Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant News’ Category

How To Get Landlords To Rent To You

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry

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.

With Vacancy Rates So Low Tenants Have To Do Whatever It Takes To Find A Home

First of all I want to make it clear there are a lot of great landlords out there.  I’m not part of the majority of tenants who think all landlords are ripping us off and making money out of thin air. 

My parents rented some rooms in our house when times were tough in the 1990s recession. I know what they went through with people being noisy late and night and not always washing their dishes daily. It was tough on my Mom and Dad but they needed the money.

Most landlords are like my parents. Friendly and law-abiding.

Bad Landlords Out There Are Taking Advantage Of The Rental Shortage

As someone who was looking for a place to live this year it was shocking to find there are landlords who didn’t have the ethics of my parents. 

When I went to see an apartment many landlords demanded a ridiculous amount of personal information about me for a simple credit check.

(Which I have reported these landlords to the Privacy Commissioner and the landlords are being investigated as you read this, as are the companies involved). 

Not only that but many demanded a lot of rent up front in order to rent to me.

Some wanted 3 or 4 months of rent, but most wanted a 6 months or even a year! Some landlords even wanted 2 or 3 years!

Others wanted a deposit of 1 – 6 months equivalent rent in case I made “damages” LOL! What did they expect me to do? Blow up the building?!

We Are In The Middle Of A Housing Crisis

The rental scene really unfair for people looking to rent.  A recent VICE article was really helpful and illustrated how unfair it is for people simply looking for a home.

Vacancy rates in Toronto are under two percent. This is the worst it’s been in nearly twenty years. The average monthly rent for a tiny one-bedroom apartment is $2,200/month.

Jump Doggy, Jump

Landlords are making tenants jump through hoops and part of these hoops is illegal behaviour.  VICE reported a new immigrant was required to pay 3 years up front to rent some dump in Scarborough. That’s right, “Scarberia!”

Landlords Cannot Demand A Damage Deposit Or Months Of Rent Up-Front. It’s Illegal!

Ontario landlords cannot charge you any type of “damage” or “Security” deposit. Nothing, Nada, Zippo.

Landlords can only ask for “first and last”. This is payment for the first month of rent and for the last month of rent you are staying the property. The “last” is only for your last month living there.

This “last month” cannot be used for anything other than last month rent according to the Residential Tenancies Act.

I Refused To Pay Multiple Months Of Rent Up-Front And A Damage Deposit

Not only did I refuse I told the landlords they were undertaking an illegal act, I educated them.

I told the landlords I met to sit down and I made sure to lecture them not only about how they were undertaking criminal acts, they also were lapsing morally and ethically.

Was I being strident refusing to leave before getting my point across?

Was I being aggressive in making the landlords read the Residential Tenancies Act in my handouts? 

Sure.

But we are nation of laws and we must educate and uphold these laws as part of our democracy.

Nice People Finish Last

What was the result from my honest and ethical stand?

No one rented to me.

Simply because I demanded the landlords followed the LAW I was shunned. I was an outcast. I was without a home when a high paying I.T. job was about to start.

I Had To Be More Sneaky Than The Sneaky Landlords I Was Dealing With

There is a saying “When in Rome Do What The Romans Do.”  I realized the Ontario rental market if full of law breakers (not everyone, but many). My honesty and demanding the laws be followed were mocked at by these landlords.

I Made A Difficult Decision To Adapt And Get My New Home No Matter What It Took

I needed a place.

I needed a place near public transportation and at the lowest rent possible. I tried to be up front and honest and the landlords spat in my face!

Here’s What I Did – I Used Their Own Greed To Work Against Them

I decided to agree with landlords who wanted 6 months of rent up front.  I would say things such as:

“Yes, I agree you landlords need to protect yourself from all the bad tenants out there.” 

“It’s only natural you need 6 months of rent upfront after you worked so hard to buy this apartment.”

“It’s crazy the law says you can’t charge me a damage deposit”

The landlords were super happy to hear this and I was instantly treated with respect and put on the top of their list!

I Pushed It To The Limit!

Since I had gone over to the ‘Dark Side’ as these landlords had I decided ‘hey, if you go to the Dark Side you might as well go all the way!’ Darth Vader style.

So if the landlord said they wanted 6 months of rent up-front I said “why not a year?” 

So if the landlord wanted a 1 month damage deposit I said “why not 3 months?”

So if the landlord demanded post-dated checks I said “why don’t I pay cash?”

Sure I was lying but they were asking for illegal things so it was okay.

The Replies Poured In…Everyone Wanted To Rent To Me (and on long-term leases!)

All the talk of credit checks, reference checks, etc. went out the window.  The texts rolled in and so did the emails. 

Some landlords were so exited they called me and wanted to sign a lease right away!

Got The Best Apartment And A Discount On Rent

From being the ugly loser I was suddenly treated like a virgin princess ready to put out.  I had my choice of properties and played several landlords off against each other to find the best apartment at the best price.

Since I was willing to pay the money up-front and the deposit I managed to negotiate a lower rent.

All they really wanted was a big huge stack of money in their hands.

After I Signed The Lease And Moved In I Filed At the Landlord and Tenant Board And Got All My Money Back!

It’s very easy to file at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board and get all your money back!

The LTB form is called the T1. 

You can read about it here!

After I moved in I filed at the LTB.  It was easy and simple. 

Avoid Landlord Texts And Calls (And Record Them As Harassment)

After I filed the texts came flying “oh, you agreed” the landlord whined like little bitches from hell who got caught by a righteous and good person (me) who used their evil Luciferian greed against them.

The messages in my mailbox:

“You are a cheater” and after a few days “we will kick you out.”

It all hilarious because this was just adding my ability to punish these illegal landlords at the LTB.

LTB Hearing Took 15 Minutes To Get My Money Back

I spoke with Legal Aid at the LTB Hearing room. This is really, really helpful. And it’s free!

This is free legal help for tenants and they were with me as I made my case. 

Very nice people and they are often on a first name basis with the adjudicator/judge at the LTB so you get instant credibility.

EASY WIN TO GET ALL THE MONEY BACK 

I also made sure the adjudicator was aware of the threats and harassment from the landlord and the landlord was fined.

The landlord was also warned against harassing me further and to stop demanding illegal money.

TENANTS MUST BE AS SNEAKY AS THE BAD LL’S ARE TO SURVIVE

In this era of super low vacancy rates the bad landlords are possessed with greed and acting unlawful. 

Since they are so sneaky tenants need to be sneaky.

I hope my story will help all the great tenants out there find great rental properties. I’m in a great apartment at a low rent and got all my money back. The landlord is also scared of me because they know I’m a pro and they were already warned by the Landlord Tenant Board judge! 

Good landlords have nothing to worry about and thank you for being legal.

Official Landlords Submission To The Ontario Government

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

 

Add Your Voice To Our Submission To Premier Doug Ford And The Ministry To Make Important Changes To Protect Landlords!

The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is having a key consultation with stake-holders on how to create more high quality housing in our province. Making it “easier” to be an Ontario landlord is an important part of the consultation. 

The Ontario Landlords Association is submitting what will be a game-changing submission on changes small landlords need to be successful. 

We ask our members to share your ideas and experiences for our submission by taking our survey.  

For more detailed debate and discussion please post in our Private Members Forum (for verified landlords only). Also, if members want to attend preparatory meetings and the consultations join the discussion in the Private Members Forum.

Create your own user feedback survey

Rent Increase Guideline 2019 – Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 1.8%

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

ontario landlords assocation rent increase guideline 2019

How Much Can Ontario Landlords Raise the Rent in 2019? It’s 1.8%

To Ontario Landlords Association and Members: 

The Rent Increase Guideline for 2019 is 1.8%. This is for increases between January 1st, 2019 and December 31, 2019.

This guideline applies to most private residential units covered under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act. Rent can be increased for most cases (i) twelve months after the last rent increase (ii) a tenant first moves in. 

Please notify your province wide landlord community.

Ontario Landlords, Does A Maximum Rent Increase of 1.8% Cover Your Costs?

Many landlords continue to tell us about their ever rising costs and how hard it is to cash-flow these days. Whether its fees, taxes, maintenance costs, paying for painting and other things to keep your rental nice to keep your tenants, the reality is things are getting more expensive in Ontario. Everything else seem to keep going up by a large amount, except rents!

We Need A Better Way To Be Able To Increase Rents to Make Our Businesses Profitable (or at least keep up with rising costs)

The 2019 rent increase guideline is a continuation of the 2018 guideline.  We have a new government in charge and we need a new way to make sure good landlords can continue to run our rental businesses.

A rent guideline of 1.8% just isn’t reasonable if we want more people to invest in rental properties and if we want current landlords to be able to do what is needed to maintain and improve the current rental stock. It’s also more difficult to raise the rent above the guideline even if you have rising costs.

Are You Going To Raise the Rent in 2019?

If you have current tenants the rent increase guideline means you can only raise the rent by 1.8% with proper notice. We need your help to improve the way good landlords can do business in Ontario.

Let’s improve the Ontario rental system to help both good landlords and good tenants. With a new business friendly government that is open to new solutions make sure you let us know what your ideas are to improve the way rent increase are handled.

We Need To Support Ontario Landlords!

By protecting current landlords and encouraging more people to invest in rental housing we will protect the current supply and have a lot of new supply that will give Ontario tenants more options and better landlords.

Slamming small landlords and not protecting us as business people hasn’t worked in the past. In fact, it was a dismal failure with many landlords selling even within one or two years!  We need new ideas and new methods to make Ontario rentals great again. Let’s get it done!

 

Ontario Landlord Forum – Get Expert Advice To Help You Succeed in 2019

Monday, December 24th, 2018

Fiver 1 dec 9 17

The Forum That Changed The Industry Is Back Better Than Ever!  As Landlords Face Huge Challenges Experienced and Successful Landlords & Property Managers Are Here To Help You!

-Network With 1000s of Successful Ontario Landlords & Expert Property Managers

-Ask Questions On A Problem and Get Some Guidance From Pro Landlords

-Chat With Landlords Who Are Multi-Millionaires due to investing in Ontario rentals

-Chat With Real Landlords, Avoid Paying $1000’s to “landlord reps” Who Charge You With No Guarantees

It wasn’t that long ago the serious concerns of small landlords went unheard. There was no voice for small landlords. Nothing. No one cared about our concerns.

Before the Ontario Landlords Association government and media ignored us. In the view of the general public we were simply “invisible.”

No one even discussed the problems with the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act until the OLA started shouting loud and strong.

Not Long Ago Nobody Even Thought About Ontario Landlords

Sure there were rare media stories about the large, multi-million dollar corporate landlords. These are those large wealthy REITS full of international investors and selling stocks.

There were almost no stories about bad tenants or how the rules were unfair for small landlords.

Large Corporate Landlords Never Helped Small Landlords

They employ property managers and expensive lawyers to help them out when they have a tenant issue. And with large buildings having some bad tenants really never hurt the bottom line due to the economies of scale.

It Used To Be Open Season on Small Landlords Working Hard For Our Financial Futures

Not only where the concerns of small landlords ignored it was just about impossible to get any quality help when you had a tenant problem.  Even some so called “legal pros” were charging thousands of dollars for simple issues.

And when they didn’t deliver what they promised (and what you paid for) they would say tell you to get lost and even threaten to sue you.

There were all sorts of questions from landlords in trouble but no where to go for help. Sure you could pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to some company out there who would fill out an LTB form for you (something you could do yourself for free).

They were happy to charge you lots of money, but never guaranteed you any success and threatened to sue you if you told the truth about their horrible service.

Due To Overwhelming Requests and Huge New Challenges We Face Ontario Landlord Forum Is Back for a Low One Time Registration Fee

The forum that has helped thousands of landlords succeed and deal with tenant problems is back…and all for a one-time fee. 

We also have added some amazing services that experienced and successful landlords have recommended so you are ready to face bad tenants out there (and make sure you find all the good tenants looking for good landlords with great rentals).

This is a forum with real landlords and even some tenants looking for advice. All our members are verified.

We Are On Your Side! And Want To Help You Succeed!

Join our huge Ontario landlord community to make sure your rental business succeeds and makes profits. We are real landlords who have seen just about every issue out there.

Become an Ontario Landlords Association Member And Get Access To The Forum That Changed Lives…And Can Help You Succeed As An Ontario Landlord!

Ontario Standard Form of Lease – Top 100 Clauses You Need To Add

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Ontario Standard Lease

Protect Your Rental Business By Adding The Top 100 Key Clauses to the Ontario Standard Lease Recommended by Experienced & Success Ontario Landlords & Property Managers. This is “VITAL” for Ontario Landlords!

We wrote before about the fact that as of April 30th, 2018 Ontario Landlords have to use a government created “Ontario Standard Lease” when you rent to new tenants. The Ontario government created a new lease that landlords much use after tenant activists accused landlords of using illegal clauses in leases and creating a “wild west” environment.

You can download the Ontario Standard Lease here

Experienced and Successful Landlords And Property Managers Agree ‘The Standard Lease Doesn’t Protect Us’

The Ontario Standard Lease tries to please everyone but in reality puts small Ontario landlords at risk for big problems and huge financial losses. Actually, it is a very dangerous document. Some tenants activists are calling it a “Renter’s Dream“. Many experienced Ontario landlords are calling it a Landlord’s Nightmare.

Why Is the Ontario Standard Lease Dangerous for Landlords?

It only requires the most basic information from tenants and the majority of the information in the document is about “tenant rights” and how tenants can protect themselves.  But the cupboard is bare when it comes for protections for landlords. This lack of required information leaves landlords wide-open to lots of problems during and after a tenancy. So while the premier says it will cut down on landlord and tenant disputes it will do the opposite. This is what happens when people who have good motives don’t have any experience and cause more harm than good!

So How Can Landlords Protect Ourselves? 

Let’s face it, the government is all about “protecting tenants” and not worried about us “rich” landlords and property investors. Yes, they view us small landlords this way.  We know we are just trying to invest for our retirement, we face huge cost increases for things like insurance, water, and power and most of us are trying to cover our mortgages every month.

You need to ACT to protect your rental business in this extreme “anti-landlord” environment….and here is how.

The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)

In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”.

Ontario Landlords Association members lobbied hard to include this in the Ontario Standard Lease. 

And some tenant activists are very unhappy about the fact we got this included to help Ontario Landlords.

What About Landlords Who Include Illegal Clauses?

The reality of the situation is smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even think about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you or you will simply lose any change at the LTB. 

It is important for new landlords to understand you cannot add clauses that do not follow the Residential Tenancies Act. 

For example, you cannot add things to the lease such as: 

a) Demand a damage deposit

b) Financial penalties on late rent

c) Controlling who can visit the rental and who can’t

d) Forcing tenants to move out on a certain date

e) Making tenants responsible for maintenance repairs 

Experienced and Successful Landlords and Property Managers Understand the Art of Successful Tenancies

Listen to the advice of experienced and successful landlords and pro landlords.  We have been “in the trenches” and know “what works in reality.” We are actually in the “renting to tenants business” and have a “stake in being successful with our tenants.

Non-landlords with no experience might tell you to put in a billion clauses in the lease because they aren’t aware if you do that as a landlord you will turn off potential tenants. Good tenants have lots of choices and you don’t want to turn them away.

Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know you need a balance:

1. Protect Your Rental Business

Take the additional clauses you can put in super seriously because if you don’t you are not protected 

2. Don’t Scare Off Good Tenants

Non-landlords like to lecture us and act as ‘experts’ but are unaware of the realities we face. Good tenants are often scared off by landlords with 30 page leases and simply won’t rent from you if you demand this.  So only add the “most vital clauses” that protect you and don’t scare good tenant applicants.

3. Prepare For Potential Problems

These vital clauses will prepare you for any future problems.

4. Protect Yourself From Tenant vs.Tenant Fights

If you own a multi-unit property you need to add vital clauses to make things clear and avoid future issues.

5. Get Ready In Case You Have to Go To Small Claims Court

When tenants move out and left damages or owed rent you will have to go to Ontario Small Claims Court

Many OLA members have been to Small Claims Court and they say Judges want to see things clearly spelled out in your lease (if you want to win and not lose)

Ontario landlords standard lease top 100 clauses

Add the “Vital” Clauses to Protect Your Rental Business, While Also Don’t Scare Good Tenants

We’ve been in the trenches and know what works and what doesn’t. Just adding a ton of clauses will turn off potential good tenants and you need to focus on VITAL ADDITIONAL CLAUSES and not just the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ that non-landlords will try to market to you.

For example, learn how you can be proactive to deal with potential issues. 

Ontario landlords standard lease book

GET THE TOP 100 CLAUSES YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOURSELF WITH THE ONTARIO STANDARD LEASE

1. Smoking

This is a huge issue, especially with marijuana legalization coming. How can your protect your rental property. Get the clauses you need!

2. Fire Safety

What about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors? ? What about other fire safety issues? You need to make the rules CLEAR in your lease to avoid seriously problems later on.

3. Tenant vs. Tenant Problems

Experienced landlords say if you own a multiplex on of the biggest problems is tenants fighting other tenants in the rental. Make sure you protect yourself and make things crystal clear from Day 1!

4. N.S. Fees

Tenants need to know the rules you have set for your rental property.

5. Appliances

This is vital as you need to make things clear and avoid problems with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

6. Move Out Procedures

So what happens when the tenants leave?  You need to be careful to avoid tenants who leave behind huge damages and a big mess. 

7. Pets

While a no pets clause are not enforceable you need to spell out the rules for pet owning tenants.

8. Insurance

Another huge issue regarding liability.  Protect yourself with vital clauses to your lease.

9. Laundry

If you provide laundry you need to make the rules clear.  If the laundry is shared it becomes even more important to lay down the rules!

10. Parking

Experienced and successful landlords know that if you don’t deal with the parking issue right off the bat it can become a huge headache.  So add these clauses to avoid problems and have a successful rental business. 

11. Lots More

And there are lots more. Remember, these are clauses that are important, yet make sense and won’t scare away your good tenants…

Get our CD (and written documents) On Important Clauses For Only a Low One Time Fee

Join a huge community or real Ontario landlords who are working hard to share ideas, tips, advice, and network to help all of us succeed. Yes, for only a one time registration fee. One time, not annual. 

Join our  Huge Community at the Ontario Landlords Association!

We are working hard to help you succeed.  We are all small landlords just like you!  We’ve been in the trenches and succeed and we are on your side! 

The Ontario Standard Lease is not only inadequate…it’s dangerous!  Network with pros who are actually landlords and share tips and strategies on how to protect your rental business.  Add 100 Key Clauses To the Ontario Standard Lease to Protect Your Rental Property and Your Investment!