5 ways to tame your landlord

Here’s how to keep the ‘lord’ out of your landlord

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From the December 2016 issue of the magazine.

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It’s the age-old question: Should you rent or buy? With housing prices still sky-high in Vancouver and Toronto, many are looking towards renting as a permanent solution. Michael Thiele, an Ottawa-based lawyer, suspects the new minimum down payment rules are pushing even more people to rent, making it a landlord’s market. Here’s how to keep the ‘lord’ out of your ‘landlord’.

1. Make your case

If you point out to your landlord that something needs fixing, make sure you get it in writing. That way, if it goes unrepaired, forcing you to take the case to a tenancy board, you have evidence that the landlord was told. Keeping pictures of the unrepaired area is also important, says Karen Andrews, a lawyer with Advocacy Tenant Centre of Ontario. A successful case may result in a reduction in rent, if the tenant can make the case that they’re not getting what they are paying for.

2. Knock first

“Tenants have to be careful that they are covered by their provincial tenancy legislation,” says Thiele. For instance, shared apartments or renting a room in someone’s house may not be covered. To be sure, call your provincial tenant’s board.

3. ‘No girls allowed’ is not allowed

So you see a sweet apartment that you’d like to rent, but notice the listing forbids people of your gender or race? The law is clear: If it’s considered discrimination under the Human Rights Code, it’s forbidden for the landlord to do it. That includes rejecting you based on sex, age, religion or marital status.

4. Law trumps lease

Rental agreements and leases don’t reign supreme in the renting realm. It’s tenancy law, not contract law, that matters, explains Andrew Sakamoto, executive director of the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre. Next time you see something unfair in your rental agreement, check with a free community legal clinic to see if it’s allowed under provincial legislation.

5. Heat, please

There’s a requirement to maintain heating, but not for providing air conditioning. Still, if there is air conditioning, it can’t be taken away, as the landlord is also expected to maintain the services that were provided when the tenant moved in.


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One comment on “5 ways to tame your landlord

  1. Your examples I have to say are somewhat lame. I as a Landlord have had a rude awakening in Sudbury owning and operating rental properties. The stories are abound of tenants who refuse to poop and scoop and hire a paralegal to fight their case, based on threatening them with an N5 and eviction because of refusing to poop and scoop. How about doing stories on the deviant nature of tenants and how they try and come up with ways to beat their obligations to paying their rent monthly. Oh I know, you rent don’t you.
    Look forward to your reply. Look for my book on how to be a Landlord and the pitfalls. Look for the unfairness wrt the Landlord Tenant laws and how the Landlords get screwed in the end loosing up to six months in rent because of sloppiness on the part of the Landlord Tenant act. Unbelievable. Well I would suggest you look at both sides and see just how distorted the act is in favour of the Tenant. Look forward to your creative reply.
    Regards
    Loyal money sense subscriber

    Reply

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