Posts Tagged ‘Landlord and Tenant Board’

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

 

A Warning For All Landlords in Ontario

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

May 5th, 2012

Tenant Nina Willis, 48, faces two fraud and two forgery charges in relation to her tenancy at a Toronto landlord’s house.

The Story about the latest “Tenant From Hell” begins

It seem like the beginning of a mystery novel.  Unfortunately it isn’t fiction.  It isn’t a novel.  And it isn’t a mystery.

“Nina Willis seemed like the ideal tenant” says the Toronto Star investigation.

The investigation goes on.

“She was well-spoken and tidy, posing as an employee for a cellphone company with offices in Toronto and Montreal. She came with glowing references.”

Here comes the surprise.

“What landlord Darius Vakili, 63, didn’t know was that the 48-year-old Willis was a tenant from hell, with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices.”

The Story Continues, Implicating the System Landlords Face in Ontario

“A Star investigation reveals that the rules governing the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board have allowed people like Willis to flourish. Privacy legislation means her dodgy past as a tenant is kept secret from prospective landlords.”

Thank you Toronto Star

The Ontario Landlords Association would like to thank the Toronto Star for their story on the latest “Tenant From Hell.”

We are an association of small private residential landlords, and while many of us have faced terrible tenant problems due to an unfair Residential Tenancy Act and an unfair Landlord and Tenant Board, facing tenants such as the one in the Toronto Star article is a wake-up call for all of us.

The OLA Speaks Up for Landlords

This story is especially important for the OLA because one of the landlords in the article is a new reader of the OLA.

Furthermore, when we first heard about what was going on, OLA editors worked hard to get the story in the news and get the ball rolling for justice.

The OLA began the push to get her story into the media, resulting in a Toronto Star story on October 18th, 2011.  The Star story was headlined

“A bad tenant cost me $28,000 over 9 months!” and can be found here.

So What Can We Learn From This?

There are lessons we can learn from the Toronto Star story about Nina Willis.  Lessons that landlords can learn, unfiltered by lawyers or paralegals or others who make money representing landlords in need.  If there is no “need” there is no money paid.  Paying out huge legal fees means only more losses for landlords already suffering.

Lesson #1:  The Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board Need To Change

We call on the government to have summit of stake holders to re-examine the RTA and take a close look at how the Landlord and Tenant Board  operates and how we must change the RTA and reform the LTB.

Lesson #2: If You are a Landlord In Ontario You Must Be Professional in How you Do Business

Landlords young and old, wherever you are, we advise you to do proper screening to avoid ‘pro tenants’.  The OLA offers a low-cost path to incredible screening tools.

If the landlords in the Toronto Star article were OLA members, and did a credit check costing only $10…they would have avoided their “Tenant From Hell” and the emotional and financial nightmares associated with having such a tenant.