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Posted September 7, 2023 by Name

75 Things Landlords Must Know

1. Always serve your non-payment of rent notices. Regardless of what your tenant says.

2. Move-in inspections should include a report and pictures.

3. Perform periodic inspections to make sure your investments are in good hands.

4. Consider changing your furnace filters. The odds are your tenant will not.

5. Send out rent increases every year to maximize income.

6. Replace old lighting in common areas to reduce energy cost.

7. Upgrade old toilets to low flow for government grants, rebates and lower bills.

8. Gas companies will provide rebates for heat savings incentives in larger buildings

9. Learn proper screening methods to avoid trouble tenants.

10. If tenant don’t pay their bills on time what makes you think they will pay you?

11. Tenants are required to give notice to vacate even if they have a lease term.

12. Happy tenants cause less problems.

13. Good tenants will let you know about problems instead of you finding it out during your inspections.

14. You can apply Last Months Rent (LMR) interest to the LMR deposit, instead of sending your tenant an interest check and requesting a top up.

15. Security deposits are illegal in Ontario. You can collect the last month but only use it for the rent.

16. LLTB will award up to 3% interest on outstanding balance. Why do bad tenants get great interest rates? When was the last time your credit card gave you a 3% unsecured debit?

17. Pre covid time it took about 3 months to get an eviction order on a tenant for not paying their rent. On top of that, the sheriff’s office is behind on enforcement.

18. Notices to evict tenants have to be very specific with dates & time, or they will be voided and you have to start again.

19. Check with past landlord to find the real deal on your tenants. Current landlords might say good things just to get rid of them.

20. Verify your tenants have set-up utility accounts and have insurance before releasing keys.

21. Landlords are required by law to give new tenants information packages. This is now part of the standard lease.

22. Tenants can be evicted for disconnecting smoke detectors.

23. Change batteries in smoke detectors yearly to avoid costly problems with fire departments and protect your investment.

24. Basement apartments are a great investment, many owner-run into problems with illegal basement apartments.  The city may require you to evict a tenant for having an illegal unit, the Landlord and Tenant Board (LLTB) does not have an option to evict for an illegal unit.

25. As a landlord expect late-night emergencies.

26. Pest problems are the landlord’s responsibility unless you can prove the tenants caused the problem.

27. Make tenants put a maintenance request in writing to avoid constant calls.

28. Don’t forget to winterize your properties every year. If a tenant forgets your insurance will not care.

29. Key deposits are legal but they have to be refundable and reasonable.

30. The Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) only allows you to charge a tenant rent with few exceptions.

31. If you charge rent plus a share of utilities you may have difficulty evicting tenants if they choose not to reimburse you.

32. Always put utilities in tenant’s names. If they stop paying hydro will shut them off but it’s illegal if the landlord turns the hydro off.

33. If including lawn care in your rent don’t forget about spring and fall clean-ups.

34. Snow removal companies will normally not show up until at least two inches have fallen.

35. Common areas need to be cleaned regularly.

36. If you own a multiplex make arrangements for someone to take out the trash.

37. Different cities require heat and air conditioning to be turned on at different times.

38. The city will not care if the tenant does not clear the snow and will fine the owner.

39. Toronto charges you extra to get a water bill mailed to a tenant.

40. Municipalities will charge your unpaid water bills to your tax bill.

41. Most plumbing problems can be repaired.

42. Water leaks should be addressed immediately to avoid more damage and mould issues.

43. You should have space heaters in case your furnace breaks down.

44. Hot water is a vital service under the RTA.

45. Don’t disconnect your utilities just to get rid of your tenants as you could get fined under the RTA.

46. If one party doesn’t show up to your LLTB, the hearing it will still happen.

47. Landlord applications at the LLTB are more expensive the tenant applications.

48. Why should you have to wait months to evict a residential tenant for not paying rent? With commercial properties, you just have to serve notice.

49. Lockboxes can be a great way of letting people getting into your property but avoid easy combos like years and house numbers.

50. Every unit will require some work when a tenant moves out. Painting and/or cleaning are very common.

51. Natural coloured paint is the most appealing for tenants and home buyers as it will match almost any furniture.

52. You can screen tenants for pets but will have a hard time evicting them if they bring one after the lease starts.

53. If a landlord advertises allowing pets, the chances of being surprised with finding a pet in the unit at your first move in, is less.

54. Standards for a landlord’s tenant screening process should be in place at the onset of the process.

55. The C.H.M.C. recommends that rent should not exceed 30% of an individual’s gross income; however, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (O.H.R.C.) consider looking only at income as discrimination.

56. A credit score of 650 has a 12% delinquency rate.

57. Ask for the L.M.R. as a rental deposit. You may not be able to keep the deposit, but it is a step towards finding a good tenant.

58. A Letter of Employment is a good method to verify employment; however, a pay stub reflects an actual amount from a specific employer.

59. Request Notice of Assessments for self-employed tenants in order to gauge income.

60. The Landlord and Tenant Board does not provide information about previous hearings over the phone or online. You will not know if your application was previously evicted.

61. Do not expect a Landlord and Tenant Board hearing to always be quick and uncomplicated. Be prepared to wait while your tenant speaks to Duty Council at the hearing.

62. Why do tenants have the option of legal advice at a hearing and a landlord has the self-help center they can access over the phone?

63. Being a landlord can be like a second or third job.

64. A landlord’s ability to pay for maintenance is not considered when maintenance is required.

65. A Property Manager can alleviate many headaches of dealing with tenants. Experts state that 10% of the rent collected should be allocated for a Property Manager.

66. Private garbage can help reduce landlord bills.

67. A Property Manager can assist you with the growth and achievement of your financial goals.

68. People invest in real estate because of the greater returns with low down payments.

69. Renting your home can be very risky if you are not completely aware of what you are undertaking.

70. The OHRC has guidelines on what constitutes discrimination from landlords.

71. Why is it okay for the City of Toronto to be a slum landlord?

72. Gas companies provide shower heads to reduce water consumption and may even install them in larger complexes for free.

73. Have your considered renting out your roof for additional income? Start looking into solar power.

74. Rented hot water tanks are costly in the long run. A small, one-time investment of a hot water tank can save you $20. to $30. per month.

75. Many condos do not allow short term rentals.

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