by Harry Fine
It’s nice to see small landlords starting to organize. God knows, tenants’ organizations, funded by governments at all levels have been organizing, lobbying and pressing governments for
the last 25 years. Make no mistake about it….there is a war going on, with the poverty activists such as ACTO, Legal Aid Ontario, CERA, FMTA and others well funded and well organized.
Strangely enough, it’s the government that keeps the fires of war stoked, as they promise and create programs and fail to fund them, creating a frenzy by groups attempting to get their
share. To compensate for the under-funding, governments put onerous and oppressive regulations on landlords so that they don’t have to go to the electorate with a ballot question about
Small landlords have to some extent been out of the loop and silent in the battle. There is the Landlords’ Self-Help Centre, the only landlord-side legal clinic funded by Legal Aid
Ontario. But the LSHC is not there to be an activist or militant voice, but to educate and provide legal advice to small-scale landlords. There are organizations for corporate landlords,
such as FRPO, GTAA and MDSA, but they tend to take a corporate, more measured approach.
There is a new voice with a new web site through which Ontario landlords can share advice, ask questions, discuss tenant issues, perhaps even post “bad-tenant” lists. It’s about time.
Small landlord investors, encouraged to buy properties through low interest rates and an aggressive real estate industry, have not been treated well in the current system. The government is
schizophrenic on this file. They want housing. They want affordable housing. Yet they treat all landlords in a monolithic fashion through the “One Size Fits All” Residential Tenancies Act.
I can tell you that one size does not fit all, and government needs to nurture and attract investors, or the alternative is that government will have to build and operate social
The new web site, which is scheduled to debut in the next day or two, was born out of a group of passionate small landlords who recognize the unfairness of the system, and want to fight
Call them militant, but folks, there is a war on out there, and the tenant side is over-funded, over-represented and has the ear of governments. If you are a small landlord, go to their
site, join the forums, participate, learn, teach and hopefully prosper.