Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Tenant Board Ontario’

Ontario Standard Form of Lease – Top 100 Clauses You Need To Add To Avoid Potential Disaster!

Friday, May 17th, 2019

Ontario Standard Lease

Protect Your Rental Business By Adding The Top 100 Key Clauses to the Ontario Standard Lease Recommended by Experienced & Success Ontario Landlords & Property Managers. This is “VITAL” for Ontario Landlords!

We wrote before about the fact that as of April 30th, 2018 Ontario Landlords have to use a government created “Ontario Standard Lease” when you rent to new tenants. The Ontario government created a new lease that landlords much use after tenant activists accused landlords of using illegal clauses in leases and creating a “wild west” environment.
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The Landlord and Tenant Board Is A Nightmare! (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair, Biased & Unprofessional 

It Needs To Be Replaced With A Better System!

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

For the first two years my venture into becoming a residential landlord had turned out pretty well. I got into the industry because of Scott McgilIvray and his show ‘Income Property’ on HGTV.

Scott is an attractive sales person and made it seem like not only a simple investment, but something I needed to do or I would miss out on a historic opportunity to make money.

The more I looked into it the better this investment vehicle looked.

This Was An Exciting Investment And I Was ‘All In”

Real estate prices were appreciating so my investment could really pay off whenever I decided to sell it.

And with so many young people looking for good housing due to the low vacancy rate there would be lots of “good tenant clients.” These tenants would not only provide a new income stream for me, but also take care of my properties while they appreciated.

This was exciting and I was all in. This was going to make sure I would be financially ready for retirement.

A Great Start To My New Investment

I made sure the property was attractive and in a good location. Scott said it was important my rent was at the ‘market’ level of the area.

The first people who applied where a young couple who were saving for their own place. They were very up front and said they expected this would take about a while and requested a two year lease.

After getting some good advice from the Ontario landlord forum, I said we would start with a one year lease. 

I also told them if things went well we could re-sign for another year. It worked out perfectly.

Great Tenants, And Two Years Went By Fast

Looking back, I was lucky.  I found two really responsible people for my first tenants.  A young teacher and his partner a young nurse. Rent was paid on time and we had a friendly and professional relationship.

Wow, This Is Easy!

After reading about some bad tenants I thought “wow this is easy” and “why are so many other landlords complaining? Maybe it’s their own fault?”

I didn’t really have to do anything except collect the rent.  The couple were very serious about building up their credit score and savings for a downpayment and near the end of the second year they bought their own property.

They asked to break the lease a six months early because they wanted to move into the new place. I agreed to this and they left.

A Month Of Vacancy For Clean Up and Damages 

Sure there were some holes in the drywall from the big screen tv hooks, mirrors and paintings they put up but I didn’t mind.  And the stove/oven wasn’t cleaned, but it wasn’t damaged. 

There were some other issues which I was a bit surprised they left. It would cost me at least $1000 for the repairs/clean up. They said they would leave the place as the found it…but they didn’t.

Still my thinking was “they stayed for a year and half.  And this will give me a month to clean up, do repairs, and find even better tenants. 

Finding My Next Tenants

My next tenant was a very personable lady who was a single mom. She had a  job and some really good references. Her credit score was really high too. But the key thing is she was very friendly and open.

She said her fiance was working in a high paid job in another province and the plan was for them to get married in a few years. He was really busy in his job.

I was really happy to meet her and provide great housing to her and her child.

First and last was paid and she said she might want to stay for many years and this sounded great to me. We signed the lease and I made sure the property was better than ever.

Who Is This Guy Yelling At Me? I Never Rented To Him

Things changed fast.

Within a week I received a call from a neighbour about the one parking spot I gave to the tenant was now being filled and a second car which was being either squeezed in (with part of it sticking over on to the road) or parked illegally on the road overnight.

I went to check it out and went to talk to my tenant.

Instead of my tenant, a guy who I had never seen before answered the door. He was big and menacing.

A Stranger Living In My House, Let’s Call Him “Mr. X”

When I asked who he was he said he was now living there with my tenant. I asked him why he was living there.  He said he was living with his girlfriend.

Okay, But I Have To Protect Myself

I asked “Can you please give me your name?”

He said “I don’t have to tell you that, legally!”

I asked “Since you are living here can I add you to the lease?”

He said “No, I’m a guest and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

I asked “Since you are living in my property you need to give me your information.”

He said “No I don’t. Don’t be a slumlord. Contact the Landlord Tenant Board and be careful.”

I asked told him about the parking and he said he would deal with it to avoid any issues with the City.

He seemed worried about the city but not worried about me, the property owner.

I called the Landlord and Tenant Board And They Were Useless

The Landlord and Tenant Board told me:

“Landlords can’t stop tenants from having friends over.  Above this advice you need to get your own legal help.”

OMG. My tax dollars at work?!

Rent Not Paid

The beginning of the next month the rent was not paid.

I tried to contact the tenant by phone, text and email.  I thought visiting there should not be part of the first step as Mr. X was aggressive and I wanted to avoid confrontation.

The next day still nothing.

Serving The Notice N4 – Pay Rent Or Be Evicted

On the third day I went to the property and knocked on the door.

No one answered. And this lack of response continued.

I Gave Them Every Chance To Pay But Now Decided To Evict Them

I tried to be fair and provided them a week but still no response. 

I personally served the N4 which would give them 14 days to pay or they would have to move.

I Won’t Pay Rent Because the Property Is Unsafe And You Are Irresponsible!

After sending the N4 my tenant called me and immediately started screaming at me as if I was some bad person.

She said the eviction notice was “unacceptable” because she didn’t pay rent because she and her baby were afraid to live in such a dangerous and poorly maintained property.

She said I, the landlord, was harassing her and unapproachable and only wanted ‘rent, with no concern for her safety”.

She read me a list of maintenance issues her guest had found and demanded they be fixed within 48 hours or give them a rent abatement or they would “take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What Issues? The Place Is Well Maintained!

I said I will try but I would need to check out the issues myself.

I also said if there were issues I would certainly fix them.  But it would take more than 48 hours to book a professional and certified contractor to do any repairs.

She said if things were not fixed she would file against me at the Landlord and Tenant Board….or she “would accept $3,000 cash or against the rent (three months rent!)

The Property Was Well Maintained Before She Moved In, Now So Many Problems?

I provided 24 hour notice and went in to see the so-called problems.

The boyfriend/guest was the one guiding me to show why they needed $3000 in either cash or free rent, or “immediate repairs” for their “reasonable enjoyment.”

He was a big guy and I felt pretty scared and he was bullying. I felt he would destroy the property in an instant if I angered him.

He said f I “didn’t play ball” he said he would take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board where, he bragged “I will win and you will lose! I’ve been there before.”

So What Were the “Maintenance Issues?”

As I was guided around my own property I was presented with a big list of problems.

1. The 3 Year Old “Top Of The Line” Kitchen Aid Stove

The burners don’t work and the oven doesn’t heat properly.  This meant the tenants couldn’t cook and had to order pizza and Chinese food, as they had a ‘baby’.

2. The 3 Year Old “Top Of the Line” Samsung Dryer

The dryer didn’t work and they had to dry the baby’s clothes at the laundry mat which was far away and they had to take taxis. 

3. The 3 Year Old “Top of the Line” Samsung Washing Machine

The washer didn’t work and they had to dry the baby’s clothes at the laundry mat which was far away and they had to take taxis.  

4. Mold in the Bathroom

He said this was a huge concern and he would also call the city if I didn’t pay $3000 or give the rent discount. He said the mold could seriously harm the baby.

5. Cracks in the Drywall

He said he was worried the rental would “fall down and kill them all” due to this. 

He said this was a “matter of life and death” and I needed to deal with this fast as the “entire property is unsafe.”  He sad the property might need to be torn down due to all the infractions.

These are just the top 5 “problems” he presented to me.  There were lots more.

These Issues Never Existed Before

I explained to “Mr. X”  I had previous renters who never had any of these issues. I said I would need time to investigate them.

You Have 48 Hours

He said “you have 48 hours”. 

I texted my tenant and said I was taking this seriously and was investigating it and would contact her.

I Took This Super Seriously

I spoke with representatives from Samsung and Kitchen Aid.

I asked whether or not these types of issues are common. The replies where they were not.

I spoke with a mold specialist and he said if there wasn’t mold before and if the bathroom has a fan there should be no problem, especially only after a month of them living there.

YES THERE WAS A FAN.

I spoke to a dry wall installer and he said the cracks were probably due to kicking or punching and there should be no problem with a three year old property

The Next Month Came, No Rent Paid Again

For the very next month the rent check bounced.

No one answered the phone and I went to visit. I notice the window was smashed (the tenant never informed me). No one answered the door.

A Served an N4 For Non-Payment of Rent

As they didn’t pay rent I served them a form N4 – Notice to Evict for Non-Payment of rent.

A Tenants Rights Form Was Sent To My Mailing Address The Next Day by Courier!

I received notice that I was failing to maintain the property and was failing to protect the tenants “reasonable enjoyment of the property” under the law.  I was told that I was required to attend an official Hearing for my neglect. 

So I Did Everything Right…But Now I Had To Defend Myself Against False Accusations!

I was accused of being a bad landlord by someone I never met, rent was not paid, and the worst was yet to come!

 

How To Get Landlords To Rent To You

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

With Vacancy Rates So Low Tenants Have To Do Whatever It Takes To Find A Home

First of all I want to make it clear there are a lot of great landlords out there.  I’m not part of the majority of tenants who think all landlords are ripping us off and making money out of thin air. 

My parents rented some rooms in our house when times were tough in the 1990s recession. I know what they went through with people being noisy late and night and not always washing their dishes daily. It was tough on my Mom and Dad but they needed the money.

Most landlords are like my parents. Friendly and law-abiding.

Bad Landlords Out There Are Taking Advantage Of The Rental Shortage

As someone who was looking for a place to live this year it was shocking to find there are landlords who didn’t have the ethics of my parents. 

When I went to see an apartment many landlords demanded a ridiculous amount of personal information about me for a simple credit check.

(Which I have reported these landlords to the Privacy Commissioner and the landlords are being investigated as you read this, as are the companies involved). 

Not only that but many demanded a lot of rent up front in order to rent to me.

Some wanted 3 or 4 months of rent, but most wanted a 6 months or even a year! Some landlords even wanted 2 or 3 years!

Others wanted a deposit of 1 – 6 months equivalent rent in case I made “damages” LOL! What did they expect me to do? Blow up the building?!

We Are In The Middle Of A Housing Crisis

The rental scene really unfair for people looking to rent.  A recent VICE article was really helpful and illustrated how unfair it is for people simply looking for a home.

Vacancy rates in Toronto are under two percent. This is the worst it’s been in nearly twenty years. The average monthly rent for a tiny one-bedroom apartment is $2,200/month.

Jump Doggy, Jump

Landlords are making tenants jump through hoops and part of these hoops is illegal behaviour.  VICE reported a new immigrant was required to pay 3 years up front to rent some dump in Scarborough. That’s right, “Scarberia!”

Landlords Cannot Demand A Damage Deposit Or Months Of Rent Up-Front. It’s Illegal!

Ontario landlords cannot charge you any type of “damage” or “Security” deposit. Nothing, Nada, Zippo.

Landlords can only ask for “first and last”. This is payment for the first month of rent and for the last month of rent you are staying the property. The “last” is only for your last month living there.

This “last month” cannot be used for anything other than last month rent according to the Residential Tenancies Act.

I Refused To Pay Multiple Months Of Rent Up-Front And A Damage Deposit

Not only did I refuse I told the landlords they were undertaking an illegal act, I educated them.

I told the landlords I met to sit down and I made sure to lecture them not only about how they were undertaking criminal acts, they also were lapsing morally and ethically.

Was I being strident refusing to leave before getting my point across?

Was I being aggressive in making the landlords read the Residential Tenancies Act in my handouts? 

Sure.

But we are nation of laws and we must educate and uphold these laws as part of our democracy.

Nice People Finish Last

What was the result from my honest and ethical stand?

No one rented to me.

Simply because I demanded the landlords followed the LAW I was shunned. I was an outcast. I was without a home when a high paying I.T. job was about to start.

I Had To Be More Sneaky Than The Sneaky Landlords I Was Dealing With

There is a saying “When in Rome Do What The Romans Do.”  I realized the Ontario rental market if full of law breakers (not everyone, but many). My honesty and demanding the laws be followed were mocked at by these landlords.

I Made A Difficult Decision To Adapt And Get My New Home No Matter What It Took

I needed a place.

I needed a place near public transportation and at the lowest rent possible. I tried to be up front and honest and the landlords spat in my face!

Here’s What I Did – I Used Their Own Greed To Work Against Them

I decided to agree with landlords who wanted 6 months of rent up front.  I would say things such as:

“Yes, I agree you landlords need to protect yourself from all the bad tenants out there.” 

“It’s only natural you need 6 months of rent upfront after you worked so hard to buy this apartment.”

“It’s crazy the law says you can’t charge me a damage deposit”

The landlords were super happy to hear this and I was instantly treated with respect and put on the top of their list!

I Pushed It To The Limit!

Since I had gone over to the ‘Dark Side’ as these landlords had I decided ‘hey, if you go to the Dark Side you might as well go all the way!’ Darth Vader style.

So if the landlord said they wanted 6 months of rent up-front I said “why not a year?” 

So if the landlord wanted a 1 month damage deposit I said “why not 3 months?”

So if the landlord demanded post-dated checks I said “why don’t I pay cash?”

Sure I was lying but they were asking for illegal things so it was okay.

The Replies Poured In…Everyone Wanted To Rent To Me (and on long-term leases!)

All the talk of credit checks, reference checks, etc. went out the window.  The texts rolled in and so did the emails. 

Some landlords were so exited they called me and wanted to sign a lease right away!

Got The Best Apartment And A Discount On Rent

From being the ugly loser I was suddenly treated like a virgin princess ready to put out.  I had my choice of properties and played several landlords off against each other to find the best apartment at the best price.

Since I was willing to pay the money up-front and the deposit I managed to negotiate a lower rent.

All they really wanted was a big huge stack of money in their hands.

After I Signed The Lease And Moved In I Filed At the Landlord and Tenant Board And Got All My Money Back!

It’s very easy to file at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board and get all your money back!

The LTB form is called the T1. 

You can read about it here!

After I moved in I filed at the LTB.  It was easy and simple. 

Avoid Landlord Texts And Calls (And Record Them As Harassment)

After I filed the texts came flying “oh, you agreed” the landlord whined like little bitches from hell who got caught by a righteous and good person (me) who used their evil Luciferian greed against them.

The messages in my mailbox:

“You are a cheater” and after a few days “we will kick you out.”

It all hilarious because this was just adding my ability to punish these illegal landlords at the LTB.

LTB Hearing Took 15 Minutes To Get My Money Back

I spoke with Legal Aid at the LTB Hearing room. This is really, really helpful. And it’s free!

This is free legal help for tenants and they were with me as I made my case. 

Very nice people and they are often on a first name basis with the adjudicator/judge at the LTB so you get instant credibility.

EASY WIN TO GET ALL THE MONEY BACK 

I also made sure the adjudicator was aware of the threats and harassment from the landlord and the landlord was fined.

The landlord was also warned against harassing me further and to stop demanding illegal money.

TENANTS MUST BE AS SNEAKY AS THE BAD LL’S ARE TO SURVIVE

In this era of super low vacancy rates the bad landlords are possessed with greed and acting unlawful. 

Since they are so sneaky tenants need to be sneaky.

I hope my story will help all the great tenants out there find great rental properties. I’m in a great apartment at a low rent and got all my money back. The landlord is also scared of me because they know I’m a pro and they were already warned by the Landlord Tenant Board judge! 

Good landlords have nothing to worry about and thank you for being legal.

Changes to Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Ontario landlord and tenant board new laws 2018

 

Getting the Message Out to Small Landlords Across Ontario! Be Aware The Law Is Changing For Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Successful Ontario landlords know it’s important to always be aware of new laws that regulate our industry. If you are not careful and don’t know the latest changes you could face some severe financial penalties. Those of who have been unfortunate enough to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board know you must be 100% ‘on your game’ and become an expert on the rules and regulations if you are going to succeed.

And there have been many changes since the beginning of 2017

One of the biggest changes that has impacted small landlords is the change in how we can use “own use” applications to get our properties back. We wrote about these Ontario landlord changes earlier to let everyone know about what is going on so you can prepare and be aware.

Other changes have included the fact landlords with properties built after 1991 are now included under the government rent control umbrella and changes to above guideline rent increases.

An Ottawa landlord wrote on our Members forum in what turned out to be huge thread:

“I have kept my rent increases low over the past few years, sometimes not even raising the rent in order to keep my tenants from looking at other properties and potentially moving. I pay for power and now my bills are becoming so high it’s jeopardizing my ability to even cover my costs! Has anyone ever done an above the guideline increase? Thanks in advance.” 

Unfortunately it’s not good news for this landlord as the news about changes didn’t reach her.

New Laws For Above Guideline Rent Increase for Ontario Landlords

Everyone who owns rentals across Ontario please carefully read this message from the Ministry to us, as they know we can reach landlords all over the province:

Ontario landlord and tenant board 2018

To: Ontario Landlords Association

Above Guideline Rent Increase Application – The Law Is Changing

On January 1, 2018, two changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that relate to the landlord’s Application For a Rent Increase above the Guideline will come into effect

1. A landlord will no longer be able to apply for a rent increase above the guideline because of utility costs (e.g. fuel, electricity or water) have increased.

2. If a landlord has not complied with an order to fix an elevator (issued by the LTB, the municipality or the technical standards and safety authority) the LTB can dismiss the application or require the landlord to fix the elevators before ordering an above the guideline increase.

A landlord can still apply to the LTB for an increase above the guideline if:

The landlord’s costs for municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly The landlord has done major repairs or renovations (these are called capital expenditures)

or, The landlord has operation costs for security services performed by person who are not employees of the landlord.

Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board Form L5

The Landlord and Tenant Board has updated the L5: Application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase to reflect the changes.

Landlords need to begin using this new form immediately. Make sure you are getting the latest version of the form by clearing your browser cache to avoid any mistakes. The old version of this forum will be accepted until January 30, 2018.

Getting the Message Out to Ontario Landlords

Small Ontario landlords have faced unfair rules that are biased for bad tenants for years. Now there are even more changes coming that are unfair for Ontario landlords. However, you must follow the rules and be aware of them.

The Ontario Landlords Association is reaching landlords all over the province and helping them be aware of new rules and changes to the way small landlords can run their rental business.

There have been important changes to how the L5 works starting today. We will provide updates on this and how other new changes are impacting our landlord community throughout the years.

Knowledge is power and Ontario Landlords need to be aware of these rule changes in order to succeed.

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) Has Changed

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

ontario-landlords-association-education-campaign

Keeping Ontario Landlords Informed: Tenants who are the victims of sexual and domestic violence can now end their tenancy in 28 days 

Successful Ontario landlords know the importance of following the rules and laws for running a successful rental businesses. We also know to follow the rules you need to be aware of them.

Sometimes that can be a challenge. Most small residential Ontario landlords have full-time jobs.  Our members aren’t large corporations with full-time staff and stocks and bonds.

We have members who are nurses, teachers, Toronto fire-fighters, carpenters, plumbers, professional athletes (including some famous ones), lawyers, doctors, electricians, full time Mums and Dads, receptionists, dentists, and investors who don’t even live in Canada (but have invested a lot of money, hired property managers and created terrific rentals.)

With such busy lives it can be hard to keep track of changes that are important for our professional and service-oriented landlords.

This is another way the OLA helps out because we reach a huge audience of small landlords across Ontario and let them know about important changes. For example, we still have Mississauga landlords thanking us for letting them know about the changes to the landlord licensing system in that city.

At first glance the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) can look very complicated and even intimidating. The reality is the RTA is complicated and can be a bit scary for new landlords (and even for some vets).

Over the years we’ve had thousands of small residential landlords from across the province contact us for help and assistance.

This is one of the reasons why the OLA has been asking the government to improve the Residential Tenancies Act to help small landlords and encourage more investment in rental properties in Ontario.

The RTA Has Changed in 2016

There has been a change in the RTA recently.  It’s a change to help victims of sexual and domestic violence be able to escape bad situations.

Many of our landlord members were tenants at one point in our lives. Or they have relatives or friends who rent now.  They recognize this is a positive changes to help tenants in trouble and our membership agrees with helping tenants who are honestly in abusive and  dangerous situations.

Our members want to rent out high quality, legal rental units, to all the good tenants out there and be great landlords. We encourage rule changes, to help good tenants and to help good landlords.

New Notice Allows Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence To End Tenancy in 28 Days

There has been a change is section 47.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants who are the victims of sexual or domestic violence can now end their tenancy in just 28 days if they think they or a child living with them might be harmed or even injured if they don’t get out of the rental property.

Tenants in this type of situation can give notice at any time during the duration of their tenants.In order to do this the tenant must give the landlord 2 documents.

(a) Tenants Notice to End Tenancy because of Fear of Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse (Form N15)

Landlords (and all the tenants who read here) can get more information here.

(b) Tenant’s Statement about Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse.

Landlords and tenants can get more information here.

(c) Court Order

Tenants can also give the landlord a copy of the court order. For example, they can give you a copy of a peace bond or a restraining order).

Successful Ontario Landlords Know The Rules and Follow Them

Make sure you are aware and follow the laws and rules for landlords in Ontario. We encourage and welcome changes to help tenants.  We also want to encourage some changes to help all the good landlords in this province.

The OLA is the voice of small residential landlords so if you have any ideas for change to your business and encourage other to invest in rentals in Ontario please let us know and we will present it to the Ministry.

We all have the goal to create rules and procedures that promotes and protects both good tenants and good landlords and improves the residential rental industry in Ontario.

Let’s continue to make positive and important changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for both tenants and small residential landlords.