Alberta Landlords Association


Welcome to the ALA for Small Business Landlords

The Alberta Landlords Association (ALA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Alberta Landlords Need To Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants

Landlords Across Alberta Need The Legal System Up & Running

Small landlords are different than big REIT corporate landlords. Many of us used to rent ourselves, or we have friends and family members who rent.

We are understanding and helpful. We are patient and kind to our tenants. We want to work things out for a win-win situation. We aren’t afraid of posts on this site to help tenants.

We also need rent to be paid on time in order to survive!

Small landlords don’t have economies of scale, don’t have huge cash reserves, and many need rent paid each month just to cover our costs.

A large number of tenants are co-operating with their landlords and deferring rent or creating payment plans.

However, many tenants are not paying rent or even a portion of rent.

Many tenants even with the means to pay are simply saying “No.”

They know they cannot be evicted and are ‘gaming’ the system by not paying when they can.

In our internal polling over 60% of tenants did not pay rent on May 1st.

WE NEED RENT TO BE PAID OR NON-PAYING TENANTS TO BE EVICTED!

We understand many tenants are facing financial difficulties. But do not put their financial problems on the backs of small residential landlords who are also suffering.

If you think this is cruel then government can just give the tenants a grant or a loan, instead of putting all the pressure on small landlords.

We need to open up the legal process and allow small landlords to evict non-paying renters.

Over 50% of our internal polling shows small landlords are going to sell if they cannot collect rent or evict non-paying tenants within the next couple of months.

This will hurt the entire rental stock of our province. Where is the long term planning by our government leaders…leaders who our members help get elected on their promise of “making Alberta open for business!” LOL!

The Alberta Landlords Association Will Get Your Voice Heard

We are sending your ideas and concerns directly to the Premier.

Please send us your support of “Landlords Must Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants” to us at  evictnow@lobbyist.com

We Need To Be United and Together To Send A Strong Message!

We Need the Legal Process Working And To Be Able To Evict Non-Paying Tenants!

Did Your Tenants Pay May 1st Rent?

Create your own user feedback survey

Run Credit Checks For Only $9.95/Check (With Scores)

You Can Join the Alberta Landlords Association for a Low One-Time Registration Fee and Start Running Premium Credit Checks for Only $9.95/Check To Find Great Tenants! 

With the current crisis going on it’s more important than ever for landlords to carefully screen your tenants. This always includes running a credit check to make sure your potential renters have a history of paying their bills.

When you join our landlord community you get multiple tools for you to succeed during good times and bad. For over a decade the Alberta Landlords Association has been helping small landlords succeed and getting our voice heard at last.

We also want to help tenants and want to have great communication between parties and a “win win” approach. The is why we have our Pay Your Rent Campaign where we encourage tenants to cooperate with their landlord.

Make Sure A Credit Check For $9.95 Is Part Of Your Screening Process

We were the first organization to promote credit checks for small landlords in Canada. We started this over a decade ago! Our partners are very reputable and you can run a check for only less than ten dollars!

There Are Lots Of Great Tenants Out There Looking For a Great Landlord

Make sure running a credit check is part of your screening. And only for $9.95/check!

PAY YOUR RENT CAMPAIGN 2020

Smart Tenants Will Pay Rent & Cooperate With Your Landlord For a Win-Win Situation

Small landlords know the challenges tenants face.  Because we faced them too!  Many us were renters before.

We want to work with you to keep you renting from us.

Please know that just because we own a rental property, or rent out our basement, doesn’t mean we are rich. We aren’t.

Many of us are working class people who have decided to avoid the crazy stock market and buy a rental property to help us when we retire.

We need rent to be paid so we can also survive and want to cooperate with you to make sure we have a win-win relationship. We have to pay our mortgage, property taxes, insurance, maintenance.

There are calls saying “Don’t Pay Rent” all over social media

We want to make sure tenants know good landlords want to work with you for all of us surviving.

We support tenants in need, but many of us are also on the financial edge!

To prove our support, thousands of landlords and this association are lobbying both the provincial and federal government to create a nation-wide “rent bank” that will help tenants in need get grants or low-cost loans to pay rent.

This will make sure there is no “landlord-tenant” conflicts or haggling and keep landlords in business and tenants safe in their rental homes.

Something similar to the Canada student loan system where people in temporary need get financial help from the government.

Landlords want to work with tenants (and tenant groups) to make this happen. And happen fast!

Avoid The “Don’t Pay Your Rent” Memes and Media

This isn’t a poor tenant vs. a rich evil landlord issue.

It’s a working class tenant facing challenges renting from a working class small landlord who is also facing challenges.

If you don’t pay rent (like so many are saying) it will lead to eventually being evicted with large debts, and your search for a new home will include no reference and bad credit.

Good Landlords and Good Tenants Working Together

Tenants make sure you pay your rent on time, or work it out with your landlord.

Short term easy answers like “don’t pay rent” will lead to unnecessary problems for tenants a few months from now.

These groups should be joining us to lobby for a nation-wide rent bank to truly help tenants instead of wanting to “stick it to the landlord” (which only lead to legal issues down the road). But it’s so sexy to be a revolutionary, right?

Be Smart

If you can’t pay rent work things out with your landlord who will give you a discount or deferred payments.

Paying Rent or Cooperating With Your Landlord On A Fair Payment Plan Is the Smart Move!

Need Help In These Challenging Times?

Tenants Not Paying Rent?

Landlord and Tenant Branch is Closed?

Government Says Evictions Are Illegal?

What’s Going On And How Can Landlords Survive  (and even thrive?)

The rental industry is pretty crazy these days. According to the government we can’t even evict tenants who refuse to pay to pay rent.

And lawyers and paralegals are demanding huge fees to “help” you with no guarantees of refunds if they lose at the tenancy branch.

Go ahead and ask them: if you don’t give me the result for the thousands of dollars I pay, will you pay me back?

Now is the time for all small business landlords to join our community and we become a strong voice for change!

Network with other landlords, many successful and experienced, to make sure your rental business succeeds

Join Our Landlord Community for A One Time Registration Fee!

I Paid My Landlord And It Was The Right Thing To Do

When our premier announced that tenants do not have to pay rent during this horrible crisis tenants face I immediately felt better.

It was nice to know Premier Ford understood what I was dreading and said there will be “NO EVICTIONS” until the crisis is over. With businesses closed and workers being laid off, how could we pay the rent for the next six months or more?

I saw on FB and on signs in my area that many Tenants in financial trouble were saying we didn’t have to pay rent at all.  The reason is because we can’t be evicted we didn’t have to pay rent.

So If You Don’t Pay Rent Nothing Happens?

This sounded almost too good to be true. I didn’t have to pay any rent for the next few months or more…maybe up to year.

The premier also said tenants should only “pay what you can” and not make paying rent a priority.

So he basically was saying, make up your budget and put rent last.

I Have A Great Relationship With My Landlord

Since moving in a couple years ago I’m very happy here in my Home. The landlords are nice people who gave me a very low rent to begin with because I’m a working woman who is rarely at home with great credit so they thought I was their tenant.

Ideal Tenant (Working woman, not home much, great credit) Gets Discount

They gave me 20% of market rent right off the bat because they praised me as being the type of person landlords want to rent to. This made me very happy to hear and they gave me the discount on what they were advertising because I said I was going to be renting for at least a few years while I built up my savings.

I Could Pay No Rent, But I Worked Out A Rebate Plan 

Since I have such a good relationship with my landlords (they love me, I’m never home and never late paying) I learned a lot.

Most landlords are not independently wealthy and cannot afford to pay the mortgage out of their own pocket. They need rent every month just to survive.

I Paid Rent…But Only % That Was Fair To Both Sides

I made my own budget and made sure my most important expenses were on top of the list and the rent was at the bottom (but still there, as it’s only fair to my landlord).

I calculated my decreased salary due to less hours minus my main expenses for survival during this crisis. Most important expenses:

-Stocking up on food and moisturizers just in case

-Buying food for fresh daily eating

-Costs of ordering Take-Out and the extra costs for UberEats, etc.

-Costs of feeding my cat and ordering her food.

-Ordering clothes I will need if I’m stuck in my Home for a long time. Fresh panties are always refreshing. A girl in a cage needs fashion too!

-Saving for masks and potential medicines.

-Entertainment such as renewing my Netflix, CBS, and Amazon Prime accounts.

I Paid Rent…And Helped My Landlord Stay In Business

After all my budget expenses I ended up paying my landlord 40% of the usual amount.

My landlord was happy to get the rent without any issues and with no haggling.

They appreciated me even paying and I’m happy I did the right thing to help them would I could have paid $1 if I was the evil, nasty type of bitch.

Work With Your Landlord Like I Did

I could have just said I didn’t have the money but I know my landord who are a nice couple so I decided to work with them like the Premier said.

40% Paid, 60% Discount Due To My Struggles

I paid 40% of the rent for April and will pay that same amount as long as the pandemic continues.

If you have a good small landlord consider paying them at least a little bit because they are in need of rent for their families.

Let’s work together and at least pay your landlord a little bit to keep them also surviving…but don’t pay them the full amount because you need to spend your money on your needs first!

Alberta Landlords Association Launches Fire Safety Campaign for 2019-2020!

Alberta landlords fire safety campaign

Successful Alberta Landlords Always Make Sure Their Rental Property Is “Fire Safe” At All Times in 2019-2020!

Alberta landlords know the importance of maintaining our rental properties. We know that to be successful you want attractive and properties that your tenants will find comfortable and want to live in.

Experienced Alberta landlords know if the place feels like ‘home’ it will attract all the good tenants out there and lead them to want to rent from you. Who doesn’t want a nice home to live in? Bright rentals with big windows, clean, nicely decorated, with great working appliances…it’s the key to success for Alberta residential landlords.

Experienced and successful landlords also know it’s important to make sure your Alberta rental property is safe and up to legal code.

To promote all residential landlords in the province to make sure their rental property is safe the Alberta Landlords Association has launched our “Alberta Landlords Fire Safety Campaign” for 2018!

We want every landlord in in Alberta to make fire safety a priority.

To help make this happen and to save lives we contacted Tina Parker. Tina is a technical adviser at Alberta Fire Services and was very helpful.

We truly thank Tina for taking the time to answer our questions. Please see our questions and her answers below:

1. What are the responsibilities of residential landlords when it comes to fire safety?

Depending on the jurisdiction in which these properties reside in, there may be different requirements or different permitting requirements. It is best to check with the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to determine what they require the landlords to complete. The AHJ is usually the local fire department or it could be the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

Here are a few examples from various areas within our province:

– http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Fire/Documents/2010-2503-CFD-building-owners-brochure.pdf

– http://www.calgary.ca/CSPS/Fire/Pages/Inspections-investigations-and-permitting/Inspections-investigations-and-permitting.aspx

– http://www.rmwb.ca/Municipal-Government/municipal_departments/Emergency-Services—Law-Enforcement/RES/Fire-Prevention/Fire-Safety-for-Businesses-and-Contractors.htm

– http://www.cityofgp.com/index.aspx?page=408

2. What are the rules for rental properties regarding making their property fire safe? Are there general guidelines or specific rules? Where can these be found for landlords to learn to make their rentals safe for tenants?

Often times landlords are governed more by their insurance provider to comply with codes and standards, not limited to the Alberta Fire Code.

There are Alberta Building Code and Electrical Code standards they may also need to comply with. Depending on where the rental units are in the province of Alberta, it might be best if the owners contact the local AHJ to ensure they have all the applicable permits and request an inspection of the property to ensure they meet the required code(s). Those local AHJ’s may also have a check list that would their municipalities require business owners/property owners to utilize.

Also, this website may be of assistance to you and your organization:

– http://www.programs.alberta.ca/living/Dynamic.aspx?N=770+599+609

This site provides inspection reports that may be of interest and it also has a handbook that provides you with information from Service Alberta. This handbook reviews the Residential Tenancies Act and goes over rights and responsibilities. ( http://www.servicealberta.ca/621.cfm)

3. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to smoke detectors?

2.16.2.15. Smoke Alarms

1) Smoke alarms conforming to CAN/ULC-S531, “Smoke-Alarms,” shall be installed in accordance with Subsection 9.10.19. of Division B of the ABC in each dwelling unit.

2) Smoke alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an electrical circuit and, when acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction, the interconnection of smoke alarms can either be hard wired or wireless so that activation of one smoke alarm will cause all alarms within both dwelling units to sound. (See Appendix A.)

3) Smoke alarms shall be installed in areas that are common to both dwelling units and connected in conformance with Sentence (2).

Please note these wordings are taken from the most current code. Depending on when the property was built/permits issued, they may need older code wordings.

4. What are the rules for landlords when it comes to carbon monoxide detectors?

2.16.2.16. Carbon Monoxide Alarms

1) Carbon monoxide alarms conforming to CSA 6.19, “Residential Carbon
Monoxide Alarming Devices,” shall be installed in accordance with Sentence
9.32.3.9.(2) of Division B of the ABC in the primary and secondary dwelling units.

2) Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed by permanent connections to an
electrical circuit and interconnected so that the activation of one carbon monoxide alarm will cause all alarms within both dwelling units to sound. (See Appendix A.)

3) Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed in areas that are common to both
dwelling units and connected in conformance with Sentence (2).

2.16.2.17. Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Smoke Alarms and Carbon
Monoxide Alarms

1) Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms required by this Section shall be
inspected, tested and maintained in conformance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Appendix A

A-2.16.2.16.(2) The interconnection of carbon monoxide alarms may be hard wired or wireless. Secondary suites that have been upgraded in accordance with the AFC 2014 are permitted to install plug-in or battery-powered carbon monoxide alarms if such installation is deemed appropriate by the authority having jurisdiction.

5. Regarding enforcement of the laws, what type of fines can landlords face if they are not following the laws?

Please visit Service Alberta web page and the Safety Codes Council web page.

– http://www.safetycodes.ab.ca/Public/Pages/CodesPermits.aspx

– http://www.servicealberta.ca/621.cfm

Also, the Safety Codes Act lays out Penalties for Offences (Prohibitions – Offences 67(1)).

– http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/Acts/S01.pdf

6. What can tenants do if they worry their rental home isn’t fire safe?

They can contact the local AHJ and the Landlord and Tenants Council for their areas. Please see Service Alberta website.

7. What happens if a tenant disables a smoke detector? Can they be fined?

It depends on the circumstances around this. Fines may or may not be done; depends on the AHJ and the circumstances around the event(s).

8. Are there any great resources you recommend for residential landlords to learn more about their responsibilities when it comes to fire safety?

Having a good working relationship with the local AHJ and reviewing the web pages that have been provided to you. Also contacting their local Landlord and Tenants Council for clarity.

9. Are there any sites where tenants can learn about their rights and responsibilities when it comes to fire safety.

See above responses.

10. How can small private residential landlords go the extra mile to make their rental property ultra safe for their tenants.

Engaging with the local AHJ’s and also with the tenants on what is required and what is expected.

There are a lot of resources available for both tenants and landlords and we encourage both parties to review and engage in those resources.

Alberta landlords make fire safety a priority in 2018! If you have questions contact your local Fire Department and the provincial Fire Services Department who will be happy to assist you improve your rental property!

Alberta Landlord PROTECTION MEMBERSHIP Is Now Available!

ALA protection membership header

With The Challenges Alberta Landlords Are Facing These Days We Have Created A New Level Of Membership

Become A Success Member And Get Tools and Services To Help You Succeed All For A One-Time Fee

Several recent posts in the Alberta Landlords Private Member Forum have shocked landlords and made it clear that we face major challenges these days.

Landlords are facing big problems from midnight move-outs to tenants smoking marijuana in our units to bias against landlords at the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service.

It wasn’t long ago that we had a low vacancy rate, huge net migration into our province and lots of great tenants to choose from. It also wasn’t that long ago the the Mayor of Calgary accused us of “gouging tenants” (and  ALA members had to explain we were only protecting our rental businesses at that time.)

Lease Breaking, Midnight Move-Outs And Big Damages Left Behind

In the Alberta Private Member Forum a Calgary landlord asked for help dealing with renter who gave the impression of being decent and reasonable when she moved in. 

A few months later rent wasn’t paid and the landlord eventually found she had moved out and broke the lease. Not only that, but the property was damaged and a mess that would cost at least $10,000 to repair and get back to tip-top shape for re-renting.

Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service Isn’t Fair and Protects Bad Renters.

Another landlord based in Edmonton wrote about his experience at the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS). He thought it was fair and filed after his tenants didn’t pay rent and broke a fixed term lease.

He was very careful and it was clear the tenant broke the rules and the landlord expected justice. Instead he found the whole system was in favour of the tenant and they treated him like dirt.

In fact, we have had many landlords say the same thing: the RTDRS has changed and is not fair. One landlord called the RTDRS the “Bad Renter Protection Machine” and “Not a Fair System!”

Lots of Great Renters Out There, But We Need To Be Super Careful!

Landlords across the province know there are a lot of great renters out there. These are people who pay the rent on time and respect you and the rental property. They follow the rules and treat the rental like it’s their own home. When you rent to these types of tenants being a landlord is a nice and often profitable experience.

We also know that good economic times will come again so it’s vital we get through these more challenging times.

Alberta Landlord PROTECTION MEMBERSHIP

protection member large flashing

In these troubling times our ALA team put our heads together to find the best way we could help our Alberta landlord community. We’re all landlords too and we know what is needed and know we are all on a tight budget.

With all these new challenges our Alberta landlord team has come up with PROTECTION Membership to help landlords succeed. 

For only an affordable one-time registration fee (no yearly fee) Alberta landlords get access to a ton of amazing tools and services that can’t be beat!

Rental Kit Library

Get all the documents you need to succeed via your own online library you can access 24/7.

Access to the Forums, Including the Private Members Forum (for verified landlords only)

Network with experienced and successful Alberta landlords and property manager to you and your rental business succeed. Only verified landlords get access to our private members forum. This means you are networking and getting help from others who ‘have skin in the game’ like you do!

Discounted Credit Checks

Get huge discounts on credit checks. We have partnered with the industry leader RENT CHECK. Unlike some other credit check companies, RENT CHECK Equfaix credit checks will protect you from potential privacy rights and human rights complaints. With over 40 years in the industry RENT CHECK is the best credit check company for landlords. 

Tenant Friendly Credit Checks (With RISK SCORES from Transunion)

These are credit checks where the tenants don’t have to give you any of their personal information. Instead it all goes to TRITON who then provides it to you. It makes tenant applicants feel safe and it’s every easy to get them to pay for the credit check (and save you money!)

Criminal Checks

Times are changing and many experienced and successful Alberta landlords are making that ‘last criminal check’ on an applicant they want to rent to. And now as member you get a HUGE discount to make sure you ad your property are protected.

Insurance

Get Access to one of the est rental insurance packages in Canada. Also covers student rentals. You also get a big discount as a member

Property Management Software

Get a discount on premium property management software to help you get control of your rental business.

Become a Landlord PROTECTION MEMBER and get the tools and services you need need to succeed! All for a low one-time fee that helps us cover our costs…that’s right ONE TIME FEE!

Alberta Landlords Forum – Network With Other Landlords To Help Your Landlord Business Succeed

Landlords EXPERT forum banner

 Want to Network With Thousands of Alberta Landlords and Even More Across Canada?

Have Questions? Looking For Help In a Challenging Situation? Just Want To Chat With Others Landlords?

Things have changed for Alberta landlords. It was only a few years ago that the Calgary Mayor was accusing Calgary landlords of “gouging tenants” because the economy was so strong and the vacancy rate was very low.

For experienced veteran landlords this was both ridiculous and insulting. And Alberta Landlords Association members stood up to the charge by explaining to the public that for landlords the market goes up, but the market can also go down.

This means when times are good landlords need to charge market rents and make sure they get paying tenants. This wasn’t “gouging” it was just good business practice for us to survive. Because all of us who have been in the industry for a considerable period of time know that we have a pretty up and down rental market here. 

When times are good, they can be really good!  But when times are down it can be very tough to be a successful landlord anywhere in Alberta. It’s the nature of our industry.  This is why it’s important to network with others in the Alberta Landlords Forum

Alberta Landlords Face Challenges in 2019

The reality is landlords in our province face challenges in 2019. There are still lots of great renters out there, but things have changed over the past three years. Not only are there less qualified renters around, but some tenants are beginning to view renting as some type of weird ‘fight’ with their landlord. We’ve heard this from lots of people.

An Edmonton landlord wrote in the forum:

Been in this for 20 years and it’s weird having people treat me like I’m getting ‘rich’ by renting out my unit. Used to be people were happy to find something nicely decorated and at a good price!

Some tenants seem to think that because they are paying for a place to live in we landlords are cheating them or being unfair to them. We’ve even had tenants write in trying to teach other tenants to take their landlords to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service instead of being mature and work out any problems with the landlord :

A Calgary landlord posted a situation she faces with a tenant she just rented to recently:

With her every little request comes with quotes fro the landlord/tenant law. And if I don’t heed her beck and call she threatens to take me to the resolution service. What about mature adults working things out together? Help!

Alberta Landlords Need to Help Other Succeed

By working together we can help each other face challenges and overcome them. If you have a problem, another experienced and successful landlord has faced it before and succeed and can give you advice. If someone has a problem you have faced before you can help them. 

We also face some big issues in 2019!  For example, how are we going to handle tenants who smoke and grow marijuana when it is legal?

Alberta Landlords Forum – Landlords Helping Landlords

This is a great place to share tips and advice.  You’ve got a ton of Alberta landlords and also experienced and successful landlords from all across Canada who are united to help each other succeed by renting to good tenants and avoiding the pros.

ALBERTA LANDLORDS FORUM – Join Our Huge Alberta Landlord Community And Get Access to the Biggest and Best Landlord Forum in Canada! All For a One-Time Registration Fee (no annual fee!)

The Alberta Landlord Diaries

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Alberta Landlord With A Kind Heart Got Burned And Wants To Warn Others To Be Kind, But Watch Out!

Several recent posts in the Alberta Landlords Association site have shocked landlords and made it clear that we face major challenges these days. We asked landlords across the province to write in and share some of their stories.

The goal is not only to create a way for landlords to get things off their chest and release their stress, but also to help others learn (and the same fate).

An Edmonton landlord wrote in:

“Really Convincing People With a Good Story Became Renters From Hell”

Really want to let everyone know the dangers of being nice and trying to help people. Don’t get me wrong, for sure there are really decent people down on their luck who will be great tenants.

The problem is if these people are liars or even if they are good people who “turn” you can be stuck with thousands of dollars in lost rent and even more in damages.

My property was one I invested in and was decently priced because it needed a lot of work.  The area was good close to transportation, schools, shopping and I put in $40,000 dollars to make it really attractive. 

Where did this money come from? Well, we maxed our our RBC and Scotia and MBNA credit cards with bank transfers to come up with the money as we are sure as heck not rich.

When we finally got the place done we advertised it and had some replies but not nearly as many as we hoped. Our place was nice and the rent was reasonable, but the economy isn’t that great so we waited weeks until we had even a few applicants.

One of the people who came was a young couple who had moved here from the East Coast. When they came they really praised the property and said “it was the best one they saw.”

She explained she had her first child at 20 and divorced at 22. She was a single mum for until she met her boyfriend and they came to Alberta to start their new life and eventually get married and buy their own home here.

“Applicant Reminded Me Of Myself During My Hard Times and It Really Hit Home”

Her background really hit home as a former single mum myself. Yes, that hot guy in high school who bathed me in romance turned into a dummy who didn’t give a crap our our daughter.

After years of hard work, education, new job, savings, part time jobs I eventually managed to pull myself up and find a great guy who shared my goals and ambitions.

When I asked them I would need references and a credit check she said one of the reasons they moved is because they faced ‘black mold’ in their last place and the landlord did nothing so they had no reference. She explained the move from Nova Scotia cost them a lot and they had a bad credit score.

As someone who faced similar challenges in my life I believed her and my heart really wanted to help her like others helped me when I was struggling. And they were such a nice couple and loved the property so I rented to them.

Since they were so sincere they paid first month rent and told me they would pay a 3 month deposit once they moved and were on a more solid financial footing.

I rented to them with a one year lease. Not only was I happy to finally rent out the property to cover my mortgage, I was also happy to help a young couple who reminded me of my difficult situation years before.

I Felt Great With This Win-Win Situation

I really felt…great! Like a win-win situation. I was covering my mortgage, and also helping this couple and their child. It felt good The renters moved in and all was well. I was now a new landlord with paying tenants.

Then, and the end of the month she left a message for me saying there were mice. She said the mice were coming at night and accused me of “not disclosing this” from Day 1.

I came and didn’t see anything and she said because they come at night she needed a professional to come to protect her child. I agreed and booked a guy to come after the 1st (rent not paid). 

The exterminator came on the 5th and said he didn’t see anything. I told her about this and she said the exterminator was not professional and she would need a “true professional” otherwise she would report my property to the city. I was stressed about this and wanted to fix it and got another exterminator to come on the 7th. He reported no problems. 

She said the mice only come and night and even texted me a picture of a mouse. She said “let’s give this some time and if it continues we will move out to protect our family!” I agreed and told her to let me know.

Mice And Now Mold (So Who Caused The Mold?)

A couple weeks went by and rent was due again (after they didn’t pay last month).  She said not only was the mice issue “a frigging nightmare” but there was mold in the shower and she was scared this would cause her “child to die!” I took this very seriously and hired a mold guy to measure the air quality.

We booked an appointment but she said she was going work and she demanded to be there in person to ensure they were professional as her child’s safety was at risk.

The next first of the month came and she told me she would move unless the air quality/mold person came and assured her and her boyfriend the property was truly safe. The next month rent was due I texted her and she said she still felt unsafe. I tried to be reasonable but said they had not paid rent for 3 months.

So Now I’m a Slumlord (Me? Shocked!)

Her reply was to accuse me of renting a horrible house and being a slumlord and to “not contact her until the safety issues were resolved.

Another month went by and no payment. I texted her and said if she didn’t pay I would have to evict her. She said she was still waiting for me to fix the mice and mold issues and it was illegal for me to harass her.

I was told if you come here the cops will be called on you for harassment when we only want a safe place to live with our child.

I was scared and waited until the next month and it didn’t come in. I went to check out the property and saw no one was there.  After looking in the windows there was almost nothing there but trash, wood, papers, and the walls looked weird. I went in and saw the place was abandoned.

There was no way anyone was living here. And the condition of the property was shocking.

Property Trashed!

The carpets were destroyed. The walls had scratched and huge dents like people were partying and throwing things. The whole place stank like marijuana and the new appliances I bought were not only filthy but damaged. The fridge door didn’t close, the stove was soaked in grease with the burners not working.

I Got Burned Because I was Too Trusting

Where did I go wrong?I guess it was because the renter reminded me of myself. It wasn’t too long ago when it was hard for me to pay the bills and those who gave me a break and trusted me were so appreciated.

What Lessons Did I Learn?

Being a landlord is a business. Like like if you own a restaurant, or a contracting company or whatever. You can’t let personal feelings get i the way of good business sense.

Screen Your Potential Renters Carefully…and Coldly…Like Mr. Spock!

You really have to take your heart out of it. Now I’m an Alberta Landlords Association member and one older landlord told me:

“Did you ever watch the old Star Trek. Not the crappy new movies but the classic shows with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, etc. You have to be like Mr. Spock. This might sound corny, but it’s a good reminder to keep emotion out of your decision making and be cold as ice.”

No emotion and base your decisions on things like credit checks, criminal checks and the cold hard facts.

If Issues Come Up Deal With It Fast And Get Help From Experienced Landlords

When this was going on I felt I had no where to ask for help. Now I know I’m not alone and have a big support network.

This Won’t Make Me Give Up

There are really a lot of great landlords all across Canada who are so supportive and warm at the Alberta Landlords Forum. They told me there was no need to take this “personally” (which I did!) and this often happens to new landlords.

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Share your stories by emailing us as landlordtenantsolutions@groupmail.com or posting on the Alberta landlords forum.

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