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Ottawa Landlords – Let’s Fix The Residential Tenancies Act To Encourage More Investment In Residential Rental Properties

May 28th, 2016 · Latest News, Ontario Landlords Association, Ottawa landlords

Ontario Landlords Association Wants A Better System For Small Residential Landlords in Ontario

The Ontario Landlords Association is Working Together with the Ontario Provincial Government To Improve The Residential Tenancies Act To Encourage More High Quality Affordable Housing in the Province. This Will Help Both Good Landlords and Good Tenants!

According to a report at the Ontario Landlords Association the Ontario government is looking to encourage more people to invest in residential rental properties in our province.

According to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin too many small residential landlords are not renting out spaces in their homes because they simply do not want to deal with problematic tenants. The government views the supply of high quality rentals units (such as basement apartments) as an important aspect of creating affordable housing in Ontario.

Why Does The Ontario Government Want More Affordable Rental Housing?

With property prices rising dramatically in many parts of Ontario, the Liberal government is rightly concerned that people who cannot afford to buy their own home have the opportunity to rent a place.

Why Aren’t Tenants Simply Buying Their Own Places?

It’s because of the rise in prices.

Many people, especially younger people, simply can’t afford to buy a condo, townhouse or detached home near their work-place. Not being able to live and commute to their place of work harms not only the livelihoods of many people, but also harms the provincial economy.

What is Being Proposed By the Provincial Government to Deal With This?

Thanks to the constant message being sent by small landlords and small landlord groups such as the Ontario Landlords Association the government has become aware of the challenges faced by small landlords and the difficulties presented with the current laws and procedures of the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

Wow, That’s Good News? How Did This Happen?

It’s important news for all good landlords and good tenants in Ontario. 

It’s because after years of not having a real voice, small landlords finally do and the message was made loud and clear and received by the government who want to improve the situation.

Premier Kathleen Wynne used to the be the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing before becoming Premier. During that time, Wynne was in regular contact with the Ontario Landlords Association and heard the concerns of tens of thousands of landlords in Ottawa and across the province. Premier Wynne was always eager to listen to the concerns of both landlords and tenants and our message was received.

Current Housing Minister McMeekin has also reached out to the OLA and wants to help small landlords succeed.

What About Changes For Ottawa Landlords?

Ottawa landlords face the same challenges as other landlords across Ontario. While the majority of tenants pay their rent on time and respect the rights of their landlord there are also bad tenants who abuse the system.

How Can I Get My Ideas For Changes to the System for Ontario Landlords Heard?

The Ontario Landlords Association is making a formal proposal to the Ministry and preparing meetings. Check out their site and make sure your voice is heard for positive change for small residential landlords!

Ottawa Landlords Make Your Voice Heard! Let’s Improve the Residential Tenancies Act and Landlord and Tenant Board and Improve the Rental Industry in Ontario.

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Ottawa Landlords Success in 2016 (Rent Increases and Credit Checks)

March 20th, 2016 · Credit Checks 2016, Latest News, Ottawa Landlord Rent Increase 2016

Ottawa landlords 2016

Ontario Landlords Association Announced the 2016 Rent Increase is 2%. Ottawa Landlords Are Looking Forward to A Successful New Year in 2016 with Rent Increases and Using Credit Checks To Find Good Tenants

The news from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation was good for Ottawa landlords.

In their report CMHC said MLS sales are expected to rise in Ottawa in 2016. This growth in sales will result in prices in our region at least matching inflation.

The report continued on by stating that economic conditions are expected to improve in 2016 and this will lead to more rental demand as the number of people moving to the region rises. With new renters coming the vacancy rate will decrease and landlords will have a strong and growing supply of qualified tenants wanting to rent from them.

Good News For Ottawa Landlords in 2016

Many experienced investors also feel the victory of the Liberals under Justin Trudeau is good for the area. The Liberals have stated they will increase the hiring of federal government employees and spend money on improving transportation all over Ontario. This means more jobs and that means more tenants looking for your rental property.

Ottawa Landlords Can Raise the Rent By 2.0% in 2016

According to the Ontario Landlords Association Ottawa landlords can raise the rent by 2.0 per cent in 2016.  With a combination of a decreasing vacancy rate along with higher costs to operate your business, many Ottawa landlords are going to raise the rent in 2016.

The Rent Increase in Only 2%?

Yes, and many landlords think it’s far too low. After all, our costs continue to rise with things such as higher taxes and higher costs for professionals to help maintain your rental property. The good news is your property might be exempt from the rent increase guideline.

Make Tenant Screening A Priority in 2016

With more renters out there and increasing costs make sure you make tenant screening a priority. Only inexperienced or naive landlords will rent to tenants based on a handshake or a ‘conversation.’

We’ve written before about what happens when landlords don’t make tenant screening a priority. Experienced and successful landlords know the key is to make sure you rent to financially responsible people.

How Do I Make Sure My Potential Tenant Is Financially Responsible (and will pay the rent)?

The way you do this is by running a credit check on every potential tenant who wants to rent from you. No matter where you live in our country Canada Landlords are aware of the importance to credit checks as part of their tenant screening system.

By running a tenant credit check you can make sure you not only “know who you are renting to” you also “know if they pay their bills on time.” A credit check is an essential tool used by experienced and successful landlords who run profitable rental properties.

Ottawa Landlords Success in 2016

With an improving market it’s important landlords make sure they increase the rent to cover their costs (at least partially) and run credit checks as part of their screening process.

By renting to good tenants and a good rental rate, Ottawa landlords are looking at a very successful New Year!

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How To Find and Select Good Tenants For Your Ottawa Rental Property

July 9th, 2015 · Latest News, New Ottawa landlords, Ontario Landlords Association membership, Tenant credit check

 How To Find and Select Good Tenants

Experienced Ottawa landlords know the importance of renting to qualified tenants and that means good credit scores! Renting to a good tenant means rent comes in on time and your property is treated with care.

We’ve seen enough stories of Ontario landlords getting ripped off by bad tenants you would think everyone investing in residential rental properties would get the picture by now.

However, we continue to hear about new landlords feeling pressure to rent their units out fast to anyone who can pay first and last. They don’t spend much time on screening their these new tenants and if they do a credit check they do it the wrong way which can give your tenants power to cause you and your friends a lot of problems.

We wrote about some unscreened tenants who moved in on a Friday, started a fire the next day and moved out on a Monday before.

We have another media story about a landlord who didn’t screen his tenant carefully and has paid a big price for not doing so.

Renting To Bad Tenants Can Be Expensive

It’s a story from InsideHalton about a Peterborough landlord who can’t believe what his ex-tenant did to his rental property. Click on the link to watch the video.

When his tenant stopped paying rent the landlord issued a form N4 eviction notice for the tenant to pay the rent in full in 14 days or be evicted.

Many new landlords who have no experience with the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) think the form N4 is a simple and easy way for landlords to evict non-paying tenants.

They don’t know the truth about the Landlord and Tenant Board and Residential Tenancies Act.

This tenant was knew how the system works (or doesn’t work, at least for landlords) and it took the landlord four months to evict him.

That’s right, four months to evict a tenant who didn’t pay rent

And during these four months the landlord still had to pay the mortgage every month. Could you carry your investment property through four months (or more) of not getting a dime in rent paid to you?

When the landlord believed the tenant had finally moved out he went over to inspect the property.

Here’s what the tenant left him with:

1. Pipes and plumbing that was clogged and need to be replaced

2. Broken doors and door frames

3. Damaged windows and window frames

4. Light fixtures that have been taken

5. Junk and a huge clean up

The landlord says this mess is what makes landlords suspicious of tenants. It will cost him thousands of dollars to get the rental property in good enough shape to re-rent it.

Avoid Renting To Bad Tenants

You can now run a credit check on your tenants for only $10/check when you join the Ontario Landlords Association for a low one-time fee.

Even in a landlord friendly province Alberta landlords are now using Equifax and TVS credit checks before signing a lease and handing over the keys to their rental property.

Credit checks from the Ontario Landlords Association come with a credit score, employment and residence information, and even a recommendation on whether your tenant is a risk or not.

You also get to network with thousands of experienced landlords and property managers in the Private Members forum, get the Ontario Landlord Rental Kit, and get premium tenant credit checks you can run from your own home computer…they take about 2 minutes to get a result for you!

Ottawa landlords – Spend 2 minutes and $10 to run a TVS or Equifax credit check and make sure you rent to good tenants!

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Ottawa Landlords – Make Tenant Screening a Priority

August 7th, 2014 · Ontario Landlord Credit Check, Ottawa landlords, tenant credit checks

 Ottawa Landlords - Make Tenant Screening a Priority

Experienced and Successful Ottawa Landlords Know Tenant Screening Is a Priority

Experienced and successful Ottawa landlords know the importance of ‘getting to know’ potential tenants before renting to them.

They make tenant screening a priority for you.

Make sure you research your prospective tenants in a professional and legal way. This includes credit checks from a legal registered tenant credit check provider such as Equifax, TVS, and GARDA.

New Tenants Cause a Fire

A story at The Times is a real wake up call for small residential landlords.

There was a large file early August at an Ottawa rental property duplex.

New tenants moved in on the Friday.

The next day one of the tenants left her space heater on in the washroom while she and her boyfriend went out. The heater set the rental unit on fire as it ignited the shower curtains in the washroom.

The fire was devastating

Tenants in the other half of the duplex smelled smoke and could see the flames and called 911. Firefighters arrived and fortunately the fire was put out. But not without sad and expensive damages.

The Fire Chief said the damages were at least $35,000.

And three family pets (a cat, a terrier, and pitbull) were burned alive because they were kept in cages and did not have any chance of escape. The neighbouring tenants were also in shock at how close they came to facing a disaster.

The landlord said these tenants moved in on a Friday, started the fire on a Saturday and had moved on by Monday to live with friends.

That’s right, a 4 day tenancy caused this much destruction!

How Could Tenant Screening Help?

Let’s face it: tragic accidents happen.

However, as a landlord you can decrease your chances of accidents by careful tenant screening, including tenant credit checks. In other provinces, running tenant credit checks is becoming a common component of tenant screening.

BC landlords regularly include them before handing over the keys to their rental property.

How Can A Tenant Credit Check Help Ottawa Landlords?

Let’s take a look at how tenant screening including tenant credit checks can help Ottawa landlords avoid bad tenants.

1. Past landlords

A tenant credit check will show you the address of former properties the tenants have lived at.

This is an incredible resource for landlords!

Why? Because it allows you to talk to former landlords directly. And we mean real former landlords, as some tenants will get a friend or buddy to act as their landlord and give you fake information.

2. Real Information On How They Treated Their Past Rental Property

When you talk to former landlords you can learn how the tenants acted when they were there.

For example, where they careful how they treated the property? Did they pay the rent on time? Were they concerned about fire safety including making sure smoke alarms worked and shut down space heaters when they left the property?

One landlord asked on the Ontario Landlords Association forum why they would need to leave a space heater on in the middle of summer and wondered if it was for drying “some pot.”

We don’t know. But what we do know is you can learn a lot by talking to former landlords. And with a tenant credit check you can find the ‘real’ former landlords and where they live and go talk to them.

3. Tenant Insurance

Financially responsible tenants will get tenant insurance.

This means if there are fires or floods their contents get insured and landlords are protected.

4. Financial Responsibility

A tenant credit check will show you if tenants pay their bills on time and are responsible when signing contracts and leases.

Responsible tenants don’t “just leave” when problems arise. A high credit score requires being mature and careful and fulfilling your obligations.

Ottawa Landlords – Make Tenant Screening A Priority

Bad things can happen to anyone. You can use tenant credit checks to help minimize your risk by making sure you rent to responsible and careful tenants.

You can run premium credit checks for only $10 / check by joining the Ontario Landlords Association for a low one-time registration fee.

You get access to premium credit checks, a private members forum, and the Ontario Landlord Rental Kit full of premium leases, applications and other important documents.

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Ottawa Landlords – How Can I Run A Credit Check on My Tenants?

July 7th, 2014 · Ontario Landlords Association, tenant credit checks, Toronto Star

Toronto Star Recommends Joining the Ontario Landlords Association

The Toronto Star says 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

Many Ottawa landlords were surprised when the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced residential landlords can only raise the rent on existing tenants by 1.6% in 2015.

It’s very low. Especially as the costs for landlords keep increasing each year.

While some rental properties do not have to follow the Rent Increase Guideline, most do and with the way properties taxes are going up, the price of gas, the price of electricity, the increasing fees of plumber, electricians, and contractors, etc. the guideline is simply too low.

And we also face the challenge that some Ottawa landlords might be required to get a landlord license from the City.

Renting To Good Tenants

With the allowable rent increase so low it’s more important them ever to make sure you rent to good tenants who will pay their rent on time and take care of your investment property.

How Can I Rent To Good Tenants?

Any who reads the news knows that while there are a lot of great tenants out there, professional tenants who want to rip you off and live rent free for months (or years) also exist.

For example, ‘Tenant From Hell‘ Nina Willis is fighting her seventh landlord now, trying to continue to live rent free and use and abuse the system.

Toronto Star Advice For Landlords

Last week there was an excellent article in the Toronto Star with advice on how Ontario Landlords can make sure you rent to good tenants.

It’s full of good ideas for Ottawa landlords.

Facebook and Social Media

For example, the article suggests landlords use social media as a way to learn more about potential renters. Take a look at Facebook and see if your applicants really do have pets or not.

Another good idea is to make sure you tell potential tenants you will run background checks and tenant credit checks. This will weed out tenants who don’t want their background or credit history looked in to.

The Toronto Star also recommends joining the Ontario Landlords Association

Credit checks and using good documents such professional leases and applications are important for landlords to succeed.

The Toronto Star says 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.

It’s a great recommendation because to join the Ontario Landlords Association you only pay a one-time registration fee (no annual fee).

Once you become a member you get:

1. Start Using the Best Tenant Credit Checks

Access to premium credit checks for only $10/check.

You can also start running “full credit checks” on tenants with no annual fee or site inspection. These “full credit checks” will provide you with a detailed financial history on the people who want to rent your property. It’s the ultimate Ontario landlord credit check.

2. A Rental Kit Full of Premium Documents

Amazing leases, applications, notices and everything you need to succeed. Don’t use generic leases or leases from OREA which are not battle tested for landlords at the Landlord and Tenant Board and Ontario Small Claims Court.

3. Networking

Network with other landlords and property managers on the Private Members forum with over 12,000 posts.

Ottawa Landlords – Find Good Tenants. Join the Ontario Landlords Association for Only a One-Time Registration Fee! That’s right, no annual fee!

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Ottawa Landlords – Challenges and Opportunities in 2014

June 5th, 2014 · Ontario Landlord Credit Check, Ottawa landlords, tenant credit checks

 Ottawa landlords challenges and opportunities Ontario landlord credit check

The housing market is still strong, but challenges for Ottawa landlords exist with potential landlord licensing and the danger of predatory “tenants from Hell” wanting to rent from you

It’s been a good first half of 2014 for Ottawa landlords.

CMHC has reported the housing market has remained stable this year.

According to Ottawa Citizen, CMHC said home-owners in our city and Gatineau may expect the housing market to face a slight cool-off this summer but we can also expect a gains beginning in 2014.

We can expect housing prices will  increase by nearly 1.1 per cent year-over-year.

The report also had more good news as any speculation regarding a major price drop was dismissed as ‘not happening.

Challenges Exist for Ottawa Landlords

While things are looking good there are still some issues that should be on your radar as we prepare to reach the summer months.

1. Ottawa Landlord Licensing

According to a report in the Ottawa Community News, a Nepean Councillor from the area around Algonquin College believes the City should look at licensing landlords as a way to noise, parking and maintenance issues are dealt with in a satisfactory and timely manner.

While Hamilton landlords rejected such a licensing scheme in 2013, Councillor Rick Chiarelli stated Oshawa landlords and Waterloo landlords have managed with such a program.

Mississauga landlords started to require a license in January 2014.

It’s a very controversial issue for Ontario landlords as it leads to more bureaucracy and higher costs (which often leads to higher rents).

The Waterloo city government recently reported their program (which charges owners of rental properties high annual fees to run their rental businesses and get a license) actually made a profit instead of being revenue neutral as was promised when the programme was first debated and implemented.

We will discuss this important issue in future posts.

2. Tenants from Hell

A report in the Toronto Star is a wake-up call for all small residential landlords.

Why should small residential landlords be concerned?

Because the story is about Nina Willis, who the Toronto Star calls a “Tenant From Hell”, who targets small residential landlords to scam.

This time it’s a Scarborough landlord who she targeted and rented from.

How Can I Avoid Bad Tenants?

It’s important landlords also include a tenant credit check as part of your tenant screening process.

A tenant credit check will not only show you if your potential renter pays their bills on time, it tells you who their current and former landlords are so you can contact them and find out the truth about your potential renter.

Unfortunately, it’s become common for bad tenants to provide false landlord references in order to try to get the next landlord to rent to them. You can read more on the importance of tenant credit checks at the Ontario Landlord Credit Check site.

Ottawa landlords – Make sure you keep up to date on potential new polices such as landlord licensing.

And make sure you screen your tenants carefully with tenant credit checks to make sure you rent to good tenants (and avoid the bad tenants who know how to manipulate the system and can end up costing you thousands of dollars and months on end of no rent)

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Ottawa Landlords: Pet Deposits, Rent Upfront and More

April 15th, 2014 · Ontario Landlords Association, Pet deposit

Ottawa landlord tenant pet deposit rent up front

Ontario Tenants Can Now Pay a Pet Deposit and Rent Upfront To Their Landlord

There is important news every Ottawa landlord needs to know about.

You should get to the Ontario Landlords Association now and see what it’s about.

Pet Deposits and More

We have constantly heard from Ottawa landlords about the need for a legal pet deposit and damage deposit in Ontario.

There too many cases of tenants bringing in pets to their rental unit.

The pets cause damages including odours and urinating on carpets, floors, etc.

Renting to Tenants With Pets

Even pet-loving landlords are exasperated by the damages tenants with pets cause.

A Toronto landlord writes to us:

I love animals. I’m a member of PETA for Christs’ sake. What more do you want?

My tenant who just moved out had 4 cats and 3 dogs and left them in the rental property all day while she worked.

Now she’s gone and the carpets and laminate flooring smell like hell and can’t be completely cleaned.

It’s going to cost me over $5000 to replace everything…and that’s more than the money I made renting to her.

The rules for tenants with pets needs to change!” Why are the rules for Ontario landlords and tenant so prohibitive?

When Alberta landlords can even charge a non-refundable deposit for pets?

Getting Rent Upfront

Another Ottawa landlord wrote in regarding a tenant who had no credit but offered to pay one year of rent up front.

She said:

“They were new to Canada and both of them had jobs in the Ottawa area. Since they were new to here they had no credit because Equifax doesn’t do business in their home country.

They understood my concerns and offered to pay one year upfront to secure the property.

I had to say no because the Ontario landlord tenant rules are insane.

They probably would have been good tenants but I couldn’t take the risk of getting all that money, they move in, then they take me to the Landlord and Tenant Board and get it all back.”

The Rules for Landlords Have Changed

There is a very important post at the Ontario Landlords Association.

It’s essential reading for Ottawa landlords.

To read the full story click here: Ontario Tenants Can Pay Upfront

Where Did This Information Come From?

It’s based on a Toronto Star article that says tenants can now offer rent upfront.

This includes offering deposits for pets.

It’s all about a case called Tenant Alison Convers vs. Landlord Tanveer Bumbia.

In this case the judge ruled that tenants are allowed to offer a landlord extra rent and a deposit (except the landlord still cannot request it).

It could have very important implications for tenants and landlords in Ontario.

Ottawa landlords, knowledge is power.

Keep up to date on landlord and tenant issues by reading our blog for Ottawa landlords.

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Ottawa Landlords Ask: How Much Can I Raise the Rent For My New Condo, House, or Townhouse?

March 3rd, 2014 · New Ottawa landlords, New rental properties, Rent Increase exemption

 Ottawa landlords how much can I raise the rent new buildings

If Your Rental Property Was Built After 1991 You Could Be Able To Raise the Rent As Much As You Want

Ottawa landlords were shocked when they read the Ottawa Sun article on how much residential landlords can raise the rent in 2014.

After all, the Sun article explained the Ontario government was capping the rent increase for 2014 at the lowest level in decades.

The article continued by stating:

“Tenants who live in buildings completed on or before Nov. 1, 1991 will see a maximum hike in their rent of 0.8% in 2014 which works out to $6.40 on an $800 monthly rent.”

It continued by slamming home an important fact.

The 2014 increase was:

“The lowest rate in the 23-year history of the rent control program was 0.7% in 2011 — a provincial election year.”

Landlords Are Unhappy With This Low Increase

Some landlords, such as a Mississauga Landlord in the Sun article said many landlords are selling their rental properties.

After all, are your property taxes capped at 0.8%?  No.

How about the cost of a new furnace or roof?

Are Ontario plumbers and electricians capped at 0.8%?

No.

We previously wrote this type of government unfairness could lead to landlords leaving the residential industry and becoming commercial landlords.

How Does This Compare with Other Provinces and Rules for Landlords?

Some provinces are similar to Ontario.

For example, landlords in Manitoba can raise the rent by 2 % in 2014.

British Columbia landlords can also raise the rent by the rate of inflation. However they can also add two percent to whatever the annual rate of inflation is.

As usual, Alberta has the most landlord-friendly rules. In 2014 Alberta landlords can raise the rent as much as they want to as long as they provide proper notice.

Wait, I Saw the Article Say This Is For Buildings Completed On or Before Nov. 1, 1991. What Does That Mean?

Yes, and this is very important.

It means some landlords are exempt from this annual rent increase guideline.

According the Ontario Landlords Association if your buildings meet some criteria you might be exempt from the government guideline.

For example:

Landlords can raise the rent as much as you want if your rental property was built after November 1st, 1991.

(Please note you still have to give proper notice to your tenants, which is 90 days or three monthly rental periods.)

Why Does This Loophole exist?

According to lawyer and Toronto Star columnist Bob Aaron we should not call this a ‘loophole’ at all.

Aaron explains this was a carefully crafted policy to act as an incentive for people to invest in rental properties and become landlords.

How Can I Find Out More?

Make sure you read the Ontario Landlords site for more information and also check out the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board website.

Do You Own A New Condo, House, Townhouse or Apartment Built After November 1st, 1991?

You might be exempt from the low government rent increase guideline!

It’s great news for you and your investment.

Discuss this further at the Ontario Landlord Forum

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Ottawa Landlords 2014: Investing in Commercial vs. Residential Rental Properties

January 16th, 2014 · commercial property investment, Ottawa landlords, residential property investment

Ottawa landlords 2014 commercial property vs. residential property

With all the challenges of owning residential rental properties in Canada many Ottawa landlords are looking at investing in commercial properties. Is it the right choice?

We hope all Ottawa landlords enjoyed their holiday and share our enthusiasm for landlord success in 2014.

Challenges For Ottawa Residential Landlords

2013 was a challenging year for many Ottawa residential landlords.

And this trend looks to continue into 2014.

The Ottawa Sun reported landlords can only raise the rent by 0.8% in 2014.

Do you think this is fair for landlords?

Are your landlord costs only going up 0.8% in 2014?

Are your taxes going up below 1%

What about your gas, electricity and water bills?

And the contractors you rely on to maintain your rentals properties and keep them safe and attractive for renters?

Are their costs regulated to only increase by 0.8%?

Most Ottawa landlords say “no, no and no!”

While other organizations were typically silent on the issue the Ottawa Sun article quoted a member of the Ontario Landlords Association.

The Ontario Landlords Association (OLA) is the leading landlord association in Ontario that really offers help for small landlords!

The OLA member said the rent increase for 2014 was unfair for good landlords.

In fact, landlords across Ontario are feeling frustrated by the Liberal provincial government.

This government refuses to understand the challenges small residential landlords face running our businesses.

Look at what Barrie landlords are saying. They are not happy.

Alberta and British Columbia Landlords

Meanwhile landlords in Alberta can raise the rent without any government regulation other than providing their tenants 90 days notice and only raising the rent annually.

Even British Columbia landlords can raise the rent by 0.2% (the inflation rate) PLUS an extra 2.0% to help them cover their costs.

It’s a great idea and protects landlords and tenants and ensures funds are available for landlords to cover repair and improvement costs.

Unfortunately this type of pro-business thinking in currently absent in Ontario.

Investing In Commercial Rental Properties

Many landlords have emailed us asking for advice on how to invest in Ottawa commercial rental properties.

After all, commercial landlords don’t have a rent increase guideline and don’t have to deal with the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board.

As a commercial property landlord you don’t have to worry about fake tenant claims which can drag even evictions for simple non-payment for months on end…even years.

Commercial Vacancy Rates in Ottawa

For those interested in commercial rental properties the report in the Ottawa Citizen last week is an alarm bell.

The report states vacancies for office properties was up from just over 8% in the early 2000s to almost 11% at the start of 2013.

This could lead to landlords being forced to lower rents.

The Ottawa Business Journal echoed the warning.

John Zinati is the manger of leasing for District Realty. It’s a commercial real estate brokerage.

Zinati says Ottawa is going to be a tenant’s market where commercial landlords are not only going to have to lower rents, they will have to offer other types of incentives to attract commercial tenants.

Ottawa Landlords in 2014

Should you invest in residential rentals?

Is commercial rentals still a better business market?

We will discuss these and other issues facing Ottawa landlords in 2014.

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Ottawa Landlords: Rent Increase Guideline for 2014

December 30th, 2013 · Ottawa landlords, Rent Increase 2014

 Ottawa landlords Rent Increase 2014

How Much Can Ottawa Landlords Raise The Rent For Existing Tenants in 2014? You Might Not Like the Answer!

According to the Ottawa Sun the 2014 allowable rent increase for Ottawa landlords will be the second lowest since 1975.

Yes, that’s right, 1975

Where you around then? Or if you were around do you even remember?

If you weren’t it was the era of disco balls, the Bee Gees, and Frampton Comes Alive (Google it).

Prime Minister Trudeau ruled the name (his name was Pierre, not Justin) and Star Wars was still a year away.

If you were there it was also the time when we had to line up to get gas. And the era of deflation. And even worse the Village People were every where. 

To put it gently it was a long time ago!

Ottawa landlords can only raise the rent 0.8% in 2014

The rent increase for 2014 is the lowest in nearly three decades

The Ontario Landlords Association has alerted landlords about the 2014 allowable increase and how it is important for landlords across the province.

Ontario Landlords and Rent Control

According to the Ontario Landlords Association report on rent increases for 2014 many new Ontario landlords are unaware the province of Ontario has rent control.

Each summer the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces how much landlords can raise the rent for their existing tenants.

If you want to raise the rent higher you have to apply for what is called an Above Guideline Increase, go to a Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing, and win your case by getting a government adjudicator to agree with you.

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is notoriously ‘pro-tenant’ and landlords will be lucky to get an approved increase.

Toronto Sun News Report

The Sun reporter asked for comments from the Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey.

Her spokesperson said the annual rental rate is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI).

However, a member of the Ontario Landlords Association said to the Toronto Sun: “It has been difficult for these owners to absorb the 2010 HST hike and normal expenses with CPI-tied rent increases which don’t necessarily reflect the true cost of property management.”

According to this landlord many landlords are “selling their rentals in Ontario and either getting out the industry or investing someone else.”

Ottawa Landlord Rent Increase Guideline 2014

Let’s face it, a rent increase of only 0.8% doesn’t even come close to matching the increased costs landlords face.

Whether you are a London Landlord, own rentals in Windsor Ontario, or even invest in investment properties in Scarborough, the rate is too low.

This is yet another reason why tenant screening is so important

Once you rent to tenants in Ontario they might stay a long time.

And you can be trapped by Ontario Rent Control which will only let you raise the rent by tiny amounts next year.

This is yet another challenge for landlords in Ottawa beyond the vacancy rate we face in 2014.

We look forward to discussing this and other Ottawa landlord issues in 2014.

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