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 landlord 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!"

Changes to Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Ontario landlord and tenant board new laws 2018

 

Getting the Message Out to Small Landlords Across Ontario! Be Aware The Law Is Changing For Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Successful Ontario landlords know it’s important to always be aware of new laws that regulate our industry. If you are not careful and don’t know the latest changes you could face some severe financial penalties. Those of who have been unfortunate enough to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board know you must be 100% ‘on your game’ and become an expert on the rules and regulations if you are going to succeed.

And there have been many changes since the beginning of 2017

One of the biggest changes that has impacted small landlords is the change in how we can use “own use” applications to get our properties back. We wrote about these Ontario landlord changes earlier to let everyone know about what is going on so you can prepare and be aware.

Other changes have included the fact landlords with properties built after 1991 are now included under the government rent control umbrella and changes to above guideline rent increases.

An Ottawa landlord wrote on our Members forum in what turned out to be huge thread:

“I have kept my rent increases low over the past few years, sometimes not even raising the rent in order to keep my tenants from looking at other properties and potentially moving. I pay for power and now my bills are becoming so high it’s jeopardizing my ability to even cover my costs! Has anyone ever done an above the guideline increase? Thanks in advance.” 

Unfortunately it’s not good news for this landlord as the news about changes didn’t reach her.

New Laws For Above Guideline Rent Increase for Ontario Landlords

Everyone who owns rentals across Ontario please carefully read this message from the Ministry to us, as they know we can reach landlords all over the province:

Ontario landlord and tenant board 2018

To: Ontario Landlords Association

Above Guideline Rent Increase Application – The Law Is Changing

On January 1, 2018, two changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that relate to the landlord’s Application For a Rent Increase above the Guideline will come into effect

1. A landlord will no longer be able to apply for a rent increase above the guideline because of utility costs (e.g. fuel, electricity or water) have increased.

2. If a landlord has not complied with an order to fix an elevator (issued by the LTB, the municipality or the technical standards and safety authority) the LTB can dismiss the application or require the landlord to fix the elevators before ordering an above the guideline increase.

A landlord can still apply to the LTB for an increase above the guideline if:

The landlord’s costs for municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly The landlord has done major repairs or renovations (these are called capital expenditures)

or, The landlord has operation costs for security services performed by person who are not employees of the landlord.

Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board Form L5

The Landlord and Tenant Board has updated the L5: Application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase to reflect the changes.

Landlords need to begin using this new form immediately. Make sure you are getting the latest version of the form by clearing your browser cache to avoid any mistakes. The old version of this forum will be accepted until January 30, 2018.

Getting the Message Out to Ontario Landlords

Small Ontario landlords have faced unfair rules that are biased for bad tenants for years. Now there are even more changes coming that are unfair for Ontario landlords. However, you must follow the rules and be aware of them.

The Ontario Landlords Association is reaching landlords all over the province and helping them be aware of new rules and changes to the way small landlords can run their rental business.

There have been important changes to how the L5 works starting today. We will provide updates on this and how other new changes are impacting our landlord community throughout the years.

Knowledge is power and Ontario Landlords need to be aware of these rule changes in order to succeed.

We Invite Good Tenants To Help Us Improve The Ontario Rental Industry in 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 tenantexperiences@groupmail.com 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!


Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected – The Current System Just Isn’t Fair!

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Ontario Landlords Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Fair For Landlords – Ontario Small Landlords Need More Protection

ola it's not fair

Tens of thousands of small landlords emailed in as part of our drive to create a way for landlords and tenants to communicate with each other to find positive common ground. While there are some unethical landlords out there, by far the vast majority of us try our best to be excellent landlords with attractive, well-maintained rentals.

The vast majority of small Ontario landlords play by the rules and care for our tenants and our properties.

The Ontario Rules Do Not Protect Small Landlords And This Isn’t Fair

One of the most common themes in all the replies was that while landlords want to learn and follow the rules those same rules often don’t adequately protect small landlords.

This means landlords who make sure they do everything according to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board still find themselves in very difficult situations stemming from bad tenants. These bad situations often mean losing thousands of dollars.

However it also goes beyond just financial losses.

Under the existing system landlords experiencing incredible stress, worry and sleepless nights when they are just using the system in place and following the rules. This isn’t right and this isn’t fair.

Good people making huge investments in our province need to be protected and must not be subjected to tenants who can easily manipulate the rules to cause harm and huge financial losses. Recently there was a good media story of a tenant who created a fake credit report to trick landlords into renting to him. He then ripped off his landlords and also cheated other tenants. He is now wanted by the police.

Let’s Protect Good Tenants, But We Also Need to Protect Good Landlords

Most of our small landlord members were renting themselves not that long ago. We are the working class looking to support our retirements and hopefully get some cash flow as a return on our investments. Many of us rented as students at Ontario universities and colleges and many others rented while beginning their careers.

We support protections for tenants, but we need to also protect good landlords. Currently things are simply not balanced.

What Happened To The Changes To Encourage More People To Invest in Rental Properties?

It was only a year or so ago that that landlords were asked to present needed changes to the Ministry. The request was for current landlords to suggest new policy ideas to help them succeed, and this would in turn encourage more people to become landlords in Ontario.

It was a good idea as with a better, fairer system more people would invest in rental properties and this would lead to more choices for tenants and more affordable rental housing in Ontario.

Our landlord members were not worried about increased competition from new landlords and investors. In fact, they were very enthusiastic and excited about getting changes that are desperately needed to help landlords continue to even run existing rentals. With a better system and more protections, landlords could better deal with bad tenants who abuse the system.

More Protections for Ontario Tenants But What About Fairness for Small Landlords?

When the Rental Fairness Act was announced in April many landlords were excited and expected to hear about new protections for small landlords. An Ottawa landlord organized an online event and many our members networked and watched the news conference on the Premier’s YouTube channel.

After the news conference good Ontario landlords were extremely disappointed, and many were upset.

For while there were many changes designed to help tenants, there was little to help small landlords. No one objected to helping good tenants but wasn’t the goal to encourage more great people to invest and create a lot more amazing rental properties?

A Toronto Landlord asked: “Why are the concerns of small landlords ignored as we are key stake-holders in Ontario and important rental housing providers!?”

Some of the major challenges Ontario landlords are facing include:

Evicting for Smoking

Dealing with tenants who smoke, and have this smoke bother other tenants, has been a problem for many small landlords for years. With new laws regarding marijuana this issue is just going to become larger and we need to find a solution.

Creating a New System to Help Landlords and Tenants with Pets

Our landlord members love pets and many have pets of their own. However, we need a way to make sure tenants take care of their pets and don’t damage the rental property. 

Ontario Landlords Association members suggested we create a voluntary “pet deposit”. Tenants with pets would pay a deposit to protect the small landlord from any damages from the pets (and they do happen). When the tenants move out they will get the deposit back if there aren’t any big damages. If their aren’t any pet damages and the landlord doesn’t give the deposit back the tenant can take pictures, file at the LTB, and get the deposit back.

Making the Rent Increase Guideline More Fair For Service Oriented Small Landlords

With even newer rental properties covered by the rent increase guideline (which is only 1.8% in 2018) we need a way to make sure the guideline covers the true cost increases landlords face.

Making the Landlord and Tenant Board More Efficient and Effective

When landlords have problems with renters in their properties we have to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to seek justice and fix the problems. While most LTB staff are hard working and professional, the way the LTB is designed needs to be improved.

-We cannot continue to have landlords waiting for weeks or even months to even get a Hearing date.

-We cannot continue to have tenants ‘ambushing’ landlords with maintenance claims at the Hearing.

-We need the Enforcement Office to enforce LTB evictions in a time sensitive way, meaning days not weeks or months 

This is just the start of issues that need to be addressed.

Closing Loopholes Exploited By Bad Tenants

We need to make sure the Landlord and Tenant Board process is fair and end loopholes that delay evictions. Some unethical tenants can delay being evicted for months.

The Rules For Small Landlords Need To Change

Small landlords are not huge corporations, massive REITS with stockholders and millions of dollars available from investors from all over the country and around the world.

Small Ontario landlords are working people who believe in the future of our province and have invested their hard-earned savings into Ontario rentals hoping for a better future. Many landlords are newcomers to Canada who want to run successful rental businesses as part of their contributions to their new country.

Ontario Landlords and Tenants Speak Out: “I Wish The Rental Fairness Act Was Fair For Landlords!”

We have asked many of the landlords who emailed in to expand on their concerns and stories of challenges they have faced owning rental properties in Ontario. We have also asked Ontario tenants who wrote in the same thing and look forward to posting their opinions and ideas.

By working together we can create a better, fairer Ontario rental industry that helps both good landlords and good tenants.

The current system just isn’t fair for small Ontario Landlords and that’s not fair

We need changes to be made to protect small landlords or we will see a big drop in investment and less high quality and affordable rental properties. We aren’t huge corporations who can put up ads near Queen’s Park and hold golf tournaments and invite Brian Mulroney to sip champagne with us…we are too busy working and taking care of our rental properties.

Who are small landlords?

We are teachers, contractors, electricians, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, Realtors…we are the people of Ontario. And we have been treated unfairly for too long.

Small landlords need support as we truly are important stake-holders in Ontario and need to be protected as the current system simply isn’t fair.

BC Landlords & Tenants Are Asking For Our Help In Dealing With Pets

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You Can Play An Important Role in Helping Improve the Canadian Rental Industry By Sharing Your Experiences To Help BC Landlords And Tenants Create New Rental Policy On The Pet Issue in British Columbia

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.  Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com In this case let’s help BC Landlords and Tenants!

Let’s Help BC Create Fair Rules for BC Landlords and BC Tenants With Pets

Ontario Landlords know how important it is to work together to come up with ideas and solutions to improve the rental industry. Our members came up with thousands of emails sent in when we made key suggestions to the province on what changes need to be made to improve the Ontario rental industry.

Led by our many experienced and successful landlords we have also come up with thousands of tips and strategies for landlords to succeed. And a key aspect of all the great advice provided to OLA members is how important it is to have a ‘win-win’ business relationship with your tenants.

Experienced landlords know great tenants are looking for great landlords with amazing rental properties. You need to be extremely careful not to rent to bad, unethical tenants who will manipulate the system. These are tenants who will “play games” with you and use the Landlord and Tenant Board to delay evictions.

The good news is the reality is there are lots of great people out there looking to rent a property. These are people who will pay the rent on time, respect the law, and treat you and your rental property with respect.

These great tenants are looking for knowledgeable, professional landlords who not only know the the Landlord and Tenant Board and Residential Tenancy Act, but also are willing to work with their tenant clients for a win-win business relationship!

An Ottawa landlord posted in our members forum:

“A young couple saw my rental and liked it. But they had a bunch of questions for me. The questions where everything to what would happen is something breaks to how to deal with a move out after one year.

I told them I was an OLA member and a professional landlord and answered all their questions clearly based on the law. They were super impressed and decided to rent my condo over the others they saw. They told me “my professionalism made the difference and why they decided to rent my place…because of me!”

By working with your tenants you can create a win-win situation.”

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BC Landlords And Tenants Have Asked For Our Help

These days BC landlords and tenants are having an important debate on dealing with renting to tenants who have pets.

It’s a very important issue out there as the new government is looking at making a lot of big changes in the way the BC rental business is run. Even the media is doing some major reporting on the issue of BC tenants and pets recently.

Let’s Speak Out To Help BC Landlords And Tenants Create New and Fair Rental Policy

Here are some facts about how the “pet situation” is currently in British Columbia:

1. As of now BC Landlords Can Demand “No Pets” to Tenants

While many small landlords will think this make sense it’s important to see the social consequences of this policy.

2. BC Families Forced to “Give Up” Their Pets Who Are Part of Their Family

According to facts provided over 1,700 families who need to rent were forced to give up their pets and companion animals in order to secure a rental property.  It’s a pretty shocking number and it certainly is something that needs to be changed there.

3. Forcing to Abandon a Pet/Family Member Just to Get Accepted For a Rental Isn’t Fair

Many tenants feel landlords need to treat tenants with pets equally with tenants who don’t have pets.

Let’s Help BC Landlords and Tenants Create a Better Rental Industry Based On Your Experiences

BC Landlords and tenants are asking for your help based on your experiences. They want real world advice and not some salaried spokesperson who doesn’t even own rentals speaking down to small landlords.

BC landlords, BC tenants and the provincial government are looking for our feedback to help improve the BC rental industry.

Ontario landlords what are your experiences dealing with tenants with pets?

Many OLA members are pet owners and pet lovers and the current situation in British Columbia needs to change.

However, we advise our BC friends that it’s not as simple as a “make it illegal” for landlords to refuse pets.  It’s complicated and we want to help.

For example what about pet damages?

What if pets bother other tenants?

We want your feedback!

Let’s Help BC Create Fair Rules for BC Landlords and BC Tenants With Pets

There is talk that soon British Columbia landlords will have to follow the Ontario model. In BC some people want a “no pets” policy to be Human Rights Violation and the Residential Tenancy Act to not allow “no pets” policies.

Ontario Landlords know this is a complicated situation and so we ask you to share your thoughts. And sent them soon as new rules and legislation is on the way.

Ontario Landlords – It’s just become more complicated (and expensive) to move into your own rental property

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Landlord and Tenant Board Update: New requirements for landlords who terminate a tenancy because they want to move in for their “own use.”  Make you are aware of the process and the changes!

Earlier in the year we wrote about new legislation that would lead to a lot of big changes and new rules for Ontario landlords in 2017

One of the immediate changes at the time was regarding rent control.

Previously many rental properties which were built after 1991 were exempt from rent control. This means they didn’t have to follow the rent increase guideline and could raise rents every year in order to cover their costs and maybe even make some cash flow.

After all, running a rental business and being a landlord has risks and often increasing costs. Smart landlords know raising rents is an important part of being successful just as any business owner would make sure their revenues allowed them to continue running their business and not lead to losses and bankruptcy.

With the new policy rental units built after 1991 are now under rent control. This means all the investors and new landlords who bought brand new condo rents along with all the other landlords across Ontario can only raise the rent by 1.8% in 2018.

Terminating a Tenancy For Your Own Personal Use

Another big change happened on September 1st regarding landlords own use of a rental.

With increasing house prices many landlords have children or parents looking for a place to stay in. It’s become popular for landlords to turn their rental property into a place for their kids or parents to make their home.

Many landlords are also downsizing. They bought a rental in years past and rented it out. Now they sold their own home and are looking to move to a smaller property and so want to move in to their rental.

While some in the media want to demonize landlords and claim landlords use the own use provision to “turf out” their tenants, those actually running rental properties in Ontario know it would be foolish to ask a good tenant to leave if there wasn’t a very good reason for it. Needing your property for yourself or your close family is one of those “good reasons.”

Landlords Own Their Rental Property and Have Property Rights….Or Not?

Many new landlords in our community have asked what could possibly be the issue about the owner wanting to move in to their own property? Or have their children or parents (or parents in-law) move in? These new landlords say they are the ones who bought the property. They are on title. They paid for the house and usually have a big mortgage to prove it.

We keep hearing over and over again “It’s my house! I have property rights…to my property.”

In Ontario if your property is rented there is a process you need to go through in order to terminate the tenancy. Fortunately, if you want your property for your own use, or for your kids or parents or parents-in-law you can terminate the tenancy.  It’s just become more complicated and more expensive.

Let’s let the Landlord and Tenant Board explain:

social justice tribunals Ontario

To Ontario Landlords Association:

September 1, 2017

New Requirements for landlords who evict because they would like to move in. 

The Ontario government has introduced new requirements for landlords who would like to evict a tenant so they or someone in their family can live in the unit.

Starting September 1, 2017, the landlord or family member must intend to live in the unit for at least one year. The landlord must also either give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent or offer the tenant another unit that the tenant accepts.

Only individual landlords, not corporations, can give notice of termination for this reason

Changes to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Forms 

The LTB has updated these four forms to reflect the changes. 

To access these new forms you can click on the following:

LTB Form N12 Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit

LTB Form N13 Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord Wants to Demolish the Rental Unit, Repair it or Convert it to Another Use

LTB L2 Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant

LTB T1 Tenant Application for a Rebate

Being using these new forms immediately.

Make sure you are getting the latest forum by always clearing your browsers cache. Please note that old versions of these forums will not be accepted after Sept. 20th 2017. 

Smart and Successful Landlords Know The Rules

With the rules for landlords getting more complicated, it’s more important than ever for every Ontario residential landlord and investor to make sure you are knowledgeable. Even new rentals are under rent control and even if you need the property for your own use or the want your kids or parents to move in you will have to pay a lot of money to make it happen (as many small landlords don’t have extra units to offer tenants).

It’s also more important than ever to screen your tenants carefully and make sure you know who you are renting to.  There are a lot of great tenants out there.  There are also some tenants who will manipulate the system. We want good landlords and good tenants to join together to create a win-win situation in Ontario.

Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Successful