Archive for the ‘Landlord rights’ Category

I’m Getting 1 Year Rent Upfront, Pet Deposits, & Damage Deposits…And You Can Too!

Friday, October 19th, 2018

We Turned Our Failing, Depressing Ontario Rental Business Into A Huge Success By Getting A Year Of Rent Up-Front, Along With Pet Deposits and Damage Deposits

It’s Changed Everything For Us…And You Can Do It Too!  Learn How!

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants 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.

I’ve been a small residential landlord with some condos and a small building in Ontario.  I decided to share my story to help other landlords out there who might be down in the dumps like we were before.

This is only my story and I’m only sharing it to help the huge Ontario landlord community reading here. I hope those reading learn how we changed our entire rental business from one of misery and lost money into a huge success. 

We are so successful now we have bought several more elite condos in the past 18 months.

Over the past four years we have guaranteed our financial future and look forward to not only buying more properties, we want to travel the world and eventually do volunteer work in 3rd world nations.

Why We Became Landlords In Ontario

My partner and I are both employed in the public sector and invested in the rental properties to create equity and help us be safe for our retirement.

With properties prices rising about ten years ago we decided to invest in Ontario rentals. I must admit we didn’t really do a ton of research. We thought it would easy to be landlords as long as we had nice properties and worked hard to be great landlords. 

Our Biggest Mistake: We Thought All Tenants Would Be Like Us

We were both renters before and would never even dream of not paying rent or damaging our landlord’s property.

My partner spent years studying in different universities and rented. My partner always left the rental better than when they first rented it! 

For me growing up as an immigrant family we didn’t have enough money to buy a house and rented for years. We treated our landlord like a ‘partner.’  We paid the rent and took care of the property and the landlord fixed things when needed, and didn’t bother us.

With our rentals we found out we were wrong.  

While we respected our landlords, we found many people didn’t.  We had people yell at us “I’m paying the rent and paying your mortgage” and “there’s nothing you can do!” and more.

Our Second Biggest Mistake: We Thought The Rules Would Be Fair

We thought the rules would be fair for both landlords and tenants. No matter if you were a landlord or a tenant, if you followed the rules you would be treated right.

We were wrong again. The Ontario rules are not fair for landlords at all.

Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair, Biased, Unprofessional and They Should Be Ashamed

When a renter didn’t pay we took her to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). She had a lease and didn’t pay rent, so the result should be obvious and fast, right?

First of all it took months to even get our LTB court date so that one one month of not paying rent turned in three months.

When we finally got our LTB date we showed up and so did the tenant (who was living rent free). 

When it was our turn to plead our case the tenant was not alone. There was some dumpy looking, overweight guy who needed his mustache trimmed with her.

And when it was time for her to speak, he spoke. I didn’t even know who he was!

He and the adjudicator seemed to know each other and were very friendly. This guy, who I later learned was the free legal rep all tenants get, accused me of being a slumlord (gasp!) and the hearing was adjourned because of “all the problems, such as mold, unsafe appliances, etc.”…these were all lies!

The property was excellent…but this dumpy guy managed to delay everything for another two months And more months of no rent.

Being an Ontario Landlord Can Be Stressful and Even Lead To Divorce and Health Problems

We dealt with lots of problematic tenants for years and it was really stressful for us and even led to some serious marital stress and even led me to starting drinking to try to “chill out”. We had so much of our saving invested in our rentals and selling would mean huge losses

My drinking started out as once a week, but it soon became a problem as I needed a few shots every night to put the latest problems out of my head. I got into gin.

My partner was also stressed as Hell and began drinking wine. At first just a glass a night but it soon became a bottle.

Our arguing started to become a regular occurrence

The rules are unfair and allow bad tenants to rip off good landlords.  Many non-landlords or new landlords reading will not understand the stress that renting to bad tenants can bring.

We know several couples who have divorced as their marriages simply couldn’t last with losing thousands of dollars, harassment and huge damages.

My Partner & I Were Depressed and Scared…and Everything Changed in 2014!

We were reading the Ontario Landlords Association site and came across an interesting article from the Toronto Star that has really changed our landlord experience.

It’s helped so much that we have had great tenants, no worries about rent, no worries about late payment for years.

This along with our buildings going up in value by 50% has meant we are now millionaires. 

If we didn’t have the Ontario Landlords Association and didn’t see what we could do back in 2014 we probably would have sold our rentals and lost out on millions of price appreciation!

As a show of respect and appreciation to the OLA we want to help others in the Ontario landlord community succeed. 

The reality is if we had sold four years ago because of bad tenants we would have lost millions of dollars in equity.

The OLA saved us, saved our financial future, saved our retirement and even likely saved our marriage.

Ontario Landlords Are Plagued With Late Rent, No Rent and No Damage Deposits: But Most Don’t Know About This Game-Changer!

I saw this first at the Ontario Landlords Site directing me to an article in the Toronto Star called It was really a game-changer for me. It was about a Toronto Star story that told about some court cases that impacted small landlords like us.

Many Landlords & Property Managers Are Taking Advantage Of Tenants Offer Rent Up Front & Pet Deposits

Many knowledgeable Ontario landlords and property managers are taking advantage of this loophole and collecting a lot of rent up-front. But they don’t really want others landlords to know what they are doing.  This is why I don’t want to “hide” my “secrets of success” and want to share it with others.

If Tenants Volunteer to Pay Rent Upfront, Pet Deposits, Damage Deposits You Can Take Them!

The article I saw linked can be found here: “Toronto Star: Ontario Tenants Can Offer Rent Up Front” from April 2014 

Here is the “nitty gritty” written by a famous Toronto lawyer and the case law is here:

Alison Corvers agreed to rent a home from Tanveer Bumbia in Mississauga from May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014 for $7,500 per month. Bumbia initially refused Corvers’ rental application because Corvers was from the UK, was here on a visitor’s visa and was hoping to extend her time here by getting a work visa, according to her lawyer. Bumbia was concerned as to whether she would maintain the payments.

Corvers then paid one years’ rent in advance, $90,000, to demonstrate her good faith. Bumbia accepted this. Corvers also paid a security deposit of $7,500 up front to cover potential damages to the unit. The problem is that under Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act, a landlord cannot request more than first and last month’s rent before a tenant moves into the property. The Act also states that anything in a lease that violates the Act is void. As such, after moving in, Corvers brought an application to court to pay the extra months’ rent and the security deposit back to her, as she claimed that this was all demanded by the landlord. In an original decision dated October 7, 2013, Judge Kofi Barnes of the Superior Court of Ontario looked at a text sent by the tenant’s real estate agent to the landlord’s agent that said “Alison will pay 12 month’s rent up front.”

Based on that, he decided that since the tenant offered the money up-front, it was legal. However, since the security deposit was not offered by the tenant, this amount had to be paid back.

The case was appealed and in a decision dated February 12, 2014, Superior Court judge Frank Marrocco agreed with Justice Barnes and explained that while a landlord could not require a tenant to pay more than first and last month’s rent as a condition of the tenancy, if the tenant offered to pay more money in advance and the landlord accepted the payment, then it would be legal. In addition, the court held that interest on the entire prepayment of rent had to be paid by the landlord, in accordance with the rate prescribed under the Act, which was 2.5 per cent in 2013 and .8 per cent in 2014.

Barnes cited a decision in 2009 of Royal Bank v MacPherson in support of this position. In the MacPherson case, the tenant prepaid a year’s rent of $24,000 to the landlord and then the landlord lost the property to the bank after defaulting on his mortgage. The tenant said he did not owe any rent as he had prepaid it for a year. The bank argued that since the payment was illegal, it should not be binding. The court disagreed, and said that the bank must step into the shoes of the landlord and be bound by the prepayment. It would be unfair to penalize the tenant by not recognizing the prepayment.

Here are the lessons to be learned from these cases:

Landlords cannot advertise that they will require more than first and last month’s rent in advance of the tenant moving in. This includes any security deposit.

If the tenant offers to pay extra money up front, make sure that it is clear that the offer is coming from the tenant. This could include a deposit to cover any damages or clean the unit when the tenant wants to bring a pet.

Tenants need to keep a receipt for the payment as proof that the amount was paid, in case it is ever challenged later by anyone.

Here’s How I Am Succeeding…And You Can Too! 

First of all you need to have attractive properties.  You need properties people want to rent and it’s even better if you several tenants wanting to rent from you.

Second, I inform the applicants that I have other tenants renting my places who have volunteered to offer 6 months or 1 or 2 years of rent upfront, a damage deposit, and a pet deposit (just in case they bring in pets which can cause lots of expensive clean up costs). 

I make sure to inform them this is not a requirement to rent from me but others have done this to get the apartments they want. It’s up to them.

Good Tenants Who Want Your Place Will Pay!

The reality is good tenants are reasonable and if they really want the place they will volunteer to pay

1. 3 months to 6 months to 1 year to 2 years to 3 years of rent up front

2. If they have pets they will volunteer to pay a pet deposit

3. Pay a damage deposit voluntarily (which they will get back by simply leaving the rental in decent shape when the move)

My Rental Business Has Changed…And So Has My Life

The past four years have been terrific. 

No more lost rent, no more paying thousands to clean cat pee, replace appliances, and fix mold and flooring! You can do it too. 

I’m now an OLA member and will be happy to discuss this with fellow members in the Ontario Landlords Private Member forum

Thank you for reading and wishing you all great success.  See you in Hawaii!

 

Mississauga Landlord Licensing 2016 – Make Sure Your Rental Is Licensed

Friday, January 8th, 2016

Mississauga landlords and landlord license

Mississauga Landlords and Landlord Licensing 2016

We continue to have lots of Mississauga landlords contact us for information regarding landlord licensing in their city.

We wrote about this when City of Mississauga and Landlord Licensing, and now it’s 2016 and we have more advice from the always helpful Mickey Frost, Director of Enforcement, City of Mississauga.

We would again like to thank Mr. Frost for his cooperation helping us educate landlords in the city.

Has Anything Changed for the Mississauga Landlords in 2016 Regarding the Bylaw?

The requirements for obtaining a second unit licence have not changed under the Second Unit Licensing Bylaw 204-13, as amended. The licensing fees as listed in Schedule 1 of this bylaw will remain in effect for 2016.

How Many Units Have Been Licensed So Far?

As of December 21, 2015, a total of 121 second unit licences (97 Owner Occupied and 24 Investment Dwellings) have been issued and approximately 129 applications (107 Owner Occupied and 22 Investment Dwellings) are currently pending at various stages in the process. A list of licensed second units can be downloaded and viewed on Mississauga Data. Information on licensed second units is updated weekly (last update: December 18, 2015).

Tenants can report safety concerns or unlicensed second units by calling our Citizen Contact Centre at 3-1-1 (if within City limits) or 905-615-4311 (if outside City limits), Monday to Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. or by email at bylaw.enforcement@mississauga.ca. Please note that City offices will be closed on December 24th at noon to January 3, 2016 inclusive.

Should you require additional information or assistance on this matter, please contact Mr. Douglas Meehan, Manager of Compliance and Licensing Enforcement, by telephone at (905) 615-3200, ext. 5676 or by email at douglas.meehan@mississauga.ca.

Here are some questions from landlords on the Ontario Landlords Association forum:

1.”I want to buy a house in Mississauga with an existing bsmt apartment. What happens if the Tenant moves in, doesn’t want to pay and reports the apartment to the City as illegal. ? Do I go to jail? Do I Pay fine?”

All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.  To avoid penalties apply for and obtain a Second Unit Licence before the tenant moves in.

2. “As far as I know there was only 1 Licence issued in 2014 but almost every second house in Mississauga has illegal bsmt apt. Is this bylaw serious or just a joke? Am I stupid to obey this or just wasting my money when they don’t really care about basement apartments!”

All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.  The City of Mississauga takes the licensing of second units very seriously.  Property owners who fail to obtain a licence will be charged and if found guilty may be subject to a fine of $25,000 for an individual or $50,000 for a corporation.  Currently the City of Mississauga is processing approximately 250 properties seeking a licence.

3.”Mississauga needs affordable housing. Is the City after penalty or they treat the landlord with respect and work to help him make the second unit affordable and safe ?”

The City’s priority is to ensure that second units meet the health and safety regulations in the Ontario Building Code and the Ontario Fire Code.  The licensing system was designed to do this so that second units may provide a safe housing option for the public.  City staff are committed to working with property owners to assist them through the process of obtaining a licence to help make these homes safe.

4.”Can I apply for Licence while tenant lives in the apartment ?”

Yes, if there is a tenant in place the tenant may remain while the property owner is actively engaged in obtaining a licence.  To avoid penalties apply for and obtain a Second Unit Licence before the tenant moves in.  All residential properties that contain a second unit are required to be licensed.  If a property owner is found to be operating an unlicensed second unit for which they refuse to obtain a licence they will be charged with a Provincial Offence and may be subject to a fine upon conviction.

5. “Why is the fee so high?”

The fees for licences are based upon cost recovery.  The process through which second units are licensed is labor intensive and involves initial and ongoing periodic inspections, processing of applications, maintenance of records related to the second units, and the investigation of complaints related to both licensed and unlicensed second units.

Mississauga landlords is your rental property licensed?

Make sure you follow the laws and make your rental unit safe and legal in 2016.

And make sure you get the services and tools you need to make sure you rent to good tenants in 2016.

Oshawa Student Landlords To Face A Demerit System

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

December 1st, 2012

Ontario Landlords

Own Student Rental Properties in Oshawa, Ontario and Tenants Noise or Bad Parking Can

Lead the Landlord Into Closing Down For a Year or More!

What’s Going On In Oshawa?

Student rental properties in Oshawa are already licensed. Now the City of Oshawa has created a new system to have even greater control over landlords and tenants.

What Is It?

They have created a new system whereby each landlord and their properties are subject to a demerit point system.

A Demerit Point System? You’ve Got to be Kidding.

Unfortunately, it’s really happened. Student landlords in Ontario already have enough challenges, and then this new system comes along.

Does This Apply to Every Landlord in Oshawa?

No. it will apply to rental properties in the northern part of Oshawa near the campus of Durham College and the campus of UOIT.

Why Is This Happening?

Student rental housing has caused conflict between landlords, their student tenants, and residents in the area for a long time. Licensing, and this new system is yet another stage of the conflict.

How Does the Demerit System Work

Here’s how it works.

1. If the rental gets up to 7 demerit points, the landlord will get a letter with a warning.

2. If the rental gets up to 15 points, the landlord will lose their license to operation for at least a year.

How Does a Landlord Lose Demerit Points?

The landlord will lose points for things such as:

– Tenants making noise

– Tenants parking their cars in unauthorized ways

– Landlords operating without a valid license.

So the Tenant Makes Noise or Parks Wrong and the Landlord is Punished?

Yes. This is particularly frightening considering landlords have so few controls over what tenants can do. Even in ‘pro landlord’ provinces such as Alberta tenants can get out of control.

How Long Do These Demerit Points Stay On the Landlord’s Record?

The demerit points stays on a property record for two years.

Is This System Permanent?

This new system will exist for at least a year and likely more.

How Much Will This System Cost?

A councillor admits the government doesn’t know how much it will cost but they should ‘do something.’

How Can this Be Defended?

The councillor who started this whole plan says this is another tool for the government to deal with landlords who ignore city bylaws.

What If the Landlord is an Investor and They Hire a Bad Property Manager?

It will be the landlord who is punished. This is why investors should be careful to only hire the best property management service companies to manage their properties that can deal with bad tenants and bad situations.

 

Landlords The Message Is Clear. The Demerit System Oshawa Ontario Landlords Face Is Simply More Evidence the Government Wants to Blame Landlords for Tenant Actions Without Giving Landlords Any Real Power to Control Tenant Behaviour. Discuss this at the Ontario Landlords Forum

Housing Minister Wynne’s Letter to the Ontario Landlord Association

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

 To the Ontario Landlord Association Re. Changing the Annual Rent Increase Guideline

The Honourable Kathleen Wynne

Today the Ontario Liberal government introduced proposed legislation to amend how the annual Rent Increase Guideline is calculated under the the Residential Tenancies Act.

(more…)

OLA Member in the Toronto Star: Credit checks critical in vetting tenants

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

“A bad tenant cost me $28,000 over 9 months!”

October 18th, 2011

Landlord says she was too trusting and ended up with a bad tenant

“The person I spoke to said she made $62,000 a year,” says [Stoymenoff], who acknowledges she should have done a credit check.

“My questions always have been, ‘Do they have a secure job and what is their income?’ She came through with flying colours and both her references said she was a very trustworthy, good person.”

Stoymenoff also didn’t realize until the tenant was evicted that she had been renting out rooms in the house to other people and the property had fallen into disrepair.

She gouged out the doors and frames to install hinge locks with padlocks in the dining room and all three bedrooms.

Finally, in March the tenant was ordered by the Landlord Tenant Board to pay $3,400 and to start paying monthly rent.

She paid the $3,400 and one month’s rent of $1,750. In June, an order was issued to pay the full amount and Stoymenoff received $5,000.

[Shirley] was finally evicted in August, nine months after the first application was filed, owing $13,820 in unpaid rent and more than $3,000 in unpaid utility bills. Add on legal fees and the repairs required for the house and she is out more than $28,000.

“The registrar told me ‘we know her’ and the sheriff’s office knew her, too. The police have also told me they’re investigating her for fraud,” Stoymenoff says.

For an update please see:

http://www.torontonews24.com/toronto-crime-news-releases/1736-woman-faces-four-charges-in-fraud-investigation-nina-willis-47-photograph-of-woman-released