Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Tenant Board Ontario’

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.

Ontario Standard Form of Lease – Top 100 Clauses You Need To Add

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Ontario Standard Lease

Protect Your Rental Business By Adding The Top 100 Key Clauses to the Ontario Standard Lease Recommended by Experienced & Success Ontario Landlords & Property Managers. This is “VITAL” for Ontario Landlords!

We wrote before about the fact that as of April 30th, 2018 Ontario Landlords have to use a government created “Ontario Standard Lease” when you rent to new tenants. The Ontario government created a new lease that landlords much use after tenant activists accused landlords of using illegal clauses in leases and creating a “wild west” environment.

You can download the Ontario Standard Lease here

Experienced and Successful Landlords And Property Managers Agree ‘The Standard Lease Doesn’t Protect Us’

The Ontario Standard Lease tries to please everyone but in reality puts small Ontario landlords at risk for big problems and huge financial losses. Actually, it is a very dangerous document. Some tenants activists are calling it a “Renter’s Dream“. Many experienced Ontario landlords are calling it a Landlord’s Nightmare.

Why Is the Ontario Standard Lease Dangerous for Landlords?

It only requires the most basic information from tenants and the majority of the information in the document is about “tenant rights” and how tenants can protect themselves.  But the cupboard is bare when it comes for protections for landlords. This lack of required information leaves landlords wide-open to lots of problems during and after a tenancy. So while the premier says it will cut down on landlord and tenant disputes it will do the opposite. This is what happens when people who have good motives don’t have any experience and cause more harm than good!

So How Can Landlords Protect Ourselves? 

Let’s face it, the government is all about “protecting tenants” and not worried about us “rich” landlords and property investors. Yes, they view us small landlords this way.  We know we are just trying to invest for our retirement, we face huge cost increases for things like insurance, water, and power and most of us are trying to cover our mortgages every month.

You need to ACT to protect your rental business in this extreme “anti-landlord” environment….and here is how.

The “Additional Terms” Part of the Standard Lease (Go to Part 15, Page 6)

In this section you and your tenant are allowed to agree on things in an “attached form”.

Ontario Landlords Association members lobbied hard to include this in the Ontario Standard Lease. 

And some tenant activists are very unhappy about the fact we got this included to help Ontario Landlords.

What About Landlords Who Include Illegal Clauses?

The reality of the situation is smart landlords will avoid illegal terms such as requiring the tenant to pay for all repairs for the rental. It’s silly to even think about adding them as good tenants will not want to rent from you or you will simply lose any change at the LTB. 

It is important for new landlords to understand you cannot add clauses that do not follow the Residential Tenancies Act. 

For example, you cannot add things to the lease such as: 

a) Demand a damage deposit

b) Financial penalties on late rent

c) Controlling who can visit the rental and who can’t

d) Forcing tenants to move out on a certain date

e) Making tenants responsible for maintenance repairs 

Experienced and Successful Landlords and Property Managers Understand the Art of Successful Tenancies

Listen to the advice of experienced and successful landlords and pro landlords.  We have been “in the trenches” and know “what works in reality.” We are actually in the “renting to tenants business” and have a “stake in being successful with our tenants.

Non-landlords with no experience might tell you to put in a billion clauses in the lease because they aren’t aware if you do that as a landlord you will turn off potential tenants. Good tenants have lots of choices and you don’t want to turn them away.

Experienced and successful Ontario landlords know you need a balance:

1. Protect Your Rental Business

Take the additional clauses you can put in super seriously because if you don’t you are not protected 

2. Don’t Scare Off Good Tenants

Non-landlords like to lecture us and act as ‘experts’ but are unaware of the realities we face. Good tenants are often scared off by landlords with 30 page leases and simply won’t rent from you if you demand this.  So only add the “most vital clauses” that protect you and don’t scare good tenant applicants.

3. Prepare For Potential Problems

These vital clauses will prepare you for any future problems.

4. Protect Yourself From Tenant vs.Tenant Fights

If you own a multi-unit property you need to add vital clauses to make things clear and avoid future issues.

5. Get Ready In Case You Have to Go To Small Claims Court

When tenants move out and left damages or owed rent you will have to go to Ontario Small Claims Court

Many OLA members have been to Small Claims Court and they say Judges want to see things clearly spelled out in your lease (if you want to win and not lose)

Ontario landlords standard lease top 100 clauses

Add the “Vital” Clauses to Protect Your Rental Business, While Also Don’t Scare Good Tenants

We’ve been in the trenches and know what works and what doesn’t. Just adding a ton of clauses will turn off potential good tenants and you need to focus on VITAL ADDITIONAL CLAUSES and not just the ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ that non-landlords will try to market to you.

For example, learn how you can be proactive to deal with potential issues. 

Ontario landlords standard lease book

GET THE TOP 100 CLAUSES YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOURSELF WITH THE ONTARIO STANDARD LEASE

1. Smoking

This is a huge issue, especially with marijuana legalization coming. How can your protect your rental property. Get the clauses you need!

2. Fire Safety

What about smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors? ? What about other fire safety issues? You need to make the rules CLEAR in your lease to avoid seriously problems later on.

3. Tenant vs. Tenant Problems

Experienced landlords say if you own a multiplex on of the biggest problems is tenants fighting other tenants in the rental. Make sure you protect yourself and make things crystal clear from Day 1!

4. N.S. Fees

Tenants need to know the rules you have set for your rental property.

5. Appliances

This is vital as you need to make things clear and avoid problems with the Landlord and Tenant Board.

6. Move Out Procedures

So what happens when the tenants leave?  You need to be careful to avoid tenants who leave behind huge damages and a big mess. 

7. Pets

While a no pets clause are not enforceable you need to spell out the rules for pet owning tenants.

8. Insurance

Another huge issue regarding liability.  Protect yourself with vital clauses to your lease.

9. Laundry

If you provide laundry you need to make the rules clear.  If the laundry is shared it becomes even more important to lay down the rules!

10. Parking

Experienced and successful landlords know that if you don’t deal with the parking issue right off the bat it can become a huge headache.  So add these clauses to avoid problems and have a successful rental business. 

11. Lots More

And there are lots more. Remember, these are clauses that are important, yet make sense and won’t scare away your good tenants…

Get our CD (and written documents) On Important Clauses For Only a Low One Time Fee

Join a huge community or real Ontario landlords who are working hard to share ideas, tips, advice, and network to help all of us succeed. Yes, for only a one time registration fee. One time, not annual. 

Join our  Huge Community at the Ontario Landlords Association!

We are working hard to help you succeed.  We are all small landlords just like you!  We’ve been in the trenches and succeed and we are on your side! 

The Ontario Standard Lease is not only inadequate…it’s dangerous!  Network with pros who are actually landlords and share tips and strategies on how to protect your rental business.  Add 100 Key Clauses To the Ontario Standard Lease to Protect Your Rental Property and Your Investment!

Changes to Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Ontario landlord and tenant board new laws 2018

 

Getting the Message Out to Small Landlords Across Ontario! Be Aware The Law Is Changing For Above Guideline Rent Increase Applications in 2018

Successful Ontario landlords know it’s important to always be aware of new laws that regulate our industry. If you are not careful and don’t know the latest changes you could face some severe financial penalties. Those of who have been unfortunate enough to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board know you must be 100% ‘on your game’ and become an expert on the rules and regulations if you are going to succeed.

And there have been many changes since the beginning of 2017

One of the biggest changes that has impacted small landlords is the change in how we can use “own use” applications to get our properties back. We wrote about these Ontario landlord changes earlier to let everyone know about what is going on so you can prepare and be aware.

Other changes have included the fact landlords with properties built after 1991 are now included under the government rent control umbrella and changes to above guideline rent increases.

An Ottawa landlord wrote on our Members forum in what turned out to be huge thread:

“I have kept my rent increases low over the past few years, sometimes not even raising the rent in order to keep my tenants from looking at other properties and potentially moving. I pay for power and now my bills are becoming so high it’s jeopardizing my ability to even cover my costs! Has anyone ever done an above the guideline increase? Thanks in advance.” 

Unfortunately it’s not good news for this landlord as the news about changes didn’t reach her.

New Laws For Above Guideline Rent Increase for Ontario Landlords

Everyone who owns rentals across Ontario please carefully read this message from the Ministry to us, as they know we can reach landlords all over the province:

Ontario landlord and tenant board 2018

To: Ontario Landlords Association

Above Guideline Rent Increase Application – The Law Is Changing

On January 1, 2018, two changes to the Residential Tenancies Act that relate to the landlord’s Application For a Rent Increase above the Guideline will come into effect

1. A landlord will no longer be able to apply for a rent increase above the guideline because of utility costs (e.g. fuel, electricity or water) have increased.

2. If a landlord has not complied with an order to fix an elevator (issued by the LTB, the municipality or the technical standards and safety authority) the LTB can dismiss the application or require the landlord to fix the elevators before ordering an above the guideline increase.

A landlord can still apply to the LTB for an increase above the guideline if:

The landlord’s costs for municipal taxes and charges have increased significantly The landlord has done major repairs or renovations (these are called capital expenditures)

or, The landlord has operation costs for security services performed by person who are not employees of the landlord.

Changes to the Landlord and Tenant Board Form L5

The Landlord and Tenant Board has updated the L5: Application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase to reflect the changes.

Landlords need to begin using this new form immediately. Make sure you are getting the latest version of the form by clearing your browser cache to avoid any mistakes. The old version of this forum will be accepted until January 30, 2018.

Getting the Message Out to Ontario Landlords

Small Ontario landlords have faced unfair rules that are biased for bad tenants for years. Now there are even more changes coming that are unfair for Ontario landlords. However, you must follow the rules and be aware of them.

The Ontario Landlords Association is reaching landlords all over the province and helping them be aware of new rules and changes to the way small landlords can run their rental business.

There have been important changes to how the L5 works starting today. We will provide updates on this and how other new changes are impacting our landlord community throughout the years.

Knowledge is power and Ontario Landlords need to be aware of these rule changes in order to succeed.

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) Has Changed

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

ontario-landlords-association-education-campaign

Keeping Ontario Landlords Informed: Tenants who are the victims of sexual and domestic violence can now end their tenancy in 28 days 

Successful Ontario landlords know the importance of following the rules and laws for running a successful rental businesses. We also know to follow the rules you need to be aware of them.

Sometimes that can be a challenge. Most small residential Ontario landlords have full-time jobs.  Our members aren’t large corporations with full-time staff and stocks and bonds.

We have members who are nurses, teachers, Toronto fire-fighters, carpenters, plumbers, professional athletes (including some famous ones), lawyers, doctors, electricians, full time Mums and Dads, receptionists, dentists, and investors who don’t even live in Canada (but have invested a lot of money, hired property managers and created terrific rentals.)

With such busy lives it can be hard to keep track of changes that are important for our professional and service-oriented landlords.

This is another way the OLA helps out because we reach a huge audience of small landlords across Ontario and let them know about important changes. For example, we still have Mississauga landlords thanking us for letting them know about the changes to the landlord licensing system in that city.

At first glance the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) can look very complicated and even intimidating. The reality is the RTA is complicated and can be a bit scary for new landlords (and even for some vets).

Over the years we’ve had thousands of small residential landlords from across the province contact us for help and assistance.

This is one of the reasons why the OLA has been asking the government to improve the Residential Tenancies Act to help small landlords and encourage more investment in rental properties in Ontario.

The RTA Has Changed in 2016

There has been a change in the RTA recently.  It’s a change to help victims of sexual and domestic violence be able to escape bad situations.

Many of our landlord members were tenants at one point in our lives. Or they have relatives or friends who rent now.  They recognize this is a positive changes to help tenants in trouble and our membership agrees with helping tenants who are honestly in abusive and  dangerous situations.

Our members want to rent out high quality, legal rental units, to all the good tenants out there and be great landlords. We encourage rule changes, to help good tenants and to help good landlords.

New Notice Allows Victims of Sexual and Domestic Violence To End Tenancy in 28 Days

There has been a change is section 47.1 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Tenants who are the victims of sexual or domestic violence can now end their tenancy in just 28 days if they think they or a child living with them might be harmed or even injured if they don’t get out of the rental property.

Tenants in this type of situation can give notice at any time during the duration of their tenants.In order to do this the tenant must give the landlord 2 documents.

(a) Tenants Notice to End Tenancy because of Fear of Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse (Form N15)

Landlords (and all the tenants who read here) can get more information here.

(b) Tenant’s Statement about Sexual or Domestic Violence and Abuse.

Landlords and tenants can get more information here.

(c) Court Order

Tenants can also give the landlord a copy of the court order. For example, they can give you a copy of a peace bond or a restraining order).

Successful Ontario Landlords Know The Rules and Follow Them

Make sure you are aware and follow the laws and rules for landlords in Ontario. We encourage and welcome changes to help tenants.  We also want to encourage some changes to help all the good landlords in this province.

The OLA is the voice of small residential landlords so if you have any ideas for change to your business and encourage other to invest in rentals in Ontario please let us know and we will present it to the Ministry.

We all have the goal to create rules and procedures that promotes and protects both good tenants and good landlords and improves the residential rental industry in Ontario.

Let’s continue to make positive and important changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board for both tenants and small residential landlords.

Ontario Rent Increase Guideline 2015

Friday, June 20th, 2014

 Rent Increase Guideline 2015 Ontario

Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 1.6% in 2015

With the cost of running a rental property rising Ontario landlords know raising rents to keep up with increasing expenses is important.

Each year the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces what is called the ‘Rent Increase Guideline.’

What Is the Rent Increase Guideline?

This informs residential landlords how much they can raise the rent on tenants.

How Does It Inform Landlords on Raising the Rent?

It’s tells you what the cap is for any increases of rent on your tenants. You can’t raise the rent more than the cap unless you apply and get it approved at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

When Does The 1.6% Rent Increase Cap Start?

This will starting on January 1st, 2015 and end on December 31st, 2015.

How Was The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline for 2015 Calculated?

It’s calculated by measuring inflation.

This measurement comes from data provided by Statistics Canada which creates the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

An Increase of Only 1.6% Is Too Low! My Costs are Much Higher!

Many small residential landlords in Ontario agree with you.

The Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) upon which the Guideline is based does not include many inflation factors that small landlords face. The formula needs to change.

For example, BC landlords also have an annual rent increase guideline.

However, the government there understands the financial pressures landlords face and the limits of the basing the rent increase on CIP. This means they will take the CPI and also add another 2% to come up with British Columbia Rent Increase Guideline.

Some provinces encourage investment in residential rental properties by not even having this type of rent control.

Alberta landlords can raise the rent according to the market as long as they provide their tenants with proper notice.

Are All Ontario Residential Rental Properties Covered by Rent Control?

No. Some Ontario properties are exempt and don’t have to follow the cap. These are rental buildings built before November 1991.

But around 85% of rentals in Ontario are covered.

Rent Increase Guideline 2015 – With another low cap for rent increases it’s important Ontario Landlords choose good tenants for your rental properties.

Make sure you screen your tenants carefully and always run a tenant credit check to make sure you know who you are renting to.