Toronto Star – “Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.”
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 landlord interests to national and local government.
Toronto Star – “Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.”
Marijuana Will Be Legal In Canada On October 17th, 2018 And The Current Rules Allow Ontario Tenants To Smoke Weed In Our Rentals and Even Grow Plants!
Experienced, Veteran Ontario Landlords Say This Will Lead To Disaster For Small Landlords Across Ontario.
Other Provinces Have Made Changes To Protect Landlords…And We Need Changes Too!
Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected From Tenants Smoking Weed In Our Rental Properties and Growing Marijuana Plants.
We Also Need A New Quick And Efficient Way To Evict Tenants Who Smoke or Grow Causing Huge Problems for Other Tenants In the Unit.
We Need To Protect Landlords, Our Tenants, and Those Investing in Rental Properties in Ontario!
Let Premier Ford and Housing Minister Clark Know We Need Urgent Changes.
Ontario Landlords Share Their Experiences. Read And Learn To Make Your Investment A Success
We asked landlords across Ontario to write in to us and share their experiences being small business landlords. We would then share these experiences with other landlords and investors.
The purpose is to provide a venue for people to let others know what they are going through and share the types of challenges and opportunities they are experiencing.
This would not only allow people to make their voice heard, but to also improve landlord knowledge and help our entire community learn the challenges out there and how to protect ourselves and succeed.
The response has been overwhelming.
Not only have we received thousands of stories, but the anger and frustration of just about every submission stands out. The reality is the current rules aren’t fair for Ontario landlords.
Email after email had a similar theme: “There is no balance”. “Everything is on the tenants side”. “We Need Changes”.
If you find a nice reasonable tenant who respects you and your property you will be fine. And there are lots of these tenants out there and you need to find them..
This is why the Ontario Landlords Association teaches the importance of being a professional landlord, with a great property, at a competitive price. This is what great tenants are looking for. They are also looking for a landlord who experienced and knowledgeable and knows their rights and responsibilities.
However, if a tenant wants to “use the system” they can go for months on end not paying rent, make huge damages to your property (often with no repercussions), or make your life a living Hell.
Here are just some of the thousands submissions from hard-working, decent people who became landlords. These are people who believed in the future of Ontario and put their hard-earned money to invest in rental properties and run a successful rental business. They invested with the plan of being a terrific landlord with an amazing rental property for a great tenant.
After all, most OLA members rented before. It could have been as a student, or new immigrant to Canada, or just saving for a down payment. OLA members want to be the “perfect landlord” we always wanted to rent from (and often couldn’t find).
Sadly many new landlords have faced huge challenges. So many things went wrong due to an unfair system that requires dramatic changes.
These are only some of their stories.
I am writing this letter seeking for help and fair treatment as a private landlord who purchased the property as my only home but can’t assume it after renting it to a professional tenant who clearly wants to live in my property for free and also blackmail me.
I purchased my condo in 2017 and rented it out to a tenant with a one-year lease because the purchase cost me every penny and I needed some cash flow to pay off the debt I borrowed to purchase this condo.
Starting in Spring, the tenant’s post-dated cheques consecutively bounced, yet the tenant refused to pay me the admin charge for each returned cheque from their bank.
A month later in, when I was conducting a regular inspection of the rental unit, I found the tenant damaged the property by inserting many nails into each wall in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, which is a clear breach of the lease agreement we signed. There are also stains on the wall. The tenant denied they made any of the changes and refused to either fix the damages or pay me the cost to fix.
What’s worst is, the tenant and her representative insulted, coerced, intimidated and threatened me during the entire inspection. While I have evidence from witness – report and testimony- the tenant was still trying to lie about the fact and sued me for thousands of dollars for harassing them. Apparently this tenant is trying to live in my property for free in another way, as they threatened.
The tenant’s threat and continuous harassment to me greatly traumatized me and I don’t want to move back, not to mention now I can’t even get my property back.
Thanks to the ridiculous Residential Tenancies Act in Ontario, I need to pay the one-month rent as compensation even if I need my property back for my own use!! I am now forced to sell the property, which I bought as my only home, in order to kick them out.
When I applied for an eviction order in the summer, the hearing was first scheduled in early August, and then got rescheduled in November, which is even after the end of the lease, because the tenant suggested to the judge that they didn’t think there was enough time to finish the hearing that day and it actually got rescheduled in three months as they wished!!
Apparently this tenant knows how to abuse the system in their favor and they got it. I filed an application, ended up getting a hearing in 5 months.
I feel so powerless and helpless when dealing with a nasty tenant like this because the law is not to protect landlords at all.
I can’t image what I am facing in the hearing as currently every law and actions from the Landlord and Tenant Board are favoring the tenant and I can’t get a hearing happen as scheduled. Not to mention I need to pay, as a landlord, $175 to file an application while tenant only needs to pay $45 to do the same thing.
This system is so broken that I’d rather sell my property to not to be part of it. And I am sure that I am not the only landlord who’s trapped and hurt in this unfair system. Please help me, and do something to correct this system that only favors tenants and gives landlord little choice.
We own several rental houses near Toronto. Recently we are going after our tenant who left us piles of junk, broken cabinets and shower heads,hole in drywall,and unpaid hydro bills, thousands worth. Not to mention we didn’t want pets in our house and they brought in pets.
I know of another landlords personally, who experienced such.
It caused us endless sleepless nights, stress, nightmares!
Recently I had to attend the LTB to get a judgement against a tenant who stopped paying rent.
It started with a reason (excuse) that he lost his job. He stated on the application that he was a plumber. Oddly, I have a few friends who own private plumbing companies. I asked them if they needed employees. They offered me the job to offer the tenant. Its hard to find plumbers.
I texted the offer to the tenant….. no answer. I emailed the offer….no answer. I phoned directly. He didn’t pick up the phone. I passed by the property to let him know. At this point he stated that he works for his grandfathers company unlicensed and this is the reason why he wouldn’t respond.
Whenever there was an issue with the property or appliance I would always be there within 24 hours. I’m a fully licensed mechanic and am very capable of doing any type of manual labour skillfully. Also this is my investment and treat it seriously!
At this point I asked him when he’d be able to make a payment. He said a couple weeks. Anyhow I as a caring individual gave him the benefit of the doubt.
After months with no rent I finally filed the proper documentation with the LTB. I offered him $1000 for first months rent elsewhere as this upper 3 bedroom unit was obviously to much for him to handle at over a thousands dollars + utilities.
The funny thing is I get along with the neighbours and started getting calls from them that strange people have been coming and going from the property. Shady types apparently. I got another call from another neighbour who stated he watched the tenant carry a brand new 60” top of the line 4k LED TV in a box (with help) into the upper unit. I had to see so I scheduled an inspection for 48 hours later.
I completed the inspection and sure enough therein was mounted on the wall while he was high playing video games. It doesn’t sound to me like he was making an effort to pay rent and realized at that moment I was taken for a ride.
At the LTB hearing the arbitrator heard overwhelming evidence of his lack of commitment with nothing thrown my way. The arbitrator asked any issues with the landlord or property. The tenant said no. The arbitrator asked why he hasn’t paid the rent. He stated he lost his job. The arbitrator asked all the right questions to ascertain his motives.
I left the LTB feeling confident I was going to get the eviction order in 11 days( the minimum). By this point I am now 4 months without rent and the arbitrator gave me 20 days before I could file the eviction order with the sheriff for eviction. But the sheriff is backed up so much with evictions at the moment that there is a 4 week waiting period. So now I’ve got to wait 20 days plus 4 weeks to finally get him evicted.
The absurd part of this whole story is the tenant was mad at me!
I gave him chance after chance I tried mediating by helping him monetarily to leave. He stated I treated him poorly by asking for NSF fees. I told if doesn’t want NSF fees he should try paying the rent instead of buying TVs to replace working a working one.
He tried demonizing me to make himself fell better that he was ripping off a bad guy. That didn’t fly with the mountain of evidence stacked against him. He wanted the money but didn’t want to sign an IOU contract. This is the condensed version of the joke I call being a landlord.
I have no doubt that he will destroy the unit when he does finally leave. I have one word of advice BODYCAM like the police wear and use it with all tenant interactions. You can prove your innocence without problem if they start claiming harassment as mine did.
Asking for rent money is not harassment!. Its a business transaction! All conversations should be recorded and or emailed. You never know how a tiny conversation can go sideways.
Lets face it people in that situation will do and say anything to prove themselves. At the end of the day I did everything right and the arbitrator STILL gave them extra time to stay for free. I would say the mandate for the LTB should be to find out what is going on between a particular landlord and tenant based on evidence. Make a clear judgement. There are difficult landlords also.
There is no need for a non paying tenant to stay an additional 6 weeks. Especially when they have absolutely no excuse. Pay or get out conversely when a landlord is found lacking the judgement should go towards the tenant. Fair is fair! Right now landlords are getting crushed by the LTB and professional tenants.
As it stands now I am selling my properties and getting into commercial properties.
Forget affordable housing. I shouldn’t have to be worried that a government will judge against me when I’ve done nothing wrong except be financially responsible for myself. If a tenant wants to smoke pot and play video games all day, that is his problem and should not be mine.
I strongly believe that the LTB should adopt commercial rules for residential units also. There are a lot of good tenants out there that are waiting for a good unit/landlord but these deadbeats are keeping the homes hostage.
I am months away from being a senior. I have been self employed most of my life, and for many years my wife stayed home to raise our kids because I traveled. We have no pension.
We have only our savings and our house. Every time I tried the stock market I got burned so of course I have been on the sidelines watching the greatest bull market of all time – figures.
My wife and I just bought a house in northern Ontario as an investment and a future retirement home. This is part of my “pension”. We fear the stock market that can wipe out your savings but GIC’s offer next to nothing. We are in our 5th home so we thought real estate was something we understood. We thought we could rent it out to cover the mortgage payments and if we were lucky it would appreciate over time.
Then we started reading about the history of LTB rulings and how the new laws those GD Liberals passed essentially put us at the mercy of a Tenant and we almost passed out.
We are seriously considering selling the house and saying to heck with it. It does not appear to be worth it to be a landlord in Ontario any more.
If the Landlord does not have the ability to protect their investment from bad Tenants and the margin on the investment is slim why would someone want to be a Landlord?
Tenants think they have a right to do whatever they want and to not pay rent because they want to enjoy their life, pay for other stuff or save for their future?
Sure they do. Buy your own house or move into Ontario Housing. It is not the individual Landlord’s responsibility to support those who can’t or don’t want to buy their own home.
And we just closed the deal on the house! If I had known about this before we bought, we would not have and there would be one less rental unit available. There still might be.
Today we turned down a prospective renter because we were afraid that they might be one of those bad renters who would get in to our house and then not look after it or not pay their rent and then cry to the LTB or just vanish.
It was a 40ish year old person with a young child on UI and their partner who is 6 months into a job with a small time contractor that does small repairs.
If I could charge a significant damage deposit and be sure I could get them out if they got pets or smoked in the house or grow dope or didn’t keep the house clean or or or… then we might have given them a chance.
But we can’t so we didn’t.
So the LTB and the Liberals misguided legislation actually had the opposite effect. Someone who needs a house to rent and might have looked after it and paid the rent isn’t going to get the chance.
I would rather have the place sit empty than risk damage and legal fees and still get no income if they didn’t pay. If it is empty my costs are fixed and my risk is low.
I live in my home and rent my basement apartment. I have done so with little to no trouble for 5 years, until my latest tenant moved in this winter. They used up her last months rent when, over a dispute I had with the screaming at their children (who live here part time) they said they were going to move out.
At the end of that period they did not move out. After many apologies and promises to do better, I gave the another chance (fool that I am). They only paid part of her rent in June/July period, and now owes me the remainder plus July/August period, and August/September period is looming.
I served the with an N4, and was not surprised when they didn’t move out on the termination date. I have filed an application to evict with the LTB. The hearing is not until October.
After reading through information on your site, I’m terrified about the hearing process with LTB, and not at all hopeful that it will result in an actual eviction taking place.
Meanwhile, I have my tenant and their partner, whom they promptly moved in shortly after they took possession, and is not on the lease, plus their two children living here periodically (all four at times, in a basement bachelor apartment), basically for free.
While my hydro bills/water bills etc are much larger than then would be if the apartment was empty, and I am going in the red without the rental income coming in.
I don’t know what to do. I’m stressed out, my dog is stressed out (he literally sits in my lap shaking when they are yelling at the kids, banging doors/etc., or when the partner stomps up and down the stairs, banging the doors shut).
Tenant refuses to answer my inquiries as to when they are moving out. I’m at my wits end, and I just don’t know where to turn for help – or if there is any help to be found.
Am I just stuck with this nightmare tenant and their family living in my basement for free? It’s just so unfair.
I can’t afford a lawyer to help me with the hearing, and I’m literally scared out of my wits after reading the information on your site. Is there any assistance out for inexperienced landlords like myself who have never had to deal with this before? I get the feeling this might not be their first go round, and that she is quite versed on how she can milk the system.
The goal of government is to increase affordable housing and rentals provide that option. Landlords must be able to manage risk, provide safe homes and be able to earn some profit in return for managing the property and investing their capital in homes for rent.
Therefore, landlords must have the ability to disallow some behaviours on their properties.
This includes behaviour such as smoking, including all types of smoking: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, weed and vaping.
Further, growing marijuana requires conditions that are not akin to a safe environment as light and temperature may need to be manipulated. Grow ops have ruined entire houses in the past. Landlords must be able to prohibit marijuana growing in their properties.
We Need Changes To the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board to Protect Our Rental Properties From Marijuana Smoking and Plant Growing
Ontario residential landlords continue to face a lot of challenges. For years we have dealt with unfair rules that are biased against landlords and can cause us to face many sleepless nights. It can also lead us to lose tens of thousands of dollars.
Now we have a new challenge in 2018. It’s so important that one experienced and successful Ontario landlord said it is “one of the biggest issues for landlords in 20 years.”
Laws Are Already Unfair For Ontario Landlords
The rules are already out of whack for landlords across Ontario. For example, we can’t charge a damage deposit and as this Ottawa landlord found out it can lead to renters who move out leaving big, expensive damages behind.
Also, since 2017 just about every residential rental property is covered by rent control. Not only are we all covered, but the legal rent increase guideline was ‘capped’ at 2.5% for landlords no matter what the rate of inflation is.
An OLA member wrote on the Ontario Landlords Forum inflation is very high but landlords are stuck at a maximum rent increase of 2.5% no matter what. If it wasn’t for OLA lobbying the amount would have been even lower! And those who have tried to go for above the guideline rent increases know how difficult that is as most applications are rejected. You can’t even do it for the rising cost of utilities.
This is only a small sample of the issues we face as the previous Ontario government seemed to be trying to get ‘tenant votes’ instead of fixing the rental industry to help both good landlords and good Ontario tenants. But it didn’t work in the last election as good tenants are aware landlords need some power oversee their units (and protect tenants who ask for help).
Ontario Tenants Can Soon Smoke Weed and Grow Plants In Our Rental Properties
On top of everything else will soon have to deal with the issue of legal marijuana. While other provinces have made important changes to protect landlords this hasn’t happened in our province.
For example, did you know:
1. Tenants Without “No Smoking Clauses” Will Be Able to Smoke Marijuana
That’s right. They will be able to light up in your rental unit causing smells and other damages. Just imagine how this will negatively impact your rental business.
2. Tenants Will Be Able To Grow Marijuana Plants in Your Rental Property
Tenants will also be able to grow up to four plants in the rental unit. This will lead to mold, extra power usages and potential nightmares for landlords. As one OLA member wrote in the Ontario landlord forum: “tenants can say four plants but it could be a lot more as they have all the heating, lighting and other infrastructure set up! This will be a disaster!”
Even Good Tenants Might Cause Big Problems (And Think They Aren’t Doing Anything Wrong)
Imagine a long term tenant decides to smoke some weed. Even good tenants will tell their landlord “I’m just following the rules”. Meanwhile, their smoking can bother other tenants in the unit and damage the property.
And they can grow plants leading to dangerous humidity and extra power usage. Your tenant can say “what’s the problem, I’m growing some marijuana plants in the apartment and it’s legal.”
Why Do Ontario Landlords and Tenants Have These Ridiculous Laws?
The current rules regarding marijuana smoking in rental properties were provided by the now defeated Liberal government. So do not blame the PC government.
The Liberals who held power the past 15years constantly took the “tenants side of things” and often disregarded the serious concerns of small residential landlords and investors. They were nonchalant when we made it clear their policies not only hurt good landlords and good tenants it stopped many really good people from investing in Ontario rental properties.
Some members wrote the previous regime not only wanted tenant votes but they seemed to “disrespect” hard working small landlords. Furthermore, they refused to distinguish the important difference between small landlords and huge corporate landlords.
How can you compare a small time investor with a condo or renting their basement with big corporate landlords with scales of efficiency, millions of dollars in the bank, and their own legal teams?
If it wasn’t for the hard work of Ontario Landlords Association members the rules for landlords would have been even worse than they are now!
We Need New Rules To Protect Ontario Landlords From Legal Marijuana
We need urgent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. We wrote about marijuana before and received thousands of emails. Our members have a lot of great ideas of what is needed to protect landlords, encourage investors, and protect tenants.
It’s important that we get new laws and rules that are based on the experiences of real landlords who have ‘skin in game’ by investing their money and time in being landlords in Ontario.
These ideas include:
1. Blanket Bans On Smoking and Growing Marijuana in Rentals
Some of our members want new laws to prohibit smoking of any kind in rental properties. Growing marijuana plants would also be 100% prohibited.
2. No Smoking Clauses Be Put In The Leases Of All Existing Tenants
Currently current tenants without “no weed” clauses can smoke and grow plants. Some of our members want all current tenants be required to sign a new lease stating they are not allowed to smoke week or grow plants. Or even better, automatically all existing leases will have legal “no smoking clauses.”
3. Super Fast Evictions For Weed Smoking/Growing
Many landlords wrote that we need a new way to quickly evict a tenant who is smoking weed and/or growing plants.
Expert, veteran OLA members say an attempted eviction for even smoking cigarettes can take months (while the tenant still smokes during the long delay) and the eviction will even often fail. We need a fast and efficient way to evict people who break the rules.
This would require a new form where if you are smoking the landlord could apply for a quick eviction after 24 or 48 hours if the tenants don’t change their behavior. Let’s call it the W1 (Weed 1)…or even better the OLA-24 for 24 hour notice to stop smoking marijuana or automatically be evicted with no right to make up excuses!
4. A Legal Damage Deposit To Protect Us From Potential Damages.
It can cost over $5000 to get a rental professionally cleaned to get rid of the smell of marijuana . When a tenant wants to move we have to find a new tenant. And many new tenants will simply not rent a place that reeks of weed. There can also be mold and other damages from tenants growing plants.
OLA Action Led To A Historic Vote For A Legal Damage Deposit in 2011
Many people are unaware that in 2011 the OLA educated the PC party and the OLA got a damage deposit bill to a vote in the Ontario parliament. This was historic! (And the corporate landlords were no where to be found).
However, the Liberals and the NDP voted against it.
One NDP member told the OLA “there are lots of cheap apartments in Toronto so your arguments don’t make sense.”
Okay, how is the vacancy rate in Toronto now? Are the rents still “cheap?” We warned the Ontario government that if they didn’t make changes the vacancy rate would drop and rents would sky-rocket…and this was in 2011!
5. These Are Just Some Of The Ideas From Small Landlords Who Have “Skin in the Game” & Are Worried
There are many other ideas from not only long term landlords, but people from around the world who have come to Ontario and invested here. We all want to make Ontario “open for business” and that means protecting landlords, tenants and investors.
We Need Changes To Protect Ontario Landlords From Legal Marijuana Smoking & Growing
Marijuana Will Be Legal On October 17th, 2018. Tenants are renting and should not have the same rights as if they owned the property themselves. Tenants are paying to use a property owned by someone else and the owner has to protect their investment.
Property owners need rights too. If we don’t who will buy rental properties in Ontario?
This is not about landlords “wanting power to control tenants”. Many OLA members used to rent. We were great tenants and many of us dealt with great landlords (and some not so great) ourselves. This is about about protecting our rental investments and protecting other tenants. While other provinces are acting to protect landlords, Ontario has yet to act.
This is a key issue which will have dramatic consequences if the rules are not changed to protect landlords. Investment will drop and many current landlords will simply sell and leave the industry.
Let’s Take Action To Protect Ontario Landlords To Improve the Ontario Rental Industry!
How Much Can Ontario Landlords Raise the Rent in 2019? It’s 1.8%
To Ontario Landlords Association and Members:
The Rent Increase Guideline for 2019 is 1.8%. This is for increases between January 1st, 2019 and December 31, 2019.
This guideline applies to most private residential units covered under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act. Rent can be increased for most cases (i) twelve months after the last rent increase (ii) a tenant first moves in.
Please notify your province wide landlord community.
Ontario Landlords, Does A Maximum Rent Increase of 1.8% Cover Your Costs?
Many landlords continue to tell us about their ever rising costs and how hard it is to cash-flow these days. Whether its fees, taxes, maintenance costs, paying for painting and other things to keep your rental nice to keep your tenants, the reality is things are getting more expensive in Ontario. Everything else seem to keep going up by a large amount, except rents!
We Need A Better Way To Be Able To Increase Rents to Make Our Businesses Profitable (or at least keep up with rising costs)
The 2019 rent increase guideline is a continuation of the 2018 guideline. We have a new government in charge and we need a new way to make sure good landlords can continue to run our rental businesses.
A rent guideline of 1.8% just isn’t reasonable if we want more people to invest in rental properties and if we want current landlords to be able to do what is needed to maintain and improve the current rental stock. It’s also more difficult to raise the rent above the guideline even if you have rising costs.
Are You Going To Raise the Rent in 2019?
If you have current tenants the rent increase guideline means you can only raise the rent by 1.8% with proper notice. We need your help to improve the way good landlords can do business in Ontario.
Let’s improve the Ontario rental system to help both good landlords and good tenants. With a new business friendly government that is open to new solutions make sure you let us know what your ideas are to improve the way rent increase are handled.
We Need To Support Ontario Landlords!
By protecting current landlords and encouraging more people to invest in rental housing we will protect the current supply and have a lot of new supply that will give Ontario tenants more options and better landlords.
Slamming small landlords and not protecting us as business people hasn’t worked in the past. In fact, it was a dismal failure with many landlords selling even within one or two years! We need new ideas and new methods to make Ontario rentals great again. Let’s get it done!