Posts Tagged ‘Ontario Landlords Association for small business landlords’

Canada’s Landlord Associations: Finding Strength in Numbers

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Forming a community with other landlords is paramount to success in the rental property business.

Jane Schweitzer, the Assistant Moderator for Ontario Landlords Association, points to one of the most crucial reasons for joining a landlord association: strength in numbers.

“Unfortunately, landlords are caught in the political crossfire in Ontario, and many of us are fighting for basic rights, as well as keeping our heads above water in a difficult legislative environment,” she says.  “By joining together we can further our cause.”

Ms. Schweitzer points out that Ontario landlords badly need to reform the Landlord and Tenant Board and OLA has been in contact with the Ontario Ombudsman to take up that cause. “All the support we can garner from members is crucial to making this happen,” she says. The OLA is also a regular contributor to news organizations around Ontario to make sure that the rights of landlords are not forgotten.

In Alberta, Directors of the Edmonton Apartment Association participated in committee to review and revamp the new Residential Tenancies Act, Ministerial Regulations and Code of Practice.  In addition, the EAA collaborated with the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations on federal tax issues.

The voice of landlords in British Columbia, the British Columbia Apartment Owners and Managers Association, was instrumental in eliminating the Provincial portion of HST on energy costs for landlords, and has made strides to obtain economic incentives for landlords.  Government lobbying is BCAOMA’s most important benefit – lobbying for their members with one strong, well-respected voice. BCAOMA develops and maintains key relationships and monitors municipal and provincial government officials who are critical in ensuring the success of the rental housing industry.

Small landlords can find a loud voice by joining with others who share the same economic interests and concerns.

Property Management Advice

Landlords can turn to their associations to offer tips and a forum to discuss everyday issues.  For instance, the Ontario Landlords Association landlord forum has over 30,000 posts in a year.

Edmonton landlords can participate in a number of networking and social functions and swap stories with other landlords.  In addition, the EAA website tracks market trends and offers notifications of changes in the tenancy laws.

BCAOMA offers a number of networking opportunities, as well as its Best Practices for Landlords 101 and 102, seminars that cover tenancies from tenant screening through eviction and dispute resolution.  BCAOMA hosts industry related meetings and seminars on a regular basis with a focus on important topics to assist landlords in making important decisions to secure a good return on their investment. Topics have included maintaining your property, attracting and keeping good tenants and understanding the provincial and municipal laws around apartment ownership.  BCAOMA members also have exclusive use of over 30 types of professionally-drafted tenancy forms, including applications, agreements and condition inspection reports.

Access to Landlord Services

Landlord Associations list trades persons and suppliers who support the rental industry.  From tenant credit checks to eviction assistance, the suppliers listed with landlord associations have been found to be excellent companies and are approved by other landlords.

In many cases, these companies offer the best pricing and many offer special discounts to association member landlords.

BCAOMA vows to increase a landlord’s net income on rental properties if landlords take advantage of the discounts it has brokered with trades and suppliers.

There are a number of Canadian landlord associations that offer landlords valuable benefits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered, find your voice, and profit in your rental business.


The Toronto Star, The OLA, and The Bedbug Issue

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Bedbug bill would force inspections on landlords

Published On Thu Sep 16 2010
Rob Ferguson Queen’s Park Bureau

New Democrat MPP Cheri DiNovo is pushing for a law forcing landlords to be licensed and their premises inspected for bedbugs, saying Ontario is “doing nothing” to stop the growing scourge of pests.

“The landlord simply doesn’t get their license renewed if they don’t have a bug-free unit,” the MPP for Parkdale-High Park said Thursday in proposing a private member’s bill.

“It protects good landlords and calls bad landlords to account.”

Landlords would be charged a small fee for each inspection, making the initiative self-funding, DiNovo said.

Her effort follows another bedbug bill by Liberal MPP Mike Colle (Eglinton-Lawrence) in June that would require landlords to present prospective tenants with a “bedbug information report” before a lease is signed.

DiNovo’s idea got a cool reception from Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Rick Bartolucci in the Legislature, who said he prefers Colle’s plan.

“It is an initiative that we should pay very, very close attention to and I look forward to seeing that private member’s bill work its way through the system.”

Private members’ bills rarely become law.

A group representing landlords who own five units or less—often in the same building where they live themselves—accused DiNovo of “political opportunism” for trying to lump bedbugs in with the larger issue of landlord licensing.

“Let’s focus on the bedbugs first,” said Stuart Henderson of the Ontario Landlords’ Association, which encourages its members to inspect and thoroughly clean units when tenants leave.

Landlords are “heavily regulated” as is and are required to treat any infestations reported, said Mike Chopowick of the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario.

But DiNovo said some landlords fight clean-up orders. She insisted Colle’s bill only requires disclosure of bedbugs and “simply doesn’t cut it.”

Bedbugs, which can live for up to 18 months without eating, are tiny and resilient. They reside in the smallest of spaces such as electrical outlets and vents. Their eggs can even withstand vacuuming.

So getting rid of the pests requires careful steaming and thorough vacuuming of carpets and broadloom, sealing of cracks, and washing of clothes and linens.

Toronto’s Public Health department receives thousands of calls for help each year. The department inspects thousands of apartments and holds dozens of seminars to help tenants.