Posts Tagged ‘ontario tenants covid-19’

Small Landlords Need To Get Rent And Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Ontario Landlords Require A Functioning System Where Rent Is Paid On Time & Non-Paying Tenants Are Evicted. Or Many Of Us Will Go Bankrupt & Have No Choice But To Sell Our Rentals

The entire world is worried about the pandemic known as Covid-19.  Countries such as Italy have even ordered a nation-wide quarantine that will keep citizens stuck in their home and unable to use public spaces.

The province of Ontario also has a growing number of cases and Premier Ford has declared a state of emergency. This had led to restaurants being closed, schools closed, and other actions.

Ontario Tenants Face Challenges

Many tenants are dealing with reduced hours at work or even job losses. On top of this tenants are using saved up money to stock up on essentials in case they have to self-isolate.

Small Landlords Often Rented Before We Became Housing Providers

Unlike the large corporate landlords, small landlords are regular people who also face serious challenges. As many of us rented at some point in our lives, we understand and sympathize with what tenants are dealing with. However, we ask everyone to understand our situation as well.

Rent Freezes, Evictions Bans, And A Closed Down Landlord And Tenant Board

Many of our members are very concerned about some of the ‘solutions‘ that are being brought forth by some tenant groups, some people in the provincial government, and some people in the media.

These so-called solutions include a freeze on rents, don’t pay rent, don’t allow any legal evictions, don’t enforce evictions and more.

While these sound dramatic and helpful they will only harm the entire rental industry and tenants themselves

Small Landlords Are Not Faceless Corporate Giants

We’ve worked hard over the past decade to show that small landlords need to be put in different category compared to the corporate landlords.

We’re not rich. We hold jobs and many of our members are teachers, fire-fighters, secretaries, mechanics, doctors, painters, plumbers, electricians, Realtors, small business owners and even helicopter pilots and retired athletes.

We rely on rent to keep our businesses going.  When a tenant pays rent to us, we are paying property taxes, insurance, mortgages and for maintenance (which is not nearly as inexpensive as tenants think it is). If we don’t receive rent, we still need to pay all these costs.

And many small landlords require rent each month just to cover all these costs!

We Need To Find Real Win-Win Solutions

Small landlords are aware of the serious challenges tenants face. Some of our OLA members are already providing their tenants with extra heaters, blankets and…toilet paper. We’re trying to help!

One our OLA members is even going to Walmart, Metro and Shoppers Drug Mart to buy diapers and milk and groceries and medicine for a single mom tenant who is afraid to take her baby out shopping with her.

This is what good small landlords do for our tenants. We don’t want conflict with tenants, we want win-win situations.

Rent Freezes, No Evictions, Closing Down The LTB, No Sheriff Enforcement Are Not Solutions

All these so-called ‘solutions’ are simply demonizing the landlord and placing the entire financial burden tenants face on to the small landlord.

This won’t work.

Small landlords need a functioning system where we get paid rent and can evict non-paying tenants in a fair and efficient legal venue.

If these so-called ‘solutions’ become part of the system it will lead to many bankrupt small landlords and many will sell their rentals (often to a person who wants it for their own use).  This will inevitably lead to an even lower vacancy rate.

Let’s Create A Tenant-Landlord Alliance For A Win-Win Solution

So landlords are aware of the challenges tenants face. Hopefully, after reading this, tenants will be aware of what small landlords face.

So what are some win-win solutions?

Province Provides Grants of Interest Free Loans For Tenants

We already see how the excellent Toronto Rent Bank helps tenants. They are hard working people running it who truly care.

So why not create a new large province-wide Ontario Rent Bank? The government can put in financial resources to create a large province-wide Rent Back.

This would be a place for tenants who are in need to get help to pay their landlord.  Either a grant (for 1 -3 months of rent) or an interest free loan.

Every Evicted Tenant Can Get Places Into Government Social Housing

How much money is spent on social housing? It’s huge. So why isn’t it more effective and better managed?

How about the Landlord and Tenant Board works with government social housing providers across Ontario?

And if someone is officially evicted these government social housing groups reach out to the evicted tenant to help them find a place to stay (thus eliminating homelessness) if they want it (many tenants will just find a new place).

Let’s Fix This And With Smart Long Term Logical Ideas

There are tenant groups out there screaming “stick it to the landlord”.  There are also some minor hick landlord social media outlets filled with uneducated people and owners looking to make a buck saying “tenants just pay or else and also no tax dollars fer them!”

Both extremes should be ignored.  Small landlords need to be protected and the best way to help tenants is to protect good small landlords!

The reality is it’s time for the province of Ontario to pick up it’s game and take some responsibility!

Instead of a deluge of selfies the corporate landlords are making (who pay a fortune for lobbyists and have their staff follow a minister around carrying his umbrella in the rain, opening doors for him and giving him a hug and bringing in lunch when needed) we need real effective change to help both tenants and landlords.

OLA members are shocked that the solution to help tenants is to say “don’t pay rent…because you can’t be evicted”.  Many of us will remember this well in the next election.

OLA MEMBERS SPEAK OUT

-We need to quickly work for win-win solutions to help both good tenants and good landlords.

-We need to get the Landlord and Tenant Board Working (and working fast) and Tenants also to be protected by new government programs such as loans and grants to pay their legal rent.

-The current plan of “no evictions” is beyond foolish and will dramatically harm the Ontario rental industry and lead to anarchy and chaos. 

We need real leadership, not pandering to the worst instincts of tenant voters.