenants. If you have a pet or pets just be up front with us.  Don’t secretly bring in your cats the day after you move in when other tenants might be allergic to them.

Oh, and we simply ask you treat us like human beings and not some faceless corporate landlord who might not even live here. We have families here, loved ones, and have invested a lot of money to create a terrific rental space for you. If you don’t pay the rent it hits our family budget hard. Follow the rules and see us not only your landlord, but as your neighbour.

What Do Good Tenants Want?

We have already heard from thousands of tenants giving their side of the story. It’s clear that renting in Ontario can be an expensive, frustrating and stressful experience. We’ve made sure our landlords are aware of this.

Many tenants have told us their landlord doesn’t fix things. Also some landlords view tenants as monthly pay cheques instead of human beings working hard with their studies or jobs and, like everyone else, can experience health or family issues. Tenants are people and they ask that they be treated better (especially by the corporate landlords). It’s clear that Ontario tenants are unhappy with corporate landlords and how they do business. Tenants are demanding landlords know the rules, follow them, and treat tenants as people and not just a monthly e-deposit in the bank.

Let’s Work Together To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

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We are working hard on this and will make problems with the rental industry a huge issue in 2018. We’re working tirelessly for small landlords and making a difference. And this is why we want good tenants to join us and play a role in our growth and reach.

What about Ontario tenants now?

There are the same old ‘tenant groups’ out there but many of them still seem to be preaching “fight the power” and creating conflict with their landlord. A few bad corporation or small investors lead to usual calls to “license all landlords!” or “we cannot trust anyone who owns land!” Trotskyite ravings are so 1970s and do nothing to help Ontario tenants.

Conflict is not the solution. Many Ontario tenants have said they have no where to go for help as these radical groups don’t really seem to want solutions, only more conflict and more fighting. This just isn’t right.

We Invite Good Tenants To Join Our Team in 2018

As we grow and make an even bigger impact in 2018 we invite good tenants to join our community and play an important role in making positive change. With so many emails already sent in it’s clear that good Ontario tenants are as frustrated as we landlords are with the current unacceptable situation.

One of the most common issues sent in is about tenants wanting to help their landlords deal with bad tenants in their rental unit. Many tenants are shocked that landlords cannot quickly evict tenants who smoke, grow pot, have huge parties, damage the property, don’t take out their garbage, etc.

Here’s How You Can Help

You can help in many ways.The key thing is to take the time to get involved. Your opinions and actions count.

1. Write About Your Ideas and Experiences Being a Tenant In Ontario

We are looking for good tenants to write blogs about your experiences. Let us know what you have gone through as someone looking for a rental property in Ontario. Did you have a good experience? A bad one? Let us know and we will put your thoughts on our hugely popular homepage.

2. Tenant Community Leaders for The Ontario Tenant Forum

Many tenants have emailed us saying the LTB and some tenant groups are simply not helping them. This is why we are asking good tenants to play a key role in running our new and improved tenant forum.  Our tenant forum was the busiest in Canada before. However, there was far too much needless fighting between tenants and landlords.  The mission statement of our new tenant forum is to help good tenants by creating a safe space for communication and helpful advice.

We are looking for 10 experienced Ontario tenants to help moderate our Tenant forum and make it as helpful as possible for other Ontario tenants to learn from.  As Tenant Community Leader who will be able to invite other verified tenants to join our forum to help educate the community by posting questions and participating in positive debate and helping provide solutions.

3. Tenant Volunteers for Workshops and Seminars

We are looking for good tenants to help us with upcoming workshops and seminars. You can play a role as a speaker or contributor.

4. Tenant Contributors to Make Suggests On Ontario Rental Industry Policy Changes

We are looking for good tenants to help us create submissions to the Ministry. Let’s make sure those who can change things know what we need. Play an important role working with our Landlord Community Leaders is create landlord and tenant solutions and help fix the Ontario rental industry.

We Want Good Tenants To Play A Role In Our Community

We are going to get aggressive in 2018 to improve the rental industry. This includes lots of lobbying for legislative changes, an assertive presence in the 2018 provincial election and our top legal team protecting our rights (some peoples lives are going to get very complicated).

Good tenants will play a role in making 2018 a year to remember. We want tenants who aren’t interested in listening to activists in salaried positions “defending tenants” while they own their own homes. Who aren’t interested in groups that seek out conflict with a mantra of “all landlords are bad” while nothing really happens to really help people renting.

We want a mature, sophisticated discussion between experienced landlords and tenants.

Let’s work together for positive change to help both good landlords but also good tenants! If you have a history of helping tenants and putting forward tenant issues we want you to be one of our tenant community leaders and invite those looking for help to join our fast growing community.  Email us at tenantexperiences@groupmail.com and let us know who you are, what your are experiences are, and how you want to help.  The more information you provide the better your chances of being selected. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15. (Please note only those accepted with be replied to).

Update January 15, 2018

Thank you for the overwhelming response of Tenants across Ontario! We now have filled the available positions for Ontario Tenant Community leaders. Keep watching for our next recruitment drive!


What Are The New Rules For Ontario Landlords in 2017?

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

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There are lots of new rules for landlords in Ontario in 2017

With new legislation coming to Ontario to protect tenants our province-wide landlord community wants changes to also protect good small landlords & investors who provide high quality, affordable rental housing in Ontario 

With property prices increasing in Ontario the provincial government announced they would be making some important policy changes that would protect tenants and home buyers and owners.

There was to be a bunch of comprehensive measures which would bring stability to the housing market. This made many small residential landlords interested in what would happen.

As home-owners who run rental businesses, small landlords are important stake-holders in Ontario. None of us wants instability and a lot of landlords were looking forward to the announcement of the new measures to strengthen the housing market and rental industry in our province. 

What Are the New Rules For Landlords?

The Premier, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Housing spoke at the press conference on April 20th.  The weather was a bit wet and the sparrows were making sure their chirps where heard (as the Housing Minister noted at the press conference).

Our community networked and lots of us viewed the Ontario Premier’s YouTube Channel to watch the press conference. We were eager to find out what the new rules would be to help make the housing market more stable to help tenants and landlords and improve the Ontario rental industry.

Among the changes was a 15% foreign speculation tax, changes to allow municipalities to discuss creating their own vacancy taxes, and allowing some surplus lands be made available for rental property construction.

There was also talk of of big changes to the way landlords can do business in Ontario under what is called Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan.

The announced changes included:

1. Newer Rentals Will Covered By the Rent Control Guideline

If your property was built after 1991 your property will now be covered by the rent increase guideline.

This means you can no longer raise the rent as much as you want to cover your costs.  The 2017 rent increase guideline is only 1.5% New condo owners will now be covered by the rent increase guideline.

2. Utilities Can’t Be The Reason For Your Above Rent Increase Guideline Application

So it utilities go up a lot you can’t raise the rent for this reason.

3. Own Use Application Will Mean You Have To Pay Your Tenant 1 Month Of Rent

You can also offer them another acceptable unit to rent.

4 Standardized Rental Documents

The government will prepare and distribute certain documents that landlords will be required to use.

Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan And Changes To How Landlords Can Run Their Rental Properties

While landlords understand the importance of protecting tenants, many in our community have serious concerns over these changes. For example:

Rent Control on Newer Properties

Many new condo landlords invested in condos over other types of properties (and invested in rental properties over other types of investment vehicles) because they had the flexibility of raising their rents annually in order to cover any increasing costs (like maintenance fees, etc.)

By including post 1991 properties under the Rent Increase Guideline it may lead to many landlords/investors selling their rentals and thus causing the number of rental units to decline in Ontario.

Utilities

Many members of our landlord community list rising costs of operating their rental businesses as one of their biggest worries. If utilities increase dramatically it will have a strong negative impact on small landlords.

It may even lead to more landlords renting out “non-inclusive” of utilities leading to more pressure on tenants.

Lease Documents

Our community believes this will have a strong negative impact on both small landlords and tenants.

Many aspects of the landlord tenant relationship are not covered in the Residential Tenancies Act.

Our most experienced and successful small residential landlords like to get everything agreed to by all parties at the beginning of a tenancy.  They make sure everything is clear and everyone understands what has been agreed upon. 

With a strong and clear comprehensive residential tenancy agreement (“lease”) things such as laundry use, shared common spaces and shared driveways can be agreed upon prior to a tenancy beginning to avoid potential confusion or conflict later on. A good lease with agreed upon clauses helps both good landlords and good tenants.

Let’s Include A Lot More in the Ontario Fair Housing Plan To Protect Small Landlords

Last year the Province contacted us and said they wanted ideas and suggestions on how make changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board to encourage more people to invest in rental properties in Ontario. 

So we asked our community for some ideas on how to improve the rental industry and had a huge response from places ranging from Thunder Bay to Hamilton to the Niagara Region, Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, etc.

Thousands of ideas were presented and the OLA made a submission to the Provincial Ontario government

Since changes are being made to the Residential Tenancies Act now with the Ontario Fair Housing Plan let’s take this opportunity for true comprehensive changes and improvements to overhaul the current system and help both good landlords and good tenants and improve the entire Ontario rental industry! 

Here are just some of the changes our landlord community would like to see happen soon:

(1) Landlords Should  Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit If All Parties Agree

This was a very popular idea within our community.  By making sure tenants have some “skin in the game” they will be more careful in the rental unit and won’t leave garbage or needed repairs when they move out.

As it is now, landlords will need to go to Small Claims Court to recover their losses.  And when tenants moving out leave garbage and damages behind it hurts new tenants who are moving in the same day.

Our community lists the need for a damage deposit as one of the key changes needed to improve the Ontario rental industry.

(2) No Pets Should Mean “No Pets” (and we need to be able to charge a pet deposit)

The overwhelming response in our community is a love for pets.

The issue is some tenants don’t take care of their pets properly and that means damages to the rental unit.

We have many landlords who have stories of dog and cat urine soaked carpets. And tenants saying they don’t have pets, and then bringing in lots of dogs and cats the same day they move in.

The OLA has suggested a “pet deposit” that pet-owning tenants could pay to help ease the financial fears of having people move in and having pets lead to thousands of dollars in damages. 

To be fair to tenants, a Toronto landlord suggested if there are no “pet damages” their deposit will be fully refunded and tenants will have a way to make sure it happens.  If for some reason it’s not, the tenant can go to the LTB to get it back in a simple, easy and fast manner.

(3) We Need a Quicker and More Efficient Way To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

It can now take months and even years for landlords to evict non-paying tenants. If you want to encourage more people to invest in rentals in Ontario this needs to change.

For example, we should change the N4 period to receive rent from 14 days down to something more reasonable such as a week or 48 hours.

Hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board should be guaranteed to be held within 14 days.

If the Enforcement Office cannot evict a tenant with a week, landlords need to be able to hire private bailiffs to fulfill and eviction order.

(4) Fast Evictions for Tenants Who Harm Other Tenants, Their Landlord, Or Seriously Damage The Rental

While this may sound a bit ridiculous for non-landlords, tenants who harass other tenants or their landlords is the reality for many of us.

This needs to change and landlords need a fast and efficient way to evict in these situations. A system such as Alberta landlords have would be a good policy for Ontario.

(5) When a Lease Ends Tenants Shouldn’t Automatically Become  “Month by Month”

Tenants In Ontario tenants have ‘security of tenancy’.  This means even when a mutually agreed upon lease is signed with a date for the termination of the lease, tenants can still stay on as monthly tenants afterwards.

This can become a real problem for small landlords as it doesn’t allow for any business certainty for future actions.

One Ottawa landlord wrote “In the province of Ontario it’s far easier to divorce your husband than it is to end a relationship with a tenant renting your basement.”

Is this the type of policy that encourages more good people to invest in rental properties in Ontario? No.

Many new landlords are not aware of security of tenancy laws in Ontario and are shocked when they find out.

(6) How About Different Rules for Corporate Landlords & Small  Landlords With Rentals of 3 Or Less Units

We know there are problems in many of the big rental buildings out there.

By helping creating a fairer and more just system for small landlords there would be more investment in the industry and more rental properties available for tenants.

For example, small landlords can’t afford an expensive legal team to represent them at the LTB.

We also don’t have thousands of units, so one non-paying tenant can lead to extreme financial and emotion stress on the small landlord.

A better system that protects small landlords would also encourage more investment by people who would be excellent, service-oriented housing providers.

These are people such as teachers, mechanics, dentists, nurses and all sorts of working people who want to invest in residential rental properties as a business and a way to help themselves financially.

New Rules For Ontario Landlords in 2017

With all the new changes many in our community are asking “what about rights for small landlords?”

How about we work together for a system that helps both good tenants and good landlords? Let’s improve the Ontario rental industry and let’s do it now!

Let’s Support Small Landlords And Investors Who Create So Many Great Rental Properties For Tenants!