Posts Tagged ‘lease’

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

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Ontario Landlords Association Advocacy Credibility

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

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

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

Standard Lease For Ontario Landlords

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit

Ottawa landlords bad tenants 2018 4

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

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

ola delay

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

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

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

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

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

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

ola success

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

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

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

Ontario Standard Lease And Additional Terms

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

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

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected – The Current System Just Isn’t Fair!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

ola landlords speak out

Ontario Landlords 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.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Fair For Landlords – Ontario Small Landlords Need More Protection

ola it's not fair

Tens of thousands of small landlords emailed in as part of our drive to create a way for landlords and tenants to communicate with each other to find positive common ground. While there are some unethical landlords out there, by far the vast majority of us try our best to be excellent landlords with attractive, well-maintained rentals.

The vast majority of small Ontario landlords play by the rules and care for our tenants and our properties.

The Ontario Rules Do Not Protect Small Landlords And This Isn’t Fair

One of the most common themes in all the replies was that while landlords want to learn and follow the rules those same rules often don’t adequately protect small landlords.

This means landlords who make sure they do everything according to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board still find themselves in very difficult situations stemming from bad tenants. These bad situations often mean losing thousands of dollars.

However it also goes beyond just financial losses.

Under the existing system landlords experiencing incredible stress, worry and sleepless nights when they are just using the system in place and following the rules. This isn’t right and this isn’t fair.

Good people making huge investments in our province need to be protected and must not be subjected to tenants who can easily manipulate the rules to cause harm and huge financial losses. Recently there was a good media story of a tenant who created a fake credit report to trick landlords into renting to him. He then ripped off his landlords and also cheated other tenants. He is now wanted by the police.

Let’s Protect Good Tenants, But We Also Need to Protect Good Landlords

Most of our small landlord members were renting themselves not that long ago. We are the working class looking to support our retirements and hopefully get some cash flow as a return on our investments. Many of us rented as students at Ontario universities and colleges and many others rented while beginning their careers.

We support protections for tenants, but we need to also protect good landlords. Currently things are simply not balanced.

What Happened To The Changes To Encourage More People To Invest in Rental Properties?

It was only a year or so ago that that landlords were asked to present needed changes to the Ministry. The request was for current landlords to suggest new policy ideas to help them succeed, and this would in turn encourage more people to become landlords in Ontario.

It was a good idea as with a better, fairer system more people would invest in rental properties and this would lead to more choices for tenants and more affordable rental housing in Ontario.

Our landlord members were not worried about increased competition from new landlords and investors. In fact, they were very enthusiastic and excited about getting changes that are desperately needed to help landlords continue to even run existing rentals. With a better system and more protections, landlords could better deal with bad tenants who abuse the system.

More Protections for Ontario Tenants But What About Fairness for Small Landlords?

When the Rental Fairness Act was announced in April many landlords were excited and expected to hear about new protections for small landlords. An Ottawa landlord organized an online event and many our members networked and watched the news conference on the Premier’s YouTube channel.

After the news conference good Ontario landlords were extremely disappointed, and many were upset.

For while there were many changes designed to help tenants, there was little to help small landlords. No one objected to helping good tenants but wasn’t the goal to encourage more great people to invest and create a lot more amazing rental properties?

A Toronto Landlord asked: “Why are the concerns of small landlords ignored as we are key stake-holders in Ontario and important rental housing providers!?”

Some of the major challenges Ontario landlords are facing include:

Evicting for Smoking

Dealing with tenants who smoke, and have this smoke bother other tenants, has been a problem for many small landlords for years. With new laws regarding marijuana this issue is just going to become larger and we need to find a solution.

Creating a New System to Help Landlords and Tenants with Pets

Our landlord members love pets and many have pets of their own. However, we need a way to make sure tenants take care of their pets and don’t damage the rental property. 

Ontario Landlords Association members suggested we create a voluntary “pet deposit”. Tenants with pets would pay a deposit to protect the small landlord from any damages from the pets (and they do happen). When the tenants move out they will get the deposit back if there aren’t any big damages. If their aren’t any pet damages and the landlord doesn’t give the deposit back the tenant can take pictures, file at the LTB, and get the deposit back.

Making the Rent Increase Guideline More Fair For Service Oriented Small Landlords

With even newer rental properties covered by the rent increase guideline (which is only 1.8% in 2018) we need a way to make sure the guideline covers the true cost increases landlords face.

Making the Landlord and Tenant Board More Efficient and Effective

When landlords have problems with renters in their properties we have to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to seek justice and fix the problems. While most LTB staff are hard working and professional, the way the LTB is designed needs to be improved.

-We cannot continue to have landlords waiting for weeks or even months to even get a Hearing date.

-We cannot continue to have tenants ‘ambushing’ landlords with maintenance claims at the Hearing.

-We need the Enforcement Office to enforce LTB evictions in a time sensitive way, meaning days not weeks or months 

This is just the start of issues that need to be addressed.

Closing Loopholes Exploited By Bad Tenants

We need to make sure the Landlord and Tenant Board process is fair and end loopholes that delay evictions. Some unethical tenants can delay being evicted for months.

The Rules For Small Landlords Need To Change

Small landlords are not huge corporations, massive REITS with stockholders and millions of dollars available from investors from all over the country and around the world.

Small Ontario landlords are working people who believe in the future of our province and have invested their hard-earned savings into Ontario rentals hoping for a better future. Many landlords are newcomers to Canada who want to run successful rental businesses as part of their contributions to their new country.

Ontario Landlords and Tenants Speak Out: “I Wish The Rental Fairness Act Was Fair For Landlords!”

We have asked many of the landlords who emailed in to expand on their concerns and stories of challenges they have faced owning rental properties in Ontario. We have also asked Ontario tenants who wrote in the same thing and look forward to posting their opinions and ideas.

By working together we can create a better, fairer Ontario rental industry that helps both good landlords and good tenants.

The current system just isn’t fair for small Ontario Landlords and that’s not fair

We need changes to be made to protect small landlords or we will see a big drop in investment and less high quality and affordable rental properties. We aren’t huge corporations who can put up ads near Queen’s Park and hold golf tournaments and invite Brian Mulroney to sip champagne with us…we are too busy working and taking care of our rental properties.

Who are small landlords?

We are teachers, contractors, electricians, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, Realtors…we are the people of Ontario. And we have been treated unfairly for too long.

Small landlords need support as we truly are important stake-holders in Ontario and need to be protected as the current system simply isn’t fair.

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

New Landlord Legal 2011 Lease Added to the OLA Rental Kit!

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Lease Help

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

What are the most important things to make sure I put in my lease to protect myself?

• Full legal names of all tenants

• Term of the lease (month by month, yearly, etc)
• Amount of the monthly rent and what that includes/excludes
• When the rent is due
• Appliances and/or Furnishings Included
• Address for Service for the Landlord
• Special Clauses About Everything Else

A Free Professional Ontario Lease from the OLA!!

Friday, July 9th, 2010

When you become an OLA Member you get access to the RENTAL KIT of helpful and realistic documents.

Here’s an example of the documents to help YOU SUCCEED!!