Posts Tagged ‘Property Management’

Prince Rupert LandLord – Let My Tenant Nightmare Be a Warning to Other Landlords

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

December 1st, 2012


 A Prince Rupert Landlord Has A Warning For All British Columbia Landlords After Her Rental Property Has Been Left In a Shambles

This is a a story all BC landlords should read. It’s a ‘wake-up’ to make sure you conduct proper tenant screening.

Okay, Tell Me What Happened

A Prince Rupert landlord is facing thousands of dollars in losses due to bad tenants. The landlord is issuing a warning to others to make sure they do thorough tenant screening before handing over the key to their property.

The landlord says:

“I think a lot of people have had a similar situation happen, but haven’t wanted to speak about it.”

She continued by saying:

“If you have new tenants, you could be in for a surprise.”

It’s a warning this landlord hopes other landlords listen to. She says “be careful of who you rent to.” We’ve seen this warning before.

What Type of Shape Was the Property In Before the Tenants Moved In?

The 2-story rental house was renovated before being rented out. It was in terrific condition. It even had all new appliances.

What Did The Tenants Do?

After two years of living there, the tenants left the place in a shambles. This is why the landlord wants to warn others.

What Were the Damages?

The damages to the rental property were extensive. They include:

1. The Appliances

All the new appliances were destroyed. Totally unsalvageable. The dishwasher leaks water. The two year old stove has had all the wires ripped out. The refrigerator won’t keep anything cool.

2.  The Walls

Paint is chipped off everywhere. There are holes in the drywall. Even the light switches have been torn off.

3. Mould

The fan in the bathroom was ripped down and now mould is growing all over.

4. Electricity and Wiring

With wires being torn out, only half of the house has working electricity. It could have been caused by the tenants having a grow op.

5. Odours

Despite the lease saying the house was a ‘no smoking’ rental, the tenants smoked inside. The whole house now reeks of old cigarette smoke.

And added with all these damages, the tenants left owing $1,300 of rent.

It’s Horrendous!

Yes. The landlord says it’s terrible what they did.

What Does the Landlord Want to Say to Other BC Landlords?

The landlord want to tell other landlords to make sure they do proper tenant screening, including credit checks. If someone wants to rent your house, vet them thoroughly.

And if you are a landlord you have to know the laws and the rules and make sure you keep tabs on your tenants and make sure they aren’t destroying your home. If you don’t have the time to do this make sure you hire a terrific property management company.


The Warning Is Loud and Clear. Avoid Your Own Tenant Nightmare By Doing Proper Tenant Screening and Seek the Advice From Professionals If You Need Help. Discuss This And Other Landlord Issues On the BC Landlords Forum.

Vancouver Tenant – Get Rid of the Pigeon Poop

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

November 16th, 2012


A tenant in North Vancouver Says His No One Is Taking His Concern Over Pigeon Poop Seriously

What’s the Situation?

A tenant living in a rental property in North Vancouver states his landlord is not dealing with the inches of poop lying outside of his window from pigeons.

How Bad Is It?

The tenant, Michael Ravenscroft, says it has now become more than three inches deep.  And it’s right outside of his window.

What’s Ravenscroft Done to Fix The Situation?

He complained to the property management firm running his building.  He says they did nothing to help.

What Next?

He sent a complaint fo the health department.  For over a month no one even contacted him.

According to Ravenscroft, no one is taking his issue over the pigeon poop seriously enough. This isn’t an issue about pets, he said.  Instead is a biohazard issue.

When Did He Fist Become Concerned?

Ravenscroft said he originally smelled a foul smell outside of his apartment. The problem was that no matter how hard he cleaned the smell wouldn’t go away.

When Did He Find Out the Cause of the Odour?

Eventually, he saw outside his window there were some shafts. In those shafts were a huge coating of not only pigeon feces, but also decomposing bones.

Is This Common?


Pigeons find building an ideal place to make their nests. And they are also know to carry some diseases which can be picked up by people. While it’s not commons pigeon poop can carry serious diseases spread simply by breathing in the odours.

What Does The Government Say?

The Health Officer for Environment matter said there is more risk for people when cleaning the feces rather than only living beside the mess.

The Health Officer met with the property management company and he was assured the mess would be cleaned up, thus avoiding any conflict with the tenant.

What Does the Property Management Company Say?

The property management company is called Living Balance. They are aware of the problem and preparing to clean up the problem. It’s important property management companies offer professional landlord services.

Is This A Common Problem in Vancouver?

According to a company that protects buildings from birds, it’s a common problem.


Landlords And Property Managers, It’s Important To Be Ready For Everything!


BC Landlord Issues Warning to Barrie Ontario Landlords

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

October 15th, 2012


Living in Duncan, BC, With a Rental Property In Barrie, Ontario, a Landlord Says Be Careful When Hiring a Property Management company!

If She Is In BC, Why the Warning for Barrie, Ontario?

You see, while she now lives in BC her rental property is in Barrie. It was her home before she and her family moved to British Columbia for a new job.

Rather than sell the house, she decided to rent it out.

Sounds Like a Good Investment Strategy

She has a very serious warning for landlords.

Here is Her Story

A New Job and a New Start

After living in Barrie for more than 18 years, her family went to British Columbia for new jobs.  She hired a a large property management company to handle the renting out of her Barrie, Ontario house. Since she and her family would be in British Columbia, it was important to have a reputable company take care of the property and make sure it was safe and legal.

Becoming a New Landlord and the Problems with the Property Management Company

She decided to hire this PM company because they said they offered full service care to create a worry free feeling for the landlord. The landlords experience was very different than what was advertised. She knew how dangerous it was to become a landlord and not be ready for bad tenants.

The property management company rented to tenants with a very bad credit check, lots of evictions in the past, and who were even known by the police there!

After complaining to the property management company, they gave the landlord 30 days notice and washed their hands from putting a bad tenant into the rental unit.

Dealing with Bad Tenants From the Other Side of the Country

Working from the other side of the country the landlords finally got an eviction notice, without any help from the former property management company.  Then, right before the eviction the government stepped in and paid the rent for the bad tenants.

This mean… still no eviction.

The Tenants Were on Ontario Works, aka “Welfare”

That landlord says that her tenants are funded by Ontario Works. They were known to the police. They don’t pay any rent or utilities.  She says they won’t even cut the lawn. And the eviction process starts again.  Unfortunately, the landlord couldn’t find the help she really needed.

The Landlord and Her Family Are Now In An Extremely Difficult Situation

With now over $8,000 in legal fees the landlord asks who will help her family pay the bill? Her family is near bankruptcy.


Landlords, this is an excellent warning if you have rentals in other provinces., especially anti-landlord, pro-bad tenant provinces such as Ontario.

Hoarders? What can a landlord do?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

“Our hands are really tied under the Residential Tenancies Act.”

 July 2011

Like a lot of residential property investors in Ontario are doing these days, the Toronto Star asked:  The threat from hoarders is real, but do property managers have the power they need to get access to apartments and protect their tenants? 

According to the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act landlords must seek the permission of their tenants to enter their rental units. Gaining access is often difficult. However, following the terrible fire at 200 Wellesley St. E. last September, the fire marshal’s office is now asking landlords to be vigilant about reducing risk to other tenants from the problems caused by hoarding, and to notify local fire departments if they see instances that are of concern.

What can landlords do?  Two members of the Ontario Landlords Association Andrew Ganguly and April Stewart of Landlord Legal were interviewed to help provide advice and guidance.

Ganguly explained “The problem we have is that our hands are really tied under the Residential Tenancies Act.”

“If I serve the required 24-hour notice to inspect a unit and the tenant refuses entry I’m stuck — the tenant doesn’t have to let me in. It causes a lot of anxiety because you want to keep an eye on it because you know you will be the one to be blamed but you can’t do anything about it.”

Stewart gave background information on Section 15 of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997 which allows a fire official to enter a premises “without a warrant or other authorization for the purpose of removing or reducing the threat.”

In one of Stewart’s cases, the tenant had piled up so much debris gathered outside and inside the house  the fire department issued such as order.

Stewart explained the landlord had not managed to get the Landlord and Tenant Board to issue an eviction notice. While the fire department is now asking the landlord to get rid of all the debris left by the tenant, the landlord knows that under the law he can’t do so as the tenant was not legally evicted.

Stewart said “Now the landlord is in a bad position, left in limbo with the status of the tenant because the landlord tried previously to get rid of the tenant but didn’t win the eviction case.”

Read more at the Toronto Star.

Discuss the article in the Ontario Landlord Forums.


Monday, April 25th, 2011

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Do you have questions about the Landlord and Tenant Board? How to evict a tenant? Your tenant hasn’t paid rent? Do you need Landlord help?

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

There are questions Landlords ask everyday in Ontario:

1. I need help with the Landlord and Tenant Board

2. How do I evict a tenant?

3. My tenant hasn’t paid rent?

4. I need landlord help

Welcome to the Ontario Landlord Association HELP forums!!

Is it better to rent with utilities included?

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

By Dominique Jarry-Shore | Tue Feb 01 2011

With several cold snaps already behind us, renters may be wondering whether it’s better to have their heat and hydro included in the rent or pay it separately.

There are pros and cons to both.

When heat is included budgeting can be easier with set costs every month. This can be especially helpful where roommates are concerned since divvying up heating bills from month to month is an extra hassle. It also protects you from rising energy prices, since the amount of rent you pay will likely stay the same or rise by only a small amount, as set out by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

This year, the rent increase has been set at less than 1 per cent, and although landlords can apply for a rent increase over and above that amount .

If you’re planning on staying in your apartment for several years, it could be more advantageous to have the heat included because annual rent increases will likely be less than the increase in energy costs.

The drawback to having the heat included is that you have less control over how much you pay for it. If you’re someone who is good at saving on heat, and generally has a small heating bill, you could end up paying more than your consumption when it’s included in the rent.

Stuart Henderson is a member of the Ontario Landlord’s Association and a small-business landlord who owns about 50 rental units.

He says landlords will often adjust the amount of rent a tenant pays when the heat is included to account for a tenant who might waste energy. Even if you aren’t the type to leave the window open in the middle of winter, your landlord may have factored that kind of wastefulness into the price as a precaution.

Henderson says a more worrisome concern is rising energy costs and that uncertainty means many landlords are wary of including utilities in the rent.

He calls the 10 per rebate on hydro bills introduced by the McGuinty government a “very small help” and estimates costs for landlords have gone up 10 to 20 per cent in recent years due to a combination of factors, including the HST, the increase in the cost of energy, and in some areas, rising property taxes.

With the rent increase set at 0.7 per cent for 2011, Henderson says landlords are more and more willing to negotiate a rent that doesn’t include utilities.

This is where it can get interesting for renters.

By comparing similar units in the neighbourhood, renters may want to try bargaining for a lower rent in exchange for paying the heat themselves.

Here are some tips for negotiating a better deal on your rent where heat and utilities are concerned.

1) Compare apples to apples. Take some time to research the prices for similar units in the neighbourhood both with heat included, and excluded from the price. That way you’ll have a better starting point when bargaining. Craig’s List and other online housing sites can be a good place to start.

2) Find out how is consumption is measured. Sometimes heat is included in the rent because it’s not possible to determine the exact consumption in your unit. This is especially true in some older townhouses where one heating system may be used for a couple of units. Find out how exactly your consumption will be measured to make sure it’s fair. If this seems suspect, you might want to skip offering to pay your own utilities.

3) Check the energy efficiency of the apartment. Are the windows winterized? Which was does the apartment face? Keep in mind that a basement will cost more to hear than a top floor apartment.

4) Find out who you’re you dealing with. You’ll probably have more of a chance negotiating a rent with a small-business landlord as opposed to a large company-managed building where rules may be less flexible

Dominique Jarry-Shore is an editor with She lives in an apartment in downtown Toronto.–is-it-better-to-rent-with-utilities-included?bn=1

Landlords want tenants to clear snow

Monday, January 31st, 2011

BYLAW: A city hall committee is set to consider a proposal for a new bylaw that would govern who has to shovel what

By KATE DUBINSKI, The London Free Press

If there’s ever been a time when snow removal has been on Londoners’ minds, this has been the year.

But some landlords are crying foul over suggestions they be made responsible for clearing snow from their London tenants’ walkways and driveways.

“What’s next? Are landlords going to be responsible for making sure their tenants eat their vegetables every day?” said Jane Schweitzer, a representative of the Ontario Landlord Association.

“It’s Canada. We all know we’re going to have to deal with ice and snow. I don’t think the city should be involved in these issues,” added her husband and fellow landlord, Mike Schweitzer. The couple are based in Brantford.

The Ontario Landlord Association represents landlords with properties that have 10 or fewer units.

The city’s built and natural environment committee will hear arguments Monday for a new property-standards bylaw to deal with snow removal in rental units.

“There’s no recourse for Londoners. Right now, you either kick up a fuss with the landlord or property-management company, or you go before the landlord and tenant board, which takes time and money,” said Tiffany Roschkow. She is proposing the city consider a new bylaw to make landlords responsible for shovelling or plowing walkways, driveways, ramps and parking spaces.

“It makes sense. You move into a rental property and you expect that kind of thing to be done for you.”

Roschkow lives in a three-storey walk-up in Wortley Village.

Several days before Snowmageddon, the building manager there died, leaving no one responsible for the snow clearing, Roschkow said. Piles of snow built up around cars and around the dumpster and recycling bins. Tenants began leaving their garbage bags in the hallways.

“For the garbage, I called the city and they came out right away because it was a property-standards issue but for the snow, we couldn’t do anything about it,” Roschkow said.

Someone eventually cleared a pathway to the front door about the width of a standard shovel. that didn’t help much when an elderly tenant out doing errands fell on the walkway, she noted.

“There was nothing being done about it, so I started nosing around and I realized that London doesn’t have a bylaw for rental units like Toronto does,” said Roschkow.

In London, landlords are responsible for keeping rental units in a good state of repair as required under the Residential Tenancies Act.

In Toronto, an additional property-standards bylaw states, “Steps, landings, walks, driveways, parking spaces, ramps and similar areas shall be cleared of snow and ice during and immediately following a snowfall to provide safe access and egress for persons and vehicles.”

The Ontario Landlord Association recommends leases include a section about who is responsible for snow clearing.

Ward 11 Coun. Denise Brown supports Roschkow’s proposal for a newer bylaw.

She has a visually impaired acquaintance who was stuck in his house after Snowmageddon in December and whose landlord told him to shovel his own driveway. “Eventually I had my son and husband do his driveway, but I can’t do that for the entire ward,” Brown said.

“I want staff to look at Toronto’s bylaw and what happens in other cities and to bring back recommendations so we can set something up here.”

Supporting the Fight Against Bed Bugs Province of Ontario Invests $5 Million in Local Public Health Unit Programs

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Supporting the Fight Against Bed Bugs Province of Ontario Invests $5 Million in Local Public Health Unit Programs

Dear Friends,

Today, I was happy to announce that the Government of Ontario is investing $5 Million to support the fight against bed bugs. The province’s 36 public health units will be able to apply for funding to support bed bug-related programs that emphasize coordination with other local services, education and awareness and/or provide supports to vulnerable populations. A total of $5 million will be invested by the province to support these programs.

In addition, a new public education website featuring tools has been launched to give Ontarians a one-stop-shop to get accurate information and simple, easy-to-use tips to combat infestations. The province is also distributing a guide, An Integrated Pest Management Program for Managing Bed Bugs, to stakeholders on how to identify bed bug infestations, perform inspections properly, prepare living areas for treatment and carry out pest treatments. The province and the public health units are also working to develop better ways to assess bed bug activity and infestations. This announcement was a response to the Top 20 Recommendations from the Bed Bug Summit at Queen’s Park which I hosted on September 29, 2010.


· Toronto Public Health has seen a dramatic increase in infestation reports – from 46 in 2003 to more than 1,500 in 2009.

· Adult bed bugs are 3mm – 5mm in size – about the size and shape of an apple seed – and a reddish brown color. LEARN MORE

· Bed Bug Initiatives · For information on bed bugs and how to prevent or get rid of them, visit

The Toronto Sun: Ontario Rent Hike Lowest in 35 Years

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

Ontario’s rent hike lowest in 35 years

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief
Last Updated: January 2, 2011 5:20pm

Ontario rents will be allowed to edge up by only 0.7% in 2011.

It is the lowest increase in the 35-year history of the province’s rent guideline — the maximum annual rent increase allowable without seeking special approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board for a heftier hike.

“The McGuinty government is providing real protection for tenants by linking the rent increase guideline to the Ontario Consumer Price Index which prevents routine rent increases above the rate of inflation while ensuring landlords can recover increases in their costs,” said Liberal cabinet minister Jim Bradley.

Stuart Henderson, a moderator with the Ontario Landlords Association, which typically represents property owners with less than five units for rent, said the tiny increase has many of the group’s members wondering if they can afford to stay in the business.

“We’re the ones that are paying all these new costs — the price of gas, hydro, the HST — and then we kind of get kicked in the stomach with a 0.7% increase,” he said. “It leaves kind of the worst landlords in the market, people who are renting out fire traps, illegal places.”

The next provincial election will be held in October, and Henderson said the McGuinty government is clearly currying favour with tenants.

“It’s political opportunism,” he charged. “We feel that the McGuinty government is trying to protect against a backlash from tenants in Toronto.”

Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, said landlords may be complaining now but they weren’t protesting when the province allowed yearly increases in the range of 5% in the 1990s.

The recession has been very hard on many tenants, and unemployment in Toronto continues to hover at about 10%, he said.

”It’s not renting out a movie at Blockbusters — it’s people’s housing,” Dent said. “Any increase right now during this difficult time is hard for any tenant.”

Also, Ontario does not have “real” rent control because the landlord is only obliged to follow the guideline for an existing tenant, he said.

“If you move into a unit, though, a landlord can charge you whatever he wants,” Dent said. “The last tenant could have been paying $500 a month and they can charge you $2,000.”