Posts Tagged ‘ontario landlords’

Toronto Star – Join A Group Such As The Ontario Landlords Association To Avoid Bad Tenants

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Toronto Star Ontario Landlords Use Credit Checks To Avoid Bad Tenants

Toronto Star – “Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association  where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.”

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Ontario Landlords Need To Be Protected From Legal Marijuana

Saturday, July 28th, 2018

We Need Changes To the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board to Protect Our Rental Properties From Marijuana Smoking and Plant Growing

Ontario residential landlords continue to face a lot of challenges. For years we have dealt with unfair rules that are biased against landlords and can cause us to face many sleepless nights. It can also lead us to lose tens of thousands of dollars.

Now we have a new challenge in 2018. It’s so important that one experienced and successful Ontario landlord said it is “one of the biggest issues for landlords in 20 years.

Laws Are Already Unfair For Ontario Landlords

The rules are already out of whack for landlords across Ontario. For example, we can’t charge a damage deposit and as this Ottawa landlord found out it can lead to renters who move out leaving big, expensive damages behind.

Also, since 2017 just about every residential rental property is covered by rent control. Not only are we all covered, but the legal rent increase guideline was ‘capped’ at 2.5% for landlords no matter what the rate of inflation is.

An OLA member wrote on the Ontario Landlords Forum inflation is very high but landlords are stuck at a maximum rent increase of 2.5% no matter what. If it wasn’t for OLA lobbying the amount would have been even lower! And those who have tried to go for above the guideline rent increases know how difficult that is as most applications are rejected. You can’t even do it for the rising cost of utilities.

This is only a small sample of the issues we face as the previous Ontario government seemed to be trying to get ‘tenant votes’ instead of fixing the rental industry to help both good landlords and good Ontario tenants.  But it didn’t work in the last election as good tenants are aware landlords need some power oversee their units (and protect tenants who ask for help).

Ontario Tenants Can Soon Smoke Weed and Grow Plants In Our Rental Properties

On top of everything else will soon have to deal with the issue of legal marijuana. While other provinces have made important changes to protect landlords this hasn’t happened in our province. 

For example, did you know:

1. Tenants Without “No Smoking Clauses” Will Be Able to Smoke Marijuana

That’s right. They will be able to light up in your rental unit causing smells and other damages. Just imagine how this will  negatively impact your rental business.

2. Tenants Will Be Able To Grow  Marijuana Plants in Your Rental Property

Tenants will also be able to grow up to four plants in the rental unit.  This will lead to mold, extra power usages and potential nightmares for landlords. As one OLA member wrote in the Ontario landlord forum: “tenants can say four plants but it could be a lot more as they have all the heating, lighting and other infrastructure set up! This will be a disaster!”

Even Good Tenants Might Cause Big Problems (And Think They Aren’t Doing Anything Wrong)

“I’m just following the rules so give me a break!”

Imagine a long term tenant decides to smoke some weed. Even good tenants will tell their landlord “I’m just following the rules”. Meanwhile, their smoking can bother other tenants in the unit and damage the property.

And they can grow plants leading to dangerous humidity and extra power usage. Your tenant can say “what’s the problem, I’m growing some marijuana plants in the apartment and it’s legal.”

Why Do Ontario Landlords and Tenants Have These Ridiculous Laws?

The current rules regarding marijuana smoking in rental properties were provided by the now defeated Liberal government.  So do not blame the PC government.

The Liberals who held power the past 15years constantly took the “tenants side of things” and often disregarded the serious concerns of small residential landlords and investors. They were nonchalant when we made it clear their policies not only hurt good landlords and good tenants it stopped many really good people from investing in Ontario rental properties.

Some members wrote the previous regime not only wanted tenant votes but they seemed to “disrespect” hard working small landlords. Furthermore, they refused to distinguish the important difference between small landlords and huge corporate landlords. 

How can you compare a small time investor with a condo or renting their basement with big corporate landlords with scales of efficiency, millions of dollars in the bank, and their own legal teams?

If it wasn’t for the hard work of Ontario Landlords Association members the rules for landlords would have been even worse than they are now!

We Need New Rules To Protect Ontario Landlords From Legal Marijuana

We need urgent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act. We wrote about marijuana before and received thousands of emails. Our members have a lot of great ideas of what is needed to protect landlords, encourage investors, and protect tenants.

It’s important that we get new laws and rules that are based on the experiences of real landlords who have ‘skin in game’ by investing their money and time in being landlords in Ontario.

These ideas include:

1. Blanket Bans On Smoking and Growing Marijuana in Rentals

Some of our members want new laws to prohibit smoking of any kind in rental properties. Growing marijuana plants would also be 100% prohibited.

2. No Smoking Clauses Be Put In The Leases Of All Existing Tenants

Currently current tenants without “no weed” clauses can smoke and grow plants. Some of our members want all current tenants be required to sign a new lease stating they are not allowed to smoke week or grow plants. Or even better, automatically all existing leases will have legal “no smoking clauses.”

3. Super Fast Evictions For Weed Smoking/Growing

Many landlords wrote that we need a new way to quickly evict a tenant who is smoking weed and/or growing plants.

Expert, veteran OLA members say an attempted eviction for even smoking cigarettes can take months (while the tenant still smokes during the long delay) and the eviction will even often fail. We need a fast and efficient way to evict people who break the rules.

This would require a new form where if you are smoking the landlord could apply for a quick eviction after 24 or 48 hours if the tenants don’t change their behavior.  Let’s call it the W1 (Weed 1)…or even better the OLA-24 for 24 hour notice to stop smoking marijuana or automatically be evicted with no right to make up excuses!

4. A Legal Damage Deposit To Protect Us From Potential Damages.

It can cost over $5000 to get a rental professionally cleaned to get rid of the smell of marijuana . When a tenant wants to move we have to find a new tenant.  And many new tenants will simply not rent a place that reeks of weed. There can also be mold and other damages from tenants growing plants.

OLA Action Led To A Historic Vote For A  Legal Damage Deposit in 2011

Many people are unaware that in 2011 the OLA educated the PC party and the OLA got a damage deposit bill to a vote in the Ontario parliament.  This was historic! (And the corporate landlords were no where to be found).

However, the Liberals and the NDP voted against it.

One NDP member told the OLA “there are lots of cheap apartments in Toronto so your arguments don’t make sense.” 

Okay, how is the vacancy rate in Toronto now? Are the rents still “cheap?” We warned the Ontario government that if they didn’t make changes the vacancy rate would drop and rents would sky-rocket…and this was in 2011!

5. These Are Just Some Of The Ideas From Small Landlords Who Have “Skin in the Game” & Are Worried

There are many other ideas from not only long term landlords, but people from around the world who have come to Ontario and invested here. We all want to make Ontario “open for business” and that means protecting landlords, tenants and investors.

We Need Changes To Protect Ontario Landlords From Legal Marijuana Smoking & Growing

Marijuana Will Be Legal On October 17th, 2018.  Tenants are renting and should not have the same rights as if they owned the property themselves. Tenants are paying to use a property owned by someone else and the owner has to protect their investment.

Property owners need rights too. If we don’t who will buy rental properties in Ontario?

This is not about landlords “wanting power to control tenants”.  Many OLA members used to rent. We were great tenants and many of us dealt with great landlords (and some not so great) ourselves. This is about about protecting our rental investments and protecting other tenants. While other provinces are acting to protect landlords, Ontario has yet to act.

This is a key issue which will have dramatic consequences if the rules are not changed to protect landlords. Investment will drop and many current landlords will simply sell and leave the industry.

Let’s Take Action To Protect Ontario Landlords To Improve the Ontario Rental Industry!

Ontario Landlords – Nightmare tenant Nina Willis battling with new landlord over 7th eviction

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

 Ontario Landlords – Make Sure You Rent To Great Tenants (And Avoid Nightmare Tenants) With Good Tenant Screening, Including a Credit Check!

Ontario Landlords – Make Sure You Rent To Great Tenants (And Avoid Nightmare Tenants) With Good Tenant Screening, Including a Credit Check!

The story in the Toronto Star last Friday was shocking for many residential landlords across Ontario.

It was about a person the Toronto Star calls a “Tenant from Hell” who is facing being evicted from her Scarborough rental property.

It’s brought a lot of discussion at the Ontario Landlords forum.

Nina Willis is in the process of appealing a Landlord and Tenant Board decision ordering her to either pay rent on time or move out of the rental property she is staying in

The original Landlord and Tenant Board Order told her she had to move by March 2014.

However, she is “appealing” the Order which means she can delay the eviction (and avoid paying rent) for more months until she gets her say in the next court.

She has done this is each of her previous cases. It’s an easy way for tenants to continue to stay in a rental property and live “rent free” for months.

This isn’t the first time the Toronto Star has reported on this tenant and her tactics to rip off small landlords.

The Star says this is the 7th case of Nina Willis being evicted since 2005.

The Ontario Landlords association has also written about this “Tenant From Hell” in the past to warn landlords.

At least seven different landlords who have been cheated out of rent and dragged through the tribunal system. A system that can be expensive, time-consuming and extremely stressful.

Nina’s current Scarborough landlord won’t even talk to the media as they try to evict Nina from their rental property.

Why Do Landlords Rent To Bad Tenants?

No landlord wants to rent to bad tenants.

The worst tenants (meaning tenants who have a plan to rip off small landlords from Day 1 are often very crafty.

For example, Willis will do an Academy Award worthy performance when she first meets a potential landlord.

Bad tenants will be exceptionally friendly when they first meet you.

They will appear to be really “decent people” who will convince you they will pay rent on time and take care of your rental property like it is their own home.

It’s only when you rent to them that you begin to see their true face.

You won’t believe how they change as they accuse you of neglecting maintenance issues and even harassing them.

How Can I Find Good Tenants and Avoid the Bad Ones?

One of Nina’s former landlords is now an OLA member and is very careful to screen her tenants to avoid “tenants from hell.”

One of the best tenant screening tools is a credit check.

Check out the Ontario Landlord Credit Check site for more information on the importance of doing credit checks on tenants. This site was created to help Ontario landlords learn how to find good tenants and avoid tenants from Hell.

How Can a Tenant Credit Check Help Landlords?

Conducting a tenant credit check will give you the essential information you need to know about a potential renter before you rent to them.

This isn’t only important for Ontario landlords, but also key for Alberta landlords and British Columbia landlords who are also facing challenges.

How Can Tenant Credit Checks Help Me Avoid Tenants From Hell?

That’s an excellent question. After all, small landlords are often on tight budgets and conducting a credit check is an extra expense.

Let’s take a closer look at how a tenant credit check can help Ontario landlords find good tenants and avoid tenants from hell.

#1 Current and Past Addresses

A credit check from the Ontario Landlords Association will show you the current and past addresses of your potential tenant.

You don’t have to ‘trust’ what the tenant tells you. You can see the FACTS on the credit report.

You can then make sure you talk to the REAL current and previous landlords and learn the TRUTH about the tenant who wants to rent your rental property.

#2 Current and Past Employment

It’s very common for bad tenants to lie about their employment history.

They lie because they know landlords want to rent to tenants with stable jobs that provide enough income to cover the rent.

A tenant credit check from the Ontario Landlords Association will show you the REAL employment situation of the potential renter.

#3 Financial Responsibility

Bad tenants will smile and tell you they always pay their bills on time.

A tenant credit check will show you the TRUTH.

Do they pay their bills on time? Do they owe anyone money? Are there judgements against them? Are there any collection agencies after them?

Even British Columbia landlords are now recognizing the importance of credit checks as they face some serial bad tenants ripping off landlords in BC.

We often think of Alberta as the best place to own rental properties in Canada. Yet even Alberta landlords are conducting tenant credit checks to make sure they avoid pro tenants who can end up costing landlords tens of thousands of dollars.

How Can I Run a Credit Check On My Prospective Tenants?

In the past running a credit check was complicated and expensive.

Some of the landlord credit check companies out there add on all sorts of extra fees on you and have a complicated start up process.

As a small landlord, you want everything open and up-front.

You also want low fees and a fast and efficient system.

Join the Ontario Landlords Association

For only a one-time registration fee , Ontario landlords can get access to premium credit checks for only $10/check!

That’s right. No annual fee. Just a one-time registration fee.

You can then access premium credit checks foronly $10/check for credit checks that give you a credit score, addresses, employment and all the information you need to make a smart, informed decision on whether or not you will rent to a tenant.

You will even get a recommendation from the credit report.

Ontario Landlords – Bad Tenants Are Out There But You Can Protect Yourself!\

Become a Member of the Ontario Landlords Association and Get Premium Credit Checks For Only $10/check from your Home or Office Computer.

It Really Is the Landlord Deal of a Life Time!

The Toronto Sun: Ontario Rent Hike Lowest in 35 Years

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Ontario’s rent hike lowest in 35 years

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief
Last Updated: January 2, 2011 5:20pm

Ontario rents will be allowed to edge up by only 0.7% in 2011.

It is the lowest increase in the 35-year history of the province’s rent guideline — the maximum annual rent increase allowable without seeking special approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board for a heftier hike.

“The McGuinty government is providing real protection for tenants by linking the rent increase guideline to the Ontario Consumer Price Index which prevents routine rent increases above the rate of inflation while ensuring landlords can recover increases in their costs,” said Liberal cabinet minister Jim Bradley.

Stuart Henderson, a moderator with the Ontario Landlords Association, which typically represents property owners with less than five units for rent, said the tiny increase has many of the group’s members wondering if they can afford to stay in the business.

“We’re the ones that are paying all these new costs — the price of gas, hydro, the HST — and then we kind of get kicked in the stomach with a 0.7% increase,” he said. “It leaves kind of the worst landlords in the market, people who are renting out fire traps, illegal places.”

The next provincial election will be held in October, and Henderson said the McGuinty government is clearly currying favour with tenants.

“It’s political opportunism,” he charged. “We feel that the McGuinty government is trying to protect against a backlash from tenants in Toronto.”

Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, said landlords may be complaining now but they weren’t protesting when the province allowed yearly increases in the range of 5% in the 1990s.

The recession has been very hard on many tenants, and unemployment in Toronto continues to hover at about 10%, he said.

”It’s not renting out a movie at Blockbusters — it’s people’s housing,” Dent said. “Any increase right now during this difficult time is hard for any tenant.”

Also, Ontario does not have “real” rent control because the landlord is only obliged to follow the guideline for an existing tenant, he said.

“If you move into a unit, though, a landlord can charge you whatever he wants,” Dent said. “The last tenant could have been paying $500 a month and they can charge you $2,000.”

http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/01/02/16734661.html

Landlords get a bad deal when it comes to bad tenants

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

By Hugh Adami, Ottawa Citizen December 19, 2010

Why would anyone want to be a small landlord when there is little protection in Ontario from bad tenants?

Take Mike and Cathy Clarmo, who live in the Osgoode community of Edwards. The only way they could get a tenant to leave their rental property was with a cash payout of $3,000. And that was after 4½ years of watching the house’s resale value plummet because of their tenants’ neglect.

Their problems all started because the Clarmos couldn’t say no to an acquaintance who wanted to rent the three-bedroom bungalow they purchased in 2004. The Clarmos had just finished renovating the house when the man — a childhood friend of one of their sons — showed up at their doorstep in the spring of 2005. The couple had been planning to sell the property, which was just down the street from their home, and hoping for a $20,000-to-$25,000 profit to put toward retirement. Mike explained their plans, but the man persisted. He needed a place for his wife and children.

Mike said OK, figuring he would make some of the investment back in rent, and sell later, when the house was sure to be worth more.

Instead, cracks started appearing in their nest egg soon after the family moved in. “It broke our hearts to see the condition of the house deteriorate as it did,” says Cathy.

Probably the worst thing was that the house constantly reeked of animal urine.

The family had a dog, cat and rabbit. Drywall and floors were damaged. The garage was so cluttered that the couple was sure there was a fire risk.

Photos they took also show the front yard of the home littered with junk, including car parts such as engines and tires. The woman, who drove a school bus, damaged the eavestroughing after backing the vehicle into the house, Mike says. Rent was often late.

The Clarmos decided to sell the property after a business deal went sour. In April 2009, they gave the tenants more than two months of notice to vacate.

The tenants offered to buy the house “as is” for a reduced price. The Clarmos agreed. But the tenants couldn’t get a mortgage. The Clarmos abandoned their plan to sell after the husband approached Mike and tearfully told him he couldn’t find another house to rent.

A year later, they planned again to sell the house. But the husband, whose wife was no longer living with him, told Mike he was now well versed in tenants’ rights. He wasn’t going to move, and if Mike wanted to terminate the tenancy, he would have to go before the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Mike did so twice. He says he came away convinced that as the landlord, he was considered the bad guy.

At the first hearing, Mike spoke with a mediator, who suggested he allow his tenant to stay at the house rent-free for five months with the condition that he move by the end of this month. The man’s lawyer suggested that Mike could get him out by the end of October if he gave him a few thousand dollars on top of free rent for three months. Mike refused. He recalls the lawyer telling him that he would regret his decision as he was bound to lose the case.

Mike produced photos that he had taken of the house at the first hearing. The adjudicator joked about the one of the cluttered garage. “‘It looks like my garage,'” Mike recalls him saying. In his written decision, adjudicator Greg Joy dismisses or challenges every complaint made by the landlord.

The Clarmos found a prospective buyer for the home soon after and again applied to have the tenancy agreement terminated by Nov. 1, which was also the closing date of the sale.

The adjudicator in the second hearing reserved his decision, which allowed the tenant to stay put for at least the time being.

Mike’s lawyer suggested they give the tenant $2,000 to get out of the house. The tenant’s lawyer then came back with another figure — $3,000 — plus the demand that his client be allowed to stay until Nov. 15. Worried the board could rule in favour of the tenant and that the prospective buyers of the house would pull out of the deal, Mike agreed.

The former tenant would not return my calls.

The $3,000, which the couple feels was extortion, plus $1,400 in legal fees and $1,000 to refill the home’s oil tank are the smaller losses. The Clarmos did sell the house for $240,000 — about $25,000 more than what it cost them to buy and renovate the property in 2004. But the selling price was still a far cry from the $290,000 to $300,000 a real estate broker had told them the house would have been worth.

The Clarmos don’t know if they should be angrier with their tenants or the board.

They realize the board exists primarily to protect tenants, and with children, their tenant was bound to get even more sympathy. But, they say, their case illustrates the need for rules to protect the good landlords.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Landlords+deal+when+comes+tenants/4000351/story.html#ixzz18dUrkiwP