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)