Posts Tagged ‘Ontario Landlords Association’

Alberta Landlords – Is Rent Control Coming?

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Is rent control coming to Alberta? According to an editorial in the Whitecourt Star it should be.

Rent control is when the government caps the amount of rent a landlord can charge. The Star believes it’s the solution to the low vacancy rate in Alberta.

Low Vacancy Rate

The vacancy rate is, in fact, very low and tenants are scrambling to find rental apartments.

According to the Canada Housing and Mortage Corp. (CMHC) not only are vacancy rates in Alberta decline, rents are also rising.

The Whitecourt Star’s Argument for Rent Control in Alberta

The Star sent a reporter to look into the rental market in Whitecourt in 2012.

The reporter found there were a lot of tenants in the city looking for rental housing. The report stated there were not enough affordable rental units available and there was a long list of tenants waiting to find a place to rent “at any price.”

The Star editorial stated the Alberta economy was booming and more workers were coming to the province. Despite these jobs there are thousands of homeless living on the street because Calgary and Edmonton landlords won’t rent to them.

While investors and landlords have the right to profit from their rental businesses the Star argues people have the right to a place to live.

According to the Whitecourt Star ‘rent control’ is a way the government “can make this happen.

Rent Control Doesn’t Mean More Affordable Rental Units

The Whitecourt Star argument is wrong. Rent control doesn’t equal more affordable housing.

Other Canadian provinces have rent control

For example, British Columbia landlords can only increase the rent by 2.2% in 2014. Yet tenants there are still complaining rents are too high and something needs to be done.

And even better example is Ontario.

In 2014 Ontario Landlords can only raise the rent a measly 0.8% for their current tenants.

While the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline is tied to the CPI Index rent increases are ‘capped’ at a maximum of 2.5% no matter how high inflation gets.

With rent control and rent increases capped there should be a ton of rental available and rents should be low. 

Except there isn’t.

With so much government control many investors simply avoid investing in residential rental property in Ontario.

The vacancy rates in Ontario are nearly as low as in Alberta.

And there is a huge waiting list for affordable housing in Ontario.

Rent Control Is Not the Answer

Alberta landlords already know rent control is not the way forward for Alberta.

Anyone can see from what is happening in British Columbia and Ontario that rent control only hurts tenants.

Furthermore, landlords in Alberta are already facing increasing challenges.

We hope the Whitecourt Star editorial board thinks more carefully next time.

Landlords face pitfalls when they go the DIY route

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

March 24th, 2012


DIY and Property Management

The Globe and Mail newspaper recently had a great article about landlords doing their own repairs.  In the industry this is called DIY (Do it Yourself).  It’s a great read for new and experienced landlords alike.

Where Can I find the Article?

The Globe and Mail story is called “Landlords face pitfalls when they go the DIY route” and can be found here.

Ask any landlord, contractor, builder or small real estate investor the one tool they have in their DIY renovation arsenal, and the answer is invariably the spreadsheet. Most property owners with some years of experience behind them have crafted a list of must-do projects as they inspect their latest investments. The spreadsheet, making up years of gained knowledge on a variety of projects, is the key to that successful renovation.

Peel back the spreadsheet onion and investors reveal the projects that are essential in making the most amount of profit for, what they hope is, the least amount of cost. Especially in a volatile economic climate with the fear of a double-dip recession, property investors and landlords are taking it upon themselves and “DIYing” their projects to ensure they are attracting the best tenants and/or buyers for their properties.

DIYing and the economy

Owners and landlords are enhancing the value of their properties on their own more than ever before. Cost is always the number one factor and certainly the economy has heightened the need to cut expenses as much as possible.

Even though uncertainty in the economy can create buying opportunities for investors, would-be investors need to be aware of the pitfalls those investments might bring.

Our Friends at the Ontario Landlords Association are Interviewed

Two members of the Ontario Landlords Association were asked to provide comments.

The economy has not been strong since 2008, so more and more landlords who would have normally paid a contractor are now forced to do their own repairs and renovations,” one OLA members says. “Doing your own repairs and renovations is really a key point of landlords these days; the days of slumlords are over if you want to get good, qualified tenants.”

When you are renovating a rental, your goal is to maximize return on investment and to attract quality tenants. Your personal tastes are not as important; the goals are different,” another OLA members stresses. He adds that most new landlords’ biggest mistake is overrenovating. “Granite and stainless steel in a poor-quality neighbourhood is not going to attract top-quality tenants.”

Scott McGillivray of ‘Income Property” on HGTV Also Provided Advice

Scott’s show on HGTV can be a little controversial with veteran landlords.  The main criticisms are that things seem to always end up a little ‘too perfect’ for Scott’s clients.  Despite that, Scott provides some good advice for landlords.

The kitchen is of No. 1 importance,” said  McGillivray. “I have a sublist of how much work needs to be done in the kitchen.

The bathrooms are the next on the list and, again, a checklist is created. Then I look at all the hardware in the house, which I know is really easy. And then I look at how significant the flooring is in terms of needed work.”

The Key Points for DIY Improvements

Nothing in the DIY world should be taken for granted and even though costs can be saved and value can be added to projects, novice investors may find themselves trapped by some of the pitfalls of renovation.  Remember:

1. Be realistic about timelines 

2. Walk before you run

3. Understand local rules, regulations and legislation 

4. Play safe

5. Know when to ask for help

To discuss this welcome to the Landlord Advice Forums here.

Ontario Caps Rent Increases to 2.5%

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

December 11th, 2011

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty


The press release came last Tuesday.  It shocked a lot of landlords in Ontario!

What’s the news?

Beginning in 2013, the Ontario government will cap annual rent increases to 2.5%, not matter how much inflation is.

Here’s the Ontario government propaganda:

December 6, 2011 1:00 PM


Legislation to be introduced today would, if passed, ensure that the annual Rent Increase Guideline is capped at 2.5 per cent to protect tenants and families.

The proposed changes would also ensure that the annual Rent Increase Guideline never falls below one per cent. 

Tenants would benefit from greater certainty that would ensure affordable and stable rents so they have safe and affordable housing. For landlords, this would ensure a fair return so they can properly maintain rental properties.

The guideline would continue to be based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index. If passed, the new guideline formula would take effect starting in 2013.

Ontario continues to build new affordable housing and repair existing units for families with housing needs. The province’s investments in affordable housing have created thousands of jobs and resulted in the construction and repair of 270,000 housing units and the provision of 35,000 rent supplements for Ontario families on fixed incomes.

What do you think, Alberta Landlords?  In Ontario no matter what the inflation rate is, rents are capped.

To read more go to the Ontario Landlords Association website here


Do I Need a Lease?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Answer: Yes, you need a great one!


What Makes A Good Lease?


As a seasoned veteran of hundreds of battles before the Landlord and Tenant Board, it’s clear: something is rotten in Ontario. Is it the legislation governing tenancies? The Landlord and Tenant Board? Irresponsible landlords? Predatory tenants?


OLA Meets with the Ontario Conservatives! Your Voice Heard!

Monday, March 28th, 2011


On Wednesday, March 23, 2011 three senior members of the Ontario Landlords Association met with MPP and Progressive Conservative Housing Critic Joyce Savoline.

It was a very helpful and productive meeting. The OLA team went over our 22 page presentation on needed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Landlord Tenant Board. (more…)