My name is Kayla and I am a local Landlord of a 5 plex in the City of Cambridge . As of Dec 13 2011 our City Hall Councilors passed a Bylaw that made Landlords responsible for delinquent water accounts . This issue sparked interest to many Landlords in Cambridge and also tenants .
The City of Cambridge is not the only ones doing this . Kawartha Lakes , Waterloo , and Barrie are still fighting this issue . These are just a few of cities that I know of .Niagara Falls implemented the same By Law back in 2008 but Landlords there Protested this By Law and Won . The Landlords in Cambridge plan to do the same .
It is tough to be a Landlord these days .and now since the Provincial Legislation allows you municipality to do this ...Municipality's are . Proper wording of the Legislation is Followed :
In 2001 the Municipal Act in Ontario was completely revamped, becoming the Municipal Act, 2001
(the “Act”). As part of those changes, many of the provisions of the Public Utilities Act (the “Utilities
Act”) were repealed and brought within the ambit of the Act.
Little noticed among the changes at that time was the inclusion of a provision in the Act allowing
municipalities to add utility arrears incurred by a tenant to the tax bill of the property owner. Section
398(2) of the Act provides that a local municipality may, and upon the request of a local board, shall,
add fees and charges imposed by the municipality or local board to the tax roll. In the case of debts
owed to a public utility, those debts may be added to the tax roll of the property to which the public
utility was supplied. What this means is that property owners may be burdened with utility arrears
they have no control over.
The addition of this particular provision reversed the law in this area as established by court decisions
holding that it was not reasonable that a landlord should guarantee a utility charge where the
landlord was not the consumer: see for example the 1998 decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal
in 710357 Ontario Limited and 840703 Limited v. The Corporation of the Town of Penetanguishene and the
1991 decision of the Ontario Court of Justice in Bracebridge Hydro Electric Commission v. 796479 Ontario
Limited c.o.b. Riverside Apartments.
Niagara Falls ,Penetanguishene and Bracebridge ...Challenged the City directly and Won or went to court and Won and as of 2010 Barrie Landlords announced they are suing the City of Barrie for this water issue .
This By is going to effect Landlords Financially where it is not worth being a Landlord . Landlords have a hell of a time kicking a tenant out for non payment of rent , approx 5-6 months . Now tenants can stay in a rental unit with out paying rent or their water for approx 5- 6 months . This By law is leaving Landlords open for abusive tenants ...Bad tenants more then likely leave the water taps running 24/7 , since they can leave for a all inclusive apartment building and or Set up a new account for a payment of 230 dollars at a new address .
Landlords would need to battle a water billing tenant in Small claims court ...Long wait times , more money and no solution..cause the tenant could do a mid night move and be gone .
I took the risks of being a Landlord when I was 18 and I am now 26 . I bought a semi because the tenant paid for the water . I sold my semi to buy a 5 plex ...cause my tenants paid for their own water . I bought a duplex know I had to pay for the water and that is why I rent my 2 bedroom unit to one person and it will always be one person .
I should not be a co- signer for my tenant , I should not be a collection agency for the City of Cambridge and I should not have to PAY for someone else water bill DEBT .
Proving this By law UNJUST ..is a passion of Mine . I am young and I am looking out for mine and my family's future ..Got to invest somewhere ..right ?
The tenants are also getting a Crapping hand on this too . Now they have to pay a 230 dollars deposit for a new water accounts ( This fee was put in place by City of Cambridge to help cover cost to the Landlord for when a tenant goes Delinquent) If a tenant can not pay the 230 right away then the 230 can be put to the tenants first Bill . Always with the first bill ( Every BIll ) a 4 dollar tenant account fee is applied to the bill to cover the cost of handing the holding process of the 230 dollar deposit . Then a 60 days usage will be added and all the other water and waster water charge Approx 11.82 ..(Rates are going up for 2012 for Cambridge )
Tenants are also having all their personal info shared with their Landlords ...I know I wouldnt want my Landlord knowing my business and... this is when the privacy act comes into play .
Now tenants should be aware ...if a Landlord wants to spend the money to go through court ..they may lose their home because of a water bill . This is not right !!!! Also Tenants are going to be having a hard time find affordable housing . Landlords are going to be selecting the lease amount of people possible to rent their unit Due to the risk of a delinquent water bill .
I am looking for support from all the Landlords in Ontario to help Cambridge and the other Cities in Ontario battling this same issue . This By law is spreading across Ontario but Landlords need to stop it now before it goes further . We can will in Court too ..we need the firm group First .
I am not the greatest writer or speller so please forgive me but I hope I am getting the NEWS out and I would love to hear for Question , comments and thoughts on this issue that is destroying my small business
You can also contact me at andrade_k1985@email address I also do alot of my news spreading through the phone lol .
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I been talking to many Landlords and some are seeing delinquent water bills from tenants at 800-1000 dollars .
Steves your lucky you didnt have to pay alot of money... but did you have to go to court ?
How was your experience dealing with a tenants water bill ?
Sometimes with court cost ...you might as well pay the bill ...Spend money to get your money back ..I think it sucks
I forgot to metion in my post that :
When tenants get cut off because of non payment of the bill , a phone call is made to the Landlord to set up a time and date where there can be present at the building for the removal of the water meter ..A fee will then be given to the Landlord of 300 dollars . This fee covers the removal of the meter and the installing when the times comes . Tenants will have a transfer fee of 100 dollars ..
.I wait that will be the Landlords fee ..cause the bill is heading to the tax roll .
Thanks again for you comments
But as the public continues to learn how ontario landlords are abused, (in this case having to pay for tenants' overdue water bills), they will be less willing to become landords.
The result will be LESS private affordable housing.
I simply wont rent to any tenant unless they are "AAA". Stupid laws such as landlords having to pay tenants' water bills means I simply cant afford to take a risk on marginal tenants.
I think all Landlords in Ontario should ban together and Starting protesting our rights as a small business .
I know something will be done we just got to make alot of noise first ..so we can get the attention from Queens Park .
I totally away with you Skitter : Landlords are going to be dropping off like flies .
In Cambridge we are already having trouble with Affordable housing ..there is a 3-5 year waiting list for non profit housing . So I guess are taxes are going to go up since our City is going to need more buildings built for low income families .
Skitter is this By law in your City ?
I feel like when this By law is introduced in each City ..they are doing it very quickly and quietly ...So this issue doesn't get the attention it deserves .
Cambridge Just lost another investor ...
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Hydro is going to be the Landlords responsible soon , unless Landlords stand up for more rights .
If no one is raising a sink ..then nothing will be done for the present Landlords and future ones .
I am trying to get as much media attention on this issue ...so something gets down about this .
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silky28 wrote:I had a Toronto hydro guy at the house today and I asked him about tenants not paying bills. He said they have and are continuing to change thei policies an now if a tenant doesn't pay they turn the electrical off.
Different utility providers have different policies.
The one constant appears to be landlords getting stuck with water bills. There was a post here in 2011 about a landlord facing a tenant water bill over over $800.
Outsourced Companies want more money to handle the water billing since the Smart meters came into to play for Hydro .
The Hydro company in Cambridge would have to hire people for meter reads for the water and since the City didnt not want to pay the extra they took responsibility of handing the water accounts .
Now Since Cambridge took over the water billing people are getting charged deposits , renters fees , higher fee prices and water increase rates . It is a money maker for all Cities , hints why more and more Cities are doing the same By law .
I am not looking forward to my first delinquent water bill plus non payment of rent ....I will lose alot money since it takes about 6 months to evict a tenant .
This By law also includes Residential , Commercial and Industrial ....Waiting for the Big Boys to start speaking up against this outrageous By law .
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If I owned Industrial or Commercial and I had a laundry mat business renting one of my units ...I could be stuff with a huge bill ...
Right now in Cambridge there are 3000 rental water accounts and only 185 are under the by law as of right now ...so I guess we should wait until more people find out about the by law and get stuck with water bills , they may not recover in court .
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