Posts Tagged ‘Landlord and Tenant Board’

Ontario’s New Standard Lease (And How Smart Landlords Can Succeed Using It)

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Ontario Landlords Association Advocacy Credibility

Ontario Has A New Standard Lease Which Will Be Used Beginning April 30th. Experienced and Successful Landlords Say That You Can Still Put In Important (and legal) Clauses To Protect You and Your Rental Property 

What happens when a tenant wants to rent from an Ontario residential landlord? Both the landlord and the tenant agree to create a business relationship by signing a residential tenancy agreement.  This is also called a lease and is signed by both sides.

According a report on CBC news the Ministry of Housing has now created a new mandatory document for landlords and tenants to sign to begin this business relationship. You can download the new Ontario Landlord Standard Lease here.

Standard Lease For Ontario Landlords

The new standard lease will be required to be used by landlords and tenants beginning April 30, 2018.  According to some tenant activists Ontario tenants have been demanding this since 2012. Furthermore these activists state this will be an excellent improvement on the current situation to protect tenants from bad landlords.

Are Landlords Bad and Always Trying To Rip Off Tenants As Some Tenant Activists Believe?

According to some tenant activists, landlords write lots of “illegal clauses” into leases to trick poor unsuspecting tenants into traps. They says it’s like a bad cheesy John Wayne western movie, or the “Wild West”, out there with few controls on what landlords can do. The radical activists also state “almost every lease in Ontario you could find something illegal” and they receive daily calls from frightened and scared tenants about these clauses.

OLA Members Disagree. The Reality is Most Landlords Just Want To Find Good Tenants For A Win-Win Situation

First of all many landlords use OLA documents which do not have any illegal clauses. What we have are carefully thought out (legal) clauses which protect both the landlord and the tenants.

For years our members have complained about the poorly written OREA lease document that many new landlords and Realtors use. It’s a document that is inadequate and doesn’t protect landlords properly (especially if you go to Small Claims Court which many of our members have done).

Successful Ontario Landlords Know Good Lease Clauses Are Helpful for Both Landlords and Tenants

While the tenant activists want to label anyone renting out their property as inherently evil it’s not true.  Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know that creating smart, legal lease clauses is a key part of their success.

By creating a comprehensive lease, both the landlord and tenant can avoid potential confusion and conflict by making rules clear prior to the tenancy beginning.

For example one long term landlord wrote on the Ontario Landlords Association forum:

“I own a lot of duplexes. Two of the biggest problems I used to face was use of the shared laundry room and use of the yard.

When I first started I didn’t make the usage clear using the real estate agent lease. i used the OREA lease. It was constant tenant vs. tenant conflict. Both sides kept complaining to me. They both wanted me to be “on their side” and evict the other tenants.

When I joined the Ontario Landlords Association I was taught that it was important to go beyond just “how much is the rent” and “who is the landlord/who is the tenant”. I added in information to my tenants about what their laundry privileges were (times and dates for each parties usage) and what part of the yard each side got.

Since I did this the amount of tenant vs. tenant conflict has vanished. 

In 2010 I was even thinking of selling!  Now my rental business is smooth and it’s scary even thinking I almost bailed as now my cash flow is good and my properties have appreciated greatly! Fellow landlords at the OLA saved my rental business.”

The Standard Lease Distracts From The Real Issues To Help Landlords and Tenants: Changes Are Needed in the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board

Creating a standardized lease sounds good. It sounds fair. And in fact most OLA members don’t mind it (and we contributed ideas to the Ministry as you will read about soon).

However the real key to improve the Ontario rental industry is not a new lease template. The real key is to fix the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.”

Let’s look at a couple things that need to change.

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit

Ottawa landlords bad tenants 2018 4

When tenants pay a damage deposit they have ‘skin in the game’. This means they will be careful in the property and report any problems quickly to the landlord. With no damage deposit landlords regularly face garbage left behind, dirty properties and worse. This also cause problems with new tenants moving in. They move in and see garbage left around, fridges full of food and worse.

The Landlord and Tenant Board Must Speed Up the Process for Evictions

ola delay

Even evictions for what should be simple things can take months and months at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

And many OLA members complain about some adjudicators and Tenant Duty Counsel acting disrespectfully and even rude towards small landlords (especially those who can’t afford legal representation and have to represent themselves).

Important News: Ontario Landlords Can Still Add In Clauses in the Standard Lease!

Thousands of Ontario landlords wrote in to us when we asked for ideas when the Ministry was create the standard lease.

One of the most important points we pressed for was allowing landlords and tenants to add “clauses” to the new standard lease…and we got it!

This is really key for landlords, new and experienced alike, from Toronto to Ottawa to Thunder bay to Windsor and every where in between.

ola success

The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)

In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”. 

Of course smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even thing about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you.  However you can add some important clauses to protect you and your rental business (and protect your tenants too!)

Ontario Standard Lease And Additional Terms

We need to improve the Ontario rental industry to help both good landlords and good tenants. The standard lease doesn’t do this. We need real reforms to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Smart landlords will make sure they use Part 15, Page 6 “Additional Terms” in the Ontario standard lease to protect your rental properties and your tenants.

Ontario Landlords – It’s just become more complicated (and expensive) to move into your own rental property

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

OLA Education campaign 2

Landlord and Tenant Board Update: New requirements for landlords who terminate a tenancy because they want to move in for their “own use.”  Make you are aware of the process and the changes!

Earlier in the year we wrote about new legislation that would lead to a lot of big changes and new rules for Ontario landlords in 2017

One of the immediate changes at the time was regarding rent control.

Previously many rental properties which were built after 1991 were exempt from rent control. This means they didn’t have to follow the rent increase guideline and could raise rents every year in order to cover their costs and maybe even make some cash flow.

After all, running a rental business and being a landlord has risks and often increasing costs. Smart landlords know raising rents is an important part of being successful just as any business owner would make sure their revenues allowed them to continue running their business and not lead to losses and bankruptcy.

With the new policy rental units built after 1991 are now under rent control. This means all the investors and new landlords who bought brand new condo rents along with all the other landlords across Ontario can only raise the rent by 1.8% in 2018.

Terminating a Tenancy For Your Own Personal Use

Another big change happened on September 1st regarding landlords own use of a rental.

With increasing house prices many landlords have children or parents looking for a place to stay in. It’s become popular for landlords to turn their rental property into a place for their kids or parents to make their home.

Many landlords are also downsizing. They bought a rental in years past and rented it out. Now they sold their own home and are looking to move to a smaller property and so want to move in to their rental.

While some in the media want to demonize landlords and claim landlords use the own use provision to “turf out” their tenants, those actually running rental properties in Ontario know it would be foolish to ask a good tenant to leave if there wasn’t a very good reason for it. Needing your property for yourself or your close family is one of those “good reasons.”

Landlords Own Their Rental Property and Have Property Rights….Or Not?

Many new landlords in our community have asked what could possibly be the issue about the owner wanting to move in to their own property? Or have their children or parents (or parents in-law) move in? These new landlords say they are the ones who bought the property. They are on title. They paid for the house and usually have a big mortgage to prove it.

We keep hearing over and over again “It’s my house! I have property rights…to my property.”

In Ontario if your property is rented there is a process you need to go through in order to terminate the tenancy. Fortunately, if you want your property for your own use, or for your kids or parents or parents-in-law you can terminate the tenancy.  It’s just become more complicated and more expensive.

Let’s let the Landlord and Tenant Board explain:

social justice tribunals Ontario

To Ontario Landlords Association:

September 1, 2017

New Requirements for landlords who evict because they would like to move in. 

The Ontario government has introduced new requirements for landlords who would like to evict a tenant so they or someone in their family can live in the unit.

Starting September 1, 2017, the landlord or family member must intend to live in the unit for at least one year. The landlord must also either give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent or offer the tenant another unit that the tenant accepts.

Only individual landlords, not corporations, can give notice of termination for this reason

Changes to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Forms 

The LTB has updated these four forms to reflect the changes. 

To access these new forms you can click on the following:

LTB Form N12 Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit

LTB Form N13 Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord Wants to Demolish the Rental Unit, Repair it or Convert it to Another Use

LTB L2 Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant

LTB T1 Tenant Application for a Rebate

Being using these new forms immediately.

Make sure you are getting the latest forum by always clearing your browsers cache. Please note that old versions of these forums will not be accepted after Sept. 20th 2017. 

Smart and Successful Landlords Know The Rules

With the rules for landlords getting more complicated, it’s more important than ever for every Ontario residential landlord and investor to make sure you are knowledgeable. Even new rentals are under rent control and even if you need the property for your own use or the want your kids or parents to move in you will have to pay a lot of money to make it happen (as many small landlords don’t have extra units to offer tenants).

It’s also more important than ever to screen your tenants carefully and make sure you know who you are renting to.  There are a lot of great tenants out there.  There are also some tenants who will manipulate the system. We want good landlords and good tenants to join together to create a win-win situation in Ontario.

Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Successful

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

How Much Can You Raise the Rent in 2014?

Friday, June 21st, 2013

 June 21st, 2013

Rent Increase Guideline How Much Can You Raise The Rent In Ontario

2014 Ontario Rent Increase Guideline Second Lowest Since 1975

Every year the government of Ontario announces what is called the “Rent Increase Guideline” for the next calendar year.

The Rent Increase Guideline means how much a landlord can increase the rent without having to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

(If the you want to raise the rent higher than the guideline you must get approval by the Board to do so.)

How Much Can An Ontario Landlord Raise the Rent in 2014?

Many small residential landlords are facing financial challenges and need to increase rents to cover their costs.

Today the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced the Rent Increase Guideline for next year.

You can raise the rent 0.8% in 2014

The government says this is the second lowest rate since increases were regulated nearly forty years ago.

How Did They Come Up With This Figure?

The Ontario annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is a a measure of inflation. It’s calculated monthly by Statistics Canada.

The CPI is regarded as an objective, reliable measure of inflation. The CPI charts the change in the price of all goods and services in the provincial economy.

How Do I Raise the Rent For My Existing Tenants?

In most cases, the rent for a unit can be increased if at least 12 months have passed since the tenant first moved in, or since his or her last rent increase. The tenant must be given proper written notice of the rent increase at least 90 days before the increase takes effect.

For more information see the Landlord and Tenant Board Website

To discuss this and other issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

Ontario Landlord Question – How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

January 1st, 2013

Ontario Landlords How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013

 

Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 2.5% in 2013

It’s a question landlords all over Ontario are asking.

In Ontario, landlords can raise rent every year by a certain percentage that the provincial government allows.

In past years, this percentage was based on the Computer Price Index (CPI) which is a measure of inflation.For example in 2012 the allowable increase was 3.1%

According to the Rent Increase Guideline published on the Landlord and Tenant Board Website, the CPI is a reliable and objective way to measure inflation, see a broad picture of changes in the price of goods and services in Ontario, and a sound way to set the annual rent increase.

Except for 2013, the Ontario Liberal Government threw out everything they’ve been saying about rent increases for the past nine years.

In June 2012, the government decide to put forward the Resident Tenancies Amendment Act to cap the maximum amount Ontario landlords can increase the rent for tenants occupying our rental properties.

The Liberal government stated this will create stable rents for tenants while landlords will still get a “fair return” to maintain high quality rentals. Therefore it looks like they are admitting setting the rental increase guideline based on the CPI was bad policy on their part…or political catering to tenant voters during an election year is how rental policy is truly handled in Ontario.

This means that despite inflation, higher taxes, higher costs and higher bills landlords can only raise the rent by 2.5% in 2013.

You cannot simply tell your tenants you are going to raise the rent. There are rules and procedures you must follow.

Rules For Raising the Rent

1. The 12 Month Rule

Landlords must wait at least 12 months after tenants move in before increasing the rent.

2. The 12 Month Rule Part II

All future increases must be 12 months apart from the last increase.

3. Proper Notice

Landlords must also provide tenants with written notice 90 days before the rent goes up.

4. Use the Notice of Rent Increase Form

The Landlord and Tenant Board website has a form N1 you can use to give notice about a rent increase.

 

Despite replying on the CPI Index to set the annual rent guideline in the past, and landlords facing higher costs in 2013 rents are capped at only 2.5%. Another reason to make sure you raise the rent in 2013 and make sure you find great tenants