Ontario Landlords Association


Welcome to the OLA for Small Business Landlords

The Ontario Landlords Association (OLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Ontario Landlords Can Now Access Landlord & Tenant Board Information Via F.O.I. Requests!

Since May 1, 2019 The Rules For Accessing Information Have Changed. This Can Help Landlords Avoid “Tenants From Hell”

I’m a long-time landlord.  I bought my first rental in the late 1990s.  After some major (and expensive) mistakes I put a huge amount of my energy on screening my tenants.

I found that one of the keys to success as a landlord is to make sure you rent to good tenants and avoid the “game players” who abuse the system to rip off landlords. Sadly, there are a lot of “game players” out there.

As a long time Ontario Landlords Association member I learned a lot of great tips and tricks on weeding out “Tenants From Hell”. 

Tenant Screening Only Goes So Far In Ontario

The problem I kept facing is that in Ontario is was impossible to thoroughly screen potential tenants.  This meant that every person I rented to was a huge potential risk for me and my family. 

And what a risk renting to a bad tenant is!

In Ontario is is almost impossible to evict crafty tenants.  The process takes months/years and even if you get them out they can destroy your rental property and you can lose thousands of dollars. Even an Ontario superior court judge says the rules for landlords are unfair and ridiculous.

The problem is we had no access to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) cases. So we were blind to whether or not a potential tenant had a history of issues with the LTB.

When I joined the OLA in 2009 I found I wasn’t the only one who wanted this changed.

Thousands of other landlords also wanted access and for years the the Ontario Landlords Association has worked relentlessly contacting MPPs (and the current Premier) to make changes.

Why is this access important?

1) Credit Checks Do Not Tell The Whole Story

The truth is credit checks don’t really tell you who will be a good tenant. High credit scores can be people who simply pay their Rogers or Telus bills every month.

A credit score has nothing to do with rent and is basically useless!

Since non-payment of rent can’t be reported, that “super applicant” with a high credit score might have ripped off their last 10 landlords!

2) Landlord References Are Often Dishonest

In the beginning I relied on the honesty of other landlords. But I quickly found out that the most glowing references were often from landlords who wanted to get their tenants to move out because they were trouble makers!

Some landlords who didn’t give references but the tenants wrote them down in their application were also bad. 

I called them for a reference and when the landlord found out their tenants were looking to move they offered their good tenants rent discounts and other goodies to keep them!

3) So-Called “A.I” Is Nothing But Shameful and Shady Marketing

Just like ‘blockchains’, A.I. or ‘artificial intelligence’ is a fad these days. But it is a gimmick and just shady marketing.

How can you get a “pet risk score” by asking a tenant applicant to send in a picture of their dog?  And they say “the cuter the picture, the higher the score”.  It’s a bad joke and in my opinion it’s fraud that hurts both landlords and good tenants.

No wonder their are lots of Privacy Commission investigations going on as tenants rightfully complain.

4) Employment References Are Limited

Someone can be a great employee and a bad tenant. Sure, it’s important to find out someone works to pay the rent, but that’s where it ends.

5) Criminal Checks Only Check Tell One Story

These are really helpful but they only screen out criminals and in Ontario not paying rent or damaging property is not a criminal offense (it’s common and accepted!)

6) Face To Face Interviews Are Risky

Ask the landlords who rented to Nina WillisShe had a great story and a charming personality…then made her landlords lives a living nightmare.

Landlords Can Now Access Landlord and Tenant Board Records!

Fellow Ontario Landlords Association Members…We Did It! 

Years of lobbying and explaining and supporting court challenges as why this needed to be done, thousands of phone calls, zillions of face to face meetings…and OLA members see the fruits of our labour!

Beginning on May 1st, 2019 Ontario tribunals are now more transparent, including the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

You can read the new rules here.

What Does This Mean For Small Landlords?

It means the LTB can no longer hide from landlords making a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to see if a potential tenant has been before the LTB before. 

We can check out tenant evictions and make sure our applicants aren’t “predatory Tenants from Hell!

50 “Hits” Showing This Potential Tenant Was A Serial Bad Tenant Who Ripped Off Lots Of Landlords

 Can you imagine renting to some who:

-Has Great Credit

-Has References From A Bunch Of Former Landlords

-Has A Good Job

-Has A High “A.I.” Score Because Their Dog Is Cute And They Are Cool On Facebook

-Has No Criminal Record

Sounds like an ideal tenant right?

Wrong.

This tenant applicant has been to the LTB 50 times! And many of those times was due to not paying rent.

Run A F.O.I (Freedom of Information) To Find Out About Your Potential Tenant

This is the gold standard for landlords to really do proper tenant screening!

Ontario Landlords Association Keeps The Pressure On To Help Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

We are landlords just like you. And we defend the rights of good tenants who don’t like to be smeared due to a group that wants to rip off landlords who they view has weak and vulnerable.

So we keep fighting and getting our message out to help both good landlords and good tenants.

We kept the pressure on for years about transparency at the LTB and now we finally got it. 

This is a great start, and we are not finished. Now we need a damage deposit and more. 

How Can I Do An F.O.I. Request To See My Potential Tenants LTB Records?

Join us in the Ontario landlord forum because this is a hot topic and we want every landlord to make sure you do it to protect yourself, your family and your rental property!

Can My Landlord Charge Me For Air Conditioning?

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

Tenants Know Your Rights When It Comes To Air Conditioners

Our weather is changing. In particular, Canada is facing more severe climate change than any other nation.

Not long ago we could expect snowy winters and comfortable summers. Due to a lack of carbon taxes in previous years, our weather is now erratic and hard to predict. The build up of carbon due our misuse and waste of fossil fuels is destroying our environment.

One thing is for sure: our summers are getting hotter.

And while wealthy landlords can enjoy their air conditioned houses, dips in their backyard pool, breezing winds while boating, and expensive vacations to avoid the heat, Tenants are left to suffer.

It really reminds me of the excellent Matt Damon movie called Elysium.

In this movie the Earth’s environment has been destroyed and hard working common people are suffering. Meanwhile the landlord and other elite live on the moon in perfect luxury, continuing to abuse Earth to pay for their air conditioned lunar homes.

Tenants are the ones paying expensive rents, while landlords collect it and can use it to make sure they personally don’t feel the serious impacts of climate change

Tenants Protect Your Rights And Fight Back On A/C Charges!

Many tenants are reporting Landlords are demanding tenants pay $200-$300 dollars in order to operate an air conditioner.

The main question we’re getting – is this legal? Let’s break it down

1) Landlords can charge a monthly fee to tenants with air conditioners if they have done so every year you’ve been a tenant, or if this is your first year of tenancy. This fee must be monthly, and must be only for cost recovery for the landlord

2) Landlords are not allowed to charge their tenants a one time fee for an air conditioner. Landlords cannot introduce a charge for something that has been previously included in the rent. A landlord cannot remove something that was previously provided to you

3) Finally, if your landlord is asking for this fee, they will need to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board to enforce it – so do your research before you pay!

It’s Time To Make A Maximum Allowed Temperature As Part Of the Residential Tenancy Act

We’ve been saying this for years. It’s time for a maximum temperature in rentals law.

In the winter, landlords are forced by law to maintain the heat. It’s time the government amended the RTA to make sure landlords are forced to also maintain a MAXIMUM temperature during the summer.

With Severe Climate Change and Dangerously Hot Summers, Tenants Can Die In Our Homes!

Tenants Be Careful And Fight Like Hell For Your Rights – It’s A Matter Of Life And Death! Make Sure You Survive And You And Your Children Don’t Die!

As our summers get hotter and hotter all tenants must fight back. What is even scarier is the neo-Cons want to ignore climate change and this means things are going to become Hellish soon. Many experts say we have 12 years before it’s all over.

Remember your rights and if the landlord is breaking your rights contact your MPP and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Fight Back To Survive As Climate Change Makes Our Summer Hotter Than Hell!

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is A Nightmare! (Part 1)

The Landlord and Tenant Board Is Unfair, Biased & Unprofessional 

It Needs To Be Replaced With A Better System!

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association. We believe by fostering communication between landlords and tenants we can improve the Ontario rental industry.

For the first two years my venture into becoming a residential landlord had turned out pretty well. I got into the industry because of Scott McgilIvray and his show ‘Income Property’ on HGTV.

Scott is an attractive sales person and made it seem like not only a simple investment, but something I needed to do or I would miss out on a historic opportunity to make money. (more…)

“We Need To Speed Up Evictions” OLA In The Huffington Post

Ontario Landlords Association Members Defend Landlords In The Huffington Post

“We Need Quicker Evictions For Ontario Landlords!”

Recent information from the Huffington Post shows our message is getting out. The Ford government is considering ways to speed up evictions and landlord issues are becoming well-known.

The Huffington Post is one of the most popular sites in the world. Even they would admit they are on the pro-tenant side of the spectrum. But we even reach the “left-wing” media.

Why?

Because we are telling the truth and we have many experienced and professional landlord members from across Ontario who can make sure our message is heard.

In fact, the Ontario Landlords Association has many highly educated, experienced and successful members from around the world, all working together to help the rental industry.

We need changes for Ontario landlords.

This is something the former Wynne Liberal government refused to act on, but we stopped some of their worst plans for landlords. We kept on them weekly and kept the rules from becoming even worse!

Lots Of Great Tenants Out There Looking For An Amazing Property

First of all let’s be clear – there are lots of great tenants out there.

These are tenants who pay the rent on time, follow the lease rules, are professionally respectful to their landlord and leave the property like it was when the first moved in.

But…

Unfortunately, there are also some tenants who don’t pay the rent, make major damages to the rental property, bother or harass other tenants or the landlord, and break the lease rules. 

Small Landlords Don’t Like Evictions

Unlike corporate landlords with thousands of units and a war chest to pay for huge legal fees, small landlords try to avoid evictions.  An eviction means we made a mistake in our tenant screening.

It also means lost rent and time spent at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

We want to make the renting process a simple and transparent business transaction: we offer a safe and attractive rental, and if you want it and we agree just pay rent on time and follow the lease.

Evictions In Ontario Can Take 6 months To Over A Year!

The Ontario system is broken and needs to be fixed. Evictions for even simple non-payment takes months and months.

Try going to McDonalds, order a Big Mac and fries, and walking out without paying.

But in Ontario tenants can simply refuse to pay and the process is looooooog (and tenants get every opportunity to pay months later and still stay in your rental while you wait for a Hearing and the Sheriff).

Even an Ontario Superior Court judge said the Residential Tenancies Act needs to change.

Enforcing Eviction Orders

What happens after you lose thousands of dollars in rent, countless hours of sleepless nights, and several days at LTB Hearings and finally get the eviction?

The tenant has to move out right?

The legal battle is finally finished and you can start trying to find a new renter.

It’s finally over, right?

Wrong. 

If the tenant doesn’t voluntarily move out you have to pay the Ontario Government Enforcement Agency a large fee ($300+) to physically change the locks and make sure the tenants are out.

This process can take months as they are heavily booked (and your non-paying tenants get even more free stay, no pay!)

Huffington Post – Private Bailiffs To Enforce Evictions (like they do for commercial rentals)

If landlords could hire a Private Bailiff we wouldn’t have to wait months to enforce the order, get the tenant out of rental and then re-rent it.

Instead it would be days.

It’s common sense and would speed up the eviction process (and avoid potentially months of additional losses).

Some Tenant Groups Are Fighting These Important Changes To Help Landlords

They claim only government workers are properly trained and sympathetic to tenants.

As we have seen many evictions take place this is just ridiculous. Private Bailiffs are equally qualified and professional.

Just because you are on the government payroll doesn’t mean you are ‘better’ than the private sector.

What they are is slower, not better!

OLA Members Say We Need To Speed Up Evictions

Ontario Landlords Association members made it clear in the Huffington Post private Bailiffs are welcomed by small landlords.

-We made it clear the eviction process takes months.

-We made it clear small landlords need rent paid in order to run our rental businesses

-We made it clear small landlords need rent in order to survive

Wait, Isn’t the Huffington Post Left Wing And Anti-Landlord?

Our landlords speak the truth and our message is clear.

We also have members who are very experienced and excellent advocates rarely seen before in this industry. We are also passionate because we are all small landlords too.

Our arguments are logical and make sense to help both good landlords and good tenants.

Ontario Landlords Association Continues To Get the Truth Known To Government and Media

Our members are real landlords who are just trying to provide great housing.

We need help dealing with bad tenants!

 

We Need To Speed Up The Eviction Process To Protect Landlords and Create More High Quality Rentals for Good Tenants!

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease

Tenants Speak Out and Share Their Concerns and Opinions on the Rental Industry.

As part of our “Let’s Improve the Ontario Rental Industry” we have invited landlords and tenants to share their opinions on how we can make these improvements. These opinions are from individual contributors and are not the opinions of the Ontario Landlords Association.

How Ontario Tenants Can Easily & Legally Break Your Lease In 2019!

Because of the hard work of Tenants we finally have some new changes that are fair and promote justice for Tenants.

All the law-abiding landlords out there will support this post because it’s just explaining the rules and laws to help tenants, just as landlords help each other.

Landlords Can’t Lock Tenants In To Fixed Term Leases

In April 2017 we saw the provincial government finally listen to our concerns and they created the Rental Fairness Act which makes changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

Now landlords can’t collect arrears for rent due once Tenants receive a “Termination Notice”.

You can see in the Residential Tenancies Act, Section 37, that states that once the landlord gives the Tenant a notice of termination, the tenancy ends of that date of termination the landlord put in the notice.

With the Rental Fairness Act we finally get some real clear facts on once the Tenant gets the termination date, you break your lease:

134(1.1) No landlord shall, directly or indirectly, with respect to any rental unit, collect or require or attempt to collect or require from a former tenant of the rental unit any amount of money purporting to be rent in respect of,

(a) any period after the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit; or

(b) any period after the tenant’s interest in the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit. 2017, c. 13, s. 24 (2).

What Does This Mean For Tenants? It Means You Can Get Out of Fixed Term Leases

The best thing that all Ontario Tenants should know is this gives you an easy way to break your fixed term lease.

And landlords cannot go after you in small claims court or the Landlord and Tenant Board for breaking the lease, because it’s landlords who told YOU TO MOVE.

For example you might want to move because the landlord is a jerk, or the neighbours are noisy or smoking, or maybe you found a nicer or cheaper place.  You are no longer “locked in” like a slave.

How Can Tenants Break a Fixed Term Lease Under the New Rules?

Remember, if the landlord gives you a notice with a “termination date” of “do this or the tenancy ends” you can just….don’t do what they say…and break the lease! 

“Pay By This Date Or Move Out”…Ok, just move out and it’s terminated!

What’s the Best Way For Tenants To Break A Fixed Term Lease?

There are lots of ways now! Sure it’s a little bit sneaky but Tenants have to do what have to do to survive in this unfair situation.

(1) Don’t Pay Rent and Get the N4

Probably the best way to break the lease is just don’t pay rent. The landlord will give you an N4 ‘Pay Up or Be Evicted Notice’ with a termination date. The termination date will usually be 15 days after they give the notice. Since they are the ones who want to terminate the lease you just don’t pay and agree with them…and there is nothing the landlord can do! Again, here’s how it works.

Step 1 – Rent is Due

Step 2 – You Don’t Pay Rent

Step 3 – The landlord wants your money so will give you N4 Notice to End The Tenancy For Non-Payment of Rent

Step 4 – The N4 says: “Pay this amount by…. (This is called the termination date) or Move Out By the Termination Date

Step 5 – Just move out at the termination date and the lease is broken and you are home free!!

(2) Make Some Disturbances and Get the N5

Make lots of noise and the landlord will probably give you an N5 Notice to End Your Tenancy For Interfering With Others, Damage or Overcrowding. It will have a termination date and then you get out of it. I am giving you this notice because I want to end your tenancy. I want you to move out of your rental unit by the following termination date _____

Step 1:  Make Noise, Damages or Overcrowd the rental

Step 2: The Landlord Will Give You an N5

Step 3. The N5 Will Have A Termination Date

Step 4 On or Before the Termination Date……….just move out by the termination date and you are home free!!

Try not to bother other Tenants so much, but noise, smoking or these types of things will lead to an N5 and then you can leave free and in peace for a better, cheaper apartment.

Try to talk with other tenants so if you are making noise or going to smoke or flood the place, they can complain quickly to the landlord get get the N5 process going fast without really creating any trouble for your fellow Tenants.

Being Able To Break Fixed Term Leases Easily Is the First Step in Creating a Better Rental Industry – Especially When It’s The Landlord Telling You To “Obey or Get Out”…So Get Out!

Things are still really unfair. But I want to make sure Tenants are at least aware how the new rules make it okay to break fixed term leases. I’ll write more later on and hope other Tenants and fair-minded landlords can make positive contributions here.

It’s Time For Real Fairness For Ontario Tenants

Let’s work together and finally create a fair playing field for Ontario Tenants. I know many of you will be amazed at my first contribution and there will be many more to come because it’s time for FAIRNESS.