Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Legal Issues’

The Ontario Landlord Diaries (Part 1)

Saturday, September 1st, 2018

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Ontario Landlords Share Their Experiences. Read And Learn To Make Your Investment A Success

We asked landlords across Ontario to write in to us and share their experiences being small business landlords.  We would then share these experiences with other landlords and investors.

The purpose is to provide a venue for people to let others know what they are going through and share the types of challenges and opportunities they are experiencing.

This would not only allow people to make their voice heard, but to also improve landlord knowledge and help our entire community learn the challenges out there and how to protect ourselves and succeed.

The response has been overwhelming.

Not only have we received thousands of stories, but the anger and frustration of just about every submission stands out. The reality is the current rules aren’t fair for Ontario landlords.

Email after email had a similar theme: “There is no balance”. “Everything is on the tenants side”.  “We Need Changes”.

If you find a nice reasonable tenant who respects you and your property you will be fine. And there are lots of these tenants out there and you need to find them..

This is why the Ontario Landlords Association teaches the importance of being a professional landlord, with a great property, at a competitive price. This is what great tenants are looking for. They are also looking for a landlord who experienced and knowledgeable and knows their rights and responsibilities.

However, if a tenant wants to “use the system” they can go for months on end not paying rent, make huge damages to your property (often with no repercussions), or make your life a living Hell.

Here are just some of the thousands submissions from hard-working, decent people who became landlords. These are people who believed in the future of Ontario and put their hard-earned money to invest in rental properties and run a successful rental business. They invested with the plan of being a terrific landlord with an amazing rental property for a great tenant.

After all, most OLA members rented before. It could have been as a student, or new immigrant to Canada, or just saving for a down payment.  OLA members want to be the “perfect landlord” we always wanted to rent from (and often couldn’t find).

Sadly many new landlords have faced huge challenges. So many things went wrong due to an unfair system that requires dramatic changes.

These are only some of their stories.

“It’s So Easy For Renters To Play The System!”

I am writing this letter seeking for help and fair treatment as a private landlord who purchased the property as my only home but can’t assume it after renting it to a professional tenant who clearly wants to live in my property for free and also blackmail me.

I purchased my condo in 2017 and rented it out to a tenant with a one-year lease because the purchase cost me every penny and I needed some cash flow to pay off the debt I borrowed to purchase this condo.

Starting in Spring, the tenant’s post-dated cheques consecutively bounced, yet the tenant refused to pay me the admin charge for each returned cheque from their bank.

A month later in, when I was conducting a regular inspection of the rental unit, I found the tenant damaged the property by inserting many nails into each wall in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, which is a clear breach of the lease agreement we signed. There are also stains on the wall. The tenant denied they made any of the changes and refused to either fix the damages or pay me the cost to fix.

What’s worst is, the tenant and her representative insulted, coerced, intimidated and threatened me during the entire inspection. While I have evidence from witness – report and testimony- the tenant was still trying to lie about the fact and sued me for thousands of dollars for harassing them. Apparently this tenant is trying to live in my property for free in another way, as they threatened.

The tenant’s threat and continuous harassment to me greatly traumatized me and I don’t want to move back, not to mention now I can’t even get my property back.

Thanks to the ridiculous Residential Tenancies Act in Ontario, I need to pay the one-month rent as compensation even if I need my property back for my own use!! I am now forced to sell the property, which I bought as my only home, in order to kick them out.

When I applied for an eviction order in the summer, the hearing was first scheduled in early August, and then got rescheduled in November, which is even after the end of the lease, because the tenant suggested to the judge that they didn’t think there was enough time to finish the hearing that day and it actually got rescheduled in three months as they wished!!

Apparently this tenant knows how to abuse the system in their favor and they got it. I filed an application, ended up getting a hearing in 5 months.

I feel so powerless and helpless when dealing with a nasty tenant like this because the law is not to protect landlords at all.

I can’t image what I am facing in the hearing as currently every law and actions from the Landlord and Tenant Board are favoring the tenant and I can’t get a hearing happen as scheduled. Not to mention I need to pay, as a landlord, $175 to file an application while tenant only needs to pay $45 to do the same thing.

This system is so broken that I’d rather sell my property to not to be part of it. And I am sure that I am not the only landlord who’s trapped and hurt in this unfair system. Please help me, and do something to correct this system that only favors tenants and gives landlord little choice.

“Secretly Bring In Pets, Damages, Unpaid Hydro Bills and Junk Left Behind”

We own several rental houses near Toronto. Recently we are going after our tenant who left us piles of junk, broken cabinets and shower heads,hole in drywall,and unpaid hydro bills, thousands worth. Not to mention we didn’t want pets in our house and they brought in pets.
I know of another landlords personally, who experienced such.

It caused us endless sleepless nights, stress, nightmares!

“Ontario Landlord & Tenant Board Is A Joke!”

Recently I had to attend the LTB to get a judgement against a tenant who stopped paying rent.

It started with a reason (excuse) that he lost his job. He stated on the application that he was a plumber. Oddly, I have a few friends who own private plumbing companies. I asked them if they needed employees. They offered me the job to offer the tenant. Its hard to find plumbers.

I texted the offer to the tenant….. no answer. I emailed the offer….no answer. I phoned directly. He didn’t pick up the phone. I passed by the property to let him know. At this point he stated that he works for his grandfathers company unlicensed and this is the reason why he wouldn’t respond.

Whenever there was an issue with the property or appliance I would always be there within 24 hours. I’m a fully licensed mechanic and am very capable of doing any type of manual labour skillfully. Also this is my investment and treat it seriously!

At this point I asked him when he’d be able to make a payment. He said a couple weeks. Anyhow I as a caring individual gave him the benefit of the doubt.

After months with no rent I finally filed the proper documentation with the LTB. I offered him $1000 for first months rent elsewhere as this upper 3 bedroom unit was obviously to much for him to handle at over a thousands dollars + utilities.

The funny thing is I get along with the neighbours and started getting calls from them that strange people have been coming and going from the property. Shady types apparently. I got another call from another neighbour who stated he watched the tenant carry a brand new 60” top of the line 4k LED TV in a box (with help) into the upper unit. I had to see so I scheduled an inspection for 48 hours later.

I completed the inspection and sure enough therein was mounted on the wall while he was high playing video games. It doesn’t sound to me like he was making an effort to pay rent and realized at that moment I was taken for a ride.

At the LTB hearing the arbitrator heard overwhelming evidence of his lack of commitment with nothing thrown my way. The arbitrator asked any issues with the landlord or property. The tenant said no. The arbitrator asked why he hasn’t paid the rent. He stated he lost his job. The arbitrator asked all the right questions to ascertain his motives.

I left the LTB feeling confident I was going to get the eviction order in 11 days( the minimum). By this point I am now 4 months without rent and the arbitrator gave me 20 days before I could file the eviction order with the sheriff for eviction. But the sheriff is backed up so much with evictions at the moment that there is a 4 week waiting period. So now I’ve got to wait 20 days plus 4 weeks to finally get him evicted.

The absurd part of this whole story is the tenant was mad at me!

I gave him chance after chance I tried mediating by helping him monetarily to leave. He stated I treated him poorly by asking for NSF fees. I told if doesn’t want NSF fees he should try paying the rent instead of buying TVs to replace working a working one.

He tried demonizing me to make himself fell better that he was ripping off a bad guy. That didn’t fly with the mountain of evidence stacked against him. He wanted the money but didn’t want to sign an IOU contract. This is the condensed version of the joke I call being a landlord.

I have no doubt that he will destroy the unit when he does finally leave. I have one word of advice BODYCAM like the police wear and use it with all tenant interactions. You can prove your innocence without problem if they start claiming harassment as mine did.

Asking for rent money is not harassment!. Its a business transaction! All conversations should be recorded and or emailed. You never know how a tiny conversation can go sideways.

Lets face it people in that situation will do and say anything to prove themselves. At the end of the day I did everything right and the arbitrator STILL gave them extra time to stay for free. I would say the mandate for the LTB should be to find out what is going on between a particular landlord and tenant based on evidence. Make a clear judgement. There are difficult landlords also.

There is no need for a non paying tenant to stay an additional 6 weeks. Especially when they have absolutely no excuse. Pay or get out conversely when a landlord is found lacking the judgement should go towards the tenant. Fair is fair! Right now landlords are getting crushed by the LTB and professional tenants.

As it stands now I am selling my properties and getting into commercial properties.

Forget affordable housing. I shouldn’t have to be worried that a government will judge against me when I’ve done nothing wrong except be financially responsible for myself. If a tenant wants to smoke pot and play video games all day, that is his problem and should not be mine.

I strongly believe that the LTB should adopt commercial rules for residential units also. There are a lot of good tenants out there that are waiting for a good unit/landlord but these deadbeats are keeping the homes hostage.

“Scared to Rent Out My Properties And You Should Be Too!”

I am months away from being a senior. I have been self employed most of my life, and for many years my wife stayed home to raise our kids because I traveled. We have no pension.

We have only our savings and our house. Every time I tried the stock market I got burned so of course I have been on the sidelines watching the greatest bull market of all time – figures.

My wife and I just bought a house in northern Ontario as an investment and a future retirement home. This is part of my “pension”. We fear the stock market that can wipe out your savings but GIC’s offer next to nothing. We are in our 5th home so we thought real estate was something we understood. We thought we could rent it out to cover the mortgage payments and if we were lucky it would appreciate over time.

Then we started reading about the history of LTB rulings and how the new laws those GD Liberals passed essentially put us at the mercy of a Tenant and we almost passed out.

We are seriously considering selling the house and saying to heck with it. It does not appear to be worth it to be a landlord in Ontario any more.

If the Landlord does not have the ability to protect their investment from bad Tenants and the margin on the investment is slim why would someone want to be a Landlord?

Tenants think they have a right to do whatever they want and to not pay rent because they want to enjoy their life, pay for other stuff or save for their future?

Sure they do. Buy your own house or move into Ontario Housing. It is not the individual Landlord’s responsibility to support those who can’t or don’t want to buy their own home.

And we just closed the deal on the house! If I had known about this before we bought, we would not have and there would be one less rental unit available. There still might be.

Today we turned down a prospective renter because we were afraid that they might be one of those bad renters who would get in to our house and then not look after it or not pay their rent and then cry to the LTB or just vanish.

It was a 40ish year old person with a young child on UI and their partner who is 6 months into a job with a small time contractor that does small repairs.

If I could charge a significant damage deposit and be sure I could get them out if they got pets or smoked in the house or grow dope or didn’t keep the house clean or or or… then we might have given them a chance.

But we can’t so we didn’t.

So the LTB and the Liberals misguided legislation actually had the opposite effect. Someone who needs a house to rent and might have looked after it and paid the rent isn’t going to get the chance.

I would rather have the place sit empty than risk damage and legal fees and still get no income if they didn’t pay. If it is empty my costs are fixed and my risk is low.

“Renting Basement Can Become a Nightmare (& even stress out your dog!)”

I live in my home and rent my basement apartment.  I have done so with little to no trouble for 5 years, until my latest tenant moved in this winter.  They used up her last months rent when, over a dispute I had with the screaming at their children (who live here part time) they said they were going to move out.

At the end of that period they did not move out.  After many apologies and promises to do better, I gave the  another chance (fool that I am).  They only paid part of her rent in June/July period, and now owes me the remainder plus July/August period, and August/September period is looming.

I served the with an N4, and was not surprised when they didn’t move out on the termination date.  I have filed an application to evict with the LTB.  The hearing is not until October.

After reading through information on your site, I’m terrified about the hearing process with LTB, and not at all hopeful that it will result in an actual eviction taking place.

Meanwhile, I have my tenant and their partner, whom they promptly moved in shortly after they took possession, and is not on the lease, plus their two children living here periodically (all four at times, in a basement bachelor apartment), basically for free.

While my hydro bills/water bills etc are much larger than then would be if the apartment was empty, and I am going in the red without the rental income coming in.

I don’t know what to do. I’m stressed out, my dog is stressed out (he literally sits in my lap shaking when they are yelling at the kids, banging doors/etc., or when the partner stomps up and down the stairs, banging the doors shut).

Tenant refuses to answer my inquiries as to when they are moving out.  I’m at my wits end, and I just don’t know where to turn for help – or if there is any help to be found.

Am I just stuck with this nightmare tenant and their family living in my basement for free?  It’s just so unfair.

I can’t afford a lawyer to help me with the hearing, and I’m literally scared out of my wits after reading the information on your site.  Is there any assistance out for inexperienced landlords like myself who have never had to deal with this before?  I get the feeling this might not be their first go round, and that she is quite versed on how she can milk the system.

“Newcomer To Canada Invests And Gets Burned”

I am a small landlord who have only one detached house to rent out in the GTA. 
 
I have experienced 3 different renters in the past 2 years, and 2 of them were horrible. It is a really bad nightmare for me and my family. 
 
The rental property was renovated completely 2 years ago. However, the first renter grew a huge dog (more than 1.5 meter long and 1 meter tall). The dog scratched and ruined the brand new wood floor completely. Indeed, in the lease agreement, it was clearly stated that “no pet is allowed in the premise”, and she lied to me in person during interview as well.
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After living for only 4 months, she left out of sudden with a couple of days short notice. She did not clean the house at all and left tons of craps in the house. When we asked for compensation for scratching floor and she even did not bother to answer. 
 
The other headache renter is living in my property right now.
The neighbor complained to me that they were growing 4 plants of cannabis in the backyard. I need to confront with the renter. Indeed, in order to prevent this kind things from happening, I already clearly stated in the Lease Contract that “The parties agree that no cannabis will be allowed within the premise including inside building, car park, and front/back yard.”
In consideration to cannabis legalization in Canada especially in Ontario, I am really afraid that this clause within the contract cannot protect my rights as landlord at all. 
 
I am a new immigrant to Canada. At the beginning, I thought Canada was a honesty country and people living here have high standards of morality.
However, my previous experience of dealing with these renters has significantly changed my impression regarding this society and this Country.
The thing makes me more frustrated is that as I get into studying the regulations in the rental area, I realize the current law completely makes no sense at all. The law protects those people with bad faith and encourage bad behavior.
The entire rental regulations are based on a ridiculous assumption that “landlord is evil and greedy, and needs to be regulated”.
I really cannot believe in Canada especially in Ontario the law is so biased against landlords, especially small landlords who invest their entire life saving by hardworking in properties .

The goal of government is to increase affordable housing and rentals provide that option. Landlords must be able to manage risk, provide safe homes and be able to earn some profit in return for managing the property and investing their capital in homes for rent.

Therefore, landlords must have the ability to disallow some behaviours on their properties.

This includes behaviour such as smoking, including all types of smoking: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, weed and vaping.

Further, growing marijuana requires conditions that are not akin to a safe environment as light and temperature may need to be manipulated. Grow ops have ruined entire houses in the past. Landlords must be able to prohibit marijuana growing in their properties.

Ontario Landlords Speak Out!
Landlords across Ontario face huge challenges. The above stories are only the tip of the iceberg!  It’s clear the system to be changed to encourage more good people to invest in residential rental properties.
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Before the OLA came around there was almost zero coverage of the challenges small landlords and investors face. Most landlords didn’t even know how to screen potential tenants.
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It’s time to fight even harder and get our message out!
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It’s time to make your tenant screening system even more strict!
Please share your Ontario landlord experience by emailing us at: landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com
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And make sure you make your voice heard to change the rules regarding Ontario rental properties and marijuana.
 

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected – The Current System Just Isn’t Fair!

Monday, December 4th, 2017

ola landlords speak out

Ontario Landlords 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.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Fair For Landlords – Ontario Small Landlords Need More Protection

ola it's not fair

Tens of thousands of small landlords emailed in as part of our drive to create a way for landlords and tenants to communicate with each other to find positive common ground. While there are some unethical landlords out there, by far the vast majority of us try our best to be excellent landlords with attractive, well-maintained rentals.

The vast majority of small Ontario landlords play by the rules and care for our tenants and our properties.

The Ontario Rules Do Not Protect Small Landlords And This Isn’t Fair

One of the most common themes in all the replies was that while landlords want to learn and follow the rules those same rules often don’t adequately protect small landlords.

This means landlords who make sure they do everything according to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board still find themselves in very difficult situations stemming from bad tenants. These bad situations often mean losing thousands of dollars.

However it also goes beyond just financial losses.

Under the existing system landlords experiencing incredible stress, worry and sleepless nights when they are just using the system in place and following the rules. This isn’t right and this isn’t fair.

Good people making huge investments in our province need to be protected and must not be subjected to tenants who can easily manipulate the rules to cause harm and huge financial losses. Recently there was a good media story of a tenant who created a fake credit report to trick landlords into renting to him. He then ripped off his landlords and also cheated other tenants. He is now wanted by the police.

Let’s Protect Good Tenants, But We Also Need to Protect Good Landlords

Most of our small landlord members were renting themselves not that long ago. We are the working class looking to support our retirements and hopefully get some cash flow as a return on our investments. Many of us rented as students at Ontario universities and colleges and many others rented while beginning their careers.

We support protections for tenants, but we need to also protect good landlords. Currently things are simply not balanced.

What Happened To The Changes To Encourage More People To Invest in Rental Properties?

It was only a year or so ago that that landlords were asked to present needed changes to the Ministry. The request was for current landlords to suggest new policy ideas to help them succeed, and this would in turn encourage more people to become landlords in Ontario.

It was a good idea as with a better, fairer system more people would invest in rental properties and this would lead to more choices for tenants and more affordable rental housing in Ontario.

Our landlord members were not worried about increased competition from new landlords and investors. In fact, they were very enthusiastic and excited about getting changes that are desperately needed to help landlords continue to even run existing rentals. With a better system and more protections, landlords could better deal with bad tenants who abuse the system.

More Protections for Ontario Tenants But What About Fairness for Small Landlords?

When the Rental Fairness Act was announced in April many landlords were excited and expected to hear about new protections for small landlords. An Ottawa landlord organized an online event and many our members networked and watched the news conference on the Premier’s YouTube channel.

After the news conference good Ontario landlords were extremely disappointed, and many were upset.

For while there were many changes designed to help tenants, there was little to help small landlords. No one objected to helping good tenants but wasn’t the goal to encourage more great people to invest and create a lot more amazing rental properties?

A Toronto Landlord asked: “Why are the concerns of small landlords ignored as we are key stake-holders in Ontario and important rental housing providers!?”

Some of the major challenges Ontario landlords are facing include:

Evicting for Smoking

Dealing with tenants who smoke, and have this smoke bother other tenants, has been a problem for many small landlords for years. With new laws regarding marijuana this issue is just going to become larger and we need to find a solution.

Creating a New System to Help Landlords and Tenants with Pets

Our landlord members love pets and many have pets of their own. However, we need a way to make sure tenants take care of their pets and don’t damage the rental property. 

Ontario Landlords Association members suggested we create a voluntary “pet deposit”. Tenants with pets would pay a deposit to protect the small landlord from any damages from the pets (and they do happen). When the tenants move out they will get the deposit back if there aren’t any big damages. If their aren’t any pet damages and the landlord doesn’t give the deposit back the tenant can take pictures, file at the LTB, and get the deposit back.

Making the Rent Increase Guideline More Fair For Service Oriented Small Landlords

With even newer rental properties covered by the rent increase guideline (which is only 1.8% in 2018) we need a way to make sure the guideline covers the true cost increases landlords face.

Making the Landlord and Tenant Board More Efficient and Effective

When landlords have problems with renters in their properties we have to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to seek justice and fix the problems. While most LTB staff are hard working and professional, the way the LTB is designed needs to be improved.

-We cannot continue to have landlords waiting for weeks or even months to even get a Hearing date.

-We cannot continue to have tenants ‘ambushing’ landlords with maintenance claims at the Hearing.

-We need the Enforcement Office to enforce LTB evictions in a time sensitive way, meaning days not weeks or months 

This is just the start of issues that need to be addressed.

Closing Loopholes Exploited By Bad Tenants

We need to make sure the Landlord and Tenant Board process is fair and end loopholes that delay evictions. Some unethical tenants can delay being evicted for months.

The Rules For Small Landlords Need To Change

Small landlords are not huge corporations, massive REITS with stockholders and millions of dollars available from investors from all over the country and around the world.

Small Ontario landlords are working people who believe in the future of our province and have invested their hard-earned savings into Ontario rentals hoping for a better future. Many landlords are newcomers to Canada who want to run successful rental businesses as part of their contributions to their new country.

Ontario Landlords and Tenants Speak Out: “I Wish The Rental Fairness Act Was Fair For Landlords!”

We have asked many of the landlords who emailed in to expand on their concerns and stories of challenges they have faced owning rental properties in Ontario. We have also asked Ontario tenants who wrote in the same thing and look forward to posting their opinions and ideas.

By working together we can create a better, fairer Ontario rental industry that helps both good landlords and good tenants.

The current system just isn’t fair for small Ontario Landlords and that’s not fair

We need changes to be made to protect small landlords or we will see a big drop in investment and less high quality and affordable rental properties. We aren’t huge corporations who can put up ads near Queen’s Park and hold golf tournaments and invite Brian Mulroney to sip champagne with us…we are too busy working and taking care of our rental properties.

Who are small landlords?

We are teachers, contractors, electricians, firefighters, police officers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, Realtors…we are the people of Ontario. And we have been treated unfairly for too long.

Small landlords need support as we truly are important stake-holders in Ontario and need to be protected as the current system simply isn’t fair.

Toronto Star: Ontario Tenants Can Offer Rent Upfront

Monday, March 31st, 2014

April 1st, 2014

Ontario Tenants Can Offer Rent Upfront

Can tenants voluntarily pay the landlord extra rent or a deposit for pets?

A recent column in the Toronto Star has caused a lot of excitement for residential landlords all over the province.

Ontario landlords often complain about the challenges caused by not being able to charge tenants a damage deposit.

It’s common for landlords to face a big clean up job or lots of needed repairs when tenants move out.

This not only costs landlords a lot of money, it also has a negative impact on new tenants who move in and expect a clean and well maintained property as this The Grid article explains.

To recoup the costs of cleaning the rental unit or fixing the property landlords have to pursue their former tenants and take them to Ontario Small Claims Court.

Some landlords are successful at this, as you can see at this story ‘Ontario Landlords and Small Claims Court‘, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process.

Some landlords simply cannot find their ex-tenants to serve them court papers to get the process even started.

Background

The Toronto Star story explained the background to their story.

Mississauga landlord Tanveer Bumbia rented to a tenant who was in Canada on a visitor visa.

At first Bumbia had concerns the tenant would be able to continue to fulfill the terms of the lease and keep paying rent.

However, he rented to her because the tenant paid one year of rent up front and a security deposit.

After moving in the tenant filed to get the extra rent and security deposit back because the Residential Tenancies Act states landlords can only request ‘first and last months’ rent.”

During the case an email from the tenant’s Realtor was disclosed.

The email clearly stated the tenant would pay all twelve months of rent.

Since the tenant offered the money voluntarily the judge decided it was legal (while the damage deposit was not because the tenant hadn’t offered it).

The tenant appealed the verdict and in February 2014 another decision was made a Superior Court judge.

This new decision (which can be read here) agreed with the first one. 

Judge Marrocco explained:

1. A landlord cannot require the tenant to pay anything more than just ‘first and last   

   month’s rent’ in order to agree to rent t the tenant.

2. If the tenant offered to pay more rent money upfront the landlord could accept it and it  

    would be legal

3. The landlord would be required to pay the tenant interest on this extra rent according

     to the Act

What Does This Mean For Ontario Landlords?

According to the Toronto Star story, the decision will have an impact on how tenants and landlords do business together.

For example, you can’t put in your rental advertisement that you will require anything more than just first and last months’ rental payment.

You also can’t advertise you will charge a security or pet deposit.

If the tenant voluntarily offers to pay the landlord extra rent the landlord can accept it.

Also, if the tenant volunteers the landlord can accept a deposit for things such as potential pet damages.

Landlords Speak Out

The Star story has caused a stir for landlords.

You can see this on some of the post at the Ontario Landlord Forum.

Some landlords are excited about giving tenants more options to negotiation with them.

“This could really be a game changer and help landlords and good tenants.

Tenants who might have bad credit or pets and are having a hard time finding a landlord to rent them because of the risks for the landlord…”

An new Ottawa landlord is confused about what the real rules for landlords are:

“What’s going on? I called the Landlord and Tenant Board 1-888 telephone number and asked about this. The customer service representative informed me landlords can only collect ‘first’ and ‘last’ months’ rent.”

An Alberta landlord finds the who situation bizarre because it doesn’t make sense to ever deny tenants the right to negotiate to rent from a landlord:

“Many of us out there think it’s insane landlords in Ontario can’t charge a damage, security or pet deposit.

This means the tenants don’ t have any ‘skin in the game’ and won’t treat your property right.

The fact that a person who wants to rent from you offer you more money might not be able to do so is just bizarre.”

Tenants Should Have the Right To Freely Negotiate

We support a tenant’s right to negotiate with a potential landlord.

We also feel it’s time to change the Residential Tenancies Act to allow landlords to ask for security and pet deposits.

With some protection against damages more people will invest in residential rental property in Ontario which will lead to more high quality rentals and more choices for tenants.

We will follow this carefully to help Ontario landlords navigate an ever more confusing legal environment.

Tenant Screening – Freeman Arrested, Landlady Finally Gets Her Duplex Back

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

 October 1st, 2013

CAL0926-CDNe4

Self-proclaimed sovereign arrested at the rental home he declared his embassy

We wrote about the horrible situation facing Rebekah Caverhill. 

She is the Calgary landlord whose story we called “Landlord Feels Like a Prisoner After Freemen On The Land Declares Rental Property His Embassy.”

Some Good News

As reported last Friday in the National Post the almost two year battle for Caverhill was finally coming to an end.

According to the Alberta Landlords Association Calgary police moved in at around 2 am and made an arrest. The tenant was arrested on  several outstanding warrants issued by courts in Quebec.

Tenant Andreas Pirelli was charged with pushing a landlady down a flight of stairs in Montreal in 2007.

An arrest warrant was issued in May 2010 when he failed to show up during his trial.

Police said Mr. Pirelli will remain in custody until he is transported back to Quebec.

Landlady Returns To Her Duplex

Caverhill was nervous about the opportunity to finally get back her home.

According to the Calgary Sun she said “I don’t know what I’m walking into when I walk in there, but that’s nothing. Bricks and boards can be fixed but there are some things that are far more precious then bricks and boards — that’s the idea of freedom and standing up for what you think is right.”

When she went into the basement unit on Monday she was met with a letter saying the Freeman had put a lien of $17,000 against the property.

This is the second lien he filed against her.

When she began to see what had happened to her rental property the Alberta senior broke out crying.

Looking at the mess and led her to say it was extremely painful for her to see what was left over. She was extremely upset.

Screen, Screen, Screen

What happened to Rebekah Caverhill can happen anywhere in Canada and is a wake-up call for landlords across the country.

She rented to this ‘Tenant from Hell’ based on the recommendation of a friend and didn’t sign a lease with him.

One of the lessons police are urging to public to take from this incident is the important of full background checks on potential tenants.

“It’s really important to contact prior landlords and check all references for people who are potentially going to be renting your property,” said Calgary police.

Calgary landlords are aghast at what happened. But it’s a situation that can happen anywhere in Canada at any time.

Remember to thoroughly screen your tenants before handing over the keys to your rental property.

Good screening includes a credit check and a criminal check.

Protect yourself, your family and your rental property investment. Spending a relatively small amount of money at the beginning can save you thousands of dollars later on.

Landlord Feels Like a Prisoner After ‘Freemen On The Land” Declares Rental Property “His Embassy”

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

 September 24th, 2013

Alberta Freemen of the Landlord Is a Nighmare for His Landlord

We had prepared to post about the great news out of Hamilton.

Hamilton landlords stuck together, created noise, and played a key role in stopping landlord licensing.

We’ll get to that soon because we want to first share a story that’s being reported everywhere from Sun News to the CBC.

It’s about a landlord facing a nightmare situation.

Landlord Victimized By Bad Tenant

We know there are lots of bad tenants out there. We have discussed everything from tenants not paying the rent for months to some tenants being charged from threatening their landlord.

The situation going on now in Alberta is something we haven’t seen before.

Owning Rentals In Alberta

Alberta is known for having some of the more fair laws for landlords in Canada.

Fair laws such as allowing damage deposits and ‘no security of tenancy’ rules. This means a negotiated lease agreed to and signed by both the landlord and tenant carries weight in unlike in Ontario.

This leads to lots of success stories and happy landlords in Alberta.

However, for those who don’t do proper tenant screening problems still arise.

Freemen On The Land

Rebekah Caverhill owns a nice duplex in a great area of Calgary, Alberta.

In 2011 she agreed to rent to Andreas Pirelli based on the recommendation of a friend. He said he was a handyman and she agreed to let him move in in exchange for three months of contracting work.

Pirelli moved in and began abusing his landlord and the rental property, including:

1. Changing the locks without the landlords’ permission

2. Completely gutting the bathroom and the kitchen

3. Painting the bedrooms black

He also informed this landlord he would only pay half of his monthly agreed to rent of $1,500 because the work he did on the home was suddenly to cost $26,000.

Pirelli  had declared himself a member of what’s called Freemen-on-the-land.

This is a movement which believes they don’t have to follow the law if they declare themselves to be sovereign citizens.

Don’t Let This Happen To You

Rebekah Caverhill was taken advantage of and is paying a hefty price. Is it fair? Of course not.

She rented to a tenant based on trust and the recommendation of a friend.

Unfortunately in this day and age you need to do more before handing over the keys.

 

Tenant Screening Ontario Landlords Association Small Claims Court

 

Being a successful landlord means starting out right. This means doing credit checks and other tenant screening to make sure you know who is coming into your property.

Join the discussion at the Ontario Landlord forum