Ontario Landlords Association

Welcome to the OLA for Small Business Landlords

The Ontario Landlords Association (OLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect our members' interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Ontario Landlords: Rent Increase Guideline 2014

December 25th, 2013

Ontario landlords Rent Increase Guideline 2014

How Much Can Landlords in Ontario Raise the Rent in 2014?

If you are a landlord in Ontario you face what is called ‘rent control.’

This means in many cases how much you can charge for rent is controlled by the government.

As we wrote in June about how much Ontario landlords can increase the rent in 2014 the government announces a Rent Increase Guideline, usually in the early summer before the coming year.

This is the announcement from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing informing Ontario landlords rent increases for the next calendar year.

We have had lots of landlords from all over the province asking us to clarify and confirm how much they can raise the rent in 2014 and here is your answer:

HOW MUCH CAN ONTARIO LANDLORDS RAISE THE RENT?

Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 0.8% in 2014

That is the allowable increase according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for the province.

Is the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline Too Low?

Many landlords think it is.

After all, landlords still have not been allowed to catch up to the added costs for when the HST was implemented.

Is 0.8% a realistic example of the increased costs Ontario landlords face?

Whether you are a Toronto landlord, invest in Ottawa rentals or have properties in a smaller area and become a Newmarket landlord, many property investors and landlords say no.

Let’s look at some of the increasing costs for  landlords in our province:

1. How about the increased prices of your property taxes?

2. What about increase costs from the people we depend on to maintain our rental units?

3. Many small landlords are facing increases over 5% for services such as water.

I Need To Do Major Improvements on the Property Including a New Roof.

Is There A Way To Increase the Rent More Than 2.5%?

If you want to raise the rent more than the guideline you can apply for what is called an Above Guideline Increase through the Landlord and Tenant Board.

You can apply if the cost of your municipal taxes and charges or your utilities have increased more than the following formula: the rent increase guideline + 50%.

You can apply for increased costs due to capital expenditures or investing in security services.

Are All Residential Landlords Covered By The Rent Increase Guideline?

No, not all.

You do not have to follow the Guideline if your situation in one of the following:

1. The rental was not occupied for any purpose before June 17th, 1998

This means your rental property was built after June 17th, 1998 or you have built a new unit in your property that was never occupied before June 17th, 1998.

2. The rental unit was never previously rented since July 29th, 1975

This means only the owner has lived in the property since the date of July 29th, 1975.

3. No part of the building was occupied for residential purposes before Nov. 1st  1991

This means the property was converted from commercial to residential or was not built or occupied until after November 1st, 1991.

Ontario Landlords and the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline

 For more information see the Landlord and Tenant Board Website

To discuss this and other issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

Ontario Landlords 2014: Landlord Licensing in Windsor?

 December 20, 2013Ontario Landlords Association 2014 Landlord Licensing Windsor landlords

The new year is an important one for Ontario Landlords and we are upbeat.

Despite a very low Rent Increase Guideline of only 0.8% in 2014 more and more landlords are doing proper tenant screening and renting to all the good tenants out there (and avoiding the pro tenants who are out there and ready to prey on unsuspecting landlords).

There are still going to be challenges.

For example, we’ve received hundreds of emails from Windsor landlords concerned about landlord licensing.

The rumours all over the internet that landlords would require a license to operate in 2014 spread fast around the landlord and residential property investor community in October.

After all, Windsor landlords are looking forward to a positive and successful new year.

The vacancy rate keeps getting lower and more and more good tenants are choosing our city as their new home.

With proper tenant screening landlords all over the city can expect to find tenants who pay rent on time and are take care of the property they are renting.

The idea of landlords having to get license is upsetting because it’s the wrong type of policy for our city.

What Is Landlord Licensing?

This is a government policy that exists for Oshawa landlords and Waterloo landlords renting to students.

It means the government requires landlords to pay a fee and apply to get a license to be a residential landlord.

There are also annual inspections, new rules for how many rooms which can be in a rental unit and lots more. (In some cases it even requires small landlords to get a criminal check!)

Starting in January 2014 Mississauga landlords will need to get a license. The rules are strict and the fees are high. 

Earlier this year the City of Hamilton wanted to license landlords who owned properties with six rooms or less.

Hamilton landlords fought back! They were united and made a strong case about why licensing, which they called a ‘tenant tax’ was a bad policy option.

The government decided to move in another direction.

The hard work of Hamilton landlords paid off and good landlords and good tenants all over the city were rewarded for their courage and hard work!

What’s The Truth about Windsor Landlord Licensing?

The Ontario Landlords Association contacted the Windsor government to get some answers.

Mr. Michael Chantler, the Supervisor of Licencing & Deputy Licence Commissioner at the Office of the City Clerk for the City of Windsor was very helpful in replying to the questions on the minds of many Windsor landlords.

Mr. Chantler believes rumours of landlord licensing deal with the City of Windsor’s “Residential Rental Housing” report which is still in the developmental phase.

Here are some of the answers to the OLA’s questions:

1. Will Windsor License landlords in 2014?

The Licensing Department has not been given direction by Council to license landlords in 2014.

2. Is there any plan to license landlords in the future?

The Licensing Department has not been given direction to license landlords at any time in the future.

3. When will the report to City council be submitted and discussed regarding landlord fees, licenses, etc.?

There is a report being prepared regarding “Rental Housing” that is very complex and takes into account more than just a Licensing component. There are several different departments involved including, but not limited to, Fire, Planning, Licensing and Building. There is no firm date set for the report, but I believe it will probably go to Council in 2014.

4. Is there a way Windsor landlords can express their opinions to the government?

As with any major public issue, citizens can call 311, send a letter or call their Councillor/Mayor’s Office directly to provide their opinion.

However, you must keep in mind that the Members of Council don’t have a report before them to discuss at this time.

Some multiple property owners have already sent written submissions to Administration in Licensing.

If/when a report on this item does go forward: there will be opportunities for a delegation to appear at a City Council meeting.

Let’s Say NO to Landlord Licensing in Windsor and Other Cities in Ontario

Windsor landlords, like all landlords in Ontario are facing challenges from governments who don’t value the services small landlords provide and the important role we play in providing high quality, affordable housing to tenants all over the province.

Landlords need to be proactive in getting information about government plans and make our voice heard.

The Ontario Landlords Association and our thousands of members will continue to fight to make a difference in 2014.

Ontario Landlords Warning: Tenants and Fake Credit Checks

 December 1st, 2013Ontario Landlords Tenant Credit Checks

With More Landlords Demanding Tenant Credit Checks Some Tenants Are Ready With Their Fraudulent Reports!

There are a lot of wonderful tenants out there.

No matter where you are in Ontario, landlords know that with an attractive property at the right price, and with proper tenant screening, you can find good tenants are there.

There are also not-so-good tenants as well.

These tenants can make a your life miserable and cost you a fortune.

These are tenants who lead many landlords to give up and sell their rental properties.

Smart Landlords Screen Tenants Carefully

More and more Ontario Landlords and landlords across the province are doing very careful tenant screening these days.

Landlords from Ottawa, Toronto and Scarborough know tenant screening is key.

This tenant screening approach always includes tenant credit checks.

Good Tenants Appreciate Professional Landlords

Most tenants are reasonable and will understand you want to know who you are renting to.

They will respect your screening process.

If your rental is a multi-unit property they will appreciate the time and effort you take to find their future neighbours.

If a potential tenant has bruised credit, it’s a chance for you to discuss it and still rent to them.

Some Tenants Are Adapting and Finding New Ways to Rip Off Small Landlords

Now let’s get back to those bad tenants.

The post on the Ontario Landlords Association forum was about a tenant who seemed to know more and more landlords were demanding tenant credit checks and was ready.

The post began with the landlord saying:

“I’ve been reading here for over a year when I started looking for my first investment property. I purchased a duplex and began looking for renters earlier this month.”

The Landlord had a couple who came to see the rental property and wanted to rent from him.

He said that the couple both came with letters of employment and offered them to him

One of the employment letters didn’t look real.

The interested tenants also offered an Equifax Tenant Credit Report

The interested tenant said she knew landlords wanted tenant credit reports.

She handed him a some papers saying this was proof she was financially responsible and a good tenant…and enough evidence the landlord should rent to them.

The Landlords describes what happened next:

“She spoke about how good her credit score was and that is important. She showed it to me and the score was over 720.

The problem…it didn’t have her name on it only the Equifax logo and the score.

Everything else looked like it can been covered and photocopied. No name, no anything except the logo and the score.”

The Landlord Didn’t Fall For It

“I told her I would do my own check once they filled out the application I downloaded here. You should have seen the look on their faces.

They took the application and haven’t emailed it to me or called back. These types of people are out there.”

Equifax Tenant Screening Credit Checks

We Called Our Partner Equifax Canada To Learn How To Deal With This And Protect Landlords

Paul Le Vevre is the Director of Operations for Equifax Canada.

Here Paul’s advice for landlords.

1.Credit Reports Always Have the Name and Address of the Person

Firstly, I can confirm that when a consumer either obtains a copy of their credit file (either on line or in person from Equifax), the file copy ALWAYS contains the name/address (plus date of birth and SIN if available) of the consumer.

Personal identification is an integral portion of the file, without exception.

2. Landlords Need To Do Their Own Credit Checks

The only method to ensure the credit file contains true/authentic data is to have the landlord access directly from Equifax (either the file or related products such as Tenant Selector).

Copies of files provided by the consumer are not to be considered valid due to the specific examples you cited.

Experienced Ontario landlords know tenant screening, including credit checks, are an essential part of their success.

Make sure you stay ahead of the game and in control by conducting your own credit checks and making sure you find the good tenants you and your rental property deserve.

Tenant Screening for Ontario Landlords: Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks

 Ontario landlords Tenant Credit Checks Tenant Criminal Checks

Lots of Good Tenants Are Out There, Make Sure You You Find Them With A Tenant Credit Check

The Ontario Landlords Association continues to stress the importance of tenant screening to landlords across Ontario.

We’ve seen far too many ‘Tenant from Hell’ nightmarish situations landlords have faced this year.

The cases are broad and reveal a huge variety of abuse of landlords and their income properties their hard-earned money allowed them to buy.

This abuse includes everything from non-payment of rent, to damages,and more.

We Demand More Respect for Small Business Landlords

Small landlords in Ontario are an important provider of high quality, affordable housing for tenants.

We are an important part of the Ontario social and financial system.

Most Ontario landlords are decent, hard-working people who have risked thousands of dollars to create rental property businesses.

They took a risk, invested lots of money, and hope for a decent return on their investment.

They also expect a fair system for landlord and tenant disputes.

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair to Small Landlords

Landlords across Ontario face bad tenants who abuse the Landlord and Tenant Board regularly.

We have seen numerous cases where landlords have been abused by their bad tenants and the system in 2013.

We are calling for changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and major reform to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We are also calling for a new joint tenant-landlord oversight of the Tenant Duty Counsel program which many landlords believe is not serving it’s original purpose.

The Globe and Mail also says bad tenants are the reason so many landlords decide to leave the industry and sell their income property.

How Can I Be a Successful Landlord in Ontario?

There are lots of good tenants out there. You need to find them to avoid the anti-landlords system in Ontario.

Good tenants will always pay the rent. They will also show consideration to the landlord and not damage the rental property.

The problem is there is a minority of bad tenants who are often very aggressive.

You need to make sure to avoid renting to these bad tenants and make your rental business open to all the good tenants out there who want to find a great rental property and a professional and courteous landlord.

How Can I Find Good Tenants?

According to the Toronto Star, bad tenants can be avoided with proper tenant screening.

You need to make sure you know who you are renting to before you sit down to sign the lease, take first and last, and hand over the keys.

Tenant Credit Checks

A tenant check is absolutely essential for Ontario landlords.

A tenant check doesn’t lie.

It provides you with a comprehensive financial history of the person who wants to rent your property.

What you will see may amaze you.

You can find out if your potential tenant pays (or doesn’t pay) their bills.

You will see if your potential tenant has mistreated past landlords and received judgments.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

A tenant credit check allows you to really get to know the person (tenant) you are doing business with (renting out your property too).

The Ontario Landlords Association works with the highest quality of companies to give you the services you need to succeed.

For a one time member fee we offer you affordable costs on tenant credit checks and other services.

Take your rental business seriously and aim for success by screening your tenants carefully and finding one of the many good tenants out there!

Mississauga Landlords Ask – What’s Going On With Landlord Licensing?

October 18th, 2013

Mississauga landlords landlord licensing

Mississauga Landlords Have Questions and We Have Answers

We are happy to report more and more Mississauga landlords are networking and sharing knowledge, news and advice in 2013.

Mississauga is the 6th largest city in Canada. It’s vibrant and growing fast. And so is the rental market.

Growth means more people looking for safe, high quality rental housing.

Opportunities and Challenges

More tenants leads to more people either becoming residential landlords or thinking about it.

With lots of qualified tenants coming to Mississauga it’s a great time to be a landlord.

It’s important landlords are aware of the opportunities to invest in Mississauga rental properties.

It’s also important to take great care in making sure you know the rules and laws. If you don’t you can face some big challenges.

For example, look at what happened when a Mississauga landlord demanded a tenant pay a year of rent upfront.

Licensing Mississauga Landlords

One of those challenges is landlord licensing.

Staring on January 2, 2014 Mississauga landlords will be required to get a government issued license for their secondary suites. The aim of the program is to ensure second units are safe.

Questions and More Questions

We’ve received a lot of emails with questions about this program.

There is lots of helpful information on the City website. We informed our members to start there.

However, many of our members still had important questions about licensing beyond the city website.

We contacted the City of Mississauga and their helpful staff provided important answers to the most common questions sent to us.

Mississauga Landlord Licensing Questions

(1) Can apartments be grandfathered? 

     If they are grandfathered, does that mean they don’t need to be licensed?

Effective January 2, 2014, all second units in Mississauga require a license under Second Unit Licensing By-law 204-13 to ensure they are safe.

Second units that were permitted under previous legislation may considered to be ‘grandfathered” subject to having received applicable approvals such as compliance with the Fire Code or Building Permit approval and can produce these approvals.

These “grandfathered” units will still require a license under By-law 204-13.


(2) If the property owner doesn’t live upstairs in a unit with a basement apartment, but

     a relative does, how does this influence the licensing fee?

It does not affect the licensing fee.

If the owner lives in the dwelling, an application for a license for an owner-occupied dwelling can be submitted to the City.

The license fee for a second unit in an owner- occupied dwelling is $500 with annual renewal fee of $250. 

If the owner does not live in dwelling, an application for an investment dwelling will need to be submitted to the City. The requirement to live on the property only applies to the owner registered on title and not relations.

The license fee for a second unit for an investment dwelling is $1000 with an annual renewal fee of $500. 


(3) If a property cannot meet licensing requirements and the tenant has to move out, will the city

     provide the tenant compensation or will that be up to the landlord (if the tenant demands it)?

The City will not provide compensation if the owner cannot meet licensing requirements.

These properties will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

(4) Does licensing allow a tenant in a licensed property to call the city if they have complaints?

A tenant can call the City at any time regarding a rented second unit, before or after the unit has been licensed.

Many complaints to the City gets are from tenants.


(5) Can a license be revoked? If so how?

A license can be revoked.

Some of the circumstances when a license might be revoked are if the terms of the license are not being met, if complaints are not being addressed or if there is a safety issue.

The Second Unit Licensing By-law has specific provisions which set out the reasons in which a License may be revoked including advising the applicant or licensee in writing of the reasons for the revocation and how the decision to revoke can be appealed.

Professional Landlords Get Ready

We would like to thank the City of Mississauga staff for their assistance in helping our Mississauga landlord membership get a better understanding of landlord licensing and help them prepare for it.

Good tenants appreciate professional landlords who follow the rules.

Make sure you are ahead of the curve and make sure you know the regulatory environment you face and how to meet these regulations. January 2, 2014 is just around the corner.