Archive for the ‘tenants rights’ Category

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

There lots of good landlords out there.  The problem is there are even more bad landlords.

These bad landlords either don’t know the laws or know them and don’t care…as they think they can intimidate you.

Fight back….and fight back hard and you can win!  Please read our helpful articles here to help good tenants defeat and punish bad landlords.  Good landlords have nothing to worry about and will be appreciated even more by good tenants.

Bill 184 – The “Tenant Slaughter And Un-Protection Act”

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Disclaimer: “This isn’t an attack on landlords. This is an attack on the system that got us here.”

“Let’s make a payment plan. Let’s avoid the LTB, work together (tenant signs)….GOT YOU… Hahaha I can now evict you fast, you have no legal rights now! SUCKER! The Sheriff is coming now to kick you out!”

Tenants need to be aware of the huge challenges we are soon going to face!

While the Premier has acted all kind and cuddly (like that fat drunk uncle we all see during the holidays who laughs as he passes gas and then beats your aunt to bloody pulp when they get home) it’s only an act.

The reality is those of us who rightfully didn’t pay rent (or full rent) are being prepared for the slaughterhouse (legally)!

It’s called Bill 184 and you can bet it will soon be the law and the slaughter of tenants will begin.

The government will not forgive tenants not paying and instead are going to demand tenants agree to “payment plans” that bypass the legal process of going to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a legal Hearing (where tenants have rights and free legal help)

The NDP came up with a plan to help tenants cover rent by using government funds to help during the horrible pandemic.

Even some landlord groups such as the Ontario Landlords Association proposed this as a way for tenants and their landlords to avoid conflict and avoid evictions.

Lots of other industries have received government support, so why not residential tenants and their landlords?

No, that would have been too easy and too nice. Why be nice when they want a slaughter and I think they enjoy seeing us suffer!

Suze Morrison is an NDP MPP who wants to protect tenants. Morrison is very aware of the reality and the coming avalanche of mass evictions based on landlords legally being able to trick tenants into forfeiting our legal rights.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario are lying awake at night, worrying about losing the roof over their head when the province’s weak pause on the enforcement of evictions ends.

They wouldn’t be this position if Doug Ford had answered the NDP’s call to provide a rent subsidy to tenants who have lost income or their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but here we are.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the Ford government has found a way to make things even worse.

Now, in the middle of the pandemic, the Conservatives are attempting to quietly ram through legislation that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants.

Don’t be fooled by the name of the legislation. Bill 184, the Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community Housing Act, is bad for tenants.

Tenants already faced an uphill battle at the Landlord and Tenant Board, squaring off against often deep-pocketed landlords and their high-priced lawyers. If passed, Ford’s eviction bill will leave tenants with fewer defences to avail themselves of and fewer opportunities to plead their case.

Consider the case of a landlord who refuses to fix a malfunctioning radiator in a tenant’s unit. If the tenant withholds their rent, the landlord can haul them in front of the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Under Bill 184, the tenant may be prevented from pointing out other issues, like the landlord’s failure to maintain the unit in a good state of repair, at the hearing on non-payment of rent.

Bill 184 also takes away a tenant’s right to return to the Landlord and Tenant Board if they miss a payment after coming up with a repayment plan to catch up on back rent. This is especially concerning in the context of the pandemic.

Thousands of tenants in Ontario will be trying to catch up on back rent after losing their income or job. What if they feel pressured to accept a repayment plan and fall behind on payments despite their best efforts? What if their financial circumstances change because there’s a second wave of COVID-19?

Under Bill 184, there’s no opportunity to revisit the repayment plan at the Landlord and Tenant Board. Tenants could find a sheriff knocking on their door, ready to enforce their eviction, the second they miss a payment.

The Ford government can claim that its eviction bill is about “protecting tenants” all it wants. But even Steve Clark, the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, admits that the legislation is about moving things along at the Landlord and Tenant Board when the government switches the lights back on.

In this very paper, he wrote: “We know that when regular hearings resume at the LTB, there will be a backlog of cases requiring resolution. That’s why this legislation is important today — in light of COVID-19.”

Yes, there will be a backlog of cases. The enforcement of evictions may be on hold for now, but that hasn’t stopped landlords from threatening tenants with eviction — even for partial rent payments.

And what is the Ford government doing with thousands of evictions on the horizon in Ontario? Instead of helping tenants keep up with rent, and in turn ensuring landlords get paid, the government is greasing the gears of the Landlord and Tenant Board to speed up evictions.

Tenants deserve better than a government that claims it’s protecting them when it’s really making them more vulnerable to losing the roof over their heads.

It’s time for the Ford government to scrap its plan to make evictions easier and step up with rent relief to help see tenants through the economic pain of COVID-19.

(3) June 1 Top 10 Questions YOUR LANDLORD CAN’T ASK (AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER!)

Monday, June 1st, 2020

PART 1: QUESTIONS YOU DON’T NEED TO ASK OR ANSWER

With vacancy rates so low in Toronto and across Ontario many tenant applicants are afraid to ask their potential landlords important questions.

Not Being Careful When Choosing A Landlord Can Lead To Problems Later On

While it seems at first something you don’t really need to do, not screening your potential landlord can lead to huge problems down the road.

And these huge problems will occur when you not only least expect them, but when you don’t need need extra stress in your life.

For example, the landlord problems often happen when you have exams, or have important work meetings, or have important relationships visiting you or moving it.

Don’t Listen To The USA Sites!

Many American sites will tell you to ask for things that are already covered under the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (meaning the landlord is powerless and must follow the law!)

For example, some American sites will say you need to ask your Landlord the following

-What is your screening policy? Nope!

This is meaningless because Ontario landlords must follow the rules for screening tenants according the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

If they don’t follow these rules you can take them to the Human Rights Commission and get a huge penalty against them.

The rules in Ontario include:

Housing is a human right

International law says that people in Canada should be able to get good housing that they can afford. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.

As a tenant, you have the right to equal treatment in housing without discrimination and harassment.

You cannot be refused an apartment, harassed by a housing provider or other tenants, or otherwise treated unfairly because of your:

  • race, colour or ethnic background
  • religious beliefs or practices
  • ancestry, including people of Aboriginal descent
  • place of origin
  • citizenship, including refugee status
  • sex (including pregnancy and gender identity)
  • family status
  • marital status, including people with a same-sex partner
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age, including people who are 16 or 17 years old and no longer living with their parents
  • receipt of public assistance.

You are also protected if you face discrimination because you are a friend or relative of someone identified above.

-What is your pet policy? Nope!

In Ontario it is illegal to not allow a tenant to have pets. You can even lie to a corrupt, rule breaking landlord and say you don’t have pets, move in, and then bring in your pets and there is nothing your landlord can do!

-What is your guest policy? Nope!

In Ontario tenants can have guests and it’s none of the landlords damn business.

-What is the lease renewal policy? Nope!

This is meaningless because in Ontario a lease automatically goes to “month by month” at the end of a fixed term lease.  A landlord can’t kick you out when your lease ends.

-Who responsible for repairs? Nope!

In Ontario this is meaningless because the landlord is responsible for all repairs.

-How much notice does the landlord have to give to the tenant? Nope!

This is also all covered in the Residential Tenancies Act. A landlord must give at least 24 hours written notice to the tenant and served to the tenant in a legally acceptable way.

-Do you allow early terminations? If so what are the fees? Nope!

If you want to move it’s easy in Ontario and already legally covered. You can assign or sublet your apartment.

An even easier way is to just learn how Ontario tenants can legally break a fixed term lease.

-Can you clarify how much is the damage/security deposit? Nope!

In Ontario any money other than “first and last” is ILLEGAL.  If the landlords demand it you can pay it, then move in, and take your landlord to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and get all the money back!

-Do you want to know what is my citizenship or refugee status? Nope!

This is illegal in Ontario.

-Do you want to know what is your source of income? Nope!

This is illegal in Ontario

Tenants Don’t Need To Ask Or Answer These Questions

The rental industry is highly regulated in Ontario. Many of your concerns are already protected under LAW and there are severe penalties you can apply to your potential landlord if they break them.

How Can I File A Human Rights Complaint Against An Illegal Landlord?

Yes, and it’s easy.

And many expert tenants say it’s very easy for tenants to win at the OHRC. Go for it!

If you need human rights legal advice or help filing an application with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, contact the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre at: 416-597-4900 or 1-866-625-5179 and speak with a Human Rights Advisor.

To file an application directly with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, visit their website and follow the instructions for How to file an application.

We (The Ontario Human Rights Commission) have many progressive human rights policies that may support your application before the Human Rights Tribunal. If you want the Tribunal to consider our policy position, you have to let them know.

Small Landlords Need To Get Rent And Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020

Ontario Landlords Require A Functioning System Where Rent Is Paid On Time & Non-Paying Tenants Are Evicted. Or Many Of Us Will Go Bankrupt & Have No Choice But To Sell Our Rentals

The entire world is worried about the pandemic known as Covid-19.  Countries such as Italy have even ordered a nation-wide quarantine that will keep citizens stuck in their home and unable to use public spaces.

The province of Ontario also has a growing number of cases and Premier Ford has declared a state of emergency. This had led to restaurants being closed, schools closed, and other actions.

Ontario Tenants Face Challenges

Many tenants are dealing with reduced hours at work or even job losses. On top of this tenants are using saved up money to stock up on essentials in case they have to self-isolate.

Small Landlords Often Rented Before We Became Housing Providers

Unlike the large corporate landlords, small landlords are regular people who also face serious challenges. As many of us rented at some point in our lives, we understand and sympathize with what tenants are dealing with. However, we ask everyone to understand our situation as well.

Rent Freezes, Evictions Bans, And A Closed Down Landlord And Tenant Board

Many of our members are very concerned about some of the ‘solutions‘ that are being brought forth by some tenant groups, some people in the provincial government, and some people in the media.

These so-called solutions include a freeze on rents, don’t pay rent, don’t allow any legal evictions, don’t enforce evictions and more.

While these sound dramatic and helpful they will only harm the entire rental industry and tenants themselves

Small Landlords Are Not Faceless Corporate Giants

We’ve worked hard over the past decade to show that small landlords need to be put in different category compared to the corporate landlords.

We’re not rich. We hold jobs and many of our members are teachers, fire-fighters, secretaries, mechanics, doctors, painters, plumbers, electricians, Realtors, small business owners and even helicopter pilots and retired athletes.

We rely on rent to keep our businesses going.  When a tenant pays rent to us, we are paying property taxes, insurance, mortgages and for maintenance (which is not nearly as inexpensive as tenants think it is). If we don’t receive rent, we still need to pay all these costs.

And many small landlords require rent each month just to cover all these costs!

We Need To Find Real Win-Win Solutions

Small landlords are aware of the serious challenges tenants face. Some of our OLA members are already providing their tenants with extra heaters, blankets and…toilet paper. We’re trying to help!

One our OLA members is even going to Walmart, Metro and Shoppers Drug Mart to buy diapers and milk and groceries and medicine for a single mom tenant who is afraid to take her baby out shopping with her.

This is what good small landlords do for our tenants. We don’t want conflict with tenants, we want win-win situations.

Rent Freezes, No Evictions, Closing Down The LTB, No Sheriff Enforcement Are Not Solutions

All these so-called ‘solutions’ are simply demonizing the landlord and placing the entire financial burden tenants face on to the small landlord.

This won’t work.

Small landlords need a functioning system where we get paid rent and can evict non-paying tenants in a fair and efficient legal venue.

If these so-called ‘solutions’ become part of the system it will lead to many bankrupt small landlords and many will sell their rentals (often to a person who wants it for their own use).  This will inevitably lead to an even lower vacancy rate.

Let’s Create A Tenant-Landlord Alliance For A Win-Win Solution

So landlords are aware of the challenges tenants face. Hopefully, after reading this, tenants will be aware of what small landlords face.

So what are some win-win solutions?

Province Provides Grants of Interest Free Loans For Tenants

We already see how the excellent Toronto Rent Bank helps tenants. They are hard working people running it who truly care.

So why not create a new large province-wide Ontario Rent Bank? The government can put in financial resources to create a large province-wide Rent Back.

This would be a place for tenants who are in need to get help to pay their landlord.  Either a grant (for 1 -3 months of rent) or an interest free loan.

Every Evicted Tenant Can Get Places Into Government Social Housing

How much money is spent on social housing? It’s huge. So why isn’t it more effective and better managed?

How about the Landlord and Tenant Board works with government social housing providers across Ontario?

And if someone is officially evicted these government social housing groups reach out to the evicted tenant to help them find a place to stay (thus eliminating homelessness) if they want it (many tenants will just find a new place).

Let’s Fix This And With Smart Long Term Logical Ideas

There are tenant groups out there screaming “stick it to the landlord”.  There are also some minor hick landlord social media outlets filled with uneducated people and owners looking to make a buck saying “tenants just pay or else and also no tax dollars fer them!”

Both extremes should be ignored.  Small landlords need to be protected and the best way to help tenants is to protect good small landlords!

The reality is it’s time for the province of Ontario to pick up it’s game and take some responsibility!

Instead of a deluge of selfies the corporate landlords are making (who pay a fortune for lobbyists and have their staff follow a minister around carrying his umbrella in the rain, opening doors for him and giving him a hug and bringing in lunch when needed) we need real effective change to help both tenants and landlords.

OLA members are shocked that the solution to help tenants is to say “don’t pay rent…because you can’t be evicted”.  Many of us will remember this well in the next election.

OLA MEMBERS SPEAK OUT

-We need to quickly work for win-win solutions to help both good tenants and good landlords.

-We need to get the Landlord and Tenant Board Working (and working fast) and Tenants also to be protected by new government programs such as loans and grants to pay their legal rent.

-The current plan of “no evictions” is beyond foolish and will dramatically harm the Ontario rental industry and lead to anarchy and chaos. 

We need real leadership, not pandering to the worst instincts of tenant voters. 

KNOCK OUT YOUR LANDLORD LIKE MUHAMMED ALI IN 2020! You Need To Challenge Your Landlord To Make Them Respect You And Not Rip You Off!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Make Sure You Clearly Show Your Landlord You Are A FIGHTER FOR YOUR TENANT RIGHTS! You Need To Teach Them You Will Fight Back!

The greatest heavyweight boxer of all time was a Black man named Muhammed Ali.  He was not the biggest fighter out there. In fact, he was normal sized and usually the “underdog”.  But he became the champion!

How?

Because he knew bigger boxers underestimated him and though he was not aggressive and weak and small. He made sure they knew he was not weak and would fight aggressively and this led the other boxers to respect him.

This is the same attitude these rich landlords have against us hard working tenants. They think we are weak.  It’s why we all need to fight aggressively and teach them to respect us…and if the don’t they will get knocked out!

Use The Muhammed Ali Strategy To Get Your Landlord To Respect You And Your Rights

Most landlords think they are clever and tenants are stupid and weak and not capable of fighting back.

Why do landlords think they are so clever?

Many bought their rental properties thanks to  mortgage fraud with fake incomes. The mortgage business is very shady and how did some lowly person end up with several rental properties? Hmmm.

And then they avoided all the laws to create a likely illegal rental as cheaply as possible. A rental that is a fire trap that could lead to the deaths of you and your family.

Keep your landlord on the defensive, ALI STYLE!

Tenants Need To Show You Won’t Be Pushed Around Or Cheated On Day 1!

Mohamed Ali knew other fighters thought he was small and old.  He knew the key to his winning (and dominating) was to show the bigger, younger fighter he knew what he was doing and he was fierce and wouldn’t back down!

Ali knew that if he he looked ‘weak’ or ‘intimidated’ it would lead to even more attacks from his opponents.

So he made sure from the first second of the fight to teach his opponent/landlord a lesson

…He showed them he was going to fight harder than they were and he was going to KNOCK THEM OUT!

From The Beginning Of The Fight, Ali Would Show He Would Not Be Intimidated

Ali would come out and jab, jab, jab, punch, punch, punch.  This led the other boxer to respect him.

Tenants need to do the same thing.

Make Your Landlord Know You Fight Back HARD!

Tenants Using Ali Tactics To Fight Back And Protect Your Family

So how can use be like Ali and win?

Here’s how.

If You Are Rejected From Renting a Property You Want To Make Your Home

It’s clear that many landlords refuse tenant applicants by breaking the Ontario Human Rights Commission Laws.

The refuse you because you are on government assistance.  They refuse you because your income isn’t high enough. They refuse you because of your race or citizenship.  They refuse you because of your family.

This is all illegal…and it’s all super common!

Landlords are breaking the law by illegally denying you the home you deserve!

Always demand an exact reason why you were refused.  Record all conversations.

File a Human Rights Complaint against the landlord who refused you. Teach them a lesson they will never forget and make sure their law-breaking will end!

When You Move In

When you move in many landlords think “HAHAHAHA I GOT YOU! PAY ME!”

They have no idea that Tenants have rights and view you as simply their “cash cow” so they can buy expensive cars, take vacations, use your rent money to pay for their kids elite private school tuition!

Just Like Ali, Show Your Power, Knowledge and Willingness to Fight On Day 1

You have to show to your landlord that you are not an idiot that they can rip off.  Most landlords don’t care about the Residential Tenancies Act and don’t care about the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Even if they are aware of it, they think YOU WON’T DARE CHALLENGE YOUR LORD

Make Sure You Challenge Your Landlord And Protect Yourself!

If you don’t do this, your landlord will NOT RESPECT YOU AND WALK ALL OVER YOU!

I know tenants are want to focus our time on our jobs, our studies and our families, but the landlords in Ontario are often PREDATORS and you have to take these steps to protect yourself, especially newcomers to Canada, people on government assistance, single mothers and students.

How To Do Take Action After Moving In? (No Need To Tell Your Landlord At All!)

-First, inspect the property yourself.  If you see any potential issues call your local by-law officer or Toronto 311 and get someone to come and inspect it.

Even if you don’t see any maintenance issues, call your local by-law officer or Toronto 311 (since you are not an expert and you want to make sure your new home is safe).

-Second, call you local Fire Department and ask for them to inspect your rental to make sure it is safe for you and your family.

-Third, if there are any issues at all file against your landlord at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

-Fourth, if there are any issues call the ….against your landlord and they will investigate

-Fifth, if you have any issues or questions, call your landlord and if they don’t answer quickly file a at the Landlord and Tenant Board

What Can I Do If My Landlord Threatens or Harasses Me?

-You can call the police.

-You can call the Investigation Unit

-You an file at the Landlord and Tenant Board

-Call your local By-law office or 311

-Go to your local Legal Aid Clinic or go to an LTB Hearing and talk to “Tenant Duty Counsel”

Even after you beat down your landlord you don’t need to move out! Your landlord will FEAR YOU, and you are the WINNER! Ali Style!

1. Keep calling them
2. Demand action
3. Don’t be polite

…Show them you are smart and will not accept any ‘bad landlord’ games!

Muhammed Ali Was Underestimated and Made Sure His Landlords/Opponents Learned Fast!

Tenants need to do the same in 2020.

Fight back.  Make complaints! Call By laws. Call the Fire Department. Take Your Landlord to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

You thought I was weak? I Will Take You To The LTB, Call By-laws, Call Police, Get Free Legal Help, Call Investigation Unit!

Landlords Fear Tenants Who Know Our Rights!

By being aggressive you educate your landlord that they better BE CAREFUL in dealing with you.

And why not? Since you are paying their mortgage and making them rich. They need us more than we need them.

Get energized and get fighting because you are right and joining a huge Tenant movement for fairness!!! Fight For Your Rights!!!