15 November 2022 ~ 0 Comments

Is being a landlord worth it anymore in Ontario?

I’m going to come right out and say it, that being a landlord in Ontario these days, can plain ole suck. Well, that is if you are one of the unlucky ones dealing with an uncooperative tenant. 
If you have heard the countless stories of small investors being screwed by a system meant to offer fairness to both tenants and landlords across Ontario the past year, it would make some of sick in your stomach. 
Now, the system has never been equal in fairness to both tenants and landlords (Afterall, it is called the “Tenant Protection Act”). But since I became a licensed Realtor in 1996, back then, I would say it was 60-40 in favour of tenants. I don’t even want to put a number on it today, but I would frustratingly say in the year 2022 it’s like 90% in favour of tenants, due to an underfunded and overwhelmed system. I don’t see this changing anytime soon, but hopeful by the middle of next year, maybe? If we hit a recession, then maybe not.
Some will say that those who become a landlord deserve the lows that come along with the highs, and you will have no argument from me on that. Do your due diligence is what I say, and a big part is in familiarizing yourself with both the Tenant Protection Act as well as the Landlord and Tenant Tribunal.
But even after doing that, you are going to find a system that has become more heavily weighted towards Tenant’s, and mostly due to political influence, so I don’t think that will be changing anytime soon.
I’ve personally been a landlord and yes, make no mistake, it was with the intent of making money off my investments long term. Working in a field as I do where you are self-employed and have no benefits, pension, or company RRSP match, having the income from an investment property down the road would be handy. 
I also liked that I was providing a form of affordable housing in the price range my invested properties targeted, and this fits in with my personal belief ‘affordable housing for all’. 
Governments should focus and house the neediest of our society, while small mom and pop investors like you and I, could provide an option for those who didn’t want to live in a rental only building, which until recently almost most likely meant an apartment building built in the 1960’s and 1970’s throughout Toronto. 
The irony is that it’s the government, along with a few bad corporate slumlords, who provide the worst housing when it comes to repairs and condition. Yet, how often are they dragged in front of the tribunal and called out? And there is really no risk in a tenant not paying as many in government assisted housing receive financial government assistance.
And this where the problem in the system is today. Well, at least one of the problems. If you are a small landlord and your tenants decide to stop paying rent, you basically are screwed. It’s a minimum of 6 months before getting a Tribunal date, and even then, it can be extended if your non-paying tenants decide to ask for an extension. 
So, in theory you could be waiting for months upon months of no rental income, and no chance of reclaiming your property. And if the tenant decides to do damage to your unit, or you have additional costs upon their removal, good luck in collecting it back from them. Try not paying your income taxes and see how our  government feels about that, lol. 
What can you do? Well, there are no 100% guarantees, but I would screen your potential tenants as close as possible. Scour through the provided documents and don’t hesitate to question anything that doesn’t look or add up. Don’t settle. Even if you are using a Realtor or third party service, ask questions. Finally, go with what your gut says. I would rather my investment property sit empty for a month or two, verse risk taking on someone who wasn’t vetted thoroughly so I could not miss a month’s rent. 

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