Here are the top 10 challenges that landlords face while renting in Ontario today along with some ideas on how to tackle these challenges head on!
Eviction laws: Ontario has strict eviction laws that protect tenants' rights, making it challenging for landlords to evict tenants who violate rental agreements or fail to pay rent on time. To prevent this from affecting your property, make sure you match tenants with the property. Conduct background checks and credit checks, which will help ensure that the tenant is the right one for you. Everyone needs a place to live; you just need to make sure that you both (landlord and tenant) are a good fit.
Finding reliable tenants: Landlords need to find reliable tenants who will pay rent on time, take care of the property, and follow the rules of the rental agreement. This can be handled by the right screening process. You need to check with the tenants and make sure that both of you know the rules before move-in. Conduct a walkthrough, ensure that the inspection is done with the tenant, and make sure you are both satisfied with the conditions ideally before any lease is signed.
Property maintenance: Landlords are responsible for maintaining their rental properties in safe and habitable conditions, which can be time-consuming and costly. As a landlord, we often get saddled with the high cost of inflation or government regulations changing how we need to manage and keep our property up to standard. Look for a good maintenance company that is focused on cost-efficient but quality work.
Dealing with tenant complaints: Landlords must respond to tenant complaints about repairs, maintenance, and other issues promptly and effectively. This issue can be mitigated by having the right partners on the maintenance side. Find someone experienced with renovations who understands the time-critical nature of repairs and how to deal with these situations with your tenants.
Rent control regulations: Ontario has rent control regulations that limit how much landlords can increase rent each year, which can make it challenging to maintain profits and cover rising expenses. To mitigate this, make sure that the building is well maintained and that there are rules on what the tenant can and can't do before they move in. It is important for everyone to know that if you paint a wall purple, it will take a lot of effort to repaint between each tenant move out. Make sure that the tenant respects the property as much as you do. The second way to mitigate this is to make sure that you are on top of all rental increases. Every year, without fail, send the rent increases allowed by the Ontario government. This is essential; otherwise, inflation will have a greater effect on you.
Late or non-payment of rent: Dealing with tenants who don't pay rent on time or at all can be challenging, especially when legal action is required to collect rent or evict the tenant. For this issue, make sure that you conduct thorough validation of the tenant and ensure that both the landlord and tenant are a suitable match. If tenants fall behind, ensure that you follow the rules of the LTB to the letter. This will ensure that if there is a challenge, you can resolve the issue legally as soon as the date comes up if the tenant has not managed to fix it beforehand.
Property damage: Tenants may damage the rental property, leading to costly repairs and replacements. This can be mitigated by conducting a walkthrough inspection at the beginning of the tenancy, along with a six-month periodic check. If you find any damages, repair them immediately and send the tenant the bill if they are at fault. Don't leave this until they move out; otherwise, it will be harder on both yourself and the tenant.
Tenant turnover: When tenants move out, landlords must find new tenants to fill the vacancy, which can be time-consuming and costly. This can be mitigated by ensuring there is a good maintenance plan in place and that there are rules in the lease addendum. With your maintenance plan and proper rules, there should be just minor work required when the tenant is leaving - ideally less than a week.
Dealing with legal issues: Landlords may face legal issues such as disputes with tenants, zoning regulations, and building code violations. This issue is very building, town, or region-specific. Keep your building up to code with the partnered maintenance company, and for the most part, things will be fine. If there is the occasional troublesome issue that arises, make sure you tackle it immediately.
Keeping up with changing regulations: Laws and regulations related to landlord-tenant relationships can change frequently, making it challenging for landlords to keep up and comply with all the requirements. This issue is always something that can be dealt with by putting in the effort. There are lots of rules for landlords to deal with, but it is part of the rental business. Stay informed about any updates, and consider joining landlord associations or subscribing to newsletters that cover changes in regulations. By staying proactive and informed, you can more effectively navigate the ever-changing landscape of landlord-tenant relationships.
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