Posts Tagged ‘landlord rights’

Are You On A Bad Tenant List? It’s Illegal And You Can Call The Police On Your Landlord!

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

Did Your Landlord Put You A “Bad Tenant List?”

It’s Not Only Scary, It’s Illegal!

And You Can Call The Police!

The news that some landlords have put tenants on “bad tenant lists” has shocked and scared hard- working tenants all over the province of Ontario.

The news there are illegal blacklists was reported in Sudbury.com

A man who says he was invited to be part of a closed Facebook group for local landlords says it’s wrong the group is keeping a blacklist of tenants to avoid renting to.

Matthew Hahnimaki provided the list to Sudbury.com, as well as screenshots of a discussion in which a landlord advises other property owners to keep the blacklist “on the down low” because it is illegal.

The group, as Hanhimaki has gathered over his short stay, is a place where landlords, most of whom are independent with one or two properties, say they exist to share information about things like where to get credit checks done, and recommend businesses like Hanhimaki’s to other landlords in Sudbury.

Sadly this was not true. The Landlords were undertaking something much more nefarious and illegal.

Hanhimaki said it didn’t take long before he became aware members of the group were maintaining a list “of not so good tenants” and sharing it among themselves.

The list has some 200 names on it.

“There’s posts on there from people asking about the list and they seem to want to keep it hush-hush,” said Hanhimaki. “You have to send a message to this one specific girl and she’ll send it to you.”

An exchange between members of the group shows people requesting the list of names, and one member saying:  “Just a heads up having a list is illegal so keep it on the down low”.

Another member responded to the comment, stating, “Really should find another way to refer people to it without mentioning names. Perhaps create a Gmail account for whomever has the list and just give that out.”

Sudbury.com has obtained a copy of the list, along with screenshots from posts on the Sudbury Landlords page with members requesting their own copy.

Hanhimaki is not on the list himself, but feels this is an unfair way for tenants to be treated.

“This is wrong,” Hahnimaki said. “I’m on my landlord about maintenance things and that might rub him the wrong way, but that doesn’t mean I’m a bad tenant. I always pay my rent on time.”

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada seems to agree with Hahnimaki’s opinion that a “bad tenant list” is wrong.

Unless the person maintaining the list is a licensed credit agency in Ontario, the list contravenes subsection 5(3) of the the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

What’s more, unless the tenants on the list were aware their personal information was being disclosed to other landlords, landlords had no right to share the information among themselves.

Illegal Tenant Blacklists Exist…They Are Illegal…And You Can Stop Them!

The message is out that low-class, low-educated small Sudbury landlords have created illegal “bad tenant lists” on Facebook.

It’s not only Sudbury…Illegal Blacklists Are All Over Ontario…and you can fight back!

What Can You Do If You Are On An Illegal “Bad Tenant List?”

One complainant on the list said she never consented to her personal information being collected for that purpose and wasn’t allowed to see the information about her or find out which landlord had added her name to the list.

What About the Privacy Commissions?

They are good, but they are slow and very bureaucratic.  These people get huge salaries for basically doing nothing.  Sure make a complaint and it will likely get the illegal list shut down.

But you need to protect yourself fast!

Call the Police!

Your personal information is being made public without your permission.  This is not only a privacy issue, it’s a safety issue.  It is also a harassment issue.

We have heard from tenants who have been put on these illegal lists and they have called the Boys in Blue.  They explained the situation and the officers have personally went to the landlords home and told them to “SHUT IT DOWN!”

It’s Time All Tenants Work Together To Shut Down Illegal “Bad Tenant” Websites

Remember according to the Canada privacy commissioner you can only be on a bad tenant list only if:

Unless the person maintaining the list is a licensed credit agency in Ontario, the list contravenes subsection 5(3) of the the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

What’s more, unless the tenants on the list were aware their personal information was being disclosed to other landlords, landlords had no right to share the information among themselves.

So if this is not the case make sure you print this out and call the police.

NEVER EVERY FEEL ASHAMED, WEAK OR INTIMIDATED!

Explain the rules (show them the print out) and explain how this information is harassment and bullying by people who need your money, but also at the same look down on you!

You can also get help from your local Legal Aid Clinic at https://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=cl

Ontario Landlords Campaign Against Discrimination

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

Let’s Make Sure Every Landlord In Ontario Follows The Human Rights Code And Doesn’t Discriminate

Many Ontario landlords were surprised to read a story in the Toronto Star about a tenant applicant who was being discriminated against.

This was an applicant most experienced and successful landlords would consider to potentially be an ideal tenant…someone we all want to rent from us.

She had a strong financial history (with good credit and a good job). She was established with good references.

However, she found herself being regularly refused by landlords because, she believes, strictly due to her race.

It was not only surprising but also shocking because our members are aware of the Human Rights Code and follow it.

Ontario Landlords Association Defends Small Landlords

A member of the Ontario Landlords Association was in the Toronto Star story defending all the good landlords out there. The member explained:  

“We educate our members on the laws and rules in Ontario.  We also educate landlords on what ‘really matters’ when screening (such as a credit and reference check, conversations with the tenants, etc.)”

“We teach you should never turn away a qualified tenant applicant because of their race, place of birth or beliefs.”

In our Ontario landlord forum one landlord commented on the Star story:

“You would have to be nuts to not rent to qualified applicants no matter where they are from or what they look like. These must be very inexperienced landlords and they won’t last.”

Another member said – “This makes us all look bad! I’m angry at these landlords! Learn the law!”

Ontario Landlords Association Members Follow The Rules

Our province-wide landlord community wants to fix the system to help good landlords, good tenants and increase the rental supply in Ontario.

This is the reason our province-wide community organization started over a decade ago…to improve the rental industry for both good landlords and good tenants.

(more…)

Can My Landlord Charge Me For Air Conditioning?

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

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.

Tenants Know Your Rights When It Comes To Air Conditioners

Our weather is changing. In particular, Canada is facing more severe climate change than any other nation.

Not long ago we could expect snowy winters and comfortable summers. Due to a lack of carbon taxes in previous years, our weather is now erratic and hard to predict. The build up of carbon due our misuse and waste of fossil fuels is destroying our environment.

One thing is for sure: our summers are getting hotter.

And while wealthy landlords can enjoy their air conditioned houses, dips in their backyard pool, breezing winds while boating, and expensive vacations to avoid the heat, Tenants are left to suffer.

It really reminds me of the excellent Matt Damon movie called Elysium.

In this movie the Earth’s environment has been destroyed and hard working common people are suffering. Meanwhile the landlord and other elite live on the moon in perfect luxury, continuing to abuse Earth to pay for their air conditioned lunar homes.

Tenants are the ones paying expensive rents, while landlords collect it and can use it to make sure they personally don’t feel the serious impacts of climate change

Tenants Protect Your Rights And Fight Back On A/C Charges!

Many tenants are reporting Landlords are demanding tenants pay $200-$300 dollars in order to operate an air conditioner.

The main question we’re getting – is this legal? Let’s break it down

1) Landlords can charge a monthly fee to tenants with air conditioners if they have done so every year you’ve been a tenant, or if this is your first year of tenancy. This fee must be monthly, and must be only for cost recovery for the landlord

2) Landlords are not allowed to charge their tenants a one time fee for an air conditioner. Landlords cannot introduce a charge for something that has been previously included in the rent. A landlord cannot remove something that was previously provided to you

3) Finally, if your landlord is asking for this fee, they will need to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board to enforce it – so do your research before you pay!

It’s Time To Make A Maximum Allowed Temperature As Part Of the Residential Tenancy Act

We’ve been saying this for years. It’s time for a maximum temperature in rentals law.

In the winter, landlords are forced by law to maintain the heat. It’s time the government amended the RTA to make sure landlords are forced to also maintain a MAXIMUM temperature during the summer.

With Severe Climate Change and Dangerously Hot Summers, Tenants Can Die In Our Homes!

Tenants Be Careful And Fight Like Hell For Your Rights – It’s A Matter Of Life And Death! Make Sure You Survive And You And Your Children Don’t Die!

As our summers get hotter and hotter all tenants must fight back. What is even scarier is the neo-Cons want to ignore climate change and this means things are going to become Hellish soon. Many experts say we have 12 years before it’s all over.

Remember your rights and if the landlord is breaking your rights contact your MPP and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Fight Back To Survive As Climate Change Makes Our Summer Hotter Than Hell!

How To Get Landlords To Rent To You

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Tenants 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.

With Vacancy Rates So Low Tenants Have To Do Whatever It Takes To Find A Home

First of all I want to make it clear there are a lot of great landlords out there.  I’m not part of the majority of tenants who think all landlords are ripping us off and making money out of thin air. 

My parents rented some rooms in our house when times were tough in the 1990s recession. I know what they went through with people being noisy late and night and not always washing their dishes daily. It was tough on my Mom and Dad but they needed the money.

Most landlords are like my parents. Friendly and law-abiding.

Bad Landlords Out There Are Taking Advantage Of The Rental Shortage

As someone who was looking for a place to live this year it was shocking to find there are landlords who didn’t have the ethics of my parents. 

When I went to see an apartment many landlords demanded a ridiculous amount of personal information about me for a simple credit check.

(Which I have reported these landlords to the Privacy Commissioner and the landlords are being investigated as you read this, as are the companies involved). 

Not only that but many demanded a lot of rent up front in order to rent to me.

Some wanted 3 or 4 months of rent, but most wanted a 6 months or even a year! Some landlords even wanted 2 or 3 years!

Others wanted a deposit of 1 – 6 months equivalent rent in case I made “damages” LOL! What did they expect me to do? Blow up the building?!

We Are In The Middle Of A Housing Crisis

The rental scene really unfair for people looking to rent.  A recent VICE article was really helpful and illustrated how unfair it is for people simply looking for a home.

Vacancy rates in Toronto are under two percent. This is the worst it’s been in nearly twenty years. The average monthly rent for a tiny one-bedroom apartment is $2,200/month.

Jump Doggy, Jump

Landlords are making tenants jump through hoops and part of these hoops is illegal behaviour.  VICE reported a new immigrant was required to pay 3 years up front to rent some dump in Scarborough. That’s right, “Scarberia!”

Landlords Cannot Demand A Damage Deposit Or Months Of Rent Up-Front. It’s Illegal!

Ontario landlords cannot charge you any type of “damage” or “Security” deposit. Nothing, Nada, Zippo.

Landlords can only ask for “first and last”. This is payment for the first month of rent and for the last month of rent you are staying the property. The “last” is only for your last month living there.

This “last month” cannot be used for anything other than last month rent according to the Residential Tenancies Act.

I Refused To Pay Multiple Months Of Rent Up-Front And A Damage Deposit

Not only did I refuse I told the landlords they were undertaking an illegal act, I educated them.

I told the landlords I met to sit down and I made sure to lecture them not only about how they were undertaking criminal acts, they also were lapsing morally and ethically.

Was I being strident refusing to leave before getting my point across?

Was I being aggressive in making the landlords read the Residential Tenancies Act in my handouts? 

Sure.

But we are nation of laws and we must educate and uphold these laws as part of our democracy.

Nice People Finish Last

What was the result from my honest and ethical stand?

No one rented to me.

Simply because I demanded the landlords followed the LAW I was shunned. I was an outcast. I was without a home when a high paying I.T. job was about to start.

I Had To Be More Sneaky Than The Sneaky Landlords I Was Dealing With

There is a saying “When in Rome Do What The Romans Do.”  I realized the Ontario rental market if full of law breakers (not everyone, but many). My honesty and demanding the laws be followed were mocked at by these landlords.

I Made A Difficult Decision To Adapt And Get My New Home No Matter What It Took

I needed a place.

I needed a place near public transportation and at the lowest rent possible. I tried to be up front and honest and the landlords spat in my face!

Here’s What I Did – I Used Their Own Greed To Work Against Them

I decided to agree with landlords who wanted 6 months of rent up front.  I would say things such as:

“Yes, I agree you landlords need to protect yourself from all the bad tenants out there.” 

“It’s only natural you need 6 months of rent upfront after you worked so hard to buy this apartment.”

“It’s crazy the law says you can’t charge me a damage deposit”

The landlords were super happy to hear this and I was instantly treated with respect and put on the top of their list!

I Pushed It To The Limit!

Since I had gone over to the ‘Dark Side’ as these landlords had I decided ‘hey, if you go to the Dark Side you might as well go all the way!’ Darth Vader style.

So if the landlord said they wanted 6 months of rent up-front I said “why not a year?” 

So if the landlord wanted a 1 month damage deposit I said “why not 3 months?”

So if the landlord demanded post-dated checks I said “why don’t I pay cash?”

Sure I was lying but they were asking for illegal things so it was okay.

The Replies Poured In…Everyone Wanted To Rent To Me (and on long-term leases!)

All the talk of credit checks, reference checks, etc. went out the window.  The texts rolled in and so did the emails. 

Some landlords were so exited they called me and wanted to sign a lease right away!

Got The Best Apartment And A Discount On Rent

From being the ugly loser I was suddenly treated like a virgin princess ready to put out.  I had my choice of properties and played several landlords off against each other to find the best apartment at the best price.

Since I was willing to pay the money up-front and the deposit I managed to negotiate a lower rent.

All they really wanted was a big huge stack of money in their hands.

After I Signed The Lease And Moved In I Filed At the Landlord and Tenant Board And Got All My Money Back!

It’s very easy to file at the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board and get all your money back!

The LTB form is called the T1. 

You can read about it here!

After I moved in I filed at the LTB.  It was easy and simple. 

Avoid Landlord Texts And Calls (And Record Them As Harassment)

After I filed the texts came flying “oh, you agreed” the landlord whined like little bitches from hell who got caught by a righteous and good person (me) who used their evil Luciferian greed against them.

The messages in my mailbox:

“You are a cheater” and after a few days “we will kick you out.”

It all hilarious because this was just adding my ability to punish these illegal landlords at the LTB.

LTB Hearing Took 15 Minutes To Get My Money Back

I spoke with Legal Aid at the LTB Hearing room. This is really, really helpful. And it’s free!

This is free legal help for tenants and they were with me as I made my case. 

Very nice people and they are often on a first name basis with the adjudicator/judge at the LTB so you get instant credibility.

EASY WIN TO GET ALL THE MONEY BACK 

I also made sure the adjudicator was aware of the threats and harassment from the landlord and the landlord was fined.

The landlord was also warned against harassing me further and to stop demanding illegal money.

TENANTS MUST BE AS SNEAKY AS THE BAD LL’S ARE TO SURVIVE

In this era of super low vacancy rates the bad landlords are possessed with greed and acting unlawful. 

Since they are so sneaky tenants need to be sneaky.

I hope my story will help all the great tenants out there find great rental properties. I’m in a great apartment at a low rent and got all my money back. The landlord is also scared of me because they know I’m a pro and they were already warned by the Landlord Tenant Board judge! 

Good landlords have nothing to worry about and thank you for being legal.

Critique My Plan To Not Pay Rent for 8 Months (Part 1)

Monday, July 2nd, 2018

ola stop paying rent

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.  Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com

Critique My Plan Not To Pay Rent For 8 Months

I asked that my situation be posted to help other victimized tenants who find ourselves paying so much money to landlords.

We cannot afford to get out the viscous circle of working hard just to have a place to live and the landlord is taking so much money from us. It is like a drug dealer making money of people who need drugs because they are addicted.

Tenants in Ontario have almost no one to help us and the vacancy rates are so low and rents are so high we need to work together and help each other.

While landlords can use our rent money to hire lawyers and have all the politicians in their pockets tenants need to stop fighting and finally create a unified voice to stop being exploited.

I’m Not Moving

Where I live is like a home to me and really comfy and convenient. My boss lives near here and can pick me up to go to work and take me home which is a huge bonus. So no way do I want to move, but am just short of money due to unforeseen consequences which are not my fault.

I will move in January 2019 because after some time trying to make money it’s back to school for me and here are no half-decent unis here. Education is expensive and paying for a place to live means money. Add in books, clothes, money for nightlife and any money to be saved will mean a jump start for my future and my life enjoyment.

After lots of study here is what is on the table:

JUNE 1

1. On June 1st I just don’t do the normal e-transfer to my landlord.

2. If the landlord calls me I need to answer as part of my way to delay everything. So I’m going to make an excuse.

This is what my script is so far (suggestions welcomed!):

“Oh geez I’m so sorry about this. You know me and how we get along and I want to stay here a long time. It’s just that my work screwed up the system and I didn’t get my salary this week like I always do! It’s crazy now with so many computer screw ups and I’m mad as hell about it. The good thing is my boss said the money will be arriving in my bank account soon.

The only reason I didn’t call you yesterday is because the money should be in my account now! I’m sorry about it and the money will be coming soon. How’s your summer going? I’m going to clean up the lawn and plant some flowers if you don’t mind (bullshit, bullshit, bullshit to throw her off the scent!)”

3. I try to delay this as long as possible and think I can string her along until the 3rd week because I know she doesn’t want me to move and have to spend the time and energy of finding someone else to take his place. She knows she would lose at least a month or two trying to fill it.

And she won’t want to pay to clean it up because the place is a bit weedy if you know what I mean because some of my friends and I light it up on the week-ends and smoke a few joints.

4. I call and say “good news I’m getting double pay on July 1 so you will get two months of rent. I’m sorry about this (blah, blah, blah). So June uses my last months rent I paid and now the rest is gravy.

JULY

5. I don’t send the e-transfer again with the landlord expecting 2 months of rent. Best move (I think) is to continue to delay.

But I’m sure she will eventually give me the N-4 form to pay or leave. So let’s say I get that on July 2nd. The N-4 gives me 14 days to pay and there is nothing the landlord can do about it.

Now we are at July 17.

The landlord will have to file an L1 to take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board. I called the LTB and found that these eviction trial dates take at least 6 weeks to be held. So that would lead me to around September 3rd to 10th.

STATUS REPORT:

-Last month rent I paid when I moved in used for June

-No rent payment needed for July

-No rent payment needed for August

-No rent payment needed for September

This means the landlord doesn’t have any of my hard earned money and there was no need to pay for July/August/September rent.

LTB EVICTION TRIAL STRATEGY

I read here and now realize tenants HAVE TO ATTEND to defend ourselves. If not we could get an unfair decision.

I also read we can get a free lawyer at the LTB at the day of the eviction trial. We just need to go a bit early and wait for the free tenant lawyers or paralegals to call out they are seeing people and will represent us against the landlords. 

The best way to avoid getting kicked out is to create some maintenance claims because under the law landlords are responsible for all maintenance and repairs and my enjoyment of the property:

“The reason I didn’t pay rent is because the landlord refused to fix things and it has made my life a nightmare, especially as a young person who is struggling with perilous employment and health issues.”

The strategy is to get my girlfriend who is living here with me to act as a witness and we are going to have documentation:

-the toilet doesn’t flush so we can’t even use the bathroom

-it’s so hot and the bedroom windows don’t open all the way and i makes it even difficult to sleep

-there are ants on the patio and they keep coming in and the landlord won’t do anything about it

-etc.

Remember that one tenant on the forum told me “no house is perfect” so this will void the Eviction trial and the landlord will have to fix things and I will give them one month to do it, so that will cover October rent and I will agree to pay once the repairs are done. 

OCTOBER

I won’t pay rent and will file with the LTB and tell them the landlord didn’t make the repairs up to my satisfaction and will have my girlfriend as a witness.

I will give the landlord 30 more days and demand she brings EVERY person she hired to testify in person at the LTB (good luck with that) and also demand that if any of them are not licensed and insured I don’t feel same in my home.

NOVEMBER

I’m sure the landlord will file for eviction and I will counter with a tenant rights complaint about more needed repairs in the apartment. This should give me at least another six weeks.

JANUARY 2019

At this point they will probably try to get the sheriff or whatever it is to evict me but I read here that is also very slow and can takes week. Anyways I don’t really give a sh*t because I’ll be leaving at the end of the month to go to school.

STATUS REPORT:

-Last month rent was used for June

-No rent payment needed for July

-No rent payment needed for August

-No rent payment needed for September

-No rent payment needed for October

-No rent payment need for November

-No rent payment needed for December

-No rent payment needed for January

CONCLUSION

Pretty sure this will work and only me a couple days at the LTB. Hoping others experienced with this will chime in to help me perfect my strategy.

I will eventually pay my landlord once I get a secure white collar position but right now it’s all about my survival and MY FUTURE! I will follow up on how things are going and will continue to take a stand for tenant rights in Ontario!