Posts Tagged ‘credit checks’

The Ontario Landlords Association is the Recognized Voice For Residential Landlords in Ontario

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

 

“The Ministry greatly values the role the Ontario Landlords Association and its members play in providing quality, affordable rental housing in Ontario and recognizes the OLA provides an important voice for small private residential landlords.”

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

 

Ontario Landlords Can Now Access Landlord & Tenant Board Information Via F.O.I. Requests!

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Since May 1, 2019 The Rules For Accessing Information Have Changed. This Can Help Landlords Avoid “Tenants From Hell”

I’m a long-time landlord.  I bought my first rental in the late 1990s.  After some major (and expensive) mistakes I put a huge amount of my energy on screening my tenants.

I found that one of the keys to success as a landlord is to make sure you rent to good tenants and avoid the “game players” who abuse the system to rip off landlords. Sadly, there are a lot of “game players” out there.

As a long time Ontario Landlords Association member I learned a lot of great tips and tricks on weeding out “Tenants From Hell”. 

Tenant Screening Only Goes So Far In Ontario

The problem I kept facing is that in Ontario is was impossible to thoroughly screen potential tenants.  This meant that every person I rented to was a huge potential risk for me and my family. 

And what a risk renting to a bad tenant is!

In Ontario is is almost impossible to evict crafty tenants.  The process takes months/years and even if you get them out they can destroy your rental property and you can lose thousands of dollars. Even an Ontario superior court judge says the rules for landlords are unfair and ridiculous.

The problem is we had no access to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) cases. So we were blind to whether or not a potential tenant had a history of issues with the LTB.

When I joined the OLA in 2009 I found I wasn’t the only one who wanted this changed.

Thousands of other landlords also wanted access and for years the the Ontario Landlords Association has worked relentlessly contacting MPPs (and the current Premier) to make changes.

Why is this access important?

1) Credit Checks Do Not Tell The Whole Story

The truth is credit checks don’t really tell you who will be a good tenant. High credit scores can be people who simply pay their Rogers or Telus bills every month.

A credit score has nothing to do with rent and is basically useless!

Since non-payment of rent can’t be reported, that “super applicant” with a high credit score might have ripped off their last 10 landlords!

2) Landlord References Are Often Dishonest

In the beginning I relied on the honesty of other landlords. But I quickly found out that the most glowing references were often from landlords who wanted to get their tenants to move out because they were trouble makers!

Some landlords who didn’t give references but the tenants wrote them down in their application were also bad. 

I called them for a reference and when the landlord found out their tenants were looking to move they offered their good tenants rent discounts and other goodies to keep them!

3) So-Called “A.I” Is Nothing But Shameful and Shady Marketing

Just like ‘blockchains’, A.I. or ‘artificial intelligence’ is a fad these days. But it is a gimmick and just shady marketing.

How can you get a “pet risk score” by asking a tenant applicant to send in a picture of their dog?  And they say “the cuter the picture, the higher the score”.  It’s a bad joke and in my opinion it’s fraud that hurts both landlords and good tenants.

No wonder their are lots of Privacy Commission investigations going on as tenants rightfully complain.

4) Employment References Are Limited

Someone can be a great employee and a bad tenant. Sure, it’s important to find out someone works to pay the rent, but that’s where it ends.

5) Criminal Checks Only Check Tell One Story

These are really helpful but they only screen out criminals and in Ontario not paying rent or damaging property is not a criminal offense (it’s common and accepted!)

6) Face To Face Interviews Are Risky

Ask the landlords who rented to Nina WillisShe had a great story and a charming personality…then made her landlords lives a living nightmare.

Landlords Can Now Access Landlord and Tenant Board Records!

Fellow Ontario Landlords Association Members…We Did It! 

Years of lobbying and explaining and supporting court challenges as why this needed to be done, thousands of phone calls, zillions of face to face meetings…and OLA members see the fruits of our labour!

Beginning on May 1st, 2019 Ontario tribunals are now more transparent, including the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

You can read the new rules here.

What Does This Mean For Small Landlords?

It means the LTB can no longer hide from landlords making a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to see if a potential tenant has been before the LTB before. 

We can check out tenant evictions and make sure our applicants aren’t “predatory Tenants from Hell!

50 “Hits” Showing This Potential Tenant Was A Serial Bad Tenant Who Ripped Off Lots Of Landlords

 Can you imagine renting to some who:

-Has Great Credit

-Has References From A Bunch Of Former Landlords

-Has A Good Job

-Has A High “A.I.” Score Because Their Dog Is Cute And They Are Cool On Facebook

-Has No Criminal Record

Sounds like an ideal tenant right?

Wrong.

This tenant applicant has been to the LTB 50 times! And many of those times was due to not paying rent.

Run A F.O.I (Freedom of Information) To Find Out About Your Potential Tenant

This is the gold standard for landlords to really do proper tenant screening!

Ontario Landlords Association Keeps The Pressure On To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

We are landlords just like you. And we defend the rights of good tenants who don’t like to be smeared due to a group that wants to rip off landlords who they view has weak and vulnerable.

So we keep fighting and getting our message out to help both good landlords and good tenants.

We kept the pressure on for years about transparency at the LTB and now we finally got it. 

This is a great start, and we are not finished. Now we need a damage deposit and more. 

How Can I Do An F.O.I. Request To See My Potential Tenants LTB Records?

Join us in the Ontario landlord forum because this is a hot topic and we want every landlord to make sure you do it to protect yourself, your family and your rental property!

Ontario Landlord Tenant Criminal Checks – Take Your Tenant Screening System To the Next Level!

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Ontario landlords criminal checks

With So Many Problems From A Small Group of Bad Tenants Out There More Landlords Are Using Criminal Checks to Protect Their Rental Properties…And Now You Can Too For a Discounted Price!

Ontario landlords are excited about how many great tenants are out there.  These are tenants who pay their rent on time and respect both the rental property and their landlord in a mature and professional manner.  With rents rising and vacancy rates shrinking smart landlords are making sure to take tenant screening very carefully.

Take Your Tenant Screening System To A Higher Level (Not Just Credit Checks, Social Media and References)

The Ontario Landlords Association has brought forth a revolution in tenant screening over the past decade. 

Experienced and successful landlords in our community were the ones who educated others on the importance of screening your tenants very carefully.  Before we came along there was very little talk about landlord issues and few Ontario landlords even knew they could run credit checks on tenants (and why they should run them).

With so many good people looking for a place to ‘call home’ and rent from you, it is essential that small landlords avoid the professional tenants out there.

These professional tenants know how to manipulate the system and can lead small landlords to not only sleepless nights, but to financial ruin.

Professional Tenants Hurt Good Tenants, Not Only Their Landlord

These types of people who make leave huge damages and owed rent behind not only hurt the landlord, it hurts good tenants who are looking for a nice rental property. Landlords who face huge financial losses often leave the industry.  Or they will raise rents to help pay for the repair costs.

Sadly, we continue to see some landlords not being careful and being ripped off by these professional tenants.

Windsor Landlords Fed Up With Bad Tenants Now Looking At Criminal Checks As Part Of Their Tenant Screening System

After dealing with unpaid rent, destroyed rental apartments and a long process to even try to get paid money that is owed some Windsor landlords are saying they will make their tenant screening system even tighter. 

According to a CBC report a property manager has had enough of professional tenants causing huge financial hardship on small landlords.

Huge Challenges For Ontario Landlords

Already small landlords aren’t making huge profits and many are just breaking even (and some even cash-flow negative). 

So if you aren’t super careful and rent to a tenant who doesn’t pay rent, causes damages, or causes problems with the landlord or other tenants in the property it can lead to huge headaches.

Tenant Leaves Behind Huge, Expensive Damages

The Windsor property manager said one of the biggest problems he faces it from renters who leave behind huge messes to clean up. 

Tenant Was a Drug Addict, Leaving 200 Syringes In the Rental

When one Windsor tenant moved out he made sure to leave a mess behind.  This time it was more then two hundred syringes all over the floors.

Used syringes

Over 200 hundred syringes were left behind, and it got even worse!

Windsor Landlord Will Now Begin Running Criminal Checks

According to property manager Morawetz after so many tenant problems he wants to “take things a step further.” He says in order to protect rental properties he and lots of other landlords will be “tightening up” their tenant screening criteria “to a level never seen before.” 

Make Sure You Follow The Ontario Human Rights Code On Screening At All Times

According to the CBC news report running criminal record checks in some circumstances may be considered discriminatory….but in other circumstances “it might make sense” The report uses an example where a single mom is wants to rent out a room in her house and making sure all the applicants interested require a criminal check could be reasonable because of concerns for her and her family’s safety. 

And the Human Rights Commission states that: 4.2.9  Criminal or other police record checks, Nothing in section 21(3) of the Code or Regulation 290/98 permits the use of criminal or other police record check in the context of rental housing.

Of course, landlords must get permission before running a criminal check and if you have any questions contact the OHRC to make sure you are doing the right thing.

Ontario landlords criminal check on tenants

Ontario Landlords Can Now Begin Running Premium Criminal Checks on Tenants

Join our community and get the tools you need to succeed.  This now includes CRIMINAL CHECKS at a great low price with our ONTARIO LANDLORD EXPERT MEMBER.

And it’s all for only a one time fee (no annual fee). We landlords just like you and we know how tight the budgets are for many Ontario Landlords and this is why we want to keep your costs down for the best services out there.

Ontario Landlord Tenant Criminal Checks – Become a EXPERT Member And You Can Add Criminal Checks To Your Tenant Screening System For A Huge Discount for Members!

Over 1 Year Later, Thousands Lost, Serial Bad Tenant Finally Evicted

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012
 September 23rd, 2012
serial bad tenant
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Landlord “Scared Of What Will Happen Next” 

According to a Toronto Star report, serial bad tenant Nina Will has finally been evicted.

I Have a Feeling It Wasn’t Easy

After over one year and thousands of dollars lost, the landlord Darius Vikili finally managed to get an eviction.

And the Ontario Sheriff Was Involved?

According to the Star report, the eviction required the sheriff, the landlord, a locksmith and five police officers.

The good news is….According to the Star “nightmare Toronto tenant Nina Willis has finally been removed from the building.”

What Did Willis Do During the Eviction?

Two officers from the Ontario Sheriff’s office arrived at the property in the early afternoon. Willis shouted at enforcement officers from the Ontario Sheriff’s office.

….“Why are you doing this to me?” 

….”You can’t do this to me!”

My Gosh!

She continued ….. “I’ve done everything right.”

The police were called and arrived at the property. Five officers were involved in the removal.

What’s the Background to This Story?

We been following the Toronto Star story of the “Tenant From Hell” for months.

She has a long history of refusing to pay rent and stalling evictions.

She has been ordered out of six homes since 2005.

The Toronto Star has followed Willis’s case and has the reporters have done a superb ob showing just how easy it for a tenant to manipulate and abuse the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.

Protections in the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act and rules at the Landlord and Tenant Board originally designed to help tenants battle unfair evictions are being manipulated by bad tenants to avoid paying rent.

Willis attempted a last-ditch effort to plead her case to the Landlord and Tenant Board yet again.

She attempted to use a provision in the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act that gives tenants a “last chance” during a case to pay the owed rent to the landlord.

Willis had finally over the over $10,000 she owed in back rent to her landlord.  However, she miscalculated and forget to pay the $170 fee to the landlord.  This fee was paid to the Board to begin the eviction process months before.

So After This Whole Ordeal She Was Evicted Over a Technicality?

She was evicted only for forgetting to pay the Landlord and Tenant Board filing fee.

Did Willis Leave With Only Some Screaming?

Fortunately, five police officers where there. They made sure Willis, along with another women and two men, left the rental unit.  They wore sunglasses and hats, exiting the property through the backyard.

And the Door Locks?

The locksmith changed the locks.

Any Other Tenant Drama?

There was a dog in the property. The landlord contacted Toronto Animal Services to remove it.

What’s Next for Willis and the Landlord?

Willis now has 72 hours to contact her former landlord. They will then set a time and date for her to pick up all the things she left behind.

The Landlord Must Feel Very Relieved

After this nightmare experience Landlord Darius Vakili was happy Willis was finally out. However, after all the games she played to manipulate the system Vakili said he was “scared of what will happen next.” In particular he is worried she will return to the property and and break into the house.

Police cautioned Vakili to avoid entering the house until Willis had removed all her things. The police also advised him to contact the police when Willis was coming because Vakili would meet her to unlock the door.

What If She Doesn’t Contact the Landlord Within 72 Hours?

Then Vakili can dispose of whatever Willis left behind.

“I have a bad feeling they are not going to call me and I will have to clean up all (their) junk,” he said.

Is Vakili Going to Continue to Rent Out His Property?

He says he won’t be looking for a new tenant in the immediate future. He first wants to see the condition of the property. Vakili exprect dirt and damages.

To discuss this topic, welcome to the the Ontario landlord forum.

It took months to evict this bad tenant.  It costs the landlord months and tens of thousands of dollars.  In the end, she was only evicted over her own technical error in filling out paper-work.  Avoid bad tenants by making sure you do proper tenant screening including a credit check.

Tenant from Hell Launches Appeal to Stop Eviction

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

May 23, 2012

A True “Tenant from Hell”

A couple of weeks ago Star reporter Emily Mathieu wrote an article about a “Tenant from Hell” named Nina Willis.

It really was one of the best mainstream media stories about the rental industry published in years.   Thanks Emily!  You have lots of fans across Ontario!

One of the landlords in the story who had been victimized by Nina Willis  joined the Ontario Landlords Association to receive help.  Virginia received the help she needed and managed to get Willis to move! 

Here’s the scam.  Nina Willis passes herself off as a wonderful tenant, friendly, well-spoken, clean as hell and comes with glowing references, according to her many previous landlords.

Once inside the games begin.  She starts by failing  to pay rent, or pays only portions, and uses board rules that allow her to raise maintenance issues with absolutely no warning to delay the process and appeals her eviction orders.

Nina has duped landlord after landlord into renting to her. The Star found that provincial privacy legislation stopped small landlords from learning that she had a crazy record before at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

It’s Great That Nina is Finally Evicted and Her Last Landlord Can Try to Recover and Re-coup His Losses

Who said she’s been evicted? 

Many small landlords  praise Vincent Ching as one of the most professional and fair adjudicators at the Landlord and Tenant Board.  Last month board adjudicator Ching said he failed to find Willis “credible in any way” and said that if she didn’t pay what she owed by the she would be evicted.

The problem is Mr. Ching’s word is not the final verdict.

You Mean Nina Willis Still Hasn’t Been Evicted?!

She’s still in the rental property of her current landlord.  Can you imagine the stress the landlord feels?

How Did She Manage to Stay?

A tenant from hell (Nina Willis) with a track record of bounced cheques and eviction notices has done it again.  She staved off eviction with an appeal to Divisional Court.  Court records and interviews with past landlords, lawyers and paralegals confirm tenant Nina Willis, 48, has been ordered out of at least six homes since 2005. However, the Landlord and Tenant Board says it cannot release her record of many appearances before the board.

Last week Willis filed a notice of appeal to Divisional Court, announcing she intended to fight the most recent eviction ruling, this one from Landlord and Tenant Board adjudicator Vincent Ching.

By submitting the paperwork Willis’s eviction from a Don Mills home — scheduled for the end of the month — was (Get This!) automatically put on hold.

Willis has been living inside a home in Don Mills since August 2011, failing to pay rent to landlord Darius Vakili for many of those months.

In her court pleadings, Willis is asking for a new hearing, alleging the board ordered her out because of a factual “error” and she didn’t have an “opportunity to participate” in her hearing.

Willis has asked for an opportunity to present “oral evidence” heard at the board. She will have to order a CD of the hearing, which will need to be transcribed by a court reporter.

Once the transcript is ready she will have two months to assemble and file her documents before a date will be set, according to appeal guidelines from Divisional Court.

What Does the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Have to Say About This?

The Landlord and Tenant Board has declined to comment further on Willis’s case or board procedures.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has defined the board as an “independent, quasi-judicial, arm’s-length body that sets its own procedures” and said questions about practices should be directed to it.

Ministry spokesperson Richard Stromberg said in an email that because the appeal was before the courts it would be “inappropriate” to comment.

Is the Ontario System Really This Out of Touch With Reality?  How Can the Landlord Survive Financially?

Sadly, yes.  The entire system governing the Ontario rental industry is broken.  Nina Willis is just one of many tenants who use the current system to punish landlords.

Things Need to Change.  And Fast!

Landlords need access to any previous cases involving tenants.   The Landlord and Tenant Board must become more efficient.  The Residential Tenancy Act needs to change.

It’s very risky to become a landlord in Ontario in 2012.  If you decide to do so, screening is key.  Or invest elsewhere where you you and your investment is appreciated.

Discuss this on the Ontario Landlords Advice forums here.