Posts Tagged ‘ontario landlords assocation’

We Invite Good Tenants To Help Us Improve The Ontario Rental Industry in 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

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Good Tenants Are Invited To Write Blog Posts, Help Our Tenants Forum & Contribute to Policy Recommendations

It all seems so simple. You own a property and you want to rent it out.  You have a great property and are looking for awesome tenants. You set your rent at a competitive market rate and advertise it.

Or you are looking for a property to rent and want to find a good apartment. An apartment that is clean, safe and priced right. You are looking to rent from a knowledgeable and responsible landlord to avoid any potential headaches.

Simple right?

Yet without good leadership and a strong voice from all those involved even the simplest things can become complicated. This is the reality in Ontario these days as the rental process has become overly complicated and filled with needless conflict and potential land mines for both good landlords and good tenants.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

What Do Good Small Ontario Landlords Want?

Good landlords who are service-oriented and caring with superb rental properties are looking for good tenants.

We don’t want too much. Our criteria is actually very simple and it’s nothing personal, just business. For years we’ve been told by tenant activists to run our rentals as a business.

We look for tenants who pay rent on time and respect the rental property and other tenants. For example, if you agreed to “no smoking” in the property then don’t smoke in it.  If you need your fix go outside and don’t bother other tenants. If you have a pet or pets just be up front with us.  Don’t secretly bring in your cats the day after you move in when other tenants might be allergic to them.

Oh, and we simply ask you treat us like human beings and not some faceless corporate landlord who might not even live here. We have families here, loved ones, and have invested a lot of money to create a terrific rental space for you. If you don’t pay the rent it hits our family budget hard. Follow the rules and see us not only your landlord, but as your neighbour.

What Do Good Tenants Want?

We have already heard from thousands of tenants giving their side of the story. It’s clear that renting in Ontario can be an expensive, frustrating and stressful experience. We’ve made sure our landlords are aware of this.

Many tenants have told us their landlord doesn’t fix things. Also some landlords view tenants as monthly pay cheques instead of human beings working hard with their studies or jobs and, like everyone else, can experience health or family issues. Tenants are people and they ask that they be treated better (especially by the corporate landlords). It’s clear that Ontario tenants are unhappy with corporate landlords and how they do business. Tenants are demanding landlords know the rules, follow them, and treat tenants as people and not just a monthly e-deposit in the bank.

Let’s Work Together To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

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We are working hard on this and will make problems with the rental industry a huge issue in 2018. We’re working tirelessly for small landlords and making a difference. And this is why we want good tenants to join us and play a role in our growth and reach.

What about Ontario tenants now?

There are the same old ‘tenant groups’ out there but many of them still seem to be preaching “fight the power” and creating conflict with their landlord. A few bad corporation or small investors lead to usual calls to “license all landlords!” or “we cannot trust anyone who owns land!” Trotskyite ravings are so 1970s and do nothing to help Ontario tenants.

Conflict is not the solution. Many Ontario tenants have said they have no where to go for help as these radical groups don’t really seem to want solutions, only more conflict and more fighting. This just isn’t right.

We Invite Good Tenants To Join Our Team in 2018

As we grow and make an even bigger impact in 2018 we invite good tenants to join our community and play an important role in making positive change. With so many emails already sent in it’s clear that good Ontario tenants are as frustrated as we landlords are with the current unacceptable situation.

One of the most common issues sent in is about tenants wanting to help their landlords deal with bad tenants in their rental unit. Many tenants are shocked that landlords cannot quickly evict tenants who smoke, grow pot, have huge parties, damage the property, don’t take out their garbage, etc.

Here’s How You Can Help

You can help in many ways.The key thing is to take the time to get involved. Your opinions and actions count.

1. Write About Your Ideas and Experiences Being a Tenant In Ontario

We are looking for good tenants to write blogs about your experiences. Let us know what you have gone through as someone looking for a rental property in Ontario. Did you have a good experience? A bad one? Let us know and we will put your thoughts on our hugely popular homepage.

2. Tenant Community Leaders for The Ontario Tenant Forum

Many tenants have emailed us saying the LTB and some tenant groups are simply not helping them. This is why we are asking good tenants to play a key role in running our new and improved tenant forum.  Our tenant forum was the busiest in Canada before. However, there was far too much needless fighting between tenants and landlords.  The mission statement of our new tenant forum is to help good tenants by creating a safe space for communication and helpful advice.

We are looking for 10 experienced Ontario tenants to help moderate our Tenant forum and make it as helpful as possible for other Ontario tenants to learn from.  As Tenant Community Leader who will be able to invite other verified tenants to join our forum to help educate the community by posting questions and participating in positive debate and helping provide solutions.

3. Tenant Volunteers for Workshops and Seminars

We are looking for good tenants to help us with upcoming workshops and seminars. You can play a role as a speaker or contributor.

4. Tenant Contributors to Make Suggests On Ontario Rental Industry Policy Changes

We are looking for good tenants to help us create submissions to the Ministry. Let’s make sure those who can change things know what we need. Play an important role working with our Landlord Community Leaders is create landlord and tenant solutions and help fix the Ontario rental industry.

We Want Good Tenants To Play A Role In Our Community

We are going to get aggressive in 2018 to improve the rental industry. This includes lots of lobbying for legislative changes, an assertive presence in the 2018 provincial election and our top legal team protecting our rights (some peoples lives are going to get very complicated).

Good tenants will play a role in making 2018 a year to remember. We want tenants who aren’t interested in listening to activists in salaried positions “defending tenants” while they own their own homes. Who aren’t interested in groups that seek out conflict with a mantra of “all landlords are bad” while nothing really happens to really help people renting.

We want a mature, sophisticated discussion between experienced landlords and tenants.

Let’s work together for positive change to help both good landlords but also good tenants! If you have a history of helping tenants and putting forward tenant issues we want you to be one of our tenant community leaders and invite those looking for help to join our fast growing community.  Email us at and let us know who you are, what your are experiences are, and how you want to help.  The more information you provide the better your chances of being selected. The deadline for applications is Jan. 15. (Please note only those accepted with be replied to).

Update January 15, 2018

Thank you for the overwhelming response of Tenants across Ontario! We now have filled the available positions for Ontario Tenant Community leaders. Keep watching for our next recruitment drive!

The OLA and OLA Members in the Globe and Mail!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

The landlord blues


From Tuesday’s Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 3:18PM EDT

Mathieu Mazur-Goulet has three tenants living in the house he bought a year ago in an up-and-coming Ottawa neighbourhood, but he’s still waiting to break even. The 26-year-old government policy analyst bought the triplex for $257,000 and expected he’d pull in $2,700 each month to cover his fixed costs and return a modest profit.

But unexpected repair costs have made what he thought would be a great long-term investment a major drain on his personal savings. He bought the house thinking it was the perfect “passive” investment: He wanted to live in it after he started a family and planned to rent it out until then.

In a time of economic uncertainty, the idea of investing in property rather than mutual funds can be attractive, and figures indicate that more Canadians are getting into the landlord game. The Toronto Real Estate Board says the number of leased properties is on the rise; between May and August, 6,712 condominiums and townhouses were rented – an increase of 18 per cent from last year’s figures. “Many newly completed units are held by investors who have chosen to rent their units,” the board says in its most recent newsletter.

But new small-scale landlords are often hit with the costs of unexpected repairs, the struggle to find good tenants and the stress of not knowing whether the rent will be paid each month. While it may seem like a lucrative way to invest your money long term, getting cash flow out of an income property is not always a passive affair.

Without properly evaluating how rentable a unit is, income properties can lead to bad credit. “Maybe the property is vacant for a period of time,” says Ryan Chelak, an Oakville, Ont., real estate broker. “You start getting behind on your mortgage, which is a tight leash to handle.”

For Mr. Mazur-Goulet, the problems began just hours after he bought the house. His insurance broker said he wouldn’t cover rental properties. Another wanted to charge him $5,000 a year, while some required detailed (and expensive) inspection reports. He finally found one that was willing to insure the house without making it unmarketable.

But that was far from the last hiccup.

It turned out the previous owner fancied himself a handyman. The bathroom in the basement apartment was industrial carpet on top of poorly laid vinyl tile on top of plywood. The unit sat vacant for months (the two others were occupied by long-term tenants) as Mr. Mazur-Goulet fixed the bathroom and made other repairs.

But poor maintenance wasn’t limited to that part of the house.

“One Sunday, I received a voice mail from my tenant telling me, ‘Mathieu, my ceiling is raining,’ ” he says. “You couldn’t imagine the dread that came over me at the time.”

He had to dip into his personal savings for the $5,500 to cover a partial roof replacement. This month, the hot water heater went bust and he had to spend $2,500 to replace it. Neither of these were costs he could pass on to his tenants, though he can write them off against his income at tax time.

Now, with all three units occupied, he’s bringing in $2,700 a month in rent, while trying to stay on top of expenses of $2,500 (which include mortgage payments, insurance and property tax as well as some repairs). But he has some financial catch-up to do.

What’s he’s thankful for, though, are good tenants. He joined the Ontario Landlords Association, which gave him tips before he purchased the triplex. After reading other members’ horror stories, he learned the importance of finding the right people. He carefully checked the references of those applying for the basement unit before he found the ideal candidate.

Jane Schweitzer wasn’t so lucky.

The 39-year-old, who works in dental administration, says she went through much turmoil last year when she tried to get rid of a problem tenant who lived in a Brantford, Ont., house Ms. Schweitzer and her husband own.

While real estate is affordable in Brantford, the rental market is hardly booming, which meant she did not have much choice in tenants. Various problems mounted until Ms. Schweitzer initiated eviction proceedings, a process that dragged through the Landlord and Tenant Board for months before the woman left.

“It consumes your life,” Ms. Schweitzer says. “You feel your house is being held hostage on you.”

Income properties just aren’t worth the trouble to her now. She plans to sell the house.

Dave Peniuk also chose a seemingly good deal over rental-market research and had to pay for it in a big way.

He was inspired to buy two multiunit houses in Niagara Falls, Ont., after seeing a late-night infomercial on investments properties. He forked over a few thousand dollars to attend a hotel seminar that promised no-money-down deals and that he’d make enough to retire after just six months. He waited for the money to roll in.

He had little idea who was renting his units, since he paid a property manager (whom he’d inherited with the house) to find tenants. After 10 months, about half the units were vacant on a semi-permanent basis. The rental income wasn’t covering Mr. Peniuk’s $3,600 monthly expenses.

He spent $10,000 trying to spruce up two long-vacant units in the six-plex but even that wasn’t enough to attract tenants to what had become known in that seedy neighbourhood to be a crack house.

He eventually sold the houses. By the end, he lost $35,000 out of his own pocket.

Mr. Peniuk still wasn’t ready to give up on the income property game – he knew he just needed to gain skills to play it better.

He moved to Burnaby, B.C., in 2006 and started to buy properties in Kelowna, Nanaimo and Toronto. He hired some highly recommended property managers to look after the B.C. units. He has a strict process in place for screening tenants, and he makes sure that all sign detailed rental agreements.

Now, he and his wife are full-time investors with $5.5-million in rental real estate.

“It’s not a superactive business, but it should not be considered passive,” he says. “It’s like any investment. You don’t just buy a stock. You should do your research on it.”