Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Ontario landlord news: politics and rent increases

Friday, September 30th, 2011

“If Re-Elected, a Liberal Government will make Rent Increases Lower”

October 1, 2011

Ontario  landlords faced a historically low allowable rent increase of only 0.7% for 2011 despite facing huge new costs due to the HST.  As inflation rose, the 2012 allowable rent increase is 3.1%, which is still lower than provinces such as British Columbia.

Where do the parties stand on allowable increases?  The Liberals are clear: they will create a formula specifically designed to lower any any future increases.

Dr. Eric Hoskins and the Ontario Liberals have an unmatched record of standing up for and protecting tenants. 

When he got news of the 2012 Rent Increase Guideline, Eric wrote to the Minister of Housing asking for his assurance that if re-elected, our Liberal government will fix the legislation governing the rent increase, and make that increase lower.

The Minister of Housing replied saying that when the Legislature returns in the fall, our Liberal government, if re-elected, will make amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act to bring the rent increase in line with what tenants are facing in the real world

To read the original story, click here

To read the letter from the Minister of Housing, click here

To discuss this on the Ontario Landlord forums, click here

Ontario Landlord Advice: Tenant Screening

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Don’t be blinded by a beautiful face

September 20, 2011

 

We hear these types of stories all the time.  The landlord sets up a meeting with a tenant applicant.  The applicant seems extremely nice, very polite, a great person.  Well dressed, a nice car, and a winning smile!  He or she presents you with some references that are out of this world!  You think about it again.  This person seems responsible and financially stable.  You trust your instincts, get first and last, and hand over the key.  You might even go out for dinner and celebrate finding a great tenant for your amazing property.

Then it starts.  The start of the month comes and they are late paying.  “Ah, it’s just a one time thing” you think.

A couple of weeks later neighbors start complaining about the noise levels, the people coming in and out at all hours, and the garbage piling up.  You think “what’s going on?”  You start to wonder what happened to that polite, responsible person who you trusted to stay in your rental property.

You hope for the best.  Except things keep getting worse.   You see your property getting damaged.  You hear your neighbor’s complaints.  You feel yourself losing control over your property.  On top of it all, they aren’t paying any rent!

Canadian Apartment magazine has a must read article on how to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.  We would like to emphasize the importance of credit checks.  We offer two of the best credit check services in Canada at highly discounted rates for members.

Read the original article here

Discuss this in our landlord advice forums here

Ontario Landlord and Tenant News

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Deaf feel burned by tenant discrimination: Advocates

September 6, 2011

TORSTAR NEWS SERVICE

The story of a deaf woman who didn’t get a single reply when she inquired into dozens of Toronto apartments was no surprise for human rights and housing advocates. Quinn Cruise, a 25-year-old student who is deaf, sent 30 emails inquiring about rooms advertised for rent last September. She didn’t get a single response until she removed the word “deaf” from her message.

“These are barriers that are constantly being faced by people that are deaf or hard of hearing,” said Gordana Mosher of the Canadian Hearing Society.

Geordie Dent, director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, said the organization’s hotline receives a handful of calls every year from deaf people who feel they’ve been discriminated against.

“People who have disabilities, often landlords don’t want to deal with (them), especially in the private market,” he said.

But it is against the law for landlords to discriminate against anyone with a physical or mental disability. They must also provide “reasonable” accommodations — such as a visual fire alarm in the case of a deaf tenant.

But Ontario landlords say it’s not always that simple. A new visual fire alarm can cost between $500 and $1,500, according to Mosher. Small-scale landlords may not have the money to invest in such a system.

“A lot of landlords have nothing against someone who has a disability, but maybe they’re a little bit concerned that they’d have to invest more to accommodate the person,” said Stuart Henderson, a spokesman for the Ontario Landlords Association.

Inexperienced landlords may also be worried about how to take care of a tenant with a disability, he added. “They don’t know what to do if there’s a problem.”

Discuss this newspaper article on the Landlord Discussion Forums here
Read the original newspaper article here

 

Ontario Landlord News: Do renters need insurance?

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

The Ontario Landlords Association recommends it!

August 11, 2011

 

 

The Toronto Stars Moneyville.ca article asks: should renters get insurance? 

It’s clear many renters feel content insurance is not only low on their list of priorities, it’s something many think they can do without.

In fact, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, about half of all renters don’t even have insurance, especially young people

April Stewart of Landlord Legal says tenants can be evicted for not having insurance.  However, depending on who the adjudicator is, as there is little consistency in decisions.

Stuart Henderson of the Ontario Landlords Association for small business landlords says many landlords educate tenants about the benefits of content insurance.

Henderson insists it’s a good investment at a low cost. Premiums are typically based on the value of the contents.  They can range from $100 to $500 per year.

Read the Toronto Stars Moneyville article here

Discuss this on the Ontario Landlords Advice forums here

Ontario Landlord News: Cheap apartments are getting harder to find (?)

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Ontario Landlords Association Member comments in the Toronto Star’s Moneyville.ca

August 11, 2011

Native Montrealer Fiona O’Connor moved to Toronto for work and started her search for a two-bedroom rental apartment.

Fiona O’Connor has one word to describe her apartment search in Toronto.

“Hellish.”

In June 2011, the CMHC reported a 1.6 per cent vacancy rate for apartments in the GTA. The vacancy rate during the same period in 2010 was 2.7 per cent .  Fiona often found herself competing with other applicants for the rentals she wanted.

Is it really a “landlord bonanza” in Toronto?  Maybe not.

One Toronto landlord said she hasn’t noticed much of a change in demand this summer compared to previous summers,  despite the lower vacancy rate reported by CMHC.

An online ad in the summer will still yield about 50 initial inquiries that end up being whittled down to seven to 10 serious applications.  There are lots of new condos being built and rented out, with lots of new rental units coming on the market all the time.

Read the original article here

Discuss the story at the Landlord Advice Forums here