Archive for the ‘evictions’ Category
Tenants Speak Out & Share Their Concerns & Opinions on the Rental Industry
As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements.
Most of us used to rent to and we have tried to become the landlords we always wanted to rent from but could never find.
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 in a win-win business relationship.
To contribute your experiences and advice please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (All contributions must be a minimum of 300 words and include your name, contact number, address, a copy of your lease, all which will all be kept private and destroyed upon confirmation.)
The post below has been recommended by the Tenant Community as extremely helpful and important information.
By Working Together Tenants And Small Landlords Can Get A Better Understanding of the Issues And Improve The Ontario Rental Industry.
Let’s all face issues straight on and work to make the Ontario Rental Industry not only an example for Canada, but for the world!
No Covid Evictions: How To Not Pay Rent And Win At Your Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Hearing In The Future (up to 2 years of free rent)Saturday, September 12th, 2020
Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”
“The Landlord Tenant Board is shut by Covid. When it opens again, the backlog will be biblical. The tenants will still be there, squatting, in a year. In fact, they can just stop paying rent.”
Former Canadian Minister of Finance (May 2020)
“What Happens Now The Landlord and Tenant Is Open? Will I Be Instantly Kicked Out Of My Home” (NO! DON’T WORRY!)
WHY TENANTS NOTHING TO FEAR! — How To Avoid Getting Evicted Now The Landlord Tenant Board Has Reopened?
My last post was a huge hit and so controversial! Telling the truth makes the bad landlords to cry. After all they just expect rent as a god given right.
The bad landlords attacks on me are very interesting. They are trying to bully me from educating tenants (and good landlords who can learn a lot too.)
This shows why it’s time to license landlords and demand proof of a bachelor degree and a criminal check as well as showing the deed and mortgage documentation.
This is the real path for success for Tenants, not rent strikes.
I am just informing tenants of strategies that can be used in these super challenging times.
These landlords don’t want this published, they are afraid of the real laws. I guess they are real estate agents trying to shill “make money with rental properties.”
Just like a good prosecutor or defense attorney will not break the law, but figure out a way to use it, my post was not intended to do anything but protect tenants and keep people from becoming homeless through no fault of their own.
Rent Strikes Are Not A Good Option For ‘Small” Tenants
Many tenants in larger buildings are conducting “rent strikes.” That’s one choice for tenants, but in larger buildings tenants have strength in numbers.
It’s a lot easier when you have hundreds of other tenants supporting you.
It an be very different when you are alone, with loved ones, and dealing with a vicious landlord all by yourself.
You worry about your landlord and her thugs storming in while your baby is sleeping.
Or breaking down your door and assaulting you or one of your family members.
Or taking off our doors and windows leaving your babies to the harsh winds that are now here.
And some tenants worry even worry their landlords might go even further like a landlord who threatened to KILL his tenant and SELL his baby on the black market if rent wasn’t paid!
…It’s so scary I don’t even want to write about it, but some landlords are making threats (which need to be reported to law enforcement, call 911).
Landlords Are Excited And Think Mass Evictions Are Coming Soon – But This Won’t Happen If You Position Yourself Appropriately
From social media it’s clear many landlords want money and even more want some type of revenge against hard working tenants just trying to survive during this deadly pandemic. This is shocking and frightening.
Let’s Do A Deep Dive To Help Tenants (Tenants Must Learn)
First, remember it was conservative Premier Doug Ford who said tenants don’t have to pay the rent and will not be evicted. This was shocking to everyone including tenants. If landlords are angry about this they should be contacting Ford (who ignores most of them).
Ford said what he said and tenants followed what the leader of our province said to do.
What This Means For Tenants
It means make sure you print out the links I sent and show it at your LTB Hearing.
You have to be forceful and take control at the Landlord and Tenant Board because it’s even more amateurish than before. All the high quality people left!
Since Ford won all the smart and professional adjudicators resigned in disgust of how things were being handled.
At least McGuinty rightfully got rid of under-educated adjudicators who were just political appointments and didn’t even have law degrees or paralegal training.
So now you have mediocre leadership and new adjudicators are mostly part time and paid peanuts just desperate to avoid working at Walmart so they don’t really care.
1. Tenants Need To Control The Narrative At The LTB
Landlords and their high priced legal reps will try to frame this as “you didn’t pay rent, you are evil and get out!”
This is very easy to counter and will back-fire on the landlords acting so savagely…but you need to be aggressive and control the narrative.
You Are the Victim, Not The Landlord: “I was just listening to Premier Ford and Trying To Survive!”
By not paying rent (or paying a little bit) you were following the advice of the Premier and the Housing Minister.
You did nothing wrong…You listened to the Premier and Housing Minister… You paid what you could…or didn’t pay because you couldn’t.
Madam Chair: “It wasn’t my intention not to pay rent for the year, it was due to needing to survive!”
Do this and you are already winning at your LTB Hearing.
Here are links to the Premier and Housing Minister saying you won’t be evicted for paying rent.
PRINT BOTH OUT AND MAKE THEM A KEY PART OF YOUR CASE.
It’s not your landlord vs. you, it’s your landlord vs. you, Premier Ford, and the Minister of Housing! Guess who will win?
2. The Landlord and Tenant Board is a “Social Justice Tribunal” not normal court.
This means the LTB takes the concerns of tenants seriously. It’s not just “black or white”. It’s a “social justice tribunal” that cares about your human rights.
What This Means For Tenants
It means the LTB will have to seriously consider the situation you faced when you didn’t pay rent. Landlords often think “you didn’t pay, you get the hell out!”
That’s not the way the LTB (a social justice tribunal) works. Tenants can explain our situations and why we had to do what we had to do.
Housing is a human right and if you need money to survive and can’t cover rent the LTB will be understanding and it’s okay.
Fortunately, thanks to McGuinty and Wynne Ontario isn’t the “Alabama” or “Mississippi” no justice states so many landlords crave it to be. Make sure to have your “story” of “hardship” and you won’t be evicted.
3. The LTB Will Be Clogged And Landlords Won’t Get A Hearing For Months
Due to mismanagement even before the pandemic it was taking landlords 6-8 months to get a hearing date. Now it’s going to be even more swamped.
Remember all the cases set for March – July were postponed and these cases filed before the March shut-down will be at the front of the line.
Even investment guru Garth Turner (former Canada Minister of Finance) has said:
The Landlord Tenant Board is shut by Covid. When it opens again, the backlog will be biblical. The tenants will still be there, squatting, in a year. In fact, they can just stop paying rent.
What This Means For Tenants
It means even though you may receive an N4 it is just a piece of paper and nothing more! The N4 Means Nothing!
Your landlord will have to file to get a Hearing at the LTB and it won’t happen for months, perhaps years!
Smart landlords will try to work with you and work out a win-win situation because the reality is landlords are powerless and have to wait for the LTB to open and for their Hearing to be scheduled.
If you have a great small landlord let them know you can avoid the LTB and work something out together. But landlords will need to obey your payment plan or reduced rent. If not, let them take you to the LTB where they will lose.
LET’S DO IT! – Work Now To Create Your Case To Win At the Landlord and Tenant Board
Let’s focus on what you need to do.
—Control The Narrative From The Start
Firstly, control the narrative that Premier Ford and the Housing Minister told you that you don’t have to pay rent and won’t be evicted and you needed to focus on food and survival.
—Document your situation
Document, document, document! Show your costs, keep copies (and take pic of) all your receipts for food. Show your total bills.
When the adjudicator asks you why you didn’t pay rent (or full rent):
-Have your employment situation laid out. Did you lose hours, laid off, etc.
-Did you have to rely on CERB which could have ended at any time so you needed to save for food?
-Show your grocery bills (copies will be helpful).
-Show receipts for other costs? Do you have kids who need diapers, pablum, some toys? Show one receipt is enough because of course these costs are regular and add up.
-Did you have sick relative you needed to help? Show gas receipts, other costs.
-Do you have kids? Bring them to the LTB Hearing! Explain how you had to pay for their food and as a good parent you bought some toys, etc.
—Show You Tried to Pay (And If You Paid Some Rent It Will Be Even Easier To Win)
If you can show you tried to pay even $100 it will work in your favour. Make sure you have witnesses and people who will sign affidavits for you.
KEY POINT – No adjudicator will ever evict you if you tried to pay (and can prove it) or couldn’t pay (and can explain why) They won’t evict you!
They will give you a long term payment plan. If they evict you they will be fired under these circumstances. You file for a review and go to the media!
If they evicted you there are ways to make sure they lose their job (their 2 year contract won’t be renewed).
In this crappy economy these people want to keep their cushy jobs. You only need to give them the ammo to help them help you.
KEY POINT – Landlords who didn’t offer you a fair payment plan will go down hard and lose at the Hearing. Bill 184 made this a new rule:
Because the new laws will PUNISH landlords who didn’t try to create a payment plan with you!!!
So landlords are already getting ready to just “lie” they offered you one. Make sure you are ready to challenge them on their lies.
Let’s Review Things.
-Your Eviction Hearing Will Take Months or Years To Get. Think July 2021 For Your Hearing
-When You Go To Your Hearing You Will Not Evicted If You Plan
1. At your LTB Hearing many tenants will have their owed rent ‘forgiven’.
2. At the very worst you will be put on a payment plan where you start paying rent + $50 until 2021 or beyond..
Bad Landlords Trying To Make A Buck Are Pathetic!
We Need To License Small Landlords
Not all landlords are bad. It is usually the uneducated mortgage frauds who are. So let’s license landlords and demand a valid Bachelor Degree and an annual test and maintenance inspection to be able to own an rental.
This will eliminate many of the worst rural rump landlords and allow good landlords to thrive.
Tenants Should Co-Operate With Their Landlord If Possible
Of course, if you have a nice granny landlord try your best to help them out. But if you have a corporate landlord or a snotty rich landlord who is living in Bahamas and cheating his wife there is no need to have any mercy.
Because bad landlords don’t care if you live or die.
Tenants Prepare Now To Win When The LTB Opens
If you prepare you will win. Easily. It’s a cakewalk!
Landlords are hoping you are not informed of your rights, not informed of the realities of the situation, and not informed that you can protect yourself and your loved ones and WIN!
No wonder by past post got so much attention. And all I did was explain how the system works.
But remember if you have a small grandma landlord who you like, educate them and work something out and co-operate together.
But Never Forget – YOU WON’T BE EVICTED!
If you plan and play it right:
1. The LTB will deny the eviction and effectively eliminate your arrears – but would still likely make sure you started paying the rent again.
If your landlord did not offer you a payment plan they will be punished!
2. In most cases the LTB will make an Order to re-pay with an enforceable payment plan under section 78 of the Act. In laypeople’s terms it means you need to make a small payment and can’t miss it. But you will not be evicted.
3. You can always just leave. Your landlord will then have to find you, serve you and sue you in small claims court. It’s a very difficult process and small claims court justices are on the Tenants side.
4. If you ever get a judgement against you just declare bankruptcy and the debt will never be collected from you.
Declaring bankruptcy is an important potential strategy so you don’t have to pay what you legally owe someone. Even President Trump in the USA declared bankruptcy 5 times! It’s a weapon tenants can use!
FREE LEGAL AID!
Tenants can get free legal help. So before your hearing make sure you contact a legal aid clinic to help you prepare. And when you are at your hearing make sure you get the free legal aid lawyer or paralegal who helps tenants to speak on your behalf in front of the adjudicator!
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
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.
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.
Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”
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.