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.”
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.”
I am an a person who invested in an Ontario property. This makes me an Ontario “landlord”. The term “landlord” has a lot of negativity. It brings back memories of British Lords with castles and ripping off working class people.
That’s not me. I work two jobs and have a mortgage. My one rental property is nicer than my own house I live in. My car has over 200,000 kms on it and is 12 years old.
So please call me an Ontario “housing provider” or an Ontario “resident who wants to be a great owner of a property people rent from me.”
This open letter to you is to share information so that we can be a team.
After all, you need me, and I need you.
Let’s be partners in this venture, working together for both sides to succeed!
1. I am not getting rich on this venture.
In fact, for the first 12-18 months of me buying this property, I am going to lose money. Even then, this duplex/triplex that you are living in will net me approx $200-$300 per month after all expenses have been paid. Doing the math, I believe that works out to $2,400-$3,600 per year.
At some point in time, I hope that this property gains value, and I can sell it for more that I bought it. It’s a great concept that you could work towards in your lifetime – if you are so inclined.
Until then, you need a place to live, and I need a tenant.
2. Please take care of our property.
It’s your home, but it’s my house.
If I know that you will keep your home in decent condition, I will be much more motivated to ask you to help me pick out a colour next time I paint the walls, or replace the carpet.
Please don’t be a don’t be a bad tenant who thinks I’m some kind of super rich predator sucking you you dry and spending your rent on Ferrari’s and caviar.
3. I promise to respect you and your personal rights.
I will give you all the notice I can before I have to enter your apartment. After all, this is your home, but it’s my house. If I need to replace a toilet, or fix something, I will give you advanced notice.
I hope the respect will be mutual. After all, it’s the little things that count. If we can all get along, we will both enjoy working with each other. I am not here to mess with your life.
4. I was you once, perhaps you will be me one day.
I know what it’s like to rent. I know what it’s like to be a tenant. It’s actually a decent way to live.
I never worried about the roof, the plumbing, needing a new stove, or fridge, or even if the carpet was getting worn down and needed replacing.
I never worried if the city increased utilities, or taxes – I paid a flat rent, which can only increase by a very small amount each year. I let my landlord worry and take care of all of that.
You need me, and I need you. If neither one of us are jerks, this will work out just fine.
Ms. Ontario Landlord
Discuss this at the Ontario Landlord forums
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)
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 – 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!
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.”