Home Realty: What To Know About New Landlord Requirements
Rules unveiled last month make evicting tenants tougher
Ontario has introduced new requirements for landlords that are aimed at preventing them from evicting tenants from rental apartments without adequate compensation for the trouble.
The new regulations, rolled out last month, are the latest in a wave of tenant protections imposed by the provincial government over the past year under its Fair Housing Plan. In April, expanded rent controls were unveiled for all occupied private rental units built after 1991.
With these new eviction rules in place, here’s a look at what landlords can expect going forward.
Under the new measures, if a landlord wants to evict a tenant in order to use the unit for themselves or a family member, they are required to give one month’s rent as compensation to help defray the costs for that tenant of finding new accommodations and having to move suddenly. Alternatively, a landlord can offer the evicted tenant a comparable unit to rent instead.
Note that only individual landlords, not corporations, can give notice of termination for this reason.
Landlords must also express their intent to occupy the unit for at least one year before, a measure designed to discourage landlords from unlawfully evicting tenants and converting their unit into a short-term rental or renting it out immediately afterward at a higher rate. If a landlord advertises, re-rents, demolishes or converts the unit within a year, he or she will be considered to have acted in “bad faith,” according to the government, and could be hit with a fine as steep as $25,000.
Because these new rules make it tougher to evict tenants, it’s never been more important for landlords to take the proper steps from the start to secure quality occupants for their rental properties.
This includes offering a unit that’s in good shape to begin with, which will ideally encourage renters to keep it that way. Also be sure to do background checks on tenants and a credit history check. Better safe than sorry. Ultimately you’ll want to meet face-to-face with the prospective renter in order to get a gut feeling about the person who could be living in your unit. Finally, be sure to get every step of the process documented in writing. This is key.
If you want to be especially sure your rental unit remains in good shape, we advise using a professional property management company. For example, we at In2ition have developed a property management division to serve our clients and offer staff with unparalleled experience and the quality and depth of resources to handle all property management needs. We both rent and manage residential homes and condominium units, and we facilitate the relationship between the tenant and the management of the condo corporation.
Purchasing a unit to lease out can be a great way to make money. But selecting the right tenant and properly managing your property is essential to getting the maximum return on your investment — and to avoiding big headaches. With Ontario’s new tenant protection rules upon us, this will need to be a top priority for all landlords.
Debbie Cosic, CEO and founder of In2ition Realty, has worked in all facets of the real estate industry for over 25 years. She has sold and overseen the sale of over $15 billion worth of real estate and, with Debbie at the helm, In2ition has become one of the fastest-growing and most innovative new home and condo sales companies. In2ition has received numerous awards from the Building Industry and Land Development Association and the National Association of Home Builders.