Archive for the ‘Good Tenant Tips’ Category

Good Tenant Tips: A Place For Good Tenants To Share Helpful Advice

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022

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 our tenant members 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.

 

International Students Be Careful Of Rental Scams

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Coming to a new land can be exciting. There can also be dangers. So be happy, be positive but always be careful.

For example, be aware there are lots of “rental scams” happening in Ontario.

This has nothing to do with real landlords, but people who act as the landlord when they aren’t!

According to CBC news an international student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario says she was eager to settle into new housing ahead of the fall semester, but was stripped of her savings and is fighting poor mental health after falling victim to a rental scam.

The victim is Armina Soleymani who moved from Iran to Ontario 3 years ago to get her Doctorate degree.

She says:

“Before, I had one problem: Finding a place. But now, I have two problems: Finding a place and getting my money back … I can’t focus on my studies.”

Soleymani’s experience comes following a slew of warnings by the Waterloo Regional Police Service, and as officers confirm they’re probing multiple reports of rental fraud in the university area this month.

Soleymani said she began searching for a new rental unit near the university about two months ago in order to secure a place before her current lease expires Aug. 31.

How The Rental Scam Works

Earlier this month, she found an online listing from someone calling themself a tenant through a Facebook group that’s popular among students. The woman said she wanted to sublet a unit at a building on Columbia Street West in Waterloo. Soleymani arranged an in-person appointment to meet with the woman on Aug. 6.

Soleymani said the woman, who claimed she was a student, gave her a tour of the furnished unit, and then they signed a lease agreement.

She said the woman requested that Soleymani pay $2,000 in cash to cover first and last month’s rent and a key deposit.

“I got suspicious and asked her for her ID,” said Soleymani. “I asked her to come down in front of the building’s main entrance door where there were two security cameras and I paid her.”

Soleymani said the woman gave her a key, which turned out to be fake, and was told it would work on the move-in day, so there was no opportunity to try it out beforehand to see if it would gain her access to the building.

Soleymani also said she kept in touch with the woman through Facebook, but after a few days, she noticed the woman’s Facebook page had been deleted. When Soleymani went to check on the unit, she happened upon a building manager, who advised her she had been scammed by the woman and there were other victims.

From what Soleymani understands, the woman didn’t actually live there. She also understands, based on what the building manager told her, that the woman had been subletting the unit herself from another person who was subletting it.

Soleymani said she believes scammers go out of their way to target international students or those scrambling to find a place weeks before school.

“During this time, students are desperate, they just want to find a place,” she said. “I think right now I realize several [red] flags, but I was under the pressure of finding a place. When your priority is to protect yourself from being homeless, you can’t focus on other things.

“There are lots of international students … that are looking for a place with no success … We have no choice other than to trust people and I know for many other students who come from overseas, there’s no choice but using online applications,” she added, noting language barriers also make the process more challenging.

Soleymani said the situation has impacted her mental health, and left her unable to focus on her studies and research. She hopes her story will raise awareness and help others.

“I just want to warn the other students. I don’t want anyone to experience the same situation.”

How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Money!
According to the University of Toronto you can protect yourself in the following ways

Let’s All Go To Tenant School! (It’s Free)

Friday, August 5th, 2022

This is Cassandra from the forums. I’ve submitted this and hope lots of people read it.

Tenants only want to follow the rules and protect our rights under the law.

But what if you are busy working multiple jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table for your children?

Meanwhile, you landlord is trying to do something you think is wrong but how can you fight back?

There is now a terrific way for Tenants learn more about our rights!

This will be informative and fun and teach you about your rights and how to protect yourself. Good landlords will appreciate you knowing about the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) so both sides are equal partners when it comes to understanding the system.

Here is the information:

Come to our August Tenant School – for free!
Register for the FMTA’s Tenant School program

You can now register for the FMTA’s Tenant School program which provides training to tenants and tenant association leaders about your rights under the law and how you can organize with your neighbours.

Some workshops will be over Zoom and others will be held in person at Christie Pits Park (across from Christie subway stop on the Bloor line).

Here is the schedule of workshops:

On Zoom:

Tuesday, August 9, 7-8:30 pm: Introduction to Landlord-Tenant Law

Wednesday, August 10, 7-8:30 pm: Human Rights and Housing

Thursday, August 11, 7-8:30 pm: City Hall 101

At Christie Pits:

Sunday, August 14, 11:30 am – 4:30 pm:

*Getting Repairs Done

*Community Organizing and Tenant Associations

Read more here: Come to our August Tenant School – for free! – FMTA (torontotenants.org)

 

Group takes Landlord and Tenant board to Human Rights Tribunal over ‘digital first’ system

Monday, July 4th, 2022

Legal clinics that support renters have banded together to file human rights complaints against Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board alleging its “digital first” strategy has discriminated against tenants based on age, family status and disability.

For the first time in its history, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario is bringing applications to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against the LTB and its parent organization, Tribunals Ontario, that call into question the entire method of holding hearings, alleging that “digital first” has created systemic discrimination that puts Ontarians’ human rights last.

“When you do a single system with a service delivery mode that’s digital, there’s a generation of people that didn’t grow up with computers,” said Mairghread Knought, a community legal worker with the Nipissing Community Legal Clinic who has attempted to help people from all over the province who have struggled to have their cases heard in the often chaotic online hearings. “Putting a justice system online where housing is at stake – this isn’t renewing your licence – there’s a customer service aspect really missing here.”

At issue is a decision made in 2020 by Tribunals Ontario and the LTB to no longer hold hearings in person and focus on doing its work online or over the telephone. Officially, in-person hearings remained possible, but examples of it happening were virtually non-existent until recent months. Initially the move was said to be necessitated by pandemic restrictions, but even as other courts have opened up and begun taking in-person hearings, the LTB has signalled its intent to stay “digital first” for good.

ACTO’s lead lawyer on the file said that the Tribunal’s attempts to prioritize speed have not only failed to eliminated massive backlogs and wait times for hearings, but have been detrimental to a large group of tenants.

“No one can deny it works for a lot of people, and for some people it might be better than before,” said Ryan Hardy, staff lawyer at ACTO, referring mainly to landlords seeking evictions. “Clearly if you sacrifice procedural protections, or sacrifice access to duty council, and sacrifice a lot of the rules of evidence, I’ve seen an application for an eviction disposed of in under two minutes.

“If you do that it’s probably more mathematically efficient, but at what cost? How many people got evicted who might not have been evicted under a fairer system?”

Lorraine Peever, 77, is the complainant in one of the first HRTO cases ACTO is bringing. In 2019, she tried to file a tenants application for compensation after her building – a District of Nipissing Housing Services seniors residence in North Bay with 106 apartments – was infested with bed bugs.

“I had to put on extra pants, and tuck the pants inside the socks. My arms were bitten; I put extra-long socks on my arms, a sweater. I had a towel around my neck, a fancy scarf on my head: That’s how I went to bed,” said Ms. Peever. As the bug issues continued to plague the building well into 2020, Ms. Peever grew increasingly irate at the costs borne by her and other tenants. At one point she was told to put everything she wanted to save in three plastic boxes, which meant throwing away almost everything else, including gowns she had for dancing. But on several occasions she was unable to join the new all-digital hearings on her phone.

“The things going on in this building are not right. I was getting fed up. It bothered me really, really bad,” said Ms. Peever, who eventually contacted her local legal clinic for help. “We’re all seniors and nobody wants to talk up or nothing … we’re not all bright and have computers.”

Ms. Knought’s office has fought twice now to get Ms. Peever’s case heard. Ms. Peever is still waiting to find out whether the LTB will hear her application. She missed her most recent hearing after being badly injured in a winter storm, ending up in a rehabilitation hospital with three broken vertebrae.

“No one wants to have to do a human rights complaint,” said Ms. Knought. “It’s sad that no one seems to be listening.” ACTO runs the provincially funded Tenant Duty Counsel program that puts a trained lawyer in every hearing room – once physical, now all digital – to advise tenants who are allowed to represent themselves at the Tribunal but often need guidance on how to do so. Ms. Knought has worked with the legal clinic on and off for two decades and has advised tenants in hundreds of digital hearings since COVID-19 began.

“It was a Band-Aid solution and it hasn’t been done well,” said Ms. Knought. “What we see is individuals who struggle with mute and unmute.”

In Northern Ontario, in-person hearings were rare prepandemic, she said; about twice a month the Tribunal would set up temporary shop in a Best Western hotel, but at least tenants had a chance to be heard. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. … I’ve never worked anywhere where the ability to communicate with a government body has been so bad.”

Even though the LTB has hired more adjudicators in recent months and scheduled more hearings, Ms. Knought said there are more adjournments than ever – and even if there is a hearing, the relative inexperience of many of the new adjudicators means there have been lengthening delays in getting written verdicts.

“The Attorney-General must ensure the LTB’s digital hearings are fast, fair, and easy to use for all, and guarantee an in-person hearing if a tenant or landlord requests one,” said Jessica Bell, NDP MPP and critic on the housing file, who has spoken out for months about service problems at the LTB.

Tribunals Ontario did not respond to a request for comment.

“I’m hoping the government will wake up,” Ms. Peever said. “It’s been dragging on and nothing’s been settled.”

Tenants, See Things From Your Landlords Perspective…Things Make Sense!

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I’m a Tenant member and have been posting on the Ontario Landlords Association Forum for many years.

After my husband passed away I sold our house and rented a pretty little place that is close to great shopping and bus routes so I can go to BINGO.

Great Landlady

My landlady was in her 60’s and I rented from her. Things were good and no problems at all. I paid rent on time and never got any huge increase or anything and any issues I had (like a leaky roof in the bedroom) were fixed fast.

Great Landlady…But People Said I Should Hate Her…

Still I did so much reading and thought “hey my landlady is making so much money from me, is this unfair?”

All the propaganda made me begin to feel I was wrong to pay rent on time!

New Landlord Takes Over

My landlady became ill and her son took over. He was, to be frank, a jerk! He didn’t fix things on time, was rude and even aggressive!” I wanted to move out and avoid him and he said I have to follow the lease even though I signed it with him Mum!

I didn’t know what to do and it was so frustrating. A few months later his Mum (the original landlord) contacted me and said she was feeling better and was back to be my landlord and contact person.

Good Landlords Should Appreciate Good Tennats, But We Should Appreciate Great Landlords

I learned not all landlords are created equal. There are good and bad.

If you have have great landlord my advice is to appreciate them. I spoke with my now healthy landlady and had no idea of the problems she had before with some tenants not paying rent and breaking leases. YIKES!

Good Tenants and Good Landlords

It’s really a jungle out there. So many bad tenants and also many bad landlords! If you have a good situation make sure you appreciate it and work together for mutual success.

Cheers!!!

Laura