Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Forum’

The Ontario Landlord Diaries (Part 1)

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

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Ontario Landlords Share Their Experiences. Read And Learn To Make Your Investment A Success

We asked landlords across Ontario to write in to us and share their experiences being small business landlords.  We would then share these experiences with other landlords and investors.

The purpose is to provide a venue for people to let others know what they are going through and share the types of challenges and opportunities they are experiencing.

This would not only allow people to make their voice heard, but to also improve landlord knowledge and help our entire community learn the challenges out there and how to protect ourselves and succeed.

The response has been overwhelming.

Not only have we received thousands of stories, but the anger and frustration of just about every submission stands out. The reality is the current rules aren’t fair for Ontario landlords.

Email after email had a similar theme: “There is no balance”. “Everything is on the tenants side”.  “We Need Changes”.

If you find a nice reasonable tenant who respects you and your property you will be fine. And there are lots of these tenants out there and you need to find them..

This is why the Ontario Landlords Association teaches the importance of being a professional landlord, with a great property, at a competitive price. This is what great tenants are looking for. They are also looking for a landlord who experienced and knowledgeable and knows their rights and responsibilities.

However, if a tenant wants to “use the system” they can go for months on end not paying rent, make huge damages to your property (often with no repercussions), or make your life a living Hell.

Here are just some of the thousands submissions from hard-working, decent people who became landlords. These are people who believed in the future of Ontario and put their hard-earned money to invest in rental properties and run a successful rental business. They invested with the plan of being a terrific landlord with an amazing rental property for a great tenant.

After all, most OLA members rented before. It could have been as a student, or new immigrant to Canada, or just saving for a down payment.  OLA members want to be the “perfect landlord” we always wanted to rent from (and often couldn’t find).

Sadly many new landlords have faced huge challenges. So many things went wrong due to an unfair system that requires dramatic changes.

These are only some of their stories.

“It’s So Easy For Renters To Play The System!”

I am writing this letter seeking for help and fair treatment as a private landlord who purchased the property as my only home but can’t assume it after renting it to a professional tenant who clearly wants to live in my property for free and also blackmail me.

I purchased my condo in 2017 and rented it out to a tenant with a one-year lease because the purchase cost me every penny and I needed some cash flow to pay off the debt I borrowed to purchase this condo.

Starting in Spring, the tenant’s post-dated cheques consecutively bounced, yet the tenant refused to pay me the admin charge for each returned cheque from their bank.

A month later in, when I was conducting a regular inspection of the rental unit, I found the tenant damaged the property by inserting many nails into each wall in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, which is a clear breach of the lease agreement we signed. There are also stains on the wall. The tenant denied they made any of the changes and refused to either fix the damages or pay me the cost to fix.

What’s worst is, the tenant and her representative insulted, coerced, intimidated and threatened me during the entire inspection. While I have evidence from witness – report and testimony- the tenant was still trying to lie about the fact and sued me for thousands of dollars for harassing them. Apparently this tenant is trying to live in my property for free in another way, as they threatened.

The tenant’s threat and continuous harassment to me greatly traumatized me and I don’t want to move back, not to mention now I can’t even get my property back.

Thanks to the ridiculous Residential Tenancies Act in Ontario, I need to pay the one-month rent as compensation even if I need my property back for my own use!! I am now forced to sell the property, which I bought as my only home, in order to kick them out.

When I applied for an eviction order in the summer, the hearing was first scheduled in early August, and then got rescheduled in November, which is even after the end of the lease, because the tenant suggested to the judge that they didn’t think there was enough time to finish the hearing that day and it actually got rescheduled in three months as they wished!!

Apparently this tenant knows how to abuse the system in their favor and they got it. I filed an application, ended up getting a hearing in 5 months.

I feel so powerless and helpless when dealing with a nasty tenant like this because the law is not to protect landlords at all.

I can’t image what I am facing in the hearing as currently every law and actions from the Landlord and Tenant Board are favoring the tenant and I can’t get a hearing happen as scheduled. Not to mention I need to pay, as a landlord, $175 to file an application while tenant only needs to pay $45 to do the same thing.

This system is so broken that I’d rather sell my property to not to be part of it. And I am sure that I am not the only landlord who’s trapped and hurt in this unfair system. Please help me, and do something to correct this system that only favors tenants and gives landlord little choice.

“Secretly Bring In Pets, Damages, Unpaid Hydro Bills and Junk Left Behind”

We own several rental houses near Toronto. Recently we are going after our tenant who left us piles of junk, broken cabinets and shower heads,hole in drywall,and unpaid hydro bills, thousands worth. Not to mention we didn’t want pets in our house and they brought in pets.
I know of another landlords personally, who experienced such.

It caused us endless sleepless nights, stress, nightmares!

“Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board Is A Joke!”

Recently I had to attend the LTB to get a judgement against a tenant who stopped paying rent.

It started with a reason (excuse) that he lost his job. He stated on the application that he was a plumber. Oddly, I have a few friends who own private plumbing companies. I asked them if they needed employees. They offered me the job to offer the tenant. Its hard to find plumbers.

I texted the offer to the tenant….. no answer. I emailed the offer….no answer. I phoned directly. He didn’t pick up the phone. I passed by the property to let him know. At this point he stated that he works for his grandfathers company unlicensed and this is the reason why he wouldn’t respond.

Whenever there was an issue with the property or appliance I would always be there within 24 hours. I’m a fully licensed mechanic and am very capable of doing any type of manual labour skillfully. Also this is my investment and treat it seriously!

At this point I asked him when he’d be able to make a payment. He said a couple weeks. Anyhow I as a caring individual gave him the benefit of the doubt.

After months with no rent I finally filed the proper documentation with the LTB. I offered him $1000 for first months rent elsewhere as this upper 3 bedroom unit was obviously to much for him to handle at over a thousands dollars + utilities.

The funny thing is I get along with the neighbours and started getting calls from them that strange people have been coming and going from the property. Shady types apparently. I got another call from another neighbour who stated he watched the tenant carry a brand new 60” top of the line 4k LED TV in a box (with help) into the upper unit. I had to see so I scheduled an inspection for 48 hours later.

I completed the inspection and sure enough therein was mounted on the wall while he was high playing video games. It doesn’t sound to me like he was making an effort to pay rent and realized at that moment I was taken for a ride.

At the LTB hearing the arbitrator heard overwhelming evidence of his lack of commitment with nothing thrown my way. The arbitrator asked any issues with the landlord or property. The tenant said no. The arbitrator asked why he hasn’t paid the rent. He stated he lost his job. The arbitrator asked all the right questions to ascertain his motives.

I left the LTB feeling confident I was going to get the eviction order in 11 days( the minimum). By this point I am now 4 months without rent and the arbitrator gave me 20 days before I could file the eviction order with the sheriff for eviction. But the sheriff is backed up so much with evictions at the moment that there is a 4 week waiting period. So now I’ve got to wait 20 days plus 4 weeks to finally get him evicted.

The absurd part of this whole story is the tenant was mad at me!

I gave him chance after chance I tried mediating by helping him monetarily to leave. He stated I treated him poorly by asking for NSF fees. I told if doesn’t want NSF fees he should try paying the rent instead of buying TVs to replace working a working one.

He tried demonizing me to make himself fell better that he was ripping off a bad guy. That didn’t fly with the mountain of evidence stacked against him. He wanted the money but didn’t want to sign an IOU contract. This is the condensed version of the joke I call being a landlord.

I have no doubt that he will destroy the unit when he does finally leave. I have one word of advice BODYCAM like the police wear and use it with all tenant interactions. You can prove your innocence without problem if they start claiming harassment as mine did.

Asking for rent money is not harassment!. Its a business transaction! All conversations should be recorded and or emailed. You never know how a tiny conversation can go sideways.

Lets face it people in that situation will do and say anything to prove themselves. At the end of the day I did everything right and the arbitrator STILL gave them extra time to stay for free. I would say the mandate for the LTB should be to find out what is going on between a particular landlord and tenant based on evidence. Make a clear judgement. There are difficult landlords also.

There is no need for a non paying tenant to stay an additional 6 weeks. Especially when they have absolutely no excuse. Pay or get out conversely when a landlord is found lacking the judgement should go towards the tenant. Fair is fair! Right now landlords are getting crushed by the LTB and professional tenants.

As it stands now I am selling my properties and getting into commercial properties.

Forget affordable housing. I shouldn’t have to be worried that a government will judge against me when I’ve done nothing wrong except be financially responsible for myself. If a tenant wants to smoke pot and play video games all day, that is his problem and should not be mine.

I strongly believe that the LTB should adopt commercial rules for residential units also. There are a lot of good tenants out there that are waiting for a good unit/landlord but these deadbeats are keeping the homes hostage.

“Scared to Rent Out My Properties And You Should Be Too!”

I am months away from being a senior. I have been self employed most of my life, and for many years my wife stayed home to raise our kids because I traveled. We have no pension.

We have only our savings and our house. Every time I tried the stock market I got burned so of course I have been on the sidelines watching the greatest bull market of all time – figures.

My wife and I just bought a house in northern Ontario as an investment and a future retirement home. This is part of my “pension”. We fear the stock market that can wipe out your savings but GIC’s offer next to nothing. We are in our 5th home so we thought real estate was something we understood. We thought we could rent it out to cover the mortgage payments and if we were lucky it would appreciate over time.

Then we started reading about the history of LTB rulings and how the new laws those GD Liberals passed essentially put us at the mercy of a Tenant and we almost passed out.

We are seriously considering selling the house and saying to heck with it. It does not appear to be worth it to be a landlord in Ontario any more.

If the Landlord does not have the ability to protect their investment from bad Tenants and the margin on the investment is slim why would someone want to be a Landlord?

Tenants think they have a right to do whatever they want and to not pay rent because they want to enjoy their life, pay for other stuff or save for their future?

Sure they do. Buy your own house or move into Ontario Housing. It is not the individual Landlord’s responsibility to support those who can’t or don’t want to buy their own home.

And we just closed the deal on the house! If I had known about this before we bought, we would not have and there would be one less rental unit available. There still might be.

Today we turned down a prospective renter because we were afraid that they might be one of those bad renters who would get in to our house and then not look after it or not pay their rent and then cry to the LTB or just vanish.

It was a 40ish year old person with a young child on UI and their partner who is 6 months into a job with a small time contractor that does small repairs.

If I could charge a significant damage deposit and be sure I could get them out if they got pets or smoked in the house or grow dope or didn’t keep the house clean or or or… then we might have given them a chance.

But we can’t so we didn’t.

So the LTB and the Liberals misguided legislation actually had the opposite effect. Someone who needs a house to rent and might have looked after it and paid the rent isn’t going to get the chance.

I would rather have the place sit empty than risk damage and legal fees and still get no income if they didn’t pay. If it is empty my costs are fixed and my risk is low.

“Renting Basement Can Become a Nightmare (& even stress out your dog!)”

I live in my home and rent my basement apartment.  I have done so with little to no trouble for 5 years, until my latest tenant moved in this winter.  They used up her last months rent when, over a dispute I had with the screaming at their children (who live here part time) they said they were going to move out.

At the end of that period they did not move out.  After many apologies and promises to do better, I gave the  another chance (fool that I am).  They only paid part of her rent in June/July period, and now owes me the remainder plus July/August period, and August/September period is looming.

I served the with an N4, and was not surprised when they didn’t move out on the termination date.  I have filed an application to evict with the LTB.  The hearing is not until October.

After reading through information on your site, I’m terrified about the hearing process with LTB, and not at all hopeful that it will result in an actual eviction taking place.

Meanwhile, I have my tenant and their partner, whom they promptly moved in shortly after they took possession, and is not on the lease, plus their two children living here periodically (all four at times, in a basement bachelor apartment), basically for free.

While my hydro bills/water bills etc are much larger than then would be if the apartment was empty, and I am going in the red without the rental income coming in.

I don’t know what to do. I’m stressed out, my dog is stressed out (he literally sits in my lap shaking when they are yelling at the kids, banging doors/etc., or when the partner stomps up and down the stairs, banging the doors shut).

Tenant refuses to answer my inquiries as to when they are moving out.  I’m at my wits end, and I just don’t know where to turn for help – or if there is any help to be found.

Am I just stuck with this nightmare tenant and their family living in my basement for free?  It’s just so unfair.

I can’t afford a lawyer to help me with the hearing, and I’m literally scared out of my wits after reading the information on your site.  Is there any assistance out for inexperienced landlords like myself who have never had to deal with this before?  I get the feeling this might not be their first go round, and that she is quite versed on how she can milk the system.

“Newcomer To Canada Invests And Gets Burned”

I am a small landlord who have only one detached house to rent out in the GTA. 
 
I have experienced 3 different renters in the past 2 years, and 2 of them were horrible. It is a really bad nightmare for me and my family. 
 
The rental property was renovated completely 2 years ago. However, the first renter grew a huge dog (more than 1.5 meter long and 1 meter tall). The dog scratched and ruined the brand new wood floor completely. Indeed, in the lease agreement, it was clearly stated that “no pet is allowed in the premise”, and she lied to me in person during interview as well.
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After living for only 4 months, she left out of sudden with a couple of days short notice. She did not clean the house at all and left tons of craps in the house. When we asked for compensation for scratching floor and she even did not bother to answer. 
 
The other headache renter is living in my property right now.
The neighbor complained to me that they were growing 4 plants of cannabis in the backyard. I need to confront with the renter. Indeed, in order to prevent this kind things from happening, I already clearly stated in the Lease Contract that “The parties agree that no cannabis will be allowed within the premise including inside building, car park, and front/back yard.”
In consideration to cannabis legalization in Canada especially in Ontario, I am really afraid that this clause within the contract cannot protect my rights as landlord at all. 
 
I am a new immigrant to Canada. At the beginning, I thought Canada was a honesty country and people living here have high standards of morality.
However, my previous experience of dealing with these renters has significantly changed my impression regarding this society and this Country.
The thing makes me more frustrated is that as I get into studying the regulations in the rental area, I realize the current law completely makes no sense at all. The law protects those people with bad faith and encourage bad behavior.
The entire rental regulations are based on a ridiculous assumption that “landlord is evil and greedy, and needs to be regulated”.
I really cannot believe in Canada especially in Ontario the law is so biased against landlords, especially small landlords who invest their entire life saving by hardworking in properties .

The goal of government is to increase affordable housing and rentals provide that option. Landlords must be able to manage risk, provide safe homes and be able to earn some profit in return for managing the property and investing their capital in homes for rent.

Therefore, landlords must have the ability to disallow some behaviours on their properties.

This includes behaviour such as smoking, including all types of smoking: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, weed and vaping.

Further, growing marijuana requires conditions that are not akin to a safe environment as light and temperature may need to be manipulated. Grow ops have ruined entire houses in the past. Landlords must be able to prohibit marijuana growing in their properties.

Ontario Landlords Speak Out!
Landlords across Ontario face huge challenges. The above stories are only the tip of the iceberg!  It’s clear the system to be changed to encourage more good people to invest in residential rental properties.
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Before the OLA came around there was almost zero coverage of the challenges small landlords and investors face. Most landlords didn’t even know how to screen potential tenants.
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It’s time to fight even harder and get our message out!
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It’s time to make your tenant screening system even more strict!
Please share your Ontario landlord experience by emailing us at: landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com
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And make sure you make your voice heard to change the rules regarding Ontario rental properties and marijuana.
 

Evicted Tenant Leaves Duffle Bag of Marijuana Behind

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

 February 1st, 2014

Guelph landlords tenant criminal check Make Tenant Criminal Checks Part of Your Expert Tenant Screening System

Ontario landlords know the importance of tenant screening in 2014.

Renting to good tenants is the key for succeeding as a landlord.

And there are lots of good tenants out there.

They are looking for high quality rental housing run by service-oriented, knowledgeable, professional landlords like you.

Good tenants pay their rent on time and respect your property.

We’ve seen so many stories of the damages bad tenants can cause over the past year.

A quick look at the our landlord forum will show you stories of landlords losing thousands of dollars in lost rent and spending even more to repair damages to their rental properties.

Some investors, such as these Ottawa landlords, are even thinking of getting out of the residential rental industry and moving to commercial rentals.

With commercial rentals you have a lot more landlord rights.

You don’t have to deal with the Landlord and Tenant Board and if your tenants don’t pay the rent you can take effective action.

Bad Tenants and Marijuana

A recent story in the Guelph Mercury shows another problem landlords can face if you don’t screen properly: renters who break the law.

Here’s what happened.

According the newspaper report the landlord evicted their tenant.

Experienced landlords know some tenants leave garbage behind when they leave.

After all, Ontario landlords are not allowed to charge a damage deposit and this often leads to tenants moving out without cleaning up thoroughly.

Usually a few hours of cleaning or hiring a cleaning company can get your rental property back into good shape.

Except this time it was different

Instead of the usual bags of trash, refrigerators full of food, or old clothes and toys, this evicted tenant left something behind we’re sure he regrets forgetting about.

The landlord got the police involved because what the tenant left behind was a duffle bag filled with marijuana.

According to Guelph police, there were over 3 grams of marijuana left in the bag.

The reality is it’s not only British Columbia landlords who have to worry about tenants and pot these days.

It’s a problem landlords are facing all over Canada.

How much marijuana was left in the duffle bag?

If the amount left by the evicted tenant was old on the ‘market’ at current prices the street value of the pot would be over $30,000!

The former tenant from Owen Sound was charged not only with ‘possession’ but with having it for the purpose of ‘trafficking.’

Tenant Criminal Checks

This is another example for why smart landlords focus on tenant screening.

This includes tenant credit checks and checking references carefully.

But what about criminal checks?

Fortunately, landlords can now do high quality, low cost tenant criminal checks with Garda through membership with the Ontario Landlords Association.

Protect yourself and your investment.

By adding a criminal check to your screening system you lower your risk factor and increase the chance you will find and rent to great tenants.

Ontario Landlords Warning: Tenants and Fake Credit Checks

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

 December 1st, 2013Ontario Landlords Tenant Credit Checks

With More Landlords Demanding Tenant Credit Checks Some Tenants Are Ready With Their Fraudulent Reports!

There are a lot of wonderful tenants out there.

No matter where you are in Ontario, landlords know that with an attractive property at the right price, and with proper tenant screening, you can find good tenants are there.

There are also not-so-good tenants as well.

These tenants can make a your life miserable and cost you a fortune.

These are tenants who lead many landlords to give up and sell their rental properties.

Smart Landlords Screen Tenants Carefully

More and more Ontario Landlords and landlords across the province are doing very careful tenant screening these days.

Landlords from Ottawa, Toronto and Scarborough know tenant screening is key.

This tenant screening approach always includes tenant credit checks.

Good Tenants Appreciate Professional Landlords

Most tenants are reasonable and will understand you want to know who you are renting to.

They will respect your screening process.

If your rental is a multi-unit property they will appreciate the time and effort you take to find their future neighbours.

If a potential tenant has bruised credit, it’s a chance for you to discuss it and still rent to them.

Some Tenants Are Adapting and Finding New Ways to Rip Off Small Landlords

Now let’s get back to those bad tenants.

The post on the Ontario Landlords Association forum was about a tenant who seemed to know more and more landlords were demanding tenant credit checks and was ready.

The post began with the landlord saying:

“I’ve been reading here for over a year when I started looking for my first investment property. I purchased a duplex and began looking for renters earlier this month.”

The Landlord had a couple who came to see the rental property and wanted to rent from him.

He said that the couple both came with letters of employment and offered them to him

One of the employment letters didn’t look real.

The interested tenants also offered an Equifax Tenant Credit Report

The interested tenant said she knew landlords wanted tenant credit reports.

She handed him a some papers saying this was proof she was financially responsible and a good tenant…and enough evidence the landlord should rent to them.

The Landlords describes what happened next:

“She spoke about how good her credit score was and that is important. She showed it to me and the score was over 720.

The problem…it didn’t have her name on it only the Equifax logo and the score.

Everything else looked like it can been covered and photocopied. No name, no anything except the logo and the score.”

The Landlord Didn’t Fall For It

“I told her I would do my own check once they filled out the application I downloaded here. You should have seen the look on their faces.

They took the application and haven’t emailed it to me or called back. These types of people are out there.”

Equifax Tenant Screening Credit Checks

We Called Our Partner Equifax Canada To Learn How To Deal With This And Protect Landlords

Paul Le Vevre is the Director of Operations for Equifax Canada.

Here Paul’s advice for landlords.

1.Credit Reports Always Have the Name and Address of the Person

Firstly, I can confirm that when a consumer either obtains a copy of their credit file (either on line or in person from Equifax), the file copy ALWAYS contains the name/address (plus date of birth and SIN if available) of the consumer.

Personal identification is an integral portion of the file, without exception.

2. Landlords Need To Do Their Own Credit Checks

The only method to ensure the credit file contains true/authentic data is to have the landlord access directly from Equifax (either the file or related products such as Tenant Selector).

Copies of files provided by the consumer are not to be considered valid due to the specific examples you cited.

Experienced Ontario landlords know tenant screening, including credit checks, are an essential part of their success.

Make sure you stay ahead of the game and in control by conducting your own credit checks and making sure you find the good tenants you and your rental property deserve.

Tenant Screening for Ontario Landlords: Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

 Ontario landlords Tenant Credit Checks Tenant Criminal Checks

Lots of Good Tenants Are Out There, Make Sure You You Find Them With A Tenant Credit Check

The Ontario Landlords Association continues to stress the importance of tenant screening to landlords across Ontario.

We’ve seen far too many ‘Tenant from Hell’ nightmarish situations landlords have faced this year.

The cases are broad and reveal a huge variety of abuse of landlords and their income properties their hard-earned money allowed them to buy.

This abuse includes everything from non-payment of rent, to damages,and more.

We Demand More Respect for Small Business Landlords

Small landlords in Ontario are an important provider of high quality, affordable housing for tenants.

We are an important part of the Ontario social and financial system.

Most Ontario landlords are decent, hard-working people who have risked thousands of dollars to create rental property businesses.

They took a risk, invested lots of money, and hope for a decent return on their investment.

They also expect a fair system for landlord and tenant disputes.

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair to Small Landlords

Landlords across Ontario face bad tenants who abuse the Landlord and Tenant Board regularly.

We have seen numerous cases where landlords have been abused by their bad tenants and the system in 2013.

We are calling for changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and major reform to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We are also calling for a new joint tenant-landlord oversight of the Tenant Duty Counsel program which many landlords believe is not serving it’s original purpose.

The Globe and Mail also says bad tenants are the reason so many landlords decide to leave the industry and sell their income property.

How Can I Be a Successful Landlord in Ontario?

There are lots of good tenants out there. You need to find them to avoid the anti-landlords system in Ontario.

Good tenants will always pay the rent. They will also show consideration to the landlord and not damage the rental property.

The problem is there is a minority of bad tenants who are often very aggressive.

You need to make sure to avoid renting to these bad tenants and make your rental business open to all the good tenants out there who want to find a great rental property and a professional and courteous landlord.

How Can I Find Good Tenants?

According to the Toronto Star, bad tenants can be avoided with proper tenant screening.

You need to make sure you know who you are renting to before you sit down to sign the lease, take first and last, and hand over the keys.

Tenant Credit Checks

A tenant check is absolutely essential for Ontario landlords.

A tenant check doesn’t lie.

It provides you with a comprehensive financial history of the person who wants to rent your property.

What you will see may amaze you.

You can find out if your potential tenant pays (or doesn’t pay) their bills.

You will see if your potential tenant has mistreated past landlords and received judgments.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

A tenant credit check allows you to really get to know the person (tenant) you are doing business with (renting out your property too).

The Ontario Landlords Association works with the highest quality of companies to give you the services you need to succeed.

For a one time member fee we offer you affordable costs on tenant credit checks and other services.

Take your rental business seriously and aim for success by screening your tenants carefully and finding one of the many good tenants out there!

Licensing Hamilton Landlords Is Not The Solution

Monday, September 16th, 2013

September 16th, 2013

Hamilton landlords fight landlord licensing

On December 12, 2012 Hamilton landlords and investors packed a City Planning Committee to make sure their voices were heard on the issue of ‘Landlord Licensing.”

In a show of unity and opposition over two hundred people crowded into the seats and more than thirty landlords, investors, and Realtors made sure Council heard where they stand.

It was impressive and we hoped it made an impact and included OLA members.

Here we are almost a year later and more important meetings are coming.

On September 17th City staff will report back to the Planning Committee with options and alternatives related to the licensing of rental housing.

This is an important meeting as the Planning Committee could accept the recommendation by staff and send it to Council for approval of licensing of apartment rental units in Hamilton.

The City Staff report that they will be submitting has been released.  You can read it here:

 Hamilton Rental Housing Licensing Bylaw Report (September 2013)

Landlord Licensing Isn’t the Solution for Hamilton

The Hamilton real estate market has shown strong growth recently.

This includes an increase in investment in residential rental property.

More investment means more supply. This leads to a more stable marketplace and more affordable choices for tenants.

Hamilton landlords are clear they do not think landlord licensing is the way forward.

We need to encourage more investment and attract more high quality investors, landlords and property managers to believe in Hamilton and believe in the rental sector in Hamilton.

Why We Don’t Believe Licensing Landlords is the Solution for Hamilton

(1) Tenants already receive ‘protection’. Hamilton tenants can rely on the Hamilton Fire Code, the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord & Tenant Board.

(2) We need to encourage and support good landlords and act strongly against landlords who don’t care about their properties and their tenants. Landlord licensing targets all landlords instead of putting City resources into targeting bad landlords.

(3)The current problem with poorly maintained and dangerous units is mostly student based housing near McMaster University. Let’s focus resources on student housing instead of the whole city where there are far less issues.

(4)There’s always room to improve the quality of the Hamilton rental industry. However, the city is not in some sort of unique crisis situation. The City should spend time looking at how to improve and enforce zoning issues to being the improvement.

(5) More fees, more interference will only lead many current investors to leave the industry. This means they will sell leaving less rental housing options for tenants. Furthermore, many potential investors will look elsewhere as a place to invest their hard-earned money. 

The Best Solution for Hamilton is Clear

The City needs to do a better job of dealing with unprofessional landlords and poorly maintained properties while at the same time supporting and encouraging those who invest and create high quality rental space.

We Want the Planning Committee to Refuse The City Staff Recommendation and Reject Landlord Licensing.

Any other choice will hurt Hamilton for decades to come, including tenants.