Posts Tagged ‘landlord advice’

Mississauga Landlord Licensing 2016 – Make Sure Your Rental Is Licensed

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Mississauga landlords and landlord license

Mississauga Landlords and Landlord Licensing 2016

We continue to have lots of Mississauga landlords contact us for information regarding landlord licensing in their city.

We wrote about this when City of Mississauga and Landlord Licensing, and now it’s 2016 and we have more advice from the always helpful Mickey Frost, Director of Enforcement, City of Mississauga.

We would again like to thank Mr. Frost for his cooperation helping us educate landlords in the city.

Has Anything Changed for the Mississauga Landlords in 2016 Regarding the Bylaw?

The requirements for obtaining a second unit licence have not changed under the Second Unit Licensing Bylaw 204-13, as amended. The licensing fees as listed in Schedule 1 of this bylaw will remain in effect for 2016.

How Many Units Have Been Licensed So Far?

As of December 21, 2015, a total of 121 second unit licences (97 Owner Occupied and 24 Investment Dwellings) have been issued and approximately 129 applications (107 Owner Occupied and 22 Investment Dwellings) are currently pending at various stages in the process. A list of licensed second units can be downloaded and viewed on Mississauga Data. Information on licensed second units is updated weekly (last update: December 18, 2015).

Tenants can report safety concerns or unlicensed second units by calling our Citizen Contact Centre at 3-1-1 (if within City limits) or 905-615-4311 (if outside City limits), Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or by email at bylaw.enforcement@mississauga.ca. Please note that City offices will be closed on December 24th at noon to January 3, 2016 inclusive.

Should you require additional information or assistance on this matter, please contact Mr. Douglas Meehan, Manager of Compliance and Licensing Enforcement, by telephone at (905) 615-3200, ext. 5676 or by email at douglas.meehan@mississauga.ca.

Here are some questions from landlords on the Ontario Landlords Association forum:

1.”I want to buy a house in Mississauga with an existing bsmt apartment. What happens if the Tenant moves in, doesn’t want to pay and reports the apartment to the City as illegal. ? Do I go to jail? Do I Pay fine?”

All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.  To avoid penalties apply for and obtain a Second Unit Licence before the tenant moves in.

2. “As far as I know there was only 1 Licence issued in 2014 but almost every second house in Mississauga has illegal bsmt apt. Is this bylaw serious or just a joke? Am I stupid to obey this or just wasting my money when they don’t really care about basement apartments!”

All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.  The City of Mississauga takes the licensing of second units very seriously.  Property owners who fail to obtain a licence will be charged and if found guilty may be subject to a fine of $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation.  Currently the City of Mississauga is processing approximately 250 properties seeking a licence.

3.”Mississauga needs affordable housing. Is the City after penalty or they treat the landlord with respect and work to help him make the second unit affordable and safe ?”

The City’s priority is to ensure that second units meet the health and safety regulations in the Ontario Building Code and the Ontario Fire Code.  The licensing system was designed to do this so that second units may provide a safe housing option for the public.  City staff are committed to working with property owners to assist them through the process of obtaining a licence to help make these homes safe.

4.”Can I apply for Licence while tenant lives in the apartment ?”

Yes, if there is a tenant in place the tenant may remain while the property owner is actively engaged in obtaining a licence.  To avoid penalties apply for and obtain a Second Unit Licence before the tenant moves in.  All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.

5. “Why is the fee so high?”

The fees for licences are based upon cost recovery.  The process through which second units are licensed is labor intensive and involves initial and ongoing periodic inspections, processing of applications, maintenance of records related to the second units, and the investigation of complaints related to both licensed and unlicensed second units.

Mississauga landlords is your rental property licensed?

Make sure you follow the laws and make your rental unit safe and legal in 2016.

And make sure you get the services and tools you need to make sure you rent to good tenants in 2016.

Should I send Christmas gifts to my good tenants?

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

December 4th, 2011

 

It’s December.  There’s already been a little snow and you are feeling the Holiday Spirit.  Deck the Halls is playing from your CD player and you are planning to buy your tree this week.

Who’s naughty?  Who’s nice?

Part of your holiday tradition is to buy Christmas gifts for your family and friends.  Since you became a landlord, you now have some tenants.  Hmmm, you think how the past year has gone and you realize you have some great tenants.  Not only do they pay on time, they have been very understanding of your need to get an appraisal done, were patient when it took the plumber an extra day to fix that leaky toilet, and even called you about some potential maintanence issues allowing you to go in and repair before a larger (and more expensive) problem hit you and your wallet.   They saved you a small fortune!

My tenants are nice.  Should I buy them gifts?

You truly appreciate your tenants.  You want to thank them and Christmas seems like a great time to do it.  What about buying them a small gift?  It could be a small gift for the entire family, right?  You know they have two kids, so what about toys?  Or a how about something for the parents?

You head for the mall to take a look and hope you come up with an answer.  Hmm, Harry Potter novels seem like a good idea.  At least you know your children love them.   What about this nice calendar for 2012 for the family with pictures from scenes from the best Caribbean beaches?  Hold on, look at these gift cards for Future shop,  Best Buy…hey maybe this one for a family dinner at Boston Pizza? What about simply a nice bottle for red wine?  Christmas cards?  Movie passes?

Wait a minute, what if my tenants misunderstand my motive for the gifts?

Hold on. You served the tenants a notice of rent increase for January 1st.   What if they taken the gifts the wrong way?

You’ve never done this before.

There’s the possibility they might think they are paying you a lot of rent money…perhaps too much rent money.  You are getting rich “off their backs” and throwing them a token in return for your spoils?  Will they think that?  It’s not true, but what if they they do?

That calendar of Caribbean beaches?  Could they think that’s your holiday thanks to December rent?  Those gift cards? You have 50 inch tv and eat at restaurants all the time because you are a rich landlord (you don’t and don’t, but they might think that)?  You only want to give gifts as part of the holiday spirit and to show your appreciation, but what if they are not Christian and think you are trying to push some sort of religious agenda on them?

Not only could you ruin your relationship, they might want to move out when the lease ends.  Could this backfire on you?

There’s no set and easy answer

What do experienced landlords do in this situation?  How can I learn from others with experience to make sure I don’t make newbie mistakes?  Landlords have different ways of dealing with all sorts of situations.  This is one of them.

Some landlords find sending gifts a great relationship builder.  Others avoid it.  Others take a middle position and send cards.

Read what landlords think at the Ontario Landlords Advice forum HERE

Lots of hearings cancelled tomorrow (Wed. Feb. 2, 2011) at LTB

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Due to extreme weather conditions LTB hearings scheduled for Wednesday February 2nd, 2011 at the following locations have been cancelled and will be re-scheduled:

Simcoe:
Best western Little River Inn
203 Queens Way West,Simcoe, ON,N3Y 2M9

Brantford:
Best Western Alexander Graham Bell Room
19 Holiday Drive Hwy,(403 and Gretzky Pkwy),Brantford, ON, N3T 5W5

Owen Sound:
ServiceOntario, Boardroom – Main Floor,1400 1st Avenue West, Owen Sound, ON,N4K 6Z9

Cobourg:
Best Western Inn & Convention Centre, 930 Burnham Street, Cobourg, ON, K9A 2X9

For up to date information regarding hearing cancellations please contact our Call Centre 416-645-8080 or Toll-free 1-888-332-3234

Yet Another Day at the Landlord and Tenant Board

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Today I paid a visit to the local Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) office here in my new hometown of Mississauga, I began filing my applications at this office having just moved to the area.

From my handful of trips to the Mississauga office I have encountered many new generation Canadians. I know however thru my conversations with some while waiting in line that many here are small time landlords much like the ones that make up the core membership of the Ontario Landlord Association. Inevitably I end up helping out landlords who have questions. Many of the landlords are new to the game. I shutter to think how exposed they are in their limited knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Act. What chance would they have in dealing with problem tenants like the ones I was there to deal with? A N8 application for 6 months of late payments, a N5 for moving in a washer and dryer into a small 2 bedroom unit which that refuse to get rid off.

The common small scale landlord does not stand a chance against professional tenants, their free duty council and a system designed to keep tenants from being quickly evicted while the landlord foots the bill.

I arrived shortly after 12 pm, perfect, lunchtime. One window was open with one staff member manning her computer. Luckily there is not much of a crowd waiting and I am here for a simple application. Here is where the experience gets rocky. As I am being served I tell the administrator who is processing my application that I have an L2 application due to an N5. The admin does her job and asks me a few questions such as “is this a first or second N5? did they didn’t correct the problem?”. Those of you who are familiar with the application process will know about the section where you must state the rent on deposit for Last Month’s Rent (LMR), when the deposit was taken, when was the last time interest was paid. I informed her that I just apply the interest to LMR which will also increase by the exact same amount, essentially it’s a wash. She informed me that I must write them a cheque and they must in turn write me a cheque back for the exact same amount or I could be charged with a provincial offense. She then told me that the fines were really high and handed me a pamphlet “The residential tenancies act offenses” listing all the infractions that person could be charged with, in the pamphlet it states “It is an offense to fail to pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit when required”. While the statement may be true, crediting the tenant’s LRM is also an allowable form of payment however she insisted I was to give the tenant an cheque for the interest amount and it was then up to the tenant to pay that amount back into LMR “some tenants will and others won’t then you can charge them for it when they move out”.

According to her theory, Landlords are to pay interest out, while the tenant may or may not repay that amount back to the Landlord to top up LMR and it will be up to the Landlord to file either a $170 LTB application against a tenant who is vacating a unit most likely before a hearing date occurs. Or they can choose to file a smalls claims court suit keeping in mind the tenant will most likely not provide a forwarding address. All this for most likely less then $50 in interest, but $50 that was rightfully owed to the Landlord.

Yet another blunder when I informed her that this was a second L2 application the first was for a N8 notice because the tenant has persistently paid rent late over the last 7 months. She questioned why I was filing this second L2 as my hearing on Nov 4 would evict them for persistently paying rent late. I informed her that this is not the case. As some of you might know a first time application for persistently paying rent rarely leads to an eviction. She told me that she has never heard of that being the case and that wasn’t her experience, all the while shaking her head and continuing to type. Thanks for the information Landlord and Tenant Board!

Luckily I’ve had some experience and a great resource, The Ontario Landlord Association. I truly feel sorry for the little guys who are swimming with sharks, they must feel like they are alone on an island with nowhere to turn for help. This is why we must get the OLA name out there.

Ken S

Must See Landlord TV: RyersonianTV News OLA Interview

Monday, September 27th, 2010

An important report on the bedbug problem in Toronto.

http://www.ryersonian.ca/tv/9354/

The OLA comments at 4:20