Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Ontario Landlord News: 2012 Rent Increase Guideline (Ontario)

Friday, July 29th, 2011

July 29, 2011

At long last the Ontario 2012 Rent Increase Guideline has been released!

Ontario’s annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada. 

Last year, the 0.7% Rent Increase Guideline was released with great fanfare from the government in June.  Landlords and property managers across Ontario have been waiting for the latest Guideline (with many wondering the reasons for the delay).

This year, the rate of allowable rent increases for 2012 will be 3.1 per cent.

The guideline is the maximum amount that most landlords can increase a tenant’s rent during the year without making an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

The 2012 guideline applies to rent increases between January 1 and December 31, 2012. 

The Ontario government states the average yearly increase from 2004-2011 was 1.89 per cent.  The average yearly increase from 1993 – 2003 was 3.17 per cent.

To read the government announcement, click here

To discuss this in the Ontario Landlords forums, click here

New rules for landlords to follow on rent deposits

Monday, July 25th, 2011

July 19, 2011

It’s been reported the Ontario Court of Appeal has ordered a landlord to return the rental deposit to a prospective tenant even though it was the tenant who changed her mind about renting the unit and moving into it!

The Court has set new rules for tenancy deposits that has important implications in what landlords need to put in their rental applications and how the Landlord and Tenant Board makes decisions about tenancy deposits.

Ken Hale, the Director of Advocacy and Legal Services at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario says:  “This decision makes it clear that rental deposits are only for last months’ rent and if a tenant decides not to move in, the landlord does not have an automatic right to keep it,”

Hale goes on to say:  “Most tenants do not have extra money to put more than one deposit down when looking for a place to live.  If a landlord keeps a deposit improperly, the tenant’s ability to put a roof over their head can be put in jeopardy.”

Read the original article on this decision here

Discuss this topic at the Ontario Landlords Advice Forums here

Hoarders? What can a landlord do?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

“Our hands are really tied under the Residential Tenancies Act.”

 July 2011

Like a lot of residential property investors in Ontario are doing these days, the Toronto Star asked:  The threat from hoarders is real, but do property managers have the power they need to get access to apartments and protect their tenants? 

According to the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act landlords must seek the permission of their tenants to enter their rental units. Gaining access is often difficult. However, following the terrible fire at 200 Wellesley St. E. last September, the fire marshal’s office is now asking landlords to be vigilant about reducing risk to other tenants from the problems caused by hoarding, and to notify local fire departments if they see instances that are of concern.

What can landlords do?  Two members of the Ontario Landlords Association Andrew Ganguly and April Stewart of Landlord Legal were interviewed to help provide advice and guidance.

Ganguly explained “The problem we have is that our hands are really tied under the Residential Tenancies Act.”

“If I serve the required 24-hour notice to inspect a unit and the tenant refuses entry I’m stuck — the tenant doesn’t have to let me in. It causes a lot of anxiety because you want to keep an eye on it because you know you will be the one to be blamed but you can’t do anything about it.”

Stewart gave background information on Section 15 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 which allows a fire official to enter a premises “without a warrant or other authorization for the purpose of removing or reducing the threat.”

In one of Stewart’s cases, the tenant had piled up so much debris gathered outside and inside the house  the fire department issued such as order.

Stewart explained the landlord had not managed to get the Landlord and Tenant Board to issue an eviction notice. While the fire department is now asking the landlord to get rid of all the debris left by the tenant, the landlord knows that under the law he can’t do so as the tenant was not legally evicted.

Stewart said “Now the landlord is in a bad position, left in limbo with the status of the tenant because the landlord tried previously to get rid of the tenant but didn’t win the eviction case.”

Read more at the Toronto Star.

Discuss the article in the Ontario Landlord Forums.

 

I have been a victim of the Resident Tenancy Act

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

An open letter to the Ministry of Housing

 

I have been a victim of the Residential Tenancies Act and find the entire legal situation unjust, petty and completely in favour of the tenant. The laws should have some balance, but it is quite laughable here. It’s not just my opinion either. I talk with various people and surprisingly those that have asked a lawyer whether they should invest in a rental property, the lawyer tells them bluntly don’t do it the laws are completely against you.
(more…)

MPP issues bill to address rent control exemption

Friday, June 17th, 2011

The Ontario Landlord Association calls it “irresponsible”

After receiving a complaint from a constituent about a steep rent hike, Norm Sterling introduced a Bill late last month to address a little known part of the Residential Tenancies Act that prevents rent control on properties constructed after 1991. (more…)