Top Issues Facing Landlords
Ontario landlords face a gauntlet of rules and regulations where one seemingly minor mistake can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Landlords who attempt to go it alone instead of staying informed and connected through a landlord association are playing a very risky game and putting their financial future in jeopardy. Here are a small sample of the many issues.
Imbalanced Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)
The life of a landlord is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act and dictates what a landlord can and cannot do. The rental housing industry views the RTA as a seriously flawed document which denies landlords full control over their properties, forbids basic protection measures, and provides many loopholes for fraudulent tenants to game the system and victimize landlords.
Dysfunctional Landlord & Tenant Board (LTB)
The LTB was created to provide quicker and less formal access to justice than available at the Courts. However, for years it has been plagued by backlog, systemic delays, unqualified or biased adjudicators, inconsistent rulings, and unfair procedural rules. This has resulted in thousands of landlords across Ontario suffering gross miscarriages of justice and serious financial losses.
Inadequate Eviction Enforcement
The Sherriff is the only official with legal authority to enforce a lawful eviction. However, their fees and backlog only add to the delays and costs in obtaining justice. Furthermore, fraudulent tenants can game the system and cause delays even at this stage of the process. This harms landlords and can also interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment and safety when a criminal tenant cannot be evicted in a timely manner. The rental housing industry advocates numerous solutions to speed up eviction enforcement including hiring more Sheriffs and/or allowing private bailiffs to provide the service.
Numerous cities across Ontario have decided to license rental apartments, requiring landlords to pay annual fees and in some cases piling on additional administrative burdens. The rental housing industry argues this is more unnecessary red tape which is punitive to good landlords and only results in higher rents as the increased costs are passed along to tenants.
Unfair Rent Control System
Landlords face double digit cost increases including insurance, hydro, labour, maintenance and repairs. Yet the government prevents them from adjusting rents any more than one or two percentage points annually. When landlords cannot keep up with rising costs, they fall behind financially. The government does not stop grocery stores and other essential services providers from adjusting their rates to cover costs, and the same rules should apply to landlords.
Heavy Handed Ontario Fire Code Enforcement
Landlords are expected to be thoroughly knowledgeable of the Ontario Fire Code and its numerous requirements. Fire safety and protection of life is of vital importance, as is having a roof over someone’s head. However, there have been instances where fire departments have ambushed landlords, without warning or due process, forcing the immediate eviction of all tenants. On top of this, the landlords were handed orders to spend hundreds of thousands on upgrades in order to re-open. In the meanwhile, tenants were left homeless and the landlord faced bankruptcy.
Multi-Residential Property Tax
In many Ontario cities, the property tax rate for rental properties is double than residential. This is not only unfair and punitive to landlords, but it also artificially raises rents as the extra tax burden is passed along to tenants. With Ontario’s housing crisis, the tax rate premium on rentals should be abolished.
Are you ready to stand up to these injustices and demand greater fairness? By joining the QLRA, you add your voice and support which empowers us to speak up to government on your behalf. The more members we have, the more serious we will be taken by government. Help us fight for your interests – join today.