Archive for the ‘landlord legal’ Category

Part 1: My Tenants Haven’t Paid Rent For Months

Monday, June 1st, 2020

We are posting some of the thousands submissions sent from landlords across Ontario. Make your voice heard.

I know a lot of landlords really frustrated now and I am too. So we asked if our my submission could be published for people to read.

Hopefully others will see they aren’t alone in dealing with these challenges and those with power can see what is really happening.

Our Story – We Did Every Thing Right, The System Is Wrong

Like many others reading here we are not a rich. We are originally immigrants who saw Canada as a peaceful land which followed the rule of law instead of the law of personality and corruption.

We arrived and are both working class people who only bought our own home later in life. We rented for years and  made sure rent was a priority to pay.

We are still coupon cutters and saved every cent we could. Yes, I’m that person you see lined up at the grocery store the morning of a sale.

We have an old tv and almost never take any vacations  and we are fine with that because we want to plan for our future.

We have never bought a new car, always used. We didn’t even want to buy a car but found public transportation lacking and not convenient, especially in the cold winters.

Finally Built a Small Nest Egg

When we finally had some savings a few years ago we were looking to invest somehow. Our money was just sitting in the bank and we spoke with our bank representative about options.

She told us we could go into GICs, but they paid very little interest. And the stock market was something we were not comfortable with because it looks to us like a casino where only the insider players make money.

We were still looking for options.

Buying A Property To Rent

After long talks with each other, we came across the idea of buying a rental property.

We rented for years and remembered how tough it was to find a really nice place. We always worried about the landlord/property management because many of the rental buildings were not well maintained in our city. When we needed to move and find a new place due to work reasons it felt like Russian roulette.

So we decided we can try to buy a well located property and make it the nicest one around.

And we would be the best landlords around.

We wanted the property and how it was run to be exactly what we always looked for but never found. We planned to personally take care of the property, fix things quickly and with high quality materials, and charge an affordable price.

Our goal was people would see our place compared to others and get to know us for a mutually respectful business relationship.

Great Duplex, Great Rental, Great Location

We spoke with our bank and learned what we needed to qualify for the mortgage. I know tenants are talking a lot about mortgage fraud by small landlords and it does exist, especially for people with multiple rentals. This is wrong and makes us all look bad.

Fortunately for us we had high credit from always paying our bills and could qualify to buy a property in a certain price range.

We spent months looking and looking and the more places we saw the more we were confident we could be the best landlords around. So many of places for sale were run down, damages, smelled horrible, and not something we would have wanted to rent.

Our real estate agent finally showed us a property in a good area close to public transportation, shopping, and schools. It was vacant and we were told by our real estate agent the current owner was a foreign investor who wanted to sell.

We made our offer and after some wiggling it was accepted! We finally had our investment property, in a nice area and now it was our time to have the perfect rental property with (we hoped to be) amazing, caring landlords.

Fixing The Property

In our area it’s hard to find a really nice rental in a great area. Now we at least had the great area. Now it was time to fix it.

We did everything ourselves except the new shingles and the electrical and plumbing. We spent weeks scrubbing, painting, putting in new flooring and landscaping.

We spent more on our rental than in our own home for things like blinds, curtains, new counter tops, new appliances, and new clean light switches.

Both the upper and lower units looked like brand new houses.

We made them into places we always hoped to find but always ended up disappointed.

Great Property On The Market At An Affordable Price

We felt great even after coming home at midnight after doing sanding, painting and other fixing issues in the new property.

We had one of the best properties on the market, we wanted to be the best most friendly landlords ever, and were optimistic and excited.

We are both working class people wanting to help working class people like us!

Things Started Off Well

We found good tenants for both units in the upper and lower apartments. We made sure to use the right legal materials and rent credit checks with Rent Check.

It was a good first year. Unfortunately, the lower unit moved out after a year and the couple of teachers moved out after two years because they bought their own townhouse.

Our next tenants moved in and things were also good for a long while.

No Evictions, No Landlord And Tenant Board, No Law

They are legally “playing the system”

Things have changed in 2020. We had our first problems with the downstairs tenant who didn’t pay rent in February. He hasn’t paid since.

Then after Premier Ford say tenants didn’t have to pay rent in March our upstairs tenants have refused to pay. They told me it’s “their right.” They didn’t want to negotiate, didn’t want to work things out.

Our Tenants Are Now Not Paying Rent And We Can’t Evict Them And We are Owed Thousands of Dollars in Rent With No End In Sight!

This is all because the government is not allowing the legal system to operate… and we suspect our tenants are abusing the system because they know they can’t be evicted! Isn’t Canada supposed to be a nation of laws and not one of lawlessness?

Things were about to become worse. Doug Ford where are you to help me and my family not go bankrupt!

To Be Continued…

PAY YOUR RENT CAMPAIGN 2020

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

Smart Tenants Will Pay Rent & Cooperate With Your Landlord For a Win-Win Situation

Small landlords know the challenges tenants face.  Because we faced them too!  Many us were renters before.

We want to work with you to keep you renting from us.

Please know that just because we own a rental property, or rent out our basement, doesn’t mean we are rich. We aren’t.

Many of us are working class people who have decided to avoid the crazy stock market and buy a rental property to help us when we retire.

We need rent to be paid so we can also survive and want to cooperate with you to make sure we have a win-win relationship. We have to pay our mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance.

There are calls saying “Don’t Pay Rent” all over social media

We want to make sure tenants know good landlords want to work with you for all of us surviving.

We support tenants in need, but many of us are also on the financial edge!

To prove our support, thousands of landlords and this association are lobbying both the provincial and federal government to create a nation-wide “rent bank” that will help tenants in need get grants or low-cost loans to pay rent.

This will make sure there is no “landlord-tenant” conflicts or haggling and keep landlords in business and tenants safe in their rental homes.

Something similar to the Canada student loan system where people in temporary need get financial help from the government.

Landlords want to work with tenants (and tenant groups) to make this happen. And happen fast!

Avoid The “Don’t Pay Your Rent” Memes and Media

This isn’t a poor tenant vs. a rich evil landlord issue.

It’s a working class tenant facing challenges renting from a working class small landlord who is also facing challenges.

If you don’t pay rent (like so many are saying) it will lead to eventually being evicted with large debts, and your search for a new home will include no reference and bad credit.

Good Landlords and Good Tenants Working Together

Tenants make sure you pay your rent on time, or work it out with your landlord.

Short term easy answers like “don’t pay rent” will lead to unnecessary problems for tenants a few months from now.

These groups should be joining us to lobby for a nation-wide rent bank to truly help tenants instead of wanting to “stick it to the landlord” (which only lead to legal issues down the road). But it’s so sexy to be a revolutionary, right?

Be Smart

If you can’t pay rent work things out with your landlord who will give you a discount or deferred payments.

Paying Rent or Cooperating With Your Landlord On A Fair Payment Plan Is the Smart Move!

Ontario Landlords Can Now Access Landlord & Tenant Board Information Via F.O.I. Requests!

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Since May 1, 2019 The Rules For Accessing Information Have Changed. This Can Help Landlords Avoid “Tenants From Hell”

I’m a long-time landlord.  I bought my first rental in the late 1990s.  After some major (and expensive) mistakes I put a huge amount of my energy on screening my tenants.

I found that one of the keys to success as a landlord is to make sure you rent to good tenants and avoid the “game players” who abuse the system to rip off landlords. Sadly, there are a lot of “game players” out there.

As a long time Ontario Landlords Association member I learned a lot of great tips and tricks on weeding out “Tenants From Hell”. 

Tenant Screening Only Goes So Far In Ontario

The problem I kept facing is that in Ontario is was impossible to thoroughly screen potential tenants.  This meant that every person I rented to was a huge potential risk for me and my family. 

And what a risk renting to a bad tenant is!

In Ontario is is almost impossible to evict crafty tenants.  The process takes months/years and even if you get them out they can destroy your rental property and you can lose thousands of dollars. Even an Ontario superior court judge says the rules for landlords are unfair and ridiculous.

The problem is we had no access to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) cases. So we were blind to whether or not a potential tenant had a history of issues with the LTB.

When I joined the OLA in 2009 I found I wasn’t the only one who wanted this changed.

Thousands of other landlords also wanted access and for years the the Ontario Landlords Association has worked relentlessly contacting MPPs (and the current Premier) to make changes.

Why is this access important?

1) Credit Checks Do Not Tell The Whole Story

The truth is credit checks don’t really tell you who will be a good tenant. High credit scores can be people who simply pay their Rogers or Telus bills every month.

A credit score has nothing to do with rent and is basically useless!

Since non-payment of rent can’t be reported, that “super applicant” with a high credit score might have ripped off their last 10 landlords!

2) Landlord References Are Often Dishonest

In the beginning I relied on the honesty of other landlords. But I quickly found out that the most glowing references were often from landlords who wanted to get their tenants to move out because they were trouble makers!

Some landlords who didn’t give references but the tenants wrote them down in their application were also bad. 

I called them for a reference and when the landlord found out their tenants were looking to move they offered their good tenants rent discounts and other goodies to keep them!

3) So-Called “A.I” Is Nothing But Shameful and Shady Marketing

Just like ‘blockchains’, A.I. or ‘artificial intelligence’ is a fad these days. But it is a gimmick and just shady marketing.

How can you get a “pet risk score” by asking a tenant applicant to send in a picture of their dog?  And they say “the cuter the picture, the higher the score”.  It’s a bad joke and in my opinion it’s fraud that hurts both landlords and good tenants.

No wonder their are lots of Privacy Commission investigations going on as tenants rightfully complain.

4) Employment References Are Limited

Someone can be a great employee and a bad tenant. Sure, it’s important to find out someone works to pay the rent, but that’s where it ends.

5) Criminal Checks Only Check Tell One Story

These are really helpful but they only screen out criminals and in Ontario not paying rent or damaging property is not a criminal offense (it’s common and accepted!)

6) Face To Face Interviews Are Risky

Ask the landlords who rented to Nina WillisShe had a great story and a charming personality…then made her landlords lives a living nightmare.

Landlords Can Now Access Landlord and Tenant Board Records!

Fellow Ontario Landlords Association Members…We Did It! 

Years of lobbying and explaining and supporting court challenges as why this needed to be done, thousands of phone calls, zillions of face to face meetings…and OLA members see the fruits of our labour!

Beginning on May 1st, 2019 Ontario tribunals are now more transparent, including the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

You can read the new rules here.

What Does This Mean For Small Landlords?

It means the LTB can no longer hide from landlords making a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to see if a potential tenant has been before the LTB before. 

We can check out tenant evictions and make sure our applicants aren’t “predatory Tenants from Hell!

50 “Hits” Showing This Potential Tenant Was A Serial Bad Tenant Who Ripped Off Lots Of Landlords

 Can you imagine renting to some who:

-Has Great Credit

-Has References From A Bunch Of Former Landlords

-Has A Good Job

-Has A High “A.I.” Score Because Their Dog Is Cute And They Are Cool On Facebook

-Has No Criminal Record

Sounds like an ideal tenant right?

Wrong.

This tenant applicant has been to the LTB 50 times! And many of those times was due to not paying rent.

Run A F.O.I (Freedom of Information) To Find Out About Your Potential Tenant

This is the gold standard for landlords to really do proper tenant screening!

Ontario Landlords Association Keeps The Pressure On To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

We are landlords just like you. And we defend the rights of good tenants who don’t like to be smeared due to a group that wants to rip off landlords who they view has weak and vulnerable.

So we keep fighting and getting our message out to help both good landlords and good tenants.

We kept the pressure on for years about transparency at the LTB and now we finally got it. 

This is a great start, and we are not finished. Now we need a damage deposit and more. 

How Can I Do An F.O.I. Request To See My Potential Tenants LTB Records?

Join us in the Ontario landlord forum because this is a hot topic and we want every landlord to make sure you do it to protect yourself, your family and your rental property!