Saturday, July 25, 2009

New player entering into Landlord and Tenant wars

It's nice to see small landlords starting to organize. God knows, tenants' organizations, funded by governments at all levels have been organizing, lobbying and pressing governments for the last 25 years. Make no mistake about it....there is a war going on, with the poverty activists such as ACTO, Legal Aid Ontario, CERA, FMTA and others well funded and well organized.

Strangely enough, it's the government that keeps the fires of war stoked, as they promise and create programs and fail to fund them, creating a frenzy by groups attempting to get their share. To compensate for the under-funding, governments put onerous and oppressive regulations on landlords so that they don't have to go to the electorate with a ballot question about housing.

Small landlords have to some extent been out of the loop and silent in the battle. There is the Landlords' Self-Help Centre, the only landlord-side legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario. But the LSHC is not there to be an activist or militant voice, but to educate and provide legal advice to small-scale landlords. There are organizations for corporate landlords, such as FRPO, GTAA and MDSA, but they tend to take a corporate, more measured approach.

There is a new voice with a new web site through which Ontario landlords can share advice, ask questions, discuss tenant issues, perhaps even post "bad-tenant" lists. They are the Ontario Landlord Association, and frankly it's about time. Small landlord investors, encouraged to buy properties through low interest rates and an aggressive real estate industry, have not been treated well in the current system. The government is schizophrenic on this file. They want housing. They want affordable housing. Yet they treat all landlords in a monolithic fashion through the "One Size Fits All" Residential Tenancies Act. I can tell you that one size does not fit all, and government needs to nurture and attract investors, or the alternative is that government will have to build and operate social housing.

The new web site was born out of a group of passionate small landlords who recognize the unfairness of the system, and want to fight for change. The name of the new organization is the Ontario Landlord Association, and the web site is at

Call them militant, but folks, there is a war on out there, and the tenant side is over-funded, over-represented and has the ear of governments. If you are a small landlord, go to their site, join the forums, participate, learn, teach and hopefully prosper.


Ontario Landlords Helping Landlanrds said...

I want to get on that site. I am a small landlord and have recently been treated unfairly by the LTB. They are wholly unprofessional and discriminate landlords. They've wasted my time and money. I will be writing a complaint to the vice-chair as well as to the Ombudsman about the unprofessional conduct at the staff level as well as adjudicator level. Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to join this new site for small landlords. Landlords need to fight for fairness!

DCR said...

Thank God! I hope you will post the website for this group when it is up. I am feeling ill after reading through some decisions posted on the LTB website - none of which favoured landlords (I prefer the term property owners). How can they get away with this outrage!

I would really like to know how the board members are appointed and by whom?

Anonymous said...

It's about time! And bad tenants should be listed by name and past address' I would like to be very active in the fight against the LTB/RTA I even have a letter from the office of premier that says the LTB is independent and operates at arms length of the government and politicians can't comment or intervene (strange since they make these programs and laws) Forget fairness You should have the rights to protect your investments!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a long-overdue resource for small landlords to have a voice. Thank you for posting the link!

I wonder what the Government would think if all the small landlords started backing out of the market and looked for other investment opportunities? How would they explain the housing shortage?

Probably very badly with a thinly veiled concern for the welfare of Ontarians.