Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Legal’

Ontario Landlord Tenant Board Is Facing New Challenges And Needs Your Help

Friday, January 1st, 2021

Let’s Fix The Landlord and Tenant Board in 2021

Small Ontario landlords were happy when the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) finally re-opened and began having video hearings.

The LTB had been closed for months and this led to some tenants not paying rent. Not getting rent created severe financial challenges for thousands of small ‘mom and pop’ landlords all over Ontario.

A Disaster For Small Landlords

Some landlords even had to sell their rental properties because they needed rent in order to help cover their mortgages, property taxes, and increasingly expensive maintenance costs.

Many others had to max out their credit cards, get loans and borrow money just to keep from going bankrupt. They are now worried about getting the needed income to pay for these huge debts.

For many small landlords the LTB shut down was a nightmare.

When the LTB finally re-opened small landlords felt better and began to trust the system to help them. However, there was great frustration within our community over the long wait times to get a hearing date.

Finally, over the past couple of months the LTB has started to operate efficiently to clear the incredibly long backlog of cases.

Small landlords, at last, began to see the light at the end of the dark, long tunnel.

Tenant Groups: The Landlord and Tenant Board Is In a “Crisis”

Now that hearings have started many tenant groups are unhappy and want to shut down the LTB.

They say there is a crisis at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

They claim that the online hearings are unfair to tenants who have not been treated with respect. In addition, they say some LTB adjudicators are not acting professionally and denying tenants their legal rights.

This led the NDP to call for a shut down of the LTB

The NDP wants to shut down the LTB and ban evictions.

All tenants get free legal help (no matter their income) and the legal clinics have reached out to the Human Rights Commission to halt Hearings and re-examine LTB decisions over the past few months.

Ontario Small Landlords Need The LTB To Remain Open…We Also Want Fairness for Both Good Landlords And Good Tenants

Most small ‘mom and pop’ landlords are good, working class people who want to create high quality, affordable housing. We want to take care of our tenants and our rentals and hope it can help provide a little bit of cash flow and help us during our retirement.

We used to rent ourselves and have relatives and friends who rent now. We have nothing against good tenants and just want a fair, efficient system to help both good landlords and good tenants.

These are challenging times and the LTB reached out to the Ontario Landlords Association to ask for our members help.

This was sent to us by the leadership of the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board:

December 22, 2020

TO:                 Ontario Landlords Association Stakeholders

FROM:           Karen Restoule, Associate Chair,  Lynn Dicaire, Registrar

RE:                 Year-end Message from the LTB Associate Chair and Registrar

It has been a hard year for so many of us, and for so many reasons.

As a result of COVID-19, LTB operations have transformed at unprecedented speed and scale. Our service counters remain closed and hearings continue to be conducted by videoconference, teleconference, and through written submissions.

The LTB has been working continuously to offer quality dispute resolution for the thousands of people across the province who rely on us while prioritizing the health and safety of all.

During this change, we would like to express our appreciation for you, our stakeholders, for your patience, cooperation, and shared commitment to fair and timely dispute resolution.

In July, as a result of amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) the LTB proposed changes to its Rules, guidelines, and forms and opened the door to public and stakeholder input. In August and September, we met virtually with more than 15 stakeholder groups and received more than 40 written submissions. Since then, we have met virtually with more than 18 stakeholder groups.

Your willingness to engage openly and honestly with the LTB has been important to our process. Not only did we receive helpful feedback on the proposed changes to our materials and procedures as a result of Bill 184, but you also raised concerns and offered advice related to topics like virtual hearings, electronic filing, and the use of alternative dispute resolution.

The LTB is committed to open and ongoing stakeholder engagement. We value your experience and perspective on landlord and tenant matters.

In January, we will organize another round of engagement meetings with stakeholders. These meetings will complement a call for written feedback on proposed changes to guidelines and forms for upcoming RTA changes related to Bill 184. We welcome your input on our proposed changes to our processes and procedures. We hope you will participate.

Before we close, we’d like to take this opportunity to share a few operational updates.

We will continue to hear tenant applications and urgent matters from December 22 to January 4. In early January, the LTB will add landlord-seized and adjourned matters to the schedule, and landlord and tenant case management hearings will resume. Hearings for all application types will resume on January 18, 2021.

Finally, as we continue to work to address the large volume of pending applications and requests, we continue to ask for your patience.

Applicants will continue to experience delays. At this time, the LTB is shifting its operational staff to respond to priority areas and cannot provide accurate application processing and customer service response times. Once an application is processed, a letter will be sent to the applicant providing their file number so they can Check File Status on our website for their hearing date once it has been scheduled.

To stay up-to-date on other developments at the LTB, we encourage you to visit our website regularly and subscribe to our Latest News.

Thank you again for your continued engagement with the LTB. This meaningful dialogue provides the LTB with a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by our users and helps us to identify opportunities to improve everyone’s experience with the board.

On behalf of all LTB staff and adjudicators, please accept our warmest wishes for a safe holiday and Happy New Year. We look forward to connecting with you in 2021.

Warmly,

[original signed by]       [original signed by]

Karen Restoule

Associate Chair

Lynn Dicaire

Registrar

 

Let’s Fix The LTB in 2021

We appreciate the LTB reaching out to us once again.

Many don’t realize the OLA stopped a lot of extremely anti-small landlord measures in the past by being in regular contact with former Premier Kathleen Wynne (also when she was Housing Minister) and explaining our positions.

For example, “Own Use Evictions” still exist…when it almost didn’t thanks to the efforts of many of our senior OLA members.

Small Ontario landlords need the LTB to remain open to evict those who haven’t pay rent for months and leading to ridiculously unfair hardship on us.

We also understand the tenant groups frustration with some adjudicators not being fair. The LTB is a “court” and we need to make sure that the LTB treats both landlords and tenants with respect and the ability to make our cases.

Small Ontario Landlords Can Provide Solutions

Make sure you contact us with your ideas, concerns and hopes to fix the LTB and protect good landlords and good tenants (and making sure the bad apples are treated accordingly.)

There are too many “one person” shows now and we need to all come together and be united. Together we are strong.

Contact Us – Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard LOUD AND CLEAR:

Please send us your thought and ideas.

What happens in the next 30 days will have a major impact on the Ontario private rental industry for years to come.

Play a role and get your voice heard!

Email: landlordvoices2021@activist.com

It’s Important To Pay Your Rent To Your Small Landlord

Friday, September 11th, 2020

My name is Laura and I post under my name on the Ontario Landlords Forum. I’ve been active there for years to try to help other tenants and give some of my advice to help small landlords too.

These are crazy times for everyone.

And while tenants are suffering it’s also important to know your landlord might be suffering too. This pandemic is hurting everyone.

We Need To Stick Together

I used to own a house and we rented our basement out years ago and it really helped us cover our mortgage. When my husband died my children were grown so I decided to sell the house and rent.

Renting has a lot of advantages.

I don’t have to worry about any maintenance issues and my landlady has a service to cut the lawn and plow the snow.  My landlord cover my utilities so she can get just one payment each month to keep things uncomplicated.

My landlady is a teacher and her husband has his own contracting company and they are terrific.

“Are You Going To Pay The Rent?”

When all this chaos started in March and the government said “tenants don’t have to pay rent” my landlady called me and asked me if I was going to pay the rent.

I told her “of course I will”. She was thankful and said if I needed a break just call her.

My Landlady Is Professional and Kind, And I Make Paying Rent A Priority

I’m in a pretty good situation where I don’t need to worry about buying food and my children are adults now.  I know others might not be as safe as I am.

I’m going to pay the rent not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because I want to keep my excellent relationship with my landlady and know that if I don’t pay rent it could hurt her financially (and even lead to her selling this place).

Pay You Rent And If You Can’t Call Your Landlord

My landlady isn’t some big global corporation. She and her family invested and thanks to them I have a great place to stay at a great price.

Rent Strike Hits Small Landlords, Not The Corporate Landlords

-Not paying rent will just get rid of the small nice landlords who care about you.

-Not paying rent will not impact the big heartless corporations.

-The whole “rent strike” people are likely corporate landlords who want to get rid of small landlords who are their competition.  At least that’s what I think.

Stay Home and Stay Safe!

I’m so happy to have a great rental with a great landlady. I feel safe and don’t ever want to move.

With Love And Wishing Everyone Stays Safe,

Laura

 

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

Tuesday, July 21st, 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.

Part 1: My Tenants Haven’t Paid Rent For Months

Monday, June 1st, 2020

We are posting some of the thousands submissions sent from landlords across Ontario. Make your voice heard.

I know a lot of landlords really frustrated now and I am too. So we asked if our my submission could be published for people to read.

Hopefully others will see they aren’t alone in dealing with these challenges and those with power can see what is really happening.

Our Story – We Did Every Thing Right, The System Is Wrong

Like many others reading here we are not a rich. We are originally immigrants who saw Canada as a peaceful land which followed the rule of law instead of the law of personality and corruption.

We arrived and are both working class people who only bought our own home later in life. We rented for years and  made sure rent was a priority to pay.

We are still coupon cutters and saved every cent we could. Yes, I’m that person you see lined up at the grocery store the morning of a sale.

We have an old tv and almost never take any vacations  and we are fine with that because we want to plan for our future.

We have never bought a new car, always used. We didn’t even want to buy a car but found public transportation lacking and not convenient, especially in the cold winters.

Finally Built a Small Nest Egg

When we finally had some savings a few years ago we were looking to invest somehow. Our money was just sitting in the bank and we spoke with our bank representative about options.

She told us we could go into GICs, but they paid very little interest. And the stock market was something we were not comfortable with because it looks to us like a casino where only the insider players make money.

We were still looking for options.

Buying A Property To Rent

After long talks with each other, we came across the idea of buying a rental property.

We rented for years and remembered how tough it was to find a really nice place. We always worried about the landlord/property management because many of the rental buildings were not well maintained in our city. When we needed to move and find a new place due to work reasons it felt like Russian roulette.

So we decided we can try to buy a well located property and make it the nicest one around.

And we would be the best landlords around.

We wanted the property and how it was run to be exactly what we always looked for but never found. We planned to personally take care of the property, fix things quickly and with high quality materials, and charge an affordable price.

Our goal was people would see our place compared to others and get to know us for a mutually respectful business relationship.

Great Duplex, Great Rental, Great Location

We spoke with our bank and learned what we needed to qualify for the mortgage. I know tenants are talking a lot about mortgage fraud by small landlords and it does exist, especially for people with multiple rentals. This is wrong and makes us all look bad.

Fortunately for us we had high credit from always paying our bills and could qualify to buy a property in a certain price range.

We spent months looking and looking and the more places we saw the more we were confident we could be the best landlords around. So many of places for sale were run down, damages, smelled horrible, and not something we would have wanted to rent.

Our real estate agent finally showed us a property in a good area close to public transportation, shopping, and schools. It was vacant and we were told by our real estate agent the current owner was a foreign investor who wanted to sell.

We made our offer and after some wiggling it was accepted! We finally had our investment property, in a nice area and now it was our time to have the perfect rental property with (we hoped to be) amazing, caring landlords.

Fixing The Property

In our area it’s hard to find a really nice rental in a great area. Now we at least had the great area. Now it was time to fix it.

We did everything ourselves except the new shingles and the electrical and plumbing. We spent weeks scrubbing, painting, putting in new flooring and landscaping.

We spent more on our rental than in our own home for things like blinds, curtains, new counter tops, new appliances, and new clean light switches.

Both the upper and lower units looked like brand new houses.

We made them into places we always hoped to find but always ended up disappointed.

Great Property On The Market At An Affordable Price

We felt great even after coming home at midnight after doing sanding, painting and other fixing issues in the new property.

We had one of the best properties on the market, we wanted to be the best most friendly landlords ever, and were optimistic and excited.

We are both working class people wanting to help working class people like us!

Things Started Off Well

We found good tenants for both units in the upper and lower apartments. We made sure to use the right legal materials and rent credit checks with Rent Check.

It was a good first year. Unfortunately, the lower unit moved out after a year and the couple of teachers moved out after two years because they bought their own townhouse.

Our next tenants moved in and things were also good for a long while.

No Evictions, No Landlord And Tenant Board, No Law

They are legally “playing the system”

Things have changed in 2020. We had our first problems with the downstairs tenant who didn’t pay rent in February. He hasn’t paid since.

Then after Premier Ford say tenants didn’t have to pay rent in March our upstairs tenants have refused to pay. They told me it’s “their right.” They didn’t want to negotiate, didn’t want to work things out.

Our Tenants Are Now Not Paying Rent And We Can’t Evict Them And We are Owed Thousands of Dollars in Rent With No End In Sight!

This is all because the government is not allowing the legal system to operate… and we suspect our tenants are abusing the system because they know they can’t be evicted! Isn’t Canada supposed to be a nation of laws and not one of lawlessness?

Things were about to become worse. Doug Ford where are you to help me and my family not go bankrupt!

To Be Continued…

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!!!