Small landlords ‘shafted’ by tenant act

A string of cases that placed landlords on the losing end of court decisions involving unruly (often criminal) tenants, has reignited concerns about revisions to the Landlord Tenant Act.

“The LTB processes are confusing and cumbersome, in many cases, and as such they are simply another reason why many mom-and-pop landlords have dropped out of the equation,” wrote a veteran investor on the CREW Forum.

“The bigger players in the game (can afford to take the risks) because they can afford to hire property managers who make a living out of knowing the Tenant Act. When dealing with the LTB, they are very often eager to help a tenant but not so much for a beleaguered landlord.”

The comments reflect a growing concern and genuine feeling of abandonment when it comes to the LTB, which ostensibly provides more protection for tenants than landlords who are often jilted out of profits when tenants refuse to pay rent, damage property or engage in illegal activity.

In Ontario specifically, the government has the power to confiscate property they deem a hub for illegal activity, especially if they feel a landlord has not done enough to prevent these situations.

Some investors feel that there need to be clearer lines drawn for landlords so they are not set up for failure, according to one real estate investor.

“If there is a clear case of a landlord washing their hands of issues that arise and wantonly failing to take measures to keep the living standard in their properties up (and there are many examples of those), then I do believe it is fair that the authorities have a means of dealing with that,” said Brandon Sage, a real estate investment consultant with the Landlord Property & Rental Management.

“To expect a landlord to carry on the fight with their hands tied behind their back as the province of Ontario has seen fit to do is setting landlords up for failure – and that it not fair.”

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