Archive for the ‘landlord education’ Category

Ontario Landlord Tenant Board Is Facing New Challenges And Needs Your Help

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Let’s Fix The Landlord and Tenant Board in 2021

Small Ontario landlords were happy when the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) finally re-opened and began having video hearings.

The LTB had been closed for months and this led to some tenants not paying rent. Not getting rent created severe financial challenges for thousands of small ‘mom and pop’ landlords all over Ontario.

A Disaster For Small Landlords

Some landlords even had to sell their rental properties because they needed rent in order to help cover their mortgages, property taxes, and increasingly expensive maintenance costs.

Many others had to max out their credit cards, get loans and borrow money just to keep from going bankrupt. They are now worried about getting the needed income to pay for these huge debts.

For many small landlords the LTB shut down was a nightmare.

When the LTB finally re-opened small landlords felt better and began to trust the system to help them. However, there was great frustration within our community over the long wait times to get a hearing date.

Finally, over the past couple of months the LTB has started to operate efficiently to clear the incredibly long backlog of cases.

Small landlords, at last, began to see the light at the end of the dark, long tunnel.

Tenant Groups: The Landlord and Tenant Board Is In a “Crisis”

Now that hearings have started many tenant groups are unhappy and want to shut down the LTB.

They say there is a crisis at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

They claim that the online hearings are unfair to tenants who have not been treated with respect. In addition, they say some LTB adjudicators are not acting professionally and denying tenants their legal rights.

This led the NDP to call for a shut down of the LTB

The NDP wants to shut down the LTB and ban evictions.

All tenants get free legal help (no matter their income) and the legal clinics have reached out to the Human Rights Commission to halt Hearings and re-examine LTB decisions over the past few months.

Ontario Small Landlords Need The LTB To Remain Open…We Also Want Fairness for Both Good Landlords And Good Tenants

Most small ‘mom and pop’ landlords are good, working class people who want to create high quality, affordable housing. We want to take care of our tenants and our rentals and hope it can help provide a little bit of cash flow and help us during our retirement.

We used to rent ourselves and have relatives and friends who rent now. We have nothing against good tenants and just want a fair, efficient system to help both good landlords and good tenants.

These are challenging times and the LTB reached out to the Ontario Landlords Association to ask for our members help.

This was sent to us by the leadership of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board:

December 22, 2020

TO:                 Ontario Landlords Association Stakeholders

FROM:           Karen Restoule, Associate Chair,  Lynn Dicaire, Registrar

RE:                 Year-end Message from the LTB Associate Chair and Registrar

It has been a hard year for so many of us, and for so many reasons.

As a result of COVID-19, LTB operations have transformed at unprecedented speed and scale. Our service counters remain closed and hearings continue to be conducted by videoconference, teleconference, and through written submissions.

The LTB has been working continuously to offer quality dispute resolution for the thousands of people across the province who rely on us while prioritizing the health and safety of all.

During this change, we would like to express our appreciation for you, our stakeholders, for your patience, cooperation, and shared commitment to fair and timely dispute resolution.

In July, as a result of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) the LTB proposed changes to its Rules, guidelines, and forms and opened the door to public and stakeholder input. In August and September, we met virtually with more than 15 stakeholder groups and received more than 40 written submissions. Since then, we have met virtually with more than 18 stakeholder groups.

Your willingness to engage openly and honestly with the LTB has been important to our process. Not only did we receive helpful feedback on the proposed changes to our materials and procedures as a result of Bill 184, but you also raised concerns and offered advice related to topics like virtual hearings, electronic filing, and the use of alternative dispute resolution.

The LTB is committed to open and ongoing stakeholder engagement. We value your experience and perspective on landlord and tenant matters.

In January, we will organize another round of engagement meetings with stakeholders. These meetings will complement a call for written feedback on proposed changes to guidelines and forms for upcoming RTA changes related to Bill 184. We welcome your input on our proposed changes to our processes and procedures. We hope you will participate.

Before we close, we’d like to take this opportunity to share a few operational updates.

We will continue to hear tenant applications and urgent matters from December 22 to January 4. In early January, the LTB will add landlord-seized and adjourned matters to the schedule, and landlord and tenant case management hearings will resume. Hearings for all application types will resume on January 18, 2021.

Finally, as we continue to work to address the large volume of pending applications and requests, we continue to ask for your patience.

Applicants will continue to experience delays. At this time, the LTB is shifting its operational staff to respond to priority areas and cannot provide accurate application processing and customer service response times. Once an application is processed, a letter will be sent to the applicant providing their file number so they can Check File Status on our website for their hearing date once it has been scheduled.

To stay up-to-date on other developments at the LTB, we encourage you to visit our website regularly and subscribe to our Latest News.

Thank you again for your continued engagement with the LTB. This meaningful dialogue provides the LTB with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by our users and helps us to identify opportunities to improve everyone’s experience with the board.

On behalf of all LTB staff and adjudicators, please accept our warmest wishes for a safe holiday and Happy New Year. We look forward to connecting with you in 2021.

Warmly,

[original signed by]       [original signed by]

Karen Restoule

Associate Chair

Lynn Dicaire

Registrar

 

Let’s Fix The LTB in 2021

We appreciate the LTB reaching out to us once again.

Many don’t realize the OLA stopped a lot of extremely anti-small landlord measures in the past by being in regular contact with former Premier Kathleen Wynne (also when she was Housing Minister) and explaining our positions.

For example, “Own Use Evictions” still exist…when it almost didn’t thanks to the efforts of many of our senior OLA members.

Small Ontario landlords need the LTB to remain open to evict those who haven’t pay rent for months and leading to ridiculously unfair hardship on us.

We also understand the tenant groups frustration with some adjudicators not being fair. The LTB is a “court” and we need to make sure that the LTB treats both landlords and tenants with respect and the ability to make our cases.

Small Ontario Landlords Can Provide Solutions

Make sure you contact us with your ideas, concerns and hopes to fix the LTB and protect good landlords and good tenants (and making sure the bad apples are treated accordingly.)

There are too many “one person” shows now and we need to all come together and be united. Together we are strong.

Contact Us – Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard LOUD AND CLEAR:

Please send us your thought and ideas.

What happens in the next 30 days will have a major impact on the Ontario private rental industry for years to come.

Play a role and get your voice heard!

Email: landlordvoices2021@activist.com

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

Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB) Fees Are Going Up in 2017

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

ontario-landlords-association-education-campaign

Ontario Landlords Filing Applications at the LTB Will See Fees Rise in 2017

Experienced Ontario landlords know one of the keys to success in this industry is having strong, mutually respectful relationships with your tenants.

You provide a terrific, safe, fairly priced rental property to your tenants. You are a service-oriented landlord and that means when things need fixing or issues arise, you make it a priority and get things fixed fast. When you fix these issues you cooperate with your tenant to make sure both sides are satisfied with the solution.

Great Tenants

In return your tenants take care of the rental home and pay their rent on time. When they want to move out to buy their own home or move to another area they provide proper notice and allow showings according to the Residential Tenancies Act. When you do the showings the tenants are cooperative and keep the place clean. (Many of our most successful members even have tenants recommend their rentals to new prospective tenants during showings).

It’s a win-win situation and it’s what everyone wants.

In Reality Sometimes Things Go Wrong

It happens.

Let’s face it, the LTB is very busy and this is why it can take such a long time to get a Hearing date.

Some landlords don’t fulfill their responsibilities. Important repairs are neglected and safety issues not taken as seriously as they need to be taken.

Other times your tenants don’t fulfill their end of the deal.

We’ve had landlords write about rent being consistently paid late. Or sometimes they don’t get paid at all by their tenants.  There are even examples of tenants who make big damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear.

One of the most common complaints our members have discussed recently have been from landlords owning multiplex units. They have to deal with tenants arguing with other tenants in the building and get drawn into it.

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

When these type of issues happen landlords and tenants can go to the LTB to try to resolve the issues.

We’ve written before about the Landlord and Tenant Board and the longer you are a landlord the greater the chance that at some point you will need to go to a Hearing.

Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) Application Fees Are Increasing January 16, 2017

There are going to be some higher prices for landlords filing applications beginning on January 16, 2017. There are also going to be some increases for a couple of tenant applications.

The LTB wants it to be known that fees are going up around 10% and haven’t been increased since back in 2009. You can see the new 2017 fees versus the older ones here.

Fee Waivers For Those On a Low Income

If you are on a low income you can make a request for a ‘fee waiver’.  The threshold to get this fee waiver has increased and you can find more information here.

Discounts With E-Filing

Four of the most common landlord and tenant applications can be filed through the LTB e-filing system.  These forms make up about eighty percent of the applications filed. 

These applications are:

(a) Form L1 – Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-Payment of Rent and to Collect the Rent the Tenant Owes

(b) Form L2 – Application to End a Tenancy and Evict a Tenant

(c) Form T2 – Application about Tenant Rights

(d) Form T6 – Tenant Application about Maintenance

Be aware of the discount if you are e-filing one of these.

Landlords and the Landlord Tenant Board 2017

Successful Ontario landlords know the importance of choosing good tenants and developing a mutually respectful relationship. Just as good landlords appreciate good tenants, good tenants also are looking for professional and knowledgeable landlords.

If you do go to the LTB make sure you are aware of the process and that includes knowing how much the fees are.

Tips For Renting To Students from University of Toronto Housing Services

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

 

ontario-landlords-university-of-toronto-housing

Do You Want to Become a Successful Student Housing Landlord? 

We continue to get a lot of messages and comments from people who want to rent to students. OLA members have written how much they appreciated our previous posts on the topic and want more. In fact, our interview with the U of T Housing Services team received tremendous feedback and helped many small landlords succeed in renting to students so we asked them for more tips for 2016.

Many new investors and future landlords were student tenants themselves at one point and remember their time renting. They remember how they were looking for safe and attractive rental properties run by a great landlord.

Some say they never found the type of property or landlord they really hoped for during their uni or college days, and want to provide a terrific rental experience for the students of today. They remember how they followed the rules, always fulfilled their lease obligations and paid the rent on time. They were great tenants and now would like to rent to great tenants.

Even small residential landlords who aren’t near colleges or universities are also becoming very interested in buying a student rental property. They know they can apply their skills and knowledge as experienced, professional, service-oriented landlords to create rental properties for students who are looking for high quality rentals.

In order to help people interested in getting into student housing we interviewed the University of Toronto’s Housing Services team. They are a terrific resource for both landlords and tenants.

Here are some of our questions and terrific tips:

Many of our members have spoken about your helpful tips for landlords on Twitter.  When did the U of T team start using twitters to get the message out?

We starting actively using Twitter in late 2015. It’s been a great way for us to stay connected with our landlords and the housing community!

How does your service help landlords in 2016?

We offer a site where landlords can advertise their rental unit whether it be short- or long-term, private or shared accommodation.  Our site averages 13,000+ visitors each month including U of T, George Brown, OCAD, and ESL school students,  U of T staff and faculty, and students of other post-secondary institutions.

We offer various pricing options, insider tips on topics such as creating more attractive ads for students, average rental rates in the area, and current legislation.

Your ad will be visible to our users 24/7, you can track how many times your ad has been viewed, include extensive details such a floors plans and other photos.

Has anything about your services changed for 2016?

Yes! We are pleased to announce that we’ve launched a new and improved Off-Campus Housing website. The new site is mobile-friendly and has many new enhancements requested by our users. As a result of the enhancements, it is now more frequently used by faculty and staff, and is promoted by the University’s Faculty Relocation Office.

With property prices appreciating fast are there more options for tenants this year?

We have seen a slight increase in ads so far this summer – our improved service has attracted new landlords whom have never listed with us before.

We have many new members who have invested in student housing. What tips can you provide to help them attract good tenants?

Good landlords attract good tenants. A good landlord is someone who follows the guidelines of the RTA and stands by their responsibilities to maintain their unit accordingly.

Being such a large institution, our users are diverse: undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty, as well as students attending other post-secondary schools who are looking for housing in the Toronto/Scarborough/Mississauga.

Our users are looking for places that are fairly close to our three campuses (or near a major transit line), offer competitive rental rates, include utilities, and where possible, a flexible lease agreement (i.e. month-to-month, 8-month leases, or ability to sublet in the summer). We encourage your members to include in their ad any amenities and features that might be attractive to our users such as laundry facilities, dishwasher, a backyard or patio, natural light, air conditioning, or WIFI.

What kinds of things are students looking for in choosing one rental over another?

Move-in date, budget, and location are the key factors, but students are definitely attracted to places that offers some of the amenities and features mentioned above (laundry facilities, dishwasher, a backyard or patio, natural light, air conditioning, or WIFI).

Do you have any tips on how new landlords renting to students can ‘start off right’ for the coming academic year?

To start the tenancy off right, ensure the place is in good condition when the student moves in, so they can focus on getting settled and starting classes without the added stress of trying to sort out maintenance and repair issues.

If the landlord shares a place with the student, it’s important to respect their privacy and remember that a student’s schedule can be very hectic depending on their program. They may have early mornings and late-night study sessions. We encourage our students to be involved on campus, so they need a supportive home environment to make that possible.

Are there anything about rentals that you hear students don’t like and wish landlords would change about rental properties?

The most frequently raised concern is that many landlords want a 12 month lease agreement. This can be a deterrent for students who do not live in Toronto for the summer and need to worry about finding a sublet. We do our best to educate and offer advice on the process of finding a sublet, but it is still something that many students are worried about (especially during their exam period in April).

During the academic year, we hear more about maintenance and repair issues. It would be helpful if landlords provided information at the start of the tenancy on how to request repairs, and promptly resolved maintenance and repair issues when they are brought to their attention.

Tips For Renting To Students

Are you thinking of becoming a student housing landlord? If you are make sure you do a lot of research and you can join a growing community of successful student landlords.