Archive for the ‘COVID-19’ Category

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is OPEN!

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

After A Painfully Long Wait The Landlord & Tenant Board Is Open

Many small landlords have felt incredibly frustrated and rightfully angry as the Landlord and Tenant Board was closed for most cases such as non-payment of rent.

Most of us have full time or part time jobs that help us survive. Like others, we too suffered job losses, no school for our children, lock-downs and were worried about our loved ones being safe.

We also had our rental properties to deal with.

Small Ontario Landlords Finally Can Take Action Against Non-Paying Tenants

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board Is Open

Here are the rules for the opening.

As of August 1st, 2020 the Landlord and Tenant Board Will:

(1) Begin to issue eviction orders that are already pending

(2) The LTB will begin to issue consent eviction orders that are based on tenants and landlords deciding to settle issues with an agreement.

(3) LTB will remain hearing ‘urgent’ matters that are related to health and safety issues that have already been scheduled.

(4) Begin to schedule hearings for non-urgent evictions.

(5) Start non-urgent hearings starting in the middle of August and into autumn.

As the LTB gradually re-opens it says it will make their services stronger:

(1) They will begin holding hearings by phone, video software and in writing

(2) The LTB is encouraging tenants and landlords to try to reach a settlement before applying for a hearing

(3) Using what are called “Case Management Hearings” for applications that don’t include rent owed

(4) Hiring and training more adjudicators

We will be watching what happens and encourage our members to share your feedback with us that we will share with the LTB and the Ministry.

Got Questions? Need Help?

With all the changes happening and after months of chaos we are here to help.

We have thousands of members and many very experienced and successful. This is why we exist…to help small landlords and get our message heard.

So instead of just complaining to each other about how unfair things are, or listening to people who aren’t successful, our members work to come up with winning landlord solutions.

And unlike people who don’t even own rental properties, we’ve got ‘skin in the game’ and find real world solutions because our incomes depend on it.

All for a one time registration fee that includes huge discounts on key services.

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is Finally Re-Opening!

Make Sure You Know The Ropes And Run A Successful Rental Business By Running Credit Checks, Criminal Checks and Having A Network Of Successful Landlords On “Your Team”!

Residential Tenancies Act Has Changed – Good News For Landlords & Tenants

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Bill 184 Has Passed And It Helps Protect Small Landlords

Many small “mom and pop” landlords have faced huge challenges the last four months. This includes our own personal challenges due to the pandemic.

It’s been a very stressful period but there is some good news that will help us run our rental businesses in more efficient manner. It also helps tenants deal with some of the ‘bad apple’ investors out there.

Win-Win For Good Landlords and Good Tenants

The Ontario government on May 26 brought forward Bill 184 for the second reading that small landlords had been waiting for. It has now passed and it’s now the law.

It is a Bill to improve the Residential Tenancies Act. This included changes we’ve told the government need to happen to protect small hard-working landlords across Ontario and avoid a mass sell-off!

These are difficult times for everyone. So many people are out of work and many have even been fired from their jobs. We know this and the new changes work to help everyone.

Bill 184 Is Called “The Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act 2020”

Despite the name, this bill makes some positive changes for landlords.

How?

For small landlords the the three most important changes are:

1. No More “Trial By Ambush”

Before this change in the law tenants were able to raise repair issues at eviction hearings without notifying the landlord of any problems first.

They didn’t need proof, they just had to bring up issues to get the Hearing cancelled and a new Hearing set for a later…usually many months later that many tenants still didn’t pay rent!

Many of our members faced unscrupulous and dirty tenant reps. who used what was intended to protect tenants instead to be a trick and legal weapon.

We have small landlords who even said dirty “reps” warned landlords “no house is perfect!” (meaning “I can ambush you to delay evictions!”) as a negotiating tactic to get landlords to pay money for tenants to move or they would use this to delay the eviction by months!

Now that Bill 184 passed, tenants need to give notice in writing of these complaints before a hearing occurs.  This will allow good landlords to make the repairs needed.

We have had thousands of reports of the years of tenant representatives bringing up imaginary “problems” with the rental property as a tactic to delay an eviction.

This has now ended and this dirty legal trick has been eliminated.

2. Allows Landlords To Pursue Tenants For Rent and Utilities Arrears Through the LTB, Instead of Small Claims Court

This is helpful because small claims court can take a lot of time to get a court date (up to a year or more) and you have to find your tenants to serve them.

Again, this will mostly help the large REIT corporate landlords who have their own legal teams. But it can help small landlords, especially when it comes to unpaid utilities.

3. Tenants Who Don’t Fulfill Their Payment Plans Get Evicted With No Hearing (which can take months)

When landlords apply to evict tenants for late rent, the tribunal can help mediate “payment plans” between the landlord and the tenant.

That sounds great. Not really. The problem is the mediation happens when the landlord finally gets a Hearing date at the landlord and tenant board.

Even before the corona virus, landlords had to wait months to get a Hearing date because of so many cases and too few LTB “adjudicators” (judges).

Under the new law, landlords and tenants can make their own “payment plans” together without having to wait months for an LTB Hearing.

If tenants are unable to fulfill the repayment agreements, landlords would not necessarily have to go back to the tribunal for an eviction hearing with the tenant. 

And tenants who tried to work with their landlord will get special consideration if it does go to a hearing versus tenants who simply refused to pay rent.

What About Helping Good Tenants?

There are changes that won’t impact good landlords but will help tenants deal with ‘bad apple’ investors.

For example, if you want to evict someone for your own use you have to give up your privacy rights and tell the LTB if you have done this before in the past couple years.

Since small landlords only use this option if they have children who need a place, or they sell their own property and move in to their rental to live, it won’t be an issue.

And fines for bad faith actions like”renovictions” have increased.

Most bad faith ‘renovictions” are from corporate landlords not from small landlords.

Good landlords want to cooperate with good tenants!

These new changes just strengthen this relationship by allowing landlords to act fast to deal with tenants who didn’t fulfill their side of the deal.

It also allows tenants more rights to fight against landlords trying to abuse the system.

This is a positive ‘first step’ in balancing the unbalanced pro-bad tenant policies create by the Liberals under McGuinty and Wynne.

New Laws Are Good, But Landlords Still Need More Changes

For example, the ability to charge damage deposits, shorter time frames for evictions for non payment and laws to protect landlords and tenants from those who are violent or abusive.

Bill 184 – The “Tenant Slaughter And Un-Protection Act”

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”

“Let’s make a payment plan. Let’s avoid the LTB, work together (tenant signs)….GOT YOU… Hahaha I can now evict you fast, you have no legal rights now! SUCKER! The Sheriff is coming now to kick you out!”

Tenants need to be aware of the huge challenges we are soon going to face!

While the Premier has acted all kind and cuddly (like that fat drunk uncle we all see during the holidays who laughs as he passes gas and then beats your aunt to bloody pulp when they get home) it’s only an act.

The reality is those of us who rightfully didn’t pay rent (or full rent) are being prepared for the slaughterhouse (legally)!

It’s called Bill 184 and you can bet it will soon be the law and the slaughter of tenants will begin.

The government will not forgive tenants not paying and instead are going to demand tenants agree to “payment plans” that bypass the legal process of going to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a legal Hearing (where tenants have rights and free legal help)

The NDP came up with a plan to help tenants cover rent by using government funds to help during the horrible pandemic.

Even some landlord groups such as the Ontario Landlords Association proposed this as a way for tenants and their landlords to avoid conflict and avoid evictions.

Lots of other industries have received government support, so why not residential tenants and their landlords?

No, that would have been too easy and too nice. Why be nice when they want a slaughter and I think they enjoy seeing us suffer!

Suze Morrison is an NDP MPP who wants to protect tenants. Morrison is very aware of the reality and the coming avalanche of mass evictions based on landlords legally being able to trick tenants into forfeiting our legal rights.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario are lying awake at night, worrying about losing the roof over their head when the province’s weak pause on the enforcement of evictions ends.

They wouldn’t be this position if Doug Ford had answered the NDP’s call to provide a rent subsidy to tenants who have lost income or their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but here we are.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Ford government has found a way to make things even worse.

Now, in the middle of the pandemic, the Conservatives are attempting to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the legislation. Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, is bad for tenants.

Tenants already faced an uphill battle at the Landlord and Tenant Board, squaring off against often deep-pocketed landlords and their high-priced lawyers. If passed, Ford’s eviction bill will leave tenants with fewer defences to avail themselves of and fewer opportunities to plead their case.

Consider the case of a landlord who refuses to fix a malfunctioning radiator in a tenant’s unit. If the tenant withholds their rent, the landlord can haul them in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Under Bill 184, the tenant may be prevented from pointing out other issues, like the landlord’s failure to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, at the hearing on non-payment of rent.

Bill 184 also takes away a tenant’s right to return to the Landlord and Tenant Board if they miss a payment after coming up with a repayment plan to catch up on back rent. This is especially concerning in the context of the pandemic.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario will be trying to catch up on back rent after losing their income or job. What if they feel pressured to accept a repayment plan and fall behind on payments despite their best efforts? What if their financial circumstances change because there’s a second wave of COVID-19?

Under Bill 184, there’s no opportunity to revisit the repayment plan at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenants could find a sheriff knocking on their door, ready to enforce their eviction, the second they miss a payment.

The Ford government can claim that its eviction bill is about “protecting tenants” all it wants. But even Steve Clark, the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, admits that the legislation is about moving things along at the Landlord and Tenant Board when the government switches the lights back on.

In this very paper, he wrote: “We know that when regular hearings resume at the LTB, there will be a backlog of cases requiring resolution. That’s why this legislation is important today — in light of COVID-19.”

Yes, there will be a backlog of cases. The enforcement of evictions may be on hold for now, but that hasn’t stopped landlords from threatening tenants with eviction — even for partial rent payments.

And what is the Ford government doing with thousands of evictions on the horizon in Ontario? Instead of helping tenants keep up with rent, and in turn ensuring landlords get paid, the government is greasing the gears of the Landlord and Tenant Board to speed up evictions.

Tenants deserve better than a government that claims it’s protecting them when it’s really making them more vulnerable to losing the roof over their heads.

It’s time for the Ford government to scrap its plan to make evictions easier and step up with rent relief to help see tenants through the economic pain of COVID-19.

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Renters

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Landlords Across Ontario Need The Legal System Up & Running 

Small landlords are different than big REIT corporate landlords. Many of us used to rent ourselves, or we have friends and family members who rent.

We are understanding and helpful. We are patient and kind to our tenants. We want to work things out for a win-win situation. We aren’t afraid of posts on this site to help tenants.

We also need rent to be paid on time in order to survive!

Small landlords don’t have economies of scale, don’t have huge cash reserves, and many need rent paid each month just to cover our costs.

A large number of tenants are co-operating with their landlords and deferring rent or creating payment plans.

However, many tenants are not paying rent or even a portion of rent.

Many tenants even with the means to pay are simply saying “No.”

They know they cannot be evicted and are ‘gaming’ the system by not paying when they can.

In our internal polling over 70% of tenants did not pay full rent on June 1st. 

WE NEED RENT TO BE PAID OR NON-PAYING TENANTS TO BE EVICTED

We understand many tenants are facing financial difficulties. But do not put their financial problems on the backs of small residential landlords who are also suffering.

If you think this is cruel then government can just give the tenants a grant or a loan, instead of putting all the pressure on small landlords. We have led the way lobbying for help for tenants who need it.

We need to open up the legal process and allow small landlords to evict non-paying renters.

Over 50% in our internal polling shows small landlords are going to sell if they cannot collect rent or evict non-paying tenants within the next couple of months.

This will hurt the entire rental stock of our province. Where is the long term planning by our government leaders…leaders who our members helped get elected on their promise of “making Ontario open for business.”

The Ontario Landlords Association Will Get Your Voice Heard

We are sending your ideas and concerns directly to the Premier.

Please send us your support of “Landlords Must Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants” to us at  evictnow@lobbyist.com

We Need To Be United and Together To Send A Strong Message

We Need the Legal Process Working And To Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

I Worked Out A Fair “Win-Win” Payment Plan With My Landlord

Monday, June 1st, 2020

 

My Landlord Cooperated With Me 

These are difficult times for everyone. So many people are out of work and many have even been fired from their jobs!

The pandemic has changed the world and has hurt so many people.

And with all the schools closed many parents have to try to educate and entertain our children. This is especially tough when we can’t go to parks or playgrounds.

Landlords And Tenants And Paying Rent

As a long term tenant I have paid my rent according to the lease with my landlord all the time.

Now things have changed, the economy has changed, the whole world has changed due to the Corona Virus.

Economic Challenges

We tenants have lost hours, lost jobs, and even lost hope. This is a unique situation we have never seen before.

So How Should Tenants Deal With Their Landlord?

It’s all about being upfront and honest and working together.

Inform Your Landlord Of Your Predicament

Be open and honest with your small landlords because they will care and understand the challenges you face.

Most small landlords are nice people…they don’t want you to move (at least in my case). And they are willing to listen. And they are often flexible to reach a win-win situation.

Also, they don’t want to try to find a new tenant to replace you if possible. They want you to stay and hope you are willing to work with them.

See Things From The Landlords Point of View And Ask Them To See Things From Your Point Of View

Most small landlords are not like the rich corporate landlords living in their castles. They want you to stay and be their client.

They also know that finding another good paying tenant in the current environment will be very difficult and would prefer you to stay.

So it’s entirely possible to ‘work things out’.

Work Out A Payment Plan

I worked out a fair payment plan with my landlords.

Since I only get $2000/month from CERB and my rent is $900/month we agreed I would pay $500/month and I would catch up when the pandemic is over and I can get back to work.

This allows me to have confidence I will keep my home and also gives me $1500 for other things I need in life (and I still don’t need to dip into my savings!)

Working Together…Works!

View your small landlord as a partner in this whole crazy mess of a world.

Your small landlord likely rented themselves or have friends or kids renting so they are on your side. They might even be helping their kids or relative or friend who is renting deal with this situation.

Working Class Tenants Working With Working Class Landlords is Key

Many working class landlords aren’t rich and have bills to pay. They are usually pretty kind and flexible and if you be polite and tell them you want to work things out they will do it.

Make sure you rent from a small working class landlord because you can talk to each other and prepare win-win plans.

Stay Safe and Let’s All Work Together