Archive for the ‘tenant advocacy’ Category

International Students Be Careful Of Rental Scams

Friday, September 2nd, 2022

Coming to a new land can be exciting. There can also be dangers. So be happy, be positive but always be careful.

For example, be aware there are lots of “rental scams” happening in Ontario.

This has nothing to do with real landlords, but people who act as the landlord when they aren’t!

According to CBC news an international student at the University of Waterloo in Ontario says she was eager to settle into new housing ahead of the fall semester, but was stripped of her savings and is fighting poor mental health after falling victim to a rental scam.

The victim is Armina Soleymani who moved from Iran to Ontario 3 years ago to get her Doctorate degree.

She says:

“Before, I had one problem: Finding a place. But now, I have two problems: Finding a place and getting my money back … I can’t focus on my studies.”

Soleymani’s experience comes following a slew of warnings by the Waterloo Regional Police Service, and as officers confirm they’re probing multiple reports of rental fraud in the university area this month.

Soleymani said she began searching for a new rental unit near the university about two months ago in order to secure a place before her current lease expires Aug. 31.

How The Rental Scam Works

Earlier this month, she found an online listing from someone calling themself a tenant through a Facebook group that’s popular among students. The woman said she wanted to sublet a unit at a building on Columbia Street West in Waterloo. Soleymani arranged an in-person appointment to meet with the woman on Aug. 6.

Soleymani said the woman, who claimed she was a student, gave her a tour of the furnished unit, and then they signed a lease agreement.

She said the woman requested that Soleymani pay $2,000 in cash to cover first and last month’s rent and a key deposit.

“I got suspicious and asked her for her ID,” said Soleymani. “I asked her to come down in front of the building’s main entrance door where there were two security cameras and I paid her.”

Soleymani said the woman gave her a key, which turned out to be fake, and was told it would work on the move-in day, so there was no opportunity to try it out beforehand to see if it would gain her access to the building.

Soleymani also said she kept in touch with the woman through Facebook, but after a few days, she noticed the woman’s Facebook page had been deleted. When Soleymani went to check on the unit, she happened upon a building manager, who advised her she had been scammed by the woman and there were other victims.

From what Soleymani understands, the woman didn’t actually live there. She also understands, based on what the building manager told her, that the woman had been subletting the unit herself from another person who was subletting it.

Soleymani said she believes scammers go out of their way to target international students or those scrambling to find a place weeks before school.

“During this time, students are desperate, they just want to find a place,” she said. “I think right now I realize several [red] flags, but I was under the pressure of finding a place. When your priority is to protect yourself from being homeless, you can’t focus on other things.

“There are lots of international students … that are looking for a place with no success … We have no choice other than to trust people and I know for many other students who come from overseas, there’s no choice but using online applications,” she added, noting language barriers also make the process more challenging.

Soleymani said the situation has impacted her mental health, and left her unable to focus on her studies and research. She hopes her story will raise awareness and help others.

“I just want to warn the other students. I don’t want anyone to experience the same situation.”

How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Money!
According to the University of Toronto you can protect yourself in the following ways

Small Landlords Campaign To Make Sure Our Tenants “BEAT THE HEAT”

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

Experienced and successful small Ontario landlords know how important it is to rent to good long term tenants.

How Do You Keep Your Tenants Renting From You?

The key is to have a great property at an affordable price and then take care of your tenants and treat them like the 5 star clients they are.

Our members were shocked reading a story about how some corporate landlords were trying to evict their long term tenants just because they wanted a comfortable living environment and wanted to keep their air conditioners.

This is not how the landlord-tenant relationship should work

Unlike some corporate landlords who want to evict their tenants due to having air conditioners, we want to help our tenants “beat the heat” and be as comfortable in the summer as they are in winter. Many small landlords used to rent and we want to give our tenants what we always wanted.

Our Members are discussing this and already some great advice has popped up. For example:

“I make sure my windows are large and wide and with screens to keep out the mosquitos. My tenants appreciate the wind and breeze and it keeps them comfy and happy.”

“I own a single family home with central air. The tenants pay for their own usage and it’s been a win-win situation for years. Having central air is very attractive to prospective tenants.”

“Having efficient air conditioners in my units has led lots of great applicants wanting to rent from me.  Who wants to rent from a place that is too hot? That would suck!”

“I rented for years before buying my property and know how much I appreciated my landlord supplying an a/c when I couldn’t even afford one. Awesome landlord! I am now that Awesome landlord and making sure my tenants are happy!”

“I make sure my tenants know they can contact me whenever they want if they have any problems. If it’s too hot and the a/c is not working I make it a priority to get it fixed. Who can sleep when the whole world is getting hotter due to climate change!”

Working With Your Tenants Is Essential

By working together on all issues seeking win-win results small landlords can be very successful. While corporate landlords are often rigid, realizing that our tenants are human beings and our five-star clients and working together is the way to make your small “mom and pop” rental properties a success.

Join Our Community And Become A Successful Landlord

Join us in helping tenants “Beat The Heat” as small ‘mom and pop’ landlords in our community continue to lead the way to improve the rental industry for landlord-tenant fair relationships.

Tenants, See Things From Your Landlords Perspective…Things Make Sense!

Thursday, April 28th, 2022

I’m a Tenant member and have been posting on the Ontario Landlords Association Forum for many years.

After my husband passed away I sold our house and rented a pretty little place that is close to great shopping and bus routes so I can go to BINGO.

Great Landlady

My landlady was in her 60’s and I rented from her. Things were good and no problems at all. I paid rent on time and never got any huge increase or anything and any issues I had (like a leaky roof in the bedroom) were fixed fast.

Great Landlady…But People Said I Should Hate Her…

Still I did so much reading and thought “hey my landlady is making so much money from me, is this unfair?”

All the propaganda made me begin to feel I was wrong to pay rent on time!

New Landlord Takes Over

My landlady became ill and her son took over. He was, to be frank, a jerk! He didn’t fix things on time, was rude and even aggressive!” I wanted to move out and avoid him and he said I have to follow the lease even though I signed it with him Mum!

I didn’t know what to do and it was so frustrating. A few months later his Mum (the original landlord) contacted me and said she was feeling better and was back to be my landlord and contact person.

Good Landlords Should Appreciate Good Tennats, But We Should Appreciate Great Landlords

I learned not all landlords are created equal. There are good and bad.

If you have have great landlord my advice is to appreciate them. I spoke with my now healthy landlady and had no idea of the problems she had before with some tenants not paying rent and breaking leases. YIKES!

Good Tenants and Good Landlords

It’s really a jungle out there. So many bad tenants and also many bad landlords! If you have a good situation make sure you appreciate it and work together for mutual success.

Cheers!!!

Laura

I Paid My LL Full Rent (Because I Don’t Want To Move!)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

I wanted to send this in and hope it gets published because hopefully it will provide a different perspective on the rental crisis we are all facing.

My landlords are a working couple who live very close to where my place is. They are very nice and we get along well. The property is in a nice area and my kids go to the local schools (which are excellent and my kids love it).

We are near parks and good shopping and my rent is affordable

Lots Of People Are Telling Me “You Don’t Have To Pay Rent

Last March my email box was full of my friends who rent saying we didn’t need to pay rent and would not have to worry about being evicted.

It’s sounded too good to be true…and I’m always worried when things sound like this.

I looked into it more and it was really confusing because Premier Ford said it and lots of groups like “don’t pay rent” were telling renters not to pay.

I Called My Landlords

When this all came out I called my landlords and discussed this with them. They told me if people don’t pay rent, they will end up paying just later on.

They also told me they depend on my rent to keep the property going.

They are heavily mortgaged, pay tons of taxes and didn’t raise the rent on me because they want to keep me renting from them.

If They Don’t Get Rent They Will Have To Sell

They told me that honestly they aren’t making any money from owning the property as unlike in downtown Toronto house prices are not increasing where we live and taxes and fees keep going up.

They said frankly if I don’t pay they would have to sell the house.

Sell The House…My Home…Where My Kids Are Growing Up In?

I know they were sincere and honest and finally saw things through their “eyes”.

They are working class people like me and I can see how they bought the property hoping it will help them in their retirement but they will only make “big money” if houses appreciate (which I doubt they ever will here.)

Love The House, And It’s Our Home…So Let’s Pay Rent

Knowing the facts of the matter I paid rent throughout and will pay in full again in September. I’m back to work and things are getting better.

We pay affordable rent and love the place and my landlords are cool and I have a better relationship than ever…And they promised never to sell the house if I want to stay!

I Worked Out A Fair “Win-Win” Payment Plan With My Landlord

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

 

My Landlord Cooperated With Me 

These are difficult times for everyone. So many people are out of work and many have even been fired from their jobs!

The pandemic has changed the world and has hurt so many people.

And with all the schools closed many parents have to try to educate and entertain our children. This is especially tough when we can’t go to parks or playgrounds.

Landlords And Tenants And Paying Rent

As a long term tenant I have paid my rent according to the lease with my landlord all the time.

Now things have changed, the economy has changed, the whole world has changed due to the Corona Virus.

Economic Challenges

We tenants have lost hours, lost jobs, and even lost hope. This is a unique situation we have never seen before.

So How Should Tenants Deal With Their Landlord?

It’s all about being upfront and honest and working together.

Inform Your Landlord Of Your Predicament

Be open and honest with your small landlords because they will care and understand the challenges you face.

Most small landlords are nice people…they don’t want you to move (at least in my case). And they are willing to listen. And they are often flexible to reach a win-win situation.

Also, they don’t want to try to find a new tenant to replace you if possible. They want you to stay and hope you are willing to work with them.

See Things From The Landlords Point of View And Ask Them To See Things From Your Point Of View

Most small landlords are not like the rich corporate landlords living in their castles. They want you to stay and be their client.

They also know that finding another good paying tenant in the current environment will be very difficult and would prefer you to stay.

So it’s entirely possible to ‘work things out’.

Work Out A Payment Plan

I worked out a fair payment plan with my landlords.

Since I only get $2000/month from CERB and my rent is $900/month we agreed I would pay $500/month and I would catch up when the pandemic is over and I can get back to work.

This allows me to have confidence I will keep my home and also gives me $1500 for other things I need in life (and I still don’t need to dip into my savings!)

Working Together…Works!

View your small landlord as a partner in this whole crazy mess of a world.

Your small landlord likely rented themselves or have friends or kids renting so they are on your side. They might even be helping their kids or relative or friend who is renting deal with this situation.

Working Class Tenants Working With Working Class Landlords is Key

Many working class landlords aren’t rich and have bills to pay. They are usually pretty kind and flexible and if you be polite and tell them you want to work things out they will do it.

Make sure you rent from a small working class landlord because you can talk to each other and prepare win-win plans.

Stay Safe and Let’s All Work Together