Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant News’ Category

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is A Nightmare! (Part 1)

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair, Biased & Unprofessional 

It Needs To Be Replaced With A Better System!

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.

For the first two years my venture into becoming a residential landlord had turned out pretty well. I got into the industry because of Scott McgilIvray and his show ‘Income Property’ on HGTV.

Scott is an attractive sales person and made it seem like not only a simple investment, but something I needed to do or I would miss out on a historic opportunity to make money. (more…)

“We Need To Speed Up Evictions” OLA In The Huffington Post

Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Ontario Landlords Association Members Defend Landlords In The Huffington Post

“We Need Quicker Evictions For Ontario Landlords!”

Recent information from the Huffington Post shows our message is getting out. The Ford government is considering ways to speed up evictions and landlord issues are becoming well-known.

The Huffington Post is one of the most popular sites in the world. Even they would admit they are on the pro-tenant side of the spectrum. But we even reach the “left-wing” media.

Why?

Because we are telling the truth and we have many experienced and professional landlord members from across Ontario who can make sure our message is heard.

In fact, the Ontario Landlords Association has many highly educated, experienced and successful members from around the world, all working together to help the rental industry.

We need changes for Ontario landlords.

This is something the former Wynne Liberal government refused to act on, but we stopped some of their worst plans for landlords. We kept on them weekly and kept the rules from becoming even worse!

Lots Of Great Tenants Out There Looking For An Amazing Property

First of all let’s be clear – there are lots of great tenants out there.

These are tenants who pay the rent on time, follow the lease rules, are professionally respectful to their landlord and leave the property like it was when the first moved in.

But…

Unfortunately, there are also some tenants who don’t pay the rent, make major damages to the rental property, bother or harass other tenants or the landlord, and break the lease rules. 

Small Landlords Don’t Like Evictions

Unlike corporate landlords with thousands of units and a war chest to pay for huge legal fees, small landlords try to avoid evictions.  An eviction means we made a mistake in our tenant screening.

It also means lost rent and time spent at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We want to make the renting process a simple and transparent business transaction: we offer a safe and attractive rental, and if you want it and we agree just pay rent on time and follow the lease.

Evictions In Ontario Can Take 6 months To Over A Year!

The Ontario system is broken and needs to be fixed. Evictions for even simple non-payment takes months and months.

Try going to McDonalds, order a Big Mac and fries, and walking out without paying.

But in Ontario tenants can simply refuse to pay and the process is looooooog (and tenants get every opportunity to pay months later and still stay in your rental while you wait for a Hearing and the Sheriff).

Even an Ontario Superior Court judge said the Residential Tenancies Act needs to change.

Enforcing Eviction Orders

What happens after you lose thousands of dollars in rent, countless hours of sleepless nights, and several days at LTB Hearings and finally get the eviction?

The tenant has to move out right?

The legal battle is finally finished and you can start trying to find a new renter.

It’s finally over, right?

Wrong. 

If the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out you have to pay the Ontario Government Enforcement Agency a large fee ($300+) to physically change the locks and make sure the tenants are out.

This process can take months as they are heavily booked (and your non-paying tenants get even more free stay, no pay!)

Huffington Post – Private Bailiffs To Enforce Evictions (like they do for commercial rentals)

If landlords could hire a Private Bailiff we wouldn’t have to wait months to enforce the order, get the tenant out of rental and then re-rent it.

Instead it would be days.

It’s common sense and would speed up the eviction process (and avoid potentially months of additional losses).

Some Tenant Groups Are Fighting These Important Changes To Help Landlords

They claim only government workers are properly trained and sympathetic to tenants.

As we have seen many evictions take place this is just ridiculous. Private Bailiffs are equally qualified and professional.

Just because you are on the government payroll doesn’t mean you are ‘better’ than the private sector.

What they are is slower, not better!

OLA Members Say We Need To Speed Up Evictions

Ontario Landlords Association members made it clear in the Huffington Post private Bailiffs are welcomed by small landlords.

-We made it clear the eviction process takes months.

-We made it clear small landlords need rent paid in order to run our rental businesses

-We made it clear small landlords need rent in order to survive

Wait, Isn’t the Huffington Post Left Wing And Anti-Landlord?

Our landlords speak the truth and our message is clear.

We also have members who are very experienced and excellent advocates rarely seen before in this industry. We are also passionate because we are all small landlords too.

Our arguments are logical and make sense to help both good landlords and good tenants.

Ontario Landlords Association Continues To Get the Truth Known To Government and Media

Our members are real landlords who are just trying to provide great housing.

We need help dealing with bad tenants!

 

We Need To Speed Up The Eviction Process To Protect Landlords and Create More High Quality Rentals for Good Tenants!

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease

Saturday, April 20th, 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.

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease In 2019!

Because of the hard work of Tenants we finally have some new changes that are fair and promote justice for Tenants.

All the law-abiding landlords out there will support this post because it’s just explaining the rules and laws to help tenants, just as landlords help each other.

Landlords Can’t Lock Tenants In To Fixed Term Leases

In April 2017 we saw the provincial government finally listen to our concerns and they created the Rental Fairness Act which makes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Now landlords can’t collect arrears for rent due once Tenants receive a “Termination Notice”.

You can see in the Residential Tenancies Act, Section 37, that states that once the landlord gives the Tenant a notice of termination, the tenancy ends of that date of termination the landlord put in the notice.

With the Rental Fairness Act we finally get some real clear facts on once the Tenant gets the termination date, you break your lease:

134(1.1) No landlord shall, directly or indirectly, with respect to any rental unit, collect or require or attempt to collect or require from a former tenant of the rental unit any amount of money purporting to be rent in respect of,

(a) any period after the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit; or

(b) any period after the tenant’s interest in the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit. 2017, c. 13, s. 24 (2).

What Does This Mean For Tenants? It Means You Can Get Out of Fixed Term Leases

The best thing that all Ontario Tenants should know is this gives you an easy way to break your fixed term lease.

And landlords cannot go after you in small claims court or the Landlord and Tenant Board for breaking the lease, because it’s landlords who told YOU TO MOVE.

For example you might want to move because the landlord is a jerk, or the neighbours are noisy or smoking, or maybe you found a nicer or cheaper place.  You are no longer “locked in” like a slave.

How Can Tenants Break a Fixed Term Lease Under the New Rules?

Remember, if the landlord gives you a notice with a “termination date” of “do this or the tenancy ends” you can just….don’t do what they say…and break the lease! 

“Pay By This Date Or Move Out”…Ok, just move out and it’s terminated!

What’s the Best Way For Tenants To Break A Fixed Term Lease?

There are lots of ways now! Sure it’s a little bit sneaky but Tenants have to do what have to do to survive in this unfair situation.

(1) Don’t Pay Rent and Get the N4

Probably the best way to break the lease is just don’t pay rent. The landlord will give you an N4 ‘Pay Up or Be Evicted Notice’ with a termination date. The termination date will usually be 15 days after they give the notice. Since they are the ones who want to terminate the lease you just don’t pay and agree with them…and there is nothing the landlord can do! Again, here’s how it works.

Step 1 – Rent is Due

Step 2 – You Don’t Pay Rent

Step 3 – The landlord wants your money so will give you N4 Notice to End The Tenancy For Non-Payment of Rent

Step 4 – The N4 says: “Pay this amount by…. (This is called the termination date) or Move Out By the Termination Date

Step 5 – Just move out at the termination date and the lease is broken and you are home free!!

(2) Make Some Disturbances and Get the N5

Make lots of noise and the landlord will probably give you an N5 Notice to End Your Tenancy For Interfering With Others, Damage or Overcrowding. It will have a termination date and then you get out of it. I am giving you this notice because I want to end your tenancy. I want you to move out of your rental unit by the following termination date _____

Step 1:  Make Noise, Damages or Overcrowd the rental

Step 2: The Landlord Will Give You an N5

Step 3. The N5 Will Have A Termination Date

Step 4 On or Before the Termination Date……….just move out by the termination date and you are home free!!

Try not to bother other Tenants so much, but noise, smoking or these types of things will lead to an N5 and then you can leave free and in peace for a better, cheaper apartment.

Try to talk with other tenants so if you are making noise or going to smoke or flood the place, they can complain quickly to the landlord get get the N5 process going fast without really creating any trouble for your fellow Tenants.

Being Able To Break Fixed Term Leases Easily Is the First Step in Creating a Better Rental Industry – Especially When It’s The Landlord Telling You To “Obey or Get Out”…So Get Out!

Things are still really unfair. But I want to make sure Tenants are at least aware how the new rules make it okay to break fixed term leases. I’ll write more later on and hope other Tenants and fair-minded landlords can make positive contributions here.

It’s Time For Real Fairness For Ontario Tenants

Let’s work together and finally create a fair playing field for Ontario Tenants. I know many of you will be amazed at my first contribution and there will be many more to come because it’s time for FAIRNESS.

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.

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!