Real Estate

New Landlord in Ontario

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  • Sep 1st, 2021 10:34 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2020
17 posts
2 upvotes

New Landlord in Ontario

Hi all,
I am thinking of renting out my property in Ontario. After reading posts on different landlord threads, I am scared to rent it out. I am new to this, do I need paralegal for paperwork ? What are most common problems for new landlord ?

Thanks
23 replies
Deal Addict
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Mar 30, 2010
3610 posts
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Greater Toronto Area
If you've read other posts on this forum about issues that other landlords have faced, then you're probably already aware of what the common problems are.

Just do your research instead of relying on anecdotal advice so that you know what to look for when screening potential tenants. If you're able to land a good tenant, then you'll be fine.

Good luck to you though, LOL
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Deal Addict
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Nov 2, 2020
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MrLost wrote: Hi all,
I am thinking of renting out my property in Ontario. After reading posts on different landlord threads, I am scared to rent it out. I am new to this, do I need paralegal for paperwork ? What are most common problems for new landlord ?

Thanks
Not every person has a bad experience. The most important thing you can do is a proper screening. Even if you get help from a PM or realtor do your own due diligence and investigation into the tenant.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19071 posts
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Tarrana & The Ri…
Screen, screen, screen. Don’t go easy on anyone, don’t take their word for anything. As long as you understand how badly you would be screwed with a poor tenant, you will do your due diligence to avoid that.

Do your due diligence. Every tenant seems great at first. Also if you’re getting an agent to do the work, make sure they're not cutting corners.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2017
5223 posts
5262 upvotes
Ottawa
Some great advice already provided on screening tenants. Before you even put up the For Rent sign I suggest you spend time researching all the laws and procedures that you will be expected to work within as a landlord. Read and understand the Residential Tenancies Act. Research the procedures at the LTB. Read and understand the standard lease agreement in ON. Familiarize yourself with all the standard forms and know when you have to use them.

Meet with an Accountant to understand all the tax implications of the rental. Prepare a budget and profit analysis. Make sure you understand the insurance needs of the rental. If you cannot handle repairs and maintenance yourself make sure you find reliable services that can be available quickly - plumber, HVAC, electrical and general repairs. Having a reliable painter and house cleaner during change overs comes in handy also.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2020
17 posts
2 upvotes
I have learnt screening is most important, just avoid tenants with bad credit. What about the rental agreement, so I need paralegal to draft that ?
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
19071 posts
17394 upvotes
Tarrana & The Ri…
MrLost wrote: I have learnt screening is most important, just avoid tenants with bad credit. What about the rental agreement, so I need paralegal to draft that ?
Just know that even tenants with good credit can be a problem. You need the complete package...good credit, good job, great references, no pets, etc.

I think it’s best to meet with the tenant as well and do your own in person screening. Some people sound great in paper but in person give off plenty of red flags. Trust your gut. If you’re iffy...move on.
Deal Fanatic
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Sep 8, 2007
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In Ontario things can be fine if you do extensive screening… credit scores, references, general feeling after meeting with tenants and how they carry themselves. But even that isn’t 100% secure.

It really goes off the rails when you get a bad tenant. The laws are just too skewed towards the tenants and they know it. I can only see it getting worse for landlords here, so I’d tread carefully.
Deal Expert
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Feb 8, 2014
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MrLost wrote: I have learnt screening is most important, just avoid tenants with bad credit. What about the rental agreement, so I need paralegal to draft that ?
You have a great deal more research to do. Bad credit is but one piece of the puzzle, and renting to tenants in Ontario is like navigating a minefield. Tenants have far, far, far more rights than you do.
It can be done but you need to screen much, much more than just credit and you need to understand how the laws are stacked against you and how not to run afoul of them and you need skill and some luck to avoid a professional tenant.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Deal Guru
Feb 22, 2011
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Toronto
MrLost wrote: This form should be used, but I am confused so I cannot add "no pets" clause in agreement?
Can I add conditions in rental agreement?
If yes, Do I need paralegal or lawyer to add conditions in agreement?

Thanks
I'm no expert but I think no pet clauses are not permitted or enforceable in Ontario. That said many landlords do it anyway.
Sr. Member
Aug 17, 2018
627 posts
1124 upvotes
MrLost wrote: This form should be used, but I am confused so I cannot add "no pets" clause in agreement?
Can I add conditions in rental agreement?
If yes, Do I need paralegal or lawyer to add conditions in agreement?

Thanks
"No pet" clauses are illegal in Ontario and so are many other clauses that landlords try to use. You can out them in but cannot enforce it in any way.
Member
Sep 23, 2011
432 posts
593 upvotes
Vaughan
Try learning more about rules in general. A good way to start is by reading the horror stories on this forum... I'm sure it's the minority of cases but will show you how bad things could get and how you could reduce those risks.
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2020
17 posts
2 upvotes
Correct me if I am wrong, as Landlord I can't add any condition like No pets, to Standard Form of Lease.
I think hiring paralegal or lawyer won't make any difference in Rental agreement.
Only one thing that helps is screening the tenants with Naborly or TVS.
Deal Expert
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Jan 27, 2004
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MrLost wrote: Correct me if I am wrong, as Landlord I can't add any condition like No pets, to Standard Form of Lease.
I think hiring paralegal or lawyer won't make any difference in Rental agreement.
Only one thing that helps is screening the tenants with Naborly or TVS.
Paralegal and property management is somewhat useless.
To me it feels more like paying someone to do stuff for you (obviously). But I mean learning the rules and how to manage a rental has a fairly low learning curve provided you actually put in some research.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
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MrLost wrote: Correct me if I am wrong, as Landlord I can't add any condition like No pets, to Standard Form of Lease.
I think hiring paralegal or lawyer won't make any difference in Rental agreement.
Only one thing that helps is screening the tenants with Naborly or TVS.
You can add clauses, but generally speaking, you can’t control how the tenant lives their lives in their home (your property). As has been pointed out, a no pets clause is irrelevant. The tenant can sign your lease with that clause in it, and move in on day 1 with a 100 pound dog, and you can do nothing about it.

However, no smoking clauses are acceptable.

You have a lot of educating yourself to do. Keep in mind that you’re handing over the keys to what is likely your single largest investment, and it can take MONTHS to remove a problem tenant, even if they pay you no rent and trash your place. So proceed slowly and carefully.

C
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 9, 2020
17 posts
2 upvotes
What you guys recommend just get the Standard Form of lease signed? or get paralegal/lawyer for agreement?
Deal Addict
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Sep 4, 2005
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MrLost wrote: What you guys recommend just get the Standard Form of lease signed? or get paralegal/lawyer for agreement?
Standard lease is more than enough, no need to involve paralegal/lawyer.


As others stated, screen, screen, screen. Follow your gut, if something doesn't add up, ask the tenants questions and pay attention to their answers. Always safer to decline and wait it out instead of rushing to get someone in and find out they are trouble.

I've seen people fake credit scores, pay stubs, reference letters, everything. Always call the numbers they provide. Check their facebook, linked in, talk with their HR. Ensure they are who they say they are.

That being said, if you've got a good tenant make sure you own up to what you're signing up for. If things need fixing or replacing don't skimp on it or drag your heels. Either do the work right away or pay someone to do it. Ensure you keep a reserve fund for emergencies.

Good luck, wish you and your future tenant well.
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Jan 2, 2012
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MrLost wrote: Correct me if I am wrong, as Landlord I can't add any condition like No pets, to Standard Form of Lease.
I think hiring paralegal or lawyer won't make any difference in Rental agreement.
Only one thing that helps is screening the tenants with Naborly or TVS.
A no pet clause would only be enforceable in a few cases.

If it's a condo unit and the condo bylaws prohibit certain kinds of pets, those rules obviously need to be followed by the tenant.

Or if it's say a basement apartment and someone who lives upstairs is allergic to dogs (and can prove it with medical documents), then LTB may uphold a no-pet clause.

But in practically all cases a tenant can do whatever they want, have pets, bring in more people to live there, etc etc and as long as they're not doing anything illegal then you can't do anything. You should read the RTA and expect that any clause you put in a lease that doesn't align with the RTA, will be considered invalid.
Happy reading! https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/06r17

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