Archive for the ‘Landlord and Tenant News’ Category

The Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Alberta landlord knowledge vault

Get Real World “In the Trenches” Advice From Experienced and Successful Alberta Landlords & Property Managers

Experienced and successful Alberta landlords know there are a lot of great renters out there. For years Alberta has been a place hard-working people from across Canada want to come to.

Even with the recent economic downturn people see Alberta as the ideal place to find a job, start a business, put down roots, start a family, and invest in the future.

What Makes A Great Renter?

Long time landlords know the key to being a successful Alberta landlord is finding good renters. These are people who pay their rent on time, take care of the rental property, and respect their landlord and other renters (if it’s a multi-unit rental).

An Edmonton landlord wrote about her great tenants saying:

“They are a couple who moved here from Nova Scotia and found work. They keep the property clean, pay the rent with post-dated cheques and are just wonderful people.” 

A Calgary landlord who rents his basement wrote:

“There are still good renters out there if you have an attractive place at the right price. I rent to a younger guy who is working two jobs now and also studying at night! He says his goal is to land a good job and be a landlord himself one day!”

Be Careful Because Bad Renters Are Out There Too!

A recent story on the CBC news site is about a landlord named Jennifer Leeming who owns a rental property in Calgary. 

Jennifer did all the right things. She had a bright and spacious rental property on the market and had the best intentions to be a super landlord and rent out her beautiful rental property. It sounds so simple, right? A caring landlord with a wonderful rental property just waiting for good renters. It should be so simple…but it isn’t!

Dedicated, caring single mom landlord tried to help her renters out, and in return they destroyed her rental property

Tenants From Hell

Jennifer ended up with “Tenants from Hell” who played the system and ended up costing her huge financial losses.When the renters asked for a break this landlord tried to accommodate them and work something out. This was a big mistake as it only led to more damages to the rental unit, more non-paid rent, and bigger problems.

The new flooring was treated like an ashtray.  The renters didn’t even have the common courtesy to buy an ashtray at the dollar or go outside to smoke.

Alberta landlords rental vault 3

There were many holes in the drywall all over the property. And the stair railings were ripped out making it dangerous to go up and down the stairs.

Alberta landlords rental vault 4

The nicely renovated bathrooms were destroyed.

These “Tenant From Hell” caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages!

Just Follow the System, Right?

Wrong.  Look what happened.

When Jennifer started the eviction process the renters challenged her and said: “I’M NOT MOVING UNTIL YOU PROVIDE A COURT DOCUMENT! “ Unfortunately this type of rude and aggressive behaviour is common with bad tenants who are going to rip you off.

Tenants Finally Left…Then Vanished Without Paying a Cent

And when Jennifer used the RTDRS and got them out what happened? She got paid by the tenants for the amount the RTDRS ordered right? Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way.

After she served the tenants, they did a midnight run and took off to Saskatchewan. They did all the damages and it will be basically impossible to ever to recover her losses from these “Tenants From Hell”.

Dealing With Alberta Tenant Challenges

When you rent to tenants you need to be aware of the system and the rules. The old saying “Knowledge is Power” really applies to being a landlord in Alberta these days.

And as Jennifer found out, just going through the system often isn’t enough and leads to huge headaches, drawn out evictions, and even bigger financial losses. 

According to landlord Jennifer:

“I feel it’s so unfair. I’ve worked my entire life to provide for my family and my child’s future and people have come along and taken that all away and that’s just so wrong”

Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault

In order to help Alberta landlords succeed we asked experienced and successful landlords and property managers to come up with tips and strategies to help small residential landlords succeed.

Don’t Be a Victim of Bad Tenants

It’s more important than every before to learn tips and strategies to make sure your rental business is successful. The harsh reality is there are lots of bad renters out there and they can cost you thousands of dollars and months of headaches and heartaches.

Successful Alberta Landlords

There are a lot of great tenants out there. And there are also a lot of potential “Tenants From Hell”. With the Alberta Landlord Vault you can get the tips and strategies you need to succeed.

The Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault

Alberta landlord knowledge vault

We asked some of the most experienced landlords and property managers to put together a vault of answers to help other landlords succeed.

And they came through big time – and we put their knowledge together in a professionally recorded audio CD that helps you through all the steps to running a successful and profitable rental business, in good economic times or bad.

Here are some of the issues answered in the Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault to help you succeed as a landlord in Alberta.

What you get is a “start” to “finish” guide to becoming a successful Alberta landlord and how to deal with situations fast and effectively before they become like cancer and grow. No marketing hype, only real work “in the trenches” advice to help small landlords succeed.

Questions and discussion includes the following:

What really are the best ways to prepare my rental to attract the best renters out there looking for a place?

How can I convince the best tenants to rent from me over other landlords? How do successful landlords do this?

Do I need to get any type of special insurance for my rental to protect myself and my financial future?

What are good potential renters really looking for these days and how can I make my rental property special?

Is it a good idea to pay for a property manager or manage things myself?

I hear stories about some bad property managers out there! How do you choose the best property manager?

Is it a good idea to hire a real estate agent to rent out my property?

How do you set the best rental prices for your rental to advertise at attract premium tenants?

How do you do expert market research on your local rental market?

How do you ultimately decide how much the rent will be?

How do you pre-screen tenants to not waste time with bringing people you won’t don’t want to see the apartment?

How do experienced landlords really successfully screen tenants who want to rent from you?

How do you set times to show your rental property?

Tenants keep cancelling appointments on me and it’s driving me nuts. How do you fix this?

Do you screen everyone who is going to move in or is that not the way to do it?

Why is asking what renters are currently paying for rent important for me?

How do you avoid applicants who are just playing games and not serious?

How can I make sure the applicants say who they say they are and not playing games?

My applicants want me to explain to them! Do you tell your potential renters how you are screening them?

What’s the best way to verify if they are working or not? I want to avoid renting to scammers!

How do you go into really “in-depth” checking of their employment information and avoiding lying tenants?

How do you screen self-employed applicants to make sure they are financially sound?

How do experienced landlords screen applicants moving to Alberta from other provinces?

How important are personal references for Alberta landlords? How do you know if a reference is fishy or valid?

What do you do if the applicants refuses to give their current landlords information?

What do you do if an applicants refuses to provide their SIN number?

How do you run a credit check on a potential renter to find out the most important information?

How do you read a credit check to determine if you should rent to them or not?

What do you do if their credit history shows late payments?

What do you do if the credit check shows a lot of debt?

What do you do if there is a collection on the renter’s credit report?

What types of credit scores do experienced Alberta landlords demand?

How do you really choose the best tenants to put into your rental?

If you have two really good applicants, what is the real criteria to choose one over the other?

What do you do if the applicants have no credit history but seem like good people?

How do you avoid renting from professional tenants who will cause me to lose thousands of dollars?

How the heck do you notify the person you want to rent to?

Are there any tips or strategies when telling your applicant you will rent to them?

How do you make sure the renters are clear on the rules from day 1 to avoid future problems?

What types of leases do you use?

What’s a period tenancy?

What’s a fixed term lease?

What’s better, a periodic tenancy or a fixed term lease…and why?

What information should I include in my lease to protect myself. I’m looking for the most protection!

Does the lease have to be in writing?

Can I require proof of insurance as a condition of the lease?

Is it okay to say no pets are allowed in the lease?

Can Alberta landlords change a pet fee or not?

What happens at the end of fixed term lease?

Can I charge a security deposit? How does that work in Alberta?

Can I charge a non-refundable pet fee and also charge a security deposit?

Can I deduct money from the security deposit for carpet cleaning, painting, and other damages?

If two tenants are renting my place and one moves out do I have to return half the security deposit?

Do you do an inspection when renters move out?

What happens if the tenant doesn’t show up for the move out inspection?

What do you do if your tenants don’t pay rent?

Can I best do an eviction if the renters don’t pay rent?  I need to get this done fast!

What do you do if the tenant breaks a rule in the lease?

What types of notices are available if your renters are breaking the rules of your lease?

What are the reasons I can use to evict a renter?

If the renters are damaging my rental what can I do?

If tenants are threatening me or other tenants in the building what can I do?

My renters are playing their music super loud so what can I do?

My renters are dealing drugs what can I do? This is a very troubling situation!

The Tenants are leaving garbage all over the place so what do expert landlords do when this happens?

If the tenants refuse to leave at the end of the lease what do you do?

Can my tenants have lots of guests over at all times?

My renters want my contact information. Should I give it to them?

I don’t want to give my personal information for safety reasons but do I have to provide it to tenants?

One group of tenants is complaining other tenants are noisy so what should I do? It becoming a nightmare!

I’m selling my property so do I have to tell my renters?

The new buyer of my rental wants to keep the tenants so how do I handle this?

I live with my tenant and she is nuts and argues with me about everything so what can I do?

How do you fix problems with tenants who live in your house with you?

Can I go to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service for problems with renters living in my house?

How to you handle renters who want to sublet?

Can I refuse a tenant who wants to sublet my rental property?

How do you reply to a renter who wants to sublet?

My tenant says he wants to assign his apartment so what can I do?

What are legal grounds to refuse a sublet or assignment as I don’t feel comfortable with it?

My tenants did some repairs and now are charging me! Do I have to pay?

The new people I rented to brought in bedbugs so what can I do?

How do you give notice if you are going into the rental to do repairs?

How do you give notice to your tenants to enter the rental property?

Can a contractor enter the rental property without the landlord being present?

My tenant said she doesn’t have to pay rent while I’m doing repairs. Is this true?

How do landlords deal with tenants who are smoking or growing marijuana?

My tenants are fighting over their shared laundry do I have to get involved?

My renters go laid off and want to break the lease so what should I do? 

How do you deal with tenant vs. tenant issues?

Do I have to give my tenants who are moving a recommendation?

My renters got laid off and want to break the lease so what can I do?

My tenants want to change the lease agreement and say I have to, is this true?

The current rent check is NSF what should I do and they didn’t move out! What can I do?

My tenants are rude and aggressive to me. I’m scared and wonder how I should deal with them?

I think I have “Tenants From Hell” and need help!  Renter trashing the unit, cops won’t help, drunk. What should I do?

Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault – Get Help From Experienced and Successful Alberta Landlords and Property Managers

The Alberta landlord vault is designed to help landlords succeed.  Make sure you run your rental business the right way by knowing your rights and responsibilities and being ready to handle any challenges that might arise in a fast and effective manner.

Knowledge is power and by knowing how the industry works you can take control of your rental business! Get access the The Alberta Landlord Knowledge Vault in the Intermediate Services for a one time fee.

 

Alberta Landlords Association Launches Fire Safety Campaign for 2017!

Friday, September 15th, 2017

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

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 2016!

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 2015! 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!

Toronto Star: Landlords warned not to discriminate in rental ads – June 2011

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Jane Schweitzer says writing an ad for an available rental property has become a minefield thanks to the glaring eye of the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC).Schweitzer, a Hamilton resident who owns several rental properties and Assistant Moderator of the Ontario Landlords Association forums, says the commission’s recent campaign to address “discriminatory housing advertisements” goes too far. (more…)

Toronto Star: Are students the target of a new proposed rental bylaw? -May 2011

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

The Ontario Landlord Association is playing a role to protect landlords

May 20, 2011
Jennifer Brown, SPECIAL TO THE STAR

Landlords who lease their rental properties in residential areas of Waterloo have concerns that a new bylaw requiring them to have a licence is too restrictive for them and their prospective tenants. (more…)

Uh Oh! The Sheriff Is A Comin’!

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

What Can you Do If your Tenants Refuse to Leave?

It sounds a little “wild, wild, west, doesn’t it?  Your problem tenants are finally going to leave…because the Landlord and Tenant Board directed them to do so. What do you do if they are directed to move out, and don’t?   Cue the music, kick the tumbleweed. It’s time for the Sheriff. (more…)

Rent Increases and The secret of newer rental properties

Friday, April 29th, 2011

From the Toronto Star, “Many of the condos that are being built in the heart of Toronto, pictured here in September 2010, are being used as rental stock. Most tenants don’t know that rent guidelines do not apply to units…” (more…)

The eviction process in Ontario

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

(COURTESY OF YOUR LIBERAL GOVERNMENT)

May 2011 – Evictions, Landlord and Tenant Board

 

This is a true story of a straight forward eviction matter, that has officially qualified for the “nightmare” status we assign to our most memorable cases. (more…)

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Small Business Landlord Jane Schweitzer has some Questions and Concerns about “Tenant School”

April 2011 – Pro tenants

 

Renting a unit is an extremely simple concept that has been done since houses were even built….LL offers unit for rent, renter pays for unit on time, in full, every month, everybody happy. Only in Ontario could they  think of something so utterly ridiculous such as “tenant school” as a make-work project.
 

A Typical Day at the Landlord and Tenant Board

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

 

It’s 9:00am on a sunny Tuesday. Landlords, tenants, and agents are lined up to sign in to the attendance record at the Landlord and Tenant Board for their hearings. (more…)

Dispute keeps tenants in shelter

Friday, April 22nd, 2011


April 21, 2011

The Toronto Star has an interesting article on a landlord and tenant dispute between a couple who had to leave their rental unit because of a fire.  They now find themselves living in a shelter and locked out.  The landlord wants to protect other tenants. (more…)