Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Forum’

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.

Kingston Landlords – The City Encourages Creating Basement Rental Apartments

Friday, August 30th, 2013

 September 1st, 2013

Kingston Ontario Landlords Basement Secondary Suites and tenants

Do you have space downstairs?

Enough space to create a basement rental apartment?

If you do, and you live in Kingston, Ontario you are in luck.

Why not become a Landlord? The government is eager for you to invest.

According to a report in The Whig.com the City of Kingston wants house owners to use the downstairs space you have to make a basement rental suite.

Basement rental suites are also referred to as secondary suites. They also includee what are called “in-law” apartments or suites.

The Director of Housing for the City of Kingston is Sheldon Laidman.

Mr. Laidman believes creating these basement and inlaw suites can add to the city’s housing stock.

This way Kingston could have a larger supply of housing. With more supply, the price of rental properties will go down.

This will help renters, including seniors, caregivers, single moms, single dads, and students.

Laidman explains the creation of more affordable housing is a key goal for both the City and the province of Ontario.

We are seeing something similar in Mississauga.

He said earlier in 2013 Kingston council agreed to allow secondary suites / basement rental units in many areas of the city.

Before 2013 if you wanted to create a basement apartment the process was more complex, including the need to be re-zoned.

What makes this news exciting for potential landlord investors is the suggestion Kingston might create some financial plans to help potential landlord investors.

Although the initiative does not include any financial incentives, Laidman said there are a couple of plans in the works that could help foot the bill for a secondary suite.

These creative initiatives to help people invest and become landlords will be before council in September.

More information on the neighbourhoods covered by the initiative is available online at www.CityofKingston.ca/housing.

People can also call John Henderson, the housing program administrator, at 613-546-2695, ext. 4976, or email jhenderson@cityofkingston.ca.

We support making it easier for small landlords to create more safe and legal secondary suites.

We ask that cities such as Kingston also assist landlords in making sure the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant  Board are reformed. Changes need to be made, and fast.

Otherwise we warn the City of Kingston – many of these new landlords won’t be landlords for long.

Small landlords are being abused by bad tenants and the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Residential Tenancies Act need to be changed.

How about City councilors bring this up in any talks about why there is a shortage of affordable rental housing in Ontario.

We are happy to contribute.