Posts Tagged ‘tenant screening’

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

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

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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YOU *DO NOT* HAVE TO PAY RENT ON THE 1st IN ONTARIO (You Have A 2 Week Legal Cushion, And Months More)

Sunday, December 8th, 2019

In These Difficult Economic Times With Precarious Employment and Lay Offs Many Good Tenants Can’t Pay the Rent On Time…But You Can’t Be Kicked Out!

“No baby, we won’t be homeless as Mummy looks for a new job”

We live in difficult times.  Good landlords are aware of this and will support this post as it’s just an informative way your tenants can keep renting your over-priced property and making you rich for doing no real labour.

Landlords need to remember that while you do no work to take our money, tenants must struggle and work every day to try to feed our families and pay you your pound of flesh.

The Toronto Star recently had an article about being evicted and what tenants can do.  The advice was good but very limited as most mainstream media is these days.

This Is A War Against Tenants And the Working Class

The reality is workers are being laid off or even fired in place of third world factories with no human rights.

Even in Toronto many workers are given a low severance and an evil “good bye” as companies seek cheaper labour as they outsource.

Tenants are victims of the “gig economy” unlike Baby Boomers and Generation X who had it so easy in an era of low costs and high wages and even idiots and high school drop outs could get high paying jobs.

They put their businesses in places where workers are treated like slaves. Workers are whipped, chained, raped and beaten…all to make sure that new iPhone gets built for a low cost.

Landlords have a social responsibility

Good Landlords Will Understand Late or None Payment of Rent And Agree For Delays

Tenants are struggling. 

Smart landlords will have some empathy and understand if you can’t pay rent on time. They will give you a break and let you have a month or two of late rent, or even free rent for a few months.

Why Will They Give You A Break? 

Because the costs and risks of renting to new tenants is huge.  They might get a game player who never pay. Or get a nasty tenant who will damage their unit or upset others (including other condo owners). They should give you a break…but….

Landlords hate Tenants who know the rules!

If You Don’t Pay On The First Will You Be Kicked Out?

No!

There is a legal process landlords must follow.

If you don’t pay rent you will have months of rent free living and the opportunity to pay (and stay in your home) after many, many months!

I Didn’t Know That! What Is the Process? 

Landlords will file what is called an N4 to tell you to pay rent.  This give you 14 days to pay, but even if you don’t pay it’s okay!

The N4 is pure intimidation, you don’t have to move! LLs use this paper work to intimidate & threaten.

So If I Don’t Pay I Will Get Kicked Out?

No. 

Not at all, you are protected. You don’t have to pay for 14 days…and if you don’t pay in 14 days the landlord has to “apply” for a “Hearing Date” which can take 6 months or more (and you can pay right up to the date you will be evicted).  So you have months to pay the rent.

So What Happens If I Don’t Pay On The First Of The Month?

The N4 gives you two weeks to pay. You don’t have to pay the rent on the 1st of the month!

The landlord needs to then apply for a “court date” at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

These dates are between 6 to 18 months. That means you have a breather for a long time! 

In These Crazy Economic Times You Deserve a Break At Your Landlords Profits Expense!

Nothing can happen until you go to “court” at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

What Happens In The Period of Not Paying And the Hearing Date?

Nothing. 

You don’t have to pay a cent. And your landlord can’t harass you. 

If they do you can call the government Bad Landlord Police and get the landlord fined and even criminally charged!

You can also call the police.

So I Can Not Pay For Many Months and Still Stay In My Rental?

Yes. 

It’s not “your rental” it’s “your home”. 

The landlord will have to wait for months to get a “court date” at the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

What If I Want To Stay, Should I Pay All Rent Before the LTB Hearing?

No. Don’t be foolish.  This is a “business negotiation”.

Go to the Hearing. You are the victim and your landlord is getting rich thanks to your suffering and poverty!  LTB judges know this!

The LTB has a room where tenants and landlords can “work things out” called mediation.

You can agree to pay the rent owed, but why not negotiate?  Say you will pay 20% to avoid a “trial” at the LTB. 

Many landlords will be happy to get the money and avoid the stress of going in front of an LTB adjudicator and potentially getting nothing.

Landlords are scared of trials where they will be held accountable for their crimes against humanity. Google “Nuremberg trials“.

How Can I Prepare For the LTB Hearing?

The best defense is a good offense.

Let’s walk you through this….Take a look around your home.

Do you see any maintenance issues?

Remember: no house is perfect so for sure you can find something.  Mold, stairs not up to code, fridge is not super cold, etc, etc. etc.  You can use this as a weapon!

Do I Have To Tell My Landlord About These Problems Before the Trial?

NO!

Don’t tell them. 

Bring them up at the LTB hearing and SHOCK your landlord.

This will immediately lead the adjudicator to cancel your hearing and book another one so the landlord can fix the things you brought up (hint: bring up a lot of stuff!)

You get another 3 – 6 months of rent free living. You need this help you SURVIVE in this crazy property owner controlled brutal capitalist world!

Landlords call this “trial by ambush” but it’s just part of the legal system to protect good tenants. And it will give you months of more free rent.

This is the best way for poor working class tenants to fight their rich “villa in Paris” or “apartments in China or Iran”.

More Help For Tenants

Remember you can get free legal help (and your landlord doesn’t and has to pay thousands).

Yes, it’s free!  And it will lead your landlord to have to pay for legal representation and while you get if free they will be charged $250 to $400+ per hour! 

You can bleed your landlord dry as they can’t afford these rates.  You pay nothing and they have to pay $300/hour and you can bankrupt them, as many tenants have done (not reported but we all know the score).

So I Don’t Need To Pay For Months And Can Still Live In My Rental Home?

Yes. 

The whole process will take at least 6 to 8+ months (you can live rent free). 

You Can Also Appeal

After 6-8 months to a year of living rent free, and using this money to pay for university and better food for your kids you still have option.  You can pay and stay or you can just leave.

Stay Strong! Don’t Be Intimidated! Learn How ‘The System’ Works To Protect Your Family!

Tenants Waking Up And Fighting For Our Rights

If you can’t pay rent don’t be intimidated. You have a system that protects you and you can even not pay and stay in your home for months (or years if you are smart).

Ontario Tenants – Our Landlord Community Wants To Hear From You (And Work Together For Mutual Success!)

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

ola landlord and tenant win win campaign

Renting Should Be a Win-Win Situation. Ontario Landlords Want to Rent to Good Tenants and Ontario Tenants Want To Find Good Landlords and Great Rental Properties. We Want To Help Make It Happen

With property prices increasing in Ontario over the past few years and rents rising, rental properties (and the landlords and investors who own them) have been in the news a lot recently. 

We have also had the new Rental Fairness Act which makes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Many small landlords were expecting some important changes to balance the playing field. By adding urgently needed protections for small landlords it would keep a lot of good people in the rental industry and encourage more investment, more rentals, and more affordable options for tenants.

Bad Landlord Alert…or not

While the media seems to focus on the “bad landlords out there” the reality is these are rare cases and not representative of the larger Ontario rental market.

There are a lot of great people who are landlords (or want to invest in residential properties) and we need to make sure there is a fair regulatory environment to protect them. These landlords are huge corporations with unlimited resources. 

In reality many landlords are teachers, fire fighters, nurses, doctors, electricians, plumbers, contractors and people working hard for some cash flow and their retirement.

Changes need to be made to protect small landlords

We need to discuss important issues such as allowing damage deposits and pet deposits.  We need a healthy debate on allowing a fixed term lease to really mean the lease actually ends unless renewed by the landlord and the tenant.

It’s important for all stake-holders to make changes in how we can quickly evict tenants who don’t pay or abuse other tenants or their landlord.

Many Ontario Landlords area also greatly concerned about the legalization of marijuana and how this will impact rental properties. Many landlords are gravely concerned this will lead to many tenant vs. tenant challenges.

The Rental Fairness Act Isn’t Very Fair

Instead of dealing with important issues, there were policy changes such as expanding rent control and making it even harder and more expensive for family landlords to get control of their property for their own use. There were also punishing new rules for those who include utilities in the rent.

Alberta landlords are working hard to let the general public know how hard they work and how much they care and it’s time we did the same in Ontario.

Good Landlords Want Good Tenants…And Good Tenants Want To Find Great Landlords and Great Properties

Experienced and successful small Ontario landlords know we are running a business and our tenants are our “clients.”

As we usually own only one or two rental properties we usually do our own tenant screening. This means we are personally involved in the rental process.

Successful small residential landlords also know the key to a profitable rental business means we have to first attract some of the great tenants out there to rent from us, and then we need to work hard to ensure they love renting from us and want to stay. It’s hard work and it’s not easy.

Secrets and Tips From Successful Landlords

We asked our most successful members to share some tips to help other small landlords and investors on how to avoid problems and create a win-win situation between the landlord and your tenants.

(a) Screen your Tenants Yourself

With the excellent tools available landlords can take their business “into their own hands” and make sure they know who they are renting to. Make sure you know the rules and laws. 

For example: Getting a real estate agent friend to run credit checks for you can be illegal and cost your real estate friend their license with Equifax. If you are running credit checks make sure they are legal.

(b) This Is A Hands On Business

Get to know your tenants and get to know your rental property. Make sure you make the place safe and comfortable. 

One of our Ottawa landlords wrote: create a rental property that you would want to live in.

(c) Treat Your Tenants With Respect And Appreciate Them

You provide a terrific, safe, fairly priced rental property to your tenants. You are a service-oriented landlord and that means when things need fixing or issues arise, you make it a priority and get things fixed fast. When you fix these issues you cooperate with your tenant to make sure both sides are satisfied with the solution.

(d) Many Ontario Landlords Were Tenants Not So Long Ago

One OLA member wrote on the Ontario landlords forum:

“I rented for years when I was in university.  My first year was in residence and after dealing with the meal plan and a small room I couldn’t wait to get out and rent a property with my friends.”

“Looking back the experience renting a house wasn’t the best.  The landlord would didn’t ever make repairs.  When the basement flooded we were told just to ‘not go down there’ and the stove only had 2 burners that worked (and the oven was so weak it took what seemed like hours to cook french fries.)”

“Now I’m planning to buy an income property near a university.  Maintenance and dealing fast with any issues will be a priority.  But what else can we do to stand out from the crowd and offer a terrific housing experience for student renters?”

(e) What Would Lead You To Stay At A Rental For A Longer Period of Time?

Many landlords feel stressed out when looking for new tenants.  While there are a lot of great tenants out there, there are also people who know how to play the system and can lead to a lot of financial and emotional stress.

What are Tenants Looking For When Choosing a Rental Property and a Landlord?

Our members usually own one or maybe two properties. They aren’t large, huge corporations that don’t care about individual tenants and don’t care about vacancies.

Ontario Landlords Want To Hear From Ontario Tenants

The media keeps talking about “super high rents” and “bad landlords.”  They fail to differentiate between large corporate landlords and small landlords who are simply trying to run a rental business.

Here are some questions from small landlords to help us improve how we run our rental businesses:

 1. What Do Tenants Want In a Landlord?

2. What Type Of Features Are You Looking For In a Rental Property?

3. What is the Best Way To Advertise To Attract Good Tenants?

4. How Can Service-Oriented, Professional Small Landlords Show You Their Professionalism?

We Welcome Tenant Comments on Ontario Rental Industry

Are you a tenant now?  Are you looking to rent? Let us know your experience and your feelings. 

Landlords and tenants can share your thoughts and opinions by emailing us at landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com

(Please note you will not receive a reply upon emailing us)

Tell us what is happening and we’ll share it with landlords to help improve the Ontario rental industry!

While recent rules seem create a narrative of “landlords vs. tenants” the reality is good landlords want good tenants and good tenants are looking for professional landlords and great rental properties. Let’s work together to make this happen!

Ontario Landlords: Tenant Screening and Tenant Credit Checks

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

 January 17th, 2014

Ontario landlords association tenant credit check 2014

What Are the Rules For Ontario Landlords to Do a Tenant Credit Check the Right Way?

(And What Happens If You Don’t? Because Tenants Are Complaining So Be Careful)

Landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants.

We have written about this before to warn Ontario landlords.

There are a lot of good tenants all over the province and they want to rent from you.

These tenants pay the rent on time and respect you and your rental property.

Landlords big and small are seeking these tenants who follow the rules and cooperate with their landlords for a win-win situation.

It’s especially important since the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline is only 0.8% as a recent Toronto Sun report explained.

Bad Tenants

There is also a large group of bad tenants out there.

Whether you are an Ottawa landlord, a Toronto landlord, own properties a bit north and are a Barrie landlord or anywhere else in the province you have surely heard about the damage bad tenants can do to landlords in Ontario.

These bad tenants know how to manipulate the system and will end up costing you thousands of dollars in losses and months of stress and frustration.

A Supreme Court Justice even said there are too many opportunities for bad tenants to take advantage of good landlords in Ontario. You can read what the judge said at the excellent column by our friend Bob Aaron at the Toronto Star.

Tenant Credit Checks

The Ontario Landlords Association has introduced tenant credit checks and their importance in a professional tenant screening system to thousands of landlords across the province.

We have excellent partners such as Equifax and GARDA.

They are authorized to conduct tenant credit checks and look into your potential tenant’s financial history.

These companies provide tools for landlords to succeed with their rental businesses by helping you rent to good tenants.

Are Some Landlords Doing It Wrong?

Yes, some are.

And you need to be careful.

We have received lots of emails from tenants who are claiming some landlords are obtaining their credit data in a fraudulent manner.

The tenants say their privacy rights have been stomped on by small landlords.

There have also been posts about this from tenants on the Ontario Landlords Forum.

For example a tenant wrote:

I’m looking for some advice on how to deal with a serious situation.

I take great care of my credit profile and my privacy. This year I was forced to look to rent a property near my work. After finding a property I was interested in the landlord said they would do an employment check, reference check and a credit check on me to see if I was qualified. I agreed they could.

Fast forward and I recently checked my credit report. At the time of my application there is now a ‘credit hit’ from a mortgage and real estate agent on my credit score. I did not apply for a mortgage or to buy a house! It is the only ‘credit hit’ for that time period.

I never agreed for a credit check from a mortgage or real estate agent. I never applied for a mortgage or to purchase a house. This will lead future creditors/landlords/anyone to think I wanted to buy my own place and applied for a mortgage. It will also lead to people mistakenly thinking I was refused a mortgage and failed to buy a place of my own.

I only authorized the landlord to do a credit check for the purpose of renting. I would like to know my options because this is a breach of my privacy rights.

With so many emails and an increasing number of tenant posts passionately explaining their serious concerns we decided to contact our partner Equifax Canada.

It seems some landlords are using friends or relatives who are Realtors or mortgage agents or insurance agents to get credit checks done on prospective tenants.

equifax ontario landlords

Our Interview With Equifax Canada

We contacted our partner Equifax Canada and spoke with them about the ‘right way’ for landlords to conduct tenant credit checks.

Here are our questions and the answers that follow:

1. Can I Call my Relative or Friend To Do the Credit Check For My Potential Tenant?

If the landlord uses a mortgage agent, Realtor, etc. to access potential tenants credit data for them, and the tenant didn’t agree and these tenants contact Equifax what will happen?

What are the penalties that could occur?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

No.

Given the nature of the existing credit reporting/privacy legislation and the terms of use (agreement) by the Equifax member, the consumer can report this type of unacceptable activity to the Ministry of Consumer Services, who will then investigate.

Any inappropriate use or breach of contract could lead to termination of membership with Equifax.

 2. Mortgage Agents, Realtors, Insurance Agents, Car Dealerships

Several landlords say they have used friends who are mortgage agents, Realtors, etc. for years to access tenant credit data and nothing happened and there is nothing wrong using this method to obtain credit data on potential tenants.

What is the best response to their claims?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

See above and below for more details.

Equifax must disclose the actual entity that received the file.

3. What About Third Parties to Obtain Credit Data?

Some landlords have a waiver on their application form saying they will use a “third party” to obtain credit data on a potential tenant (they don’t say who will do the check, only that it will be a third party).

They then contact a friend who is a mortgage agent, Realtor, insurance broker, someone who works at a car dealership, etc. to do the credit check on the potential tenant for them. 

They wonder if the waiver clause allows them to use a ‘friend’ is okay.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

The service agreement signed by EACH of our members clearly articulates that they will not “share” a credit file with another entity: the credit file is for their exclusive use ONLY.

Any entity that does share is in violation of this agreement.

4. Tenants Complaining About Unauthorized Credit Checks

Some tenants complain they have a ‘credit hit’ on their credit reports from mortgage agents, insurance agents, etc. which they never agreed to (as they only wanted to rent an apartment). 

How can tenants get these unauthorized credit hits off their records?

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

Due to privacy legislation, once Equifax delivers a file to a member, we MUST post an inquiry (by law).

As such, we do not remove these inquiries as they are factual and the consumer has a legal right to know their file has been disclosed.

5. What Can Tenants Do?

Some tenants who have credit hits from people they never authorized have asked if they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services to make formal complaints that their credit data was obtained fraudulently. They would like advice on this.

ANSWER FROM EQUIFAX

Yes, they should contact the Ministry of Consumer Services who will launch an investigation.

They can reach also reach Equifax directly at the following telephone numbers to lodge a complaint and we will do an investigation:

English: 1-866-828-5961

French: 1-877-323-2598

Ontario Landlords And Tenant Screening 2014

Let’s work together to make 2014 the most successful year ever for landlords across Ontario.

Tenant screening is an essential part of being a successful landlord.

Make sure you follow the rules and find great tenants for your rental properties.

High quality tenant credit companies such as Equifax and GARDA are waiting to assist you.

Ontario Landlords 2014: Landlord Licensing in Windsor?

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

 December 20, 2013Ontario Landlords Association 2014 Landlord Licensing Windsor landlords

The new year is an important one for Ontario Landlords and we are upbeat.

Despite a very low Rent Increase Guideline of only 0.8% in 2014 more and more landlords are doing proper tenant screening and renting to all the good tenants out there (and avoiding the pro tenants who are out there and ready to prey on unsuspecting landlords).

There are still going to be challenges.

For example, we’ve received hundreds of emails from Windsor landlords concerned about landlord licensing.

The rumours all over the internet that landlords would require a license to operate in 2014 spread fast around the landlord and residential property investor community in October.

After all, Windsor landlords are looking forward to a positive and successful new year.

The vacancy rate keeps getting lower and more and more good tenants are choosing our city as their new home.

With proper tenant screening landlords all over the city can expect to find tenants who pay rent on time and are take care of the property they are renting.

The idea of landlords having to get license is upsetting because it’s the wrong type of policy for our city.

What Is Landlord Licensing?

This is a government policy that exists for Oshawa landlords and Waterloo landlords renting to students.

It means the government requires landlords to pay a fee and apply to get a license to be a residential landlord.

There are also annual inspections, new rules for how many rooms which can be in a rental unit and lots more. (In some cases it even requires small landlords to get a criminal check!)

Starting in January 2014 Mississauga landlords will need to get a license. The rules are strict and the fees are high. 

Earlier this year the City of Hamilton wanted to license landlords who owned properties with six rooms or less.

Hamilton landlords fought back! They were united and made a strong case about why licensing, which they called a ‘tenant tax’ was a bad policy option.

The government decided to move in another direction.

The hard work of Hamilton landlords paid off and good landlords and good tenants all over the city were rewarded for their courage and hard work!

What’s The Truth about Windsor Landlord Licensing?

The Ontario Landlords Association contacted the Windsor government to get some answers.

Mr. Michael Chantler, the Supervisor of Licencing & Deputy Licence Commissioner at the Office of the City Clerk for the City of Windsor was very helpful in replying to the questions on the minds of many Windsor landlords.

Mr. Chantler believes rumours of landlord licensing deal with the City of Windsor’s “Residential Rental Housing” report which is still in the developmental phase.

Here are some of the answers to the OLA’s questions:

1. Will Windsor License landlords in 2014?

The Licensing Department has not been given direction by Council to license landlords in 2014.

2. Is there any plan to license landlords in the future?

The Licensing Department has not been given direction to license landlords at any time in the future.

3. When will the report to City council be submitted and discussed regarding landlord fees, licenses, etc.?

There is a report being prepared regarding “Rental Housing” that is very complex and takes into account more than just a Licensing component. There are several different departments involved including, but not limited to, Fire, Planning, Licensing and Building. There is no firm date set for the report, but I believe it will probably go to Council in 2014.

4. Is there a way Windsor landlords can express their opinions to the government?

As with any major public issue, citizens can call 311, send a letter or call their Councillor/Mayor’s Office directly to provide their opinion.

However, you must keep in mind that the Members of Council don’t have a report before them to discuss at this time.

Some multiple property owners have already sent written submissions to Administration in Licensing.

If/when a report on this item does go forward: there will be opportunities for a delegation to appear at a City Council meeting.

Let’s Say NO to Landlord Licensing in Windsor and Other Cities in Ontario

Windsor landlords, like all landlords in Ontario are facing challenges from governments who don’t value the services small landlords provide and the important role we play in providing high quality, affordable housing to tenants all over the province.

Landlords need to be proactive in getting information about government plans and make our voice heard.

The Ontario Landlords Association and our thousands of members will continue to fight to make a difference in 2014.