Posts Tagged ‘London landlords’

Renting To Students in Ontario

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

March 1st, 2014

Tips On How Can You Become a Successful Student From University of Toronto Housing Services

Tips On How Can You Become a Successful Student Landlord From University of Toronto Housing Services

Residential landlords in Ontario face a lot of challenges.

Whether it’s professional tenants manipulating the system to avoid paying rent or the government 2014 guideline allowing you to raise the rent only 0.8%, the challenges are real and daunting.

(Although you might be exempt and can raise the rent above the guideline if you own new buildings!)

Many existing landlords and new investors have written in with questions regarding renting to students.

After all, students are usually less jaded than older folks and have worked hard to gain entry into university.

With a heavy load of studies and busy social lives they are less inclined to think of ways to bring their landlord to the Landlord and Tenant Board and ‘play the system’.

Examples of students causing major (and expensive) problems for their landlords exist.

Take a look at this story from the Peterborough Examiner.

However, it seems renting to students attending colleges and universities is a profitable and safer way for you to invest in residential rental properties in Ontario.

Many landlords who rent to students have positive things to say about their investment choice on the Ontario Landlords Forum:

“I like renting to students. My houses are downtown near 3 universities in Toronto, so most of my tenants have been students.

Rent is secure, as they usually have OSAP or parental income to cover the rent.

I have indeed had students ask me to change their lightbulbs but I just tell them it is up to them to do that, offer them a ladder, and it isn’t an issue …

The dormitories at school usually only take first year students, and for second year the students have to find their own place (due to lack of space in the dorms to house everyone), so if you can get a group of second year students, you’ve got tenants for 3 more years and then they usually move out.

Best of all…No professional tenants among students…!”

Are You Interested In Renting To Students Yet?

We contacted the University of Toronto for help on getting some tips and advice on what students want from their landlords.

The Manager of Housing Services for the University of Toronto is Jennifer Radley. 

Jennifer provided answers to our questions and we appreciate her assistance. 

10 Tips On How To Be a Successful Student Landlord

Here are some of our questions to Jennifer and her tips.

 #1 What are student tenants looking for in a rental property?

Students are looking for a place that is either close to campus or along a transit line and close to amenities. Ideally, the monthly rent would be within the average rates already listed in our registry and would include utilities. If renting a basement apartment, students look for adequate lighting and windows. Above all, students want a safe, reasonably-maintained rental unit, and a good landlord. 

#2 What are most student tenants looking for when they say they want a “good landlord”?

To students, a good landlord is someone who:

  o     Follows the law (eg. Human Rights Code and Residential Tenancies Act)

  o     Offers affordable rental rates

  o     Repairs and maintains the property as required, in a timely manner 

 #3 What is the most common complaint from U of T students about off-campus landlords?

The most common complaint is landlords not repairing and/or maintaining the property in a timely manner.

The issues brought forward include everything from appliance and plumbing issues to pests and fire/water damage.

#4 Is it a good idea for a landlord to get involved in student tenant vs. student  tenant issues?

We recommend landlords follow the RTA and/or get advice on tenant vs. tenant issues from the Landlord Self-Help Centre and/or the Landlord and Tenant Board.

#5  How can a landlord improve a property to make it more “user friendly” for students?

Based on feedback we receive, the most appealing features are:

 o     Have utilities included in the rental rate (utilities can be quite intimidating to a student,  especially if international)

 o     Bright space/windows

 o     If shared accommodation, should have locks on the bedroom doors

 o     If private, a separate entrance

 o     Bike storage

 o     Pet-friendly

#6  Any tips on how a private landlord can communicate and cooperate with   university housing? (As not all housing services are as cool as the U of T one)

Yes – and thank you! Landlords can visit to learn more about our service, subscribe to our bi-annual LandlordNews newsletter, and to register/place an ad.

We are also available via phone 416-978-8045 and email ( during regular office hours to answer questions.

Let other landlords know about our service. 

#7  We hear student tenants are more and more concerned about safety. How can a private off-campus landlord accommodate that? Are things like security cameras a good idea or will student thinks it’s too invasive?

Things such as alarm systems, security cameras (more common in apartment buildings), bolt-locks (rather than doorknob locks), window locks, and good outdoor lighting (eg. motion-sensored) are some ways a landlord can make their property feel safer.

#8 Many of our landlord members are hands-on and not absentee landlords. Do students like landlords who come and do regular safety inspections (with proper notice) or do they prefer landlords stay away?

I think this depends on how often, how much notice is given, and how invasive the inspection is. No tenant, including students, want their landlord entering their room/unit all the time. I believe, however, safety inspections are typically done on an annual basis (unless there is adequate reason for another). In which case, with proper notice, I wouldn’t see that being a problem. This is based on the individual’s preference.  

#9 Should landlords encourage tenants to get insurance?

Yes. We also encourage students to get tenant’s insurance.

#10 Where can landlords who rent to students learn more to become better landlords and have better relations with their student tenants?

U of T Housing Services is a great place to start!

Where Is a Good Place To Invest In Student Rental Properties?

There are a lot of good colleges and universities in Ontario.

For example, Toronto landlords have, as our OLA member wrote, three universities and numerous colleges in the city.

Ottawa landlords have a market of students going to the University of Ottawa and Carleton. 

Hamilton landlords often rent properties out to students at McMaster University.

We will discuss this more thoroughly in future blogs.

Landlords – Is Renting to Students Right For you?

To Discuss This and Other Landlord Topics Welcome to the Ontario Landlords Forum

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

Monday, March 4th, 2013

March 5th, 2013


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

Landlord Licensing Comes to London, Ontario

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

London Landlord Bylaw Wins Court Battle

November 1st, 2011


In what many people are saying is a trend which may spread to cities across Ontario, a judge in London, Ontario has upheld a bylaw that is said to target overcrowded and poorly maintained rental properties.

Tenant adovocates such as Neighbourhood Legal Services’ Jeff Schlemmer praised the ruling.

However, many small landlords note the bylaw only targets rentals with no more than four or less units and not larger buildings.

Furthermore, small landlords wanted justice by overturning the bylaw, which they felt was used vague, unclear language, contained provisions which clashed with Ontario legislation, and contradicted the Human Rights Code due to students and those on social assistance being disproportionately harmed.

The city established the licensing bylaw to address substandard housing and prevent overcrowding of rental units in residential neighbourhoods — a long-standing issue in areas near the University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College


Key provisions of a London bylaw that requires smaller residential landlords to attain a licence:

  • Applies to rental properties with four or fewer units
  • Targets substandard housing and protects amenity, character and stability of residential areas
  • Landlord pays $25 fee annually for each rental property
  • Landlords fill out condition checklists, share the information with tenants and city hall.
  • Bylaw officers respond to complaints by tenants and enter buildings without permission so as long as they provide notice .
  • Maximum fine for a first conviction is $25,000 for a person and $50,000 for a corporation.

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