Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Legal Issues’

An Ontario Landlord Story Part 4 “What About Rights For The Landlord?”

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

July 26th, 2013

Ontario Landlord Naive Landlord and tenant board

The Bureaucracy and Injustice for Small Landlords Keeps Getting Worse and Worse

As explained in Part 3, I did complain to the Vice Chair about the fact that apparently the adjudicator had amended the order in discussion with the tenants and in our absence

– the response I received avoided addressing this and instead apologized for the difficulties I experienced with scheduling our hearing. 

I also filed an appeal – which was, of course, scheduled for a Thursday – so much for the apology.

When I requested that this be rescheduled or postponed until the end of the semester so as not to inconvenience the more than 80 students I teach on Thursdays, the request was denied.

A second fax requesting that our issue then be heard during my break received no response at all, so I was again forced to inconvenience my students and risk my employment for this nonsense. 

And the adjudicator who heard the appeal insisted that I should have addressed the issue of his tenancy at the initial hearing (although how I could be expected to know it was an issue when it was not discussed, or mentioned during the adjudicator’s ruling is beyond me) and refused to amend the order, although she did acknowledge that he did, in fact, reside in the unit, contrary to his testimony. 

Because I had failed to get him to sign a rental agreement for the main unit, she stated that she would deem him an occupant rather than a tenant, in any case. Occupants get to live for free in Ontario, apparently… but then, so do tenants.

During the time following the hearing and until they moved on 15-Feb (without actually waiting for the Sheriff, who finally deigned to show up on the 26th) they continued to cause a great deal of damage to the property.

They also seriously slandered my husband – the only issue that the police actually supported us with, ordering that they cease and desist or risk being charged. 

And they also found a way to more than double the hydro bill, opening all the windows but maintaining the house at 85C or higher with electric heaters and fans plugged into every socket.

And of course, when they left, they made sure to lock us out, since we still did not have a key to the front door (and they nailed the others shut).

To Be Continued…

An Ontario Landlord Story Part 3 “Does the Landlord and Tenant Board Follow Their Own Rules?”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

July 13th, 2013

Landlord and Tenant Board Adjudicator Tenant Duty Counsel

(Click to read Part 1 and Part 2)

To give the tenant the power to destroy the landlord’s employment hardly seems reasonable to me, but as it happened, I was able to send my eldest daughter to the house with a permission form, and the squatters did sign it.

Even so, it took a great many phone calls and tears before a manager at the Landlord and Tenant Board finally intervened and agreed to schedule all three of our hearings for the same day – and on a Tuesday.

Still not ideal, as I teach at 11 am on Tuesdays, and they do not typically allow such minor details to influence the adjudicator’s schedule, but the manager did agree to write a letter requesting that if at all possible, our issues be dealt with as early as possible on that day. 

Unfortunately, in order to “accommodate” me to this extent, the hearing was delayed by several weeks – and of course, the tenants paid no rent for January either.  Nor February.

Over the course of the time while we were waiting for the hearing, the tenants made numerous complaints to various agencies, resulting in our receiving almost daily phone calls, and even threats, from by-law officers, fire chiefs, and the police.

They complained that the vacuum my husband used in the basement unit of the building disturbed them, which resulted in a police officer first of all, entering our unit without permission, and secondly, instructing my husband to leave to cease interfering with her “enjoyment.”  

They objected to him stopping at the work site on the highway where the partner worked and writing down the name of his employer from the side of the work trucks, and called the police for that as well.

They provided a list of repairs they wanted completed in the unit. These ranged from the frivolous such as “our light fixtures don’t work” (light bulbs) and 2 elements and the oven don’t work (they removed the elements, and the oven timer needed turning to the off position) to the ridiculous (we want the wall that we ripped out in the bathroom and the deck that we trucked away from the back door replaced).

When we did attend to attempt to make repairs we were verbally abused and/or denied entry, and the few repairs they did allow were promptly and publicly undone.  We also heard regularly from people in our small town that they were crowing about how they were successfully “screwing” both us and OW

And of course, they continued to toss their garbage – mountains of it – into not only the back yard, now, but also in the front, and in the parking areas.

Finally the day of the hearing arrived. And we were, in fact, one of the first cases to be dealt with. The tenants were not actually present when we were called to the front of the room – they arrived several minutes in, more than an hour past the time we were – supposedly – required to sign in. 

It was abundantly clear that the rules about signing in and providing three copies of any evidence to be offered only applied to landlords. 

The issues were dealt with relatively easily, and we – we thought – were successful on all three counts.

The adjudicator told us that he found that our evidence was credible and the tenants’ was not, and that they had indeed given notice for the end of November, refused to vacate, and paid no rent since.

He would, he said, order that the stay of the original eviction order be lifted, requiring them to vacate the unit by 31-Jan. As well, his order would direct that they pay the rent owing and for the damages we were able to prove at that point.

As we left the building, naively thinking that we had won, the tenants were heading back in

– it was not until the written order arrived more than a week later that we discovered that we should, perhaps, have followed them. The written order was not as the adjudicator had stated. It seems likely that when they went back in, the tenant was able to speak to the Duty Council and – in spite of the principles stated on the LTB website which include that:

5. A Member will not communicate directly or indirectly with any party, witness or representative in respect of a proceeding outside of a hearing or pre-hearing conference, except in the presence of all parties and their representatives

He was somehow able to have it amended.

When it arrived, her partner had been deemed to be not a tenant and therefore removed from the order – and the adjudicator found that due to her circumstances it was “not unfair” to permit her additional time, so rather than 31-Jan, he gave her until 15-Feb.

Which, given the Sheriff’s “process” meant that we would be on the hook for all of February and possibly well into March. How nice of him to be so charitable with our money! 

And while the order would allow for us to be paid a pro-rated amount for the additional period, since she was on OW (Ontario Works), the fact that he was removed from the order ensured that we would not be able to collect a single cent of the more than $5,000 owing to us at that point.

This left us asking ourselves – Does the Landlord and Tenant Board Follow their Own Rules?

To Be Continued…

Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB) Showdown in London, Ontario

Monday, March 4th, 2013

March 5th, 2013

LTB BOARD SIGN

It’s a Landlord & Tenant Board Hearing to decide on the approval of an above guideline increase, otherwise known as an AGI.

It’s also become a showdown between the corporate owners and hundreds of angry seniors in London, Ontario.

How can a landlord increase the rent above the annual guideline?

According to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board

Generally, a landlord can only increase the rent by the rent increase guideline.  However, under certain circumstances a landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board, (the Board) for a rent increase that is above the guideline amount.

What are some of the circumstances?

In this case, the rules allow a landlord to apply for an AGI for

 The landlord did extraordinary or significant renovations, repairs, replacements or new additions to the building or to individual units. This type of work is called a “capital expenditure”.

Who is the corporate landlord involved?

The landlord is Minto Properties Ltd. who purchased the apartment campus in question in March, 2011.

How much does Minto want to raise the rent?

Minto Properties  has applied for an AGI to increase the rent for the 2,023 units in the complex by another 3.25 percent in 2013. This is 3/4 more than the 2013 rent increase guideline, which is capped at 2.5%.

Why do they want an above guideline increase?

Blair Spencer is the director of property operations in Londong, Ontario for Minto.

Mr. Spencer claims Minot has done a lot of improvements after buying it.

-improving the complex boilers

-upgrading the elevators

-working hard to bring all the buildings in the complex up the local bylaw codes

-the creation of a new, free of charge, fitness center

Has Minto clearly communicated this to the tenants there?

Minto says the information to back up the AGI is all on a CD. It’s can be bought by the renters (or anyone else) for only five dollars.

Why is the Ontario 2013 allowable rent increase so low?

The rent increase was capped at 2.5% no matter how much landlord costs went up by the Liberal government.

How does this low rate compare to other provinces?

In Alberta there isn’t a guideline. Landlords can raise the rent as much as they want with proper notice.

In British Columbia the 2013 rent increase guideline is 3.8%.

Why are the tenants unhappy? After all the buildings have been improved.

According to a tenant there who requests to be anonymous, most tenants in the complex are on fixed incomes. Many have lived there without major increases for decades.Tenant Michael Drabick has lived in the complex for over twenty years. He says Minto should have included their costs when buying the property. He says they should have discounted their fees when buying instead of slamming the current tenants.

The tenants are very upset!

Yes, this shows the difference between corporate landlords and small, residential landlords.

What do you mean?

Most small, residential landlords only have a tenant or two. They rely on those tenants to pay their rent on time so the landlord can pay their mortgage and/or other expenses each month.

If a small, residential landlord did something to anger their tenants it could lead to a financial disaster for them.

Furthermore, most small residential landlords will try to avoid the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) at all costs.

Why is that?

For a variety of reasons

1. Small landlords usually have full-time employment other than being a landlord. A trip to the LTB means a day off work.

2. Tenants can get free legal help at the Landlord Tenant Board. Wealthy corporate landlords can easily hire their own lawyers. Small landlords try to represent themselves, or often get tricked into spending very large fees for some sort of representation.

3. Even if you get an eviction notice, it will take weeks for the tenant to finally be evicted. This can lead to real tension between the tenant and the small landlord. This is illustrated by a recent tenant assault against a Barrie, Ontario landlord.

4. Many tenants with evictions notices still refuse to move. This means the landlord must wait, and then hire the Sheriff to evict the tenant. This costs over $300. Small change for a corporate landlord, but a huge expense for most small landlords.

The Landlord & Tenant Board showdown between Minto and hundreds of seniors happens today. To discuss this and other important Ontario landlord matters go to the #1 landlord and tenant forum in Canada

Mississauga Landlords Make Your Voice Heard – Secondary Unit Strategy Meeting

Monday, February 25th, 2013

February 24th, 2013

Mississauga Landlords Second Unit Implementation Strategy Public Meeting February 25th, 2013

On February 25th, 2013 Mississauga Landlords Can Make Your Voice Heard To Government on Secondary Suites

Mississauga landlords have been in the news recently. This time it’s good news.

-Are you a Mississauga landlord with an existing secondary suite?

-Would you like to add a secondary suite to your house to create a wealth through a rental stream?

-Are you considering buying a rental property with a secondary suite?

You have a chance to to make your voice heard on the Mississauga Secondary Unit Implementation Strategy

The city is having a public meeting on February 25th, 2013.

At this meeting you will have a chance to ask questions about the proposed new policy regarding secondary units. You will also have the opportunity to review the current proposals and provide important feedback to the government.

The Provincial Planning Act requires all Ontario municipalities to have policies regarding second units in homes.

Research Findings in the Report Include the Following Points:
1.There are real benefits of allowing second units 

Adding secondary units can help families pay their mortgage, help seniors remain in homes, and create a living space for relatives.

2. There is a real impact on Mississauga neighbourhoods

Secondary suites can create issues with parking, noise and other issues. This is dangerous because it can easily change the entire character of an existing, successful neighbourhood.

3. There are issues concerning safety

This is a serious concern. There are many current illegal units which do not meet either the Fire Code or the Building Code. Licensing second units can prevent this. Units currently ‘under the radar’ will surface and be required to meet safety requirements.

To view the report on feedback and thoughts on the strategy over 5 workshops held by the city, click here.

For more information contact the City of Mississauga at

300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5B 3C1
Customer Service: Call 3-1-1 (905-615-4311 outside city limits)

Mississauga Landlords Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard! To Discuss This And Other Ontario Landlord Issues Go To The Free Landlord Forum for Ontario Landlords!