Ontario Landlords Association

‘It’s one less house for people in need’: Collingwood landlord selling after being left with unpaid bills

Simcoe.com News: “The Ontario Landlords Association has lobbied the provincial government extremely hard during the pandemic to protect small mom-and-pop landlords,” he said.

“The good news is the (province) and the Landlord and Tenant Board are well aware of the issue due to our daily lobbying of MPPs and other officials.”

It’s a reality we are hearing across Ontario. Good small landlords who play by the rules and rent out high quality rental properties keep getting ripped off.

This leads to these high quality landlords to say “enough is enough” which leads to less quality housing around province.”

Landlord Al Truscott Is No Longer Going To Be A Housing Provider In Ontario

After 50 years of renting out properties, the retired Collingwood Collegiate teacher is selling out after a tenant left him shouldering a $1,900 water bill.

Truscott said he had no idea the bill was in arrears until he saw the envelope containing the invoice taped to the door of the unit.

The rules are just too unfair.
Tenants Kept Abusing The System And Not Paying Bills Or Rent

At one time, Truscott said, he had four properties he rented out. He started selling off his properties three years ago after a tenant skipped out on $3,000 in unpaid rent.

Along with a bill, he said, he also had to truck out three trailer loads of garbage, as well as furniture the former tenant had left in the front yard.

Truscott wonders why the Town of Collingwood didn’t give him the head’s up that the arrears were piling up.

“Otherwise,” he told Simcoe.com, “I would have dealt with it.” But no one did!

Collingwood’s treasurer Monica Quinlan said the municipality is bound by privacy legislation, and can’t notify a landlord until a disconnection notice has been served.

Too Many Small Landlords Are Getting Ripped Off And Moving On

A long-time member of the Ontario Landlords Association, said his organization has made the province and the Landlord and Tenant Board aware of the challenges many small landlords face when tenants leave behind debts or property damage.

“The Ontario Landlords Association has lobbied the provincial government extremely hard during the pandemic to protect small mom-and-pop landlords,” he said. “The good news is the (province) and the Landlord and Tenant Board are well aware of the issue due to our daily lobbying of MPPs and other officials.”

While a tenant has up to a year after vacating a property to file a grievance at the Landlord and Tenant Board, he said, a landlord has to try to track down a former tenant and go to small claims court to recover any losses.

Hopefully, changes coming to the Residential Tenancies Act will allow a landlord to avoid the small claims court process, and file against tenants who owe debts, such as a water bill, at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

“Our goal is to help both good landlords and good tenants succeed in a fair system.”

Quinlan said the town is working with Epcor to include an application for an agreement between the landlord and tenant that states the town would be entitled to communicate with the landlord on arrears.

“We have put forward many new processes to ensure that landlords are fully aware of their responsibilities with respect to water, including monthly letters that are issued to educate potential landlords as well as updates to the website and information in our tax bill insert,” she said.

A landlord can also keep the water portion of the utility bill in his or her name, as the water part of the bill follows the property (the electricity portion follows the customer).

“Water is a self-sustaining system, meaning it is not a ‘for-profit’ business — so if arrears do not get paid essentially it impacts all users,” she said.

Truscott is hoping to sit down with municipal staff to discuss the situation.

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