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Barrie Landlords: Avoid Legal Trouble And Bad Tenants in 2016

June 23rd, 2016 · Barrie Tenant Screening 2016, Canada Landlords, Latest News, Tenant Credit Checks

Barrie Landlords Avoid Legal Trouble And Bad Tenants in 2016

In 2016 Avoid Landlord Legal Problems and Rent To Good Tenants!

Experienced and successful Barrie landlords know the importance of renting to good tenants. When you find good tenants and rent to them being a landlord becomes a great business experience. This means tenant screening should be your priority.

In fact, is the same for Canadian landlords across the country, if you rent to good tenants you are your way to being successful.

What Is A Good Tenant?

Many new landlords ask what does “good tenant” actually mean? A good tenant is someone who does several things.

First of all, they follow the lease with you have them, and that includes paying the rent on time. They also respect both the property and the owner or property manager who they deal with as part of this mutually beneficial business agreement.

The good news is as the Barrie area grows fast there are lots of good tenants out there. Property prices are taking off in Barrie, Orillia and the entire area which means lots of future home-buyers are deciding to rent before purchasing their own home.

These means if you are a Newmarket landlord, a Barrie landlord or even further north you know there are good tenants out there to rent your rental property.

Be Careful Of Bad Tenants

Unfortunately there also bad tenants out there. Yes, they exist and they are searching for unsuspecting small residential landlords who aren’t careful and don’t screen carefully.

Bad tenants can create lots of expensive legal problems for landlords, and many landlords who do end up renting to bad tenants end up selling their property and stop being landlords. Let’s look at a few recent examples.

1. Barrie Landlord Assaulted By Tenant

The news from CTV Barrie news was shocking for many new landlords but experienced landlords just sighed “we seen it so many times. CTV reported Barrie police where called by a landlord at around 10pm by a landlord who had just been assaulted. He had been the victim of a head-butt by a 22 year old man. The man was charged with assault.

2. Barrie Landlord Assists Police With Tenants With Drugs

A report in the Barrie Examiner was about a landlord in Barrie who called the police to help clean up tenants and their drugs. Police arrived and found tenants with drugs and they were arrested on possession charges and breaches of arrest warrants.

Make Sure You Rent To Good Tenants in 2016

These are just a couple of the problems landlords are experiencing. Make sure you rent to good tenants and avoid these landlord legal problems.

Make sure you make running tenant credit checks as part of your screening process in 2016. A credit check on your tenant will show you not only their financial history, but past addresses and a lot more. Be a pro-active and professional landlord and get on the path for success.

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Barrie Landlords – Join the Ontario Landlords Association!

August 1st, 2015 · Barrie landlords, Latest News, Ontario Landlords Association

 Join the Ontario Landlords Association and Run Tenant Credit Checks For $10 Check

Barrie Landlords – Successful landlords know it’s important to avoid renting to bad tenants! Join the Ontario Landlords Association to make sure you rent to good tenants!

The Toronto Star Recommends Joining the Ontario Landlords Association to find good tenants:

Join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.

[Read more →]

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Barrie’s new development charges will have ‘a disastrous impact’ says owner

September 9th, 2014 · Barrie Bylaws, Latest News

Barrie landlords disasterous

 

Barrie’s new development charges will squeeze city landlords, and eventually their tenants, says Steve Dearlove.

This will have a disastrous impact on an already shrinking rental market, and more importantly, to affordable housing in general,” he said.

Development charges (DC) are fees collected from new development, so that growth pays for growth and the cost of growth-related infrastructure doesn’t result in higher property taxes or user fees from the existing community.

But Dearlove says the new DC for the creation of rental units has increased by an estimated 32-41%, depending on the type of unit being built.

City council passed its new Barrie-wide development charges bylaw Aug. 25.

Dearlove is the landlord of a four-unit building on Parkside Drive, and also lives in one of the units. But Dearlove says he’s facing huge DCs for a unit he paid for when he purchased the property.

This (DC bylaw) is both a public safety issue and an affordable housing issue and needs serious re-consideration on the part of our city council and any city council that levies DCs on rental units,” he said.

Dearlove spoke against the new DC bylaw on Aug. 25 and Mayor Jeff Lehman was surprised at the size of the landlord’s DC bill, and instructed staff to look into it.

The good news is that at the council meeting, Mayor Lehman seemed honestly concerned and wanted staff to follow up with me, which they have already done – at least to acknowledge that a follow-up will be taking place,” Dearlove said.

The bad news is that the DC bylaw 103 was passed almost unanimously.”

The new bylaw increased DCs on two bedroom and larger apartments to $25,140 per unit from $17,803 in Barrie proper, to $25,614 in the former Innisfil land. DCs for bachelor and one-bedroom apartments jump to $17,976 per unit in Barrie proper, and $18,315 in the former Innisfil, from $13,084.

Other residential dwellings (but not single or semi-detached homes) now have DCs of $30,481 in Barrie proper, $31,056 in the former Innisfil, an increase from $23,016.

Dearlove’s building has three existing units, with one additional unit, so it’s in the ‘other’ residential category – although it is a house by all other definitions, and he says not an apartment building.

So his DC charges are going from $23,016 to $30,481, a 32% increase.

This is insane,” Dearlove said. “It will act as a colossal disincentive for any landlord to bring their existing illegal units up to code standards – this is where the public safety issue enters the picture – and/or consider adding a unit or dividing their existing property into more units. This is where the affordability issue comes into play.”

He speculates that when the consultants were directed to determine DCs on individual units, they were not taking into consideration the economics of converting an existing dwelling to rental.

It’s Dearlove’s understanding the Development Charges Act does allow for some exceptions, but they are very specific.

DCs on single-detached homes have increased to $40,773 per unit from $30,788. In the new Salem and Hewitt’s Secondary Plan areas, the former Innisfil land, those DCs rise to $41,514. These increases are passed on to home buyers.
 There’s a 25% discount on residential building in the city centre, with a two-year sunset clause, along with a 100% break for office development there. The former DCA bylaw gave a 100% discount for non-residential building and 50% for residential.

The former retail or commercial DC of $16.81 per square foot goes to $27.41 in Barrie proper, $28.67 in the former Innisfil land. In other non-residential sectors, but not industrial, it jumps to $18.83 per sq. ft. from $13.65.

Lawyers from Harmony Village, a proposed 1,300-unit residential development along Bradford Street, and Park Place, have said they will appeal Barrie’s new DC bylaw to the Ontario Municipal Board.

Councillors put the brakes on hiking industrial fees, fearing it would hurt growth in that sector. The current industrial DC rate of $11.11 per square foot will be maintained for the first 1.2 million sq. ft. of space with a building permit – instead of the recommended new rate of $18.83 per sq. ft. But in the last four years, Barrie has averaged just below 100,000 sq. ft. of industrial development, so the 1.2 million sq. ft. ceiling is unlikely to be reached.

The city’s DC background study identified $1.3 billion in net costs from new development from 2014-2023 for soft services (libraries, recreations centres), from 2014-2031 for hard services (infrastructure) and from developing the former Innisfil land. Some of these costs can be recovered from development charges.
 During the life of the new DCA bylaw, estimated at five years, gross capital costs of $648 million have been identified in Barrie. Of that total, $369 million may be recovered through development charges.
 The remaining $279 million will come from property taxes and user rates, grants and subsidies.

 

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Tenants pets all die in Sunday fire in Ottawa

September 2nd, 2014 · bad tenants, Pets

barrie landlords tenants cause fire move out

Three pets died in a weekend fire in Ottawa.

Ottawa firefighters received several 911 calls at 9:15 p.m. Sunday alerting them to a fire at a duplex unit at 730 E. Joliet St. The fire began in a bathroom where a female tenant left on a space heater that ignited curtains and set the room on fire. Neither the woman nor her boyfriend were home at the time of the fire. Tenants in the other half of the duplex were home, but were not injured; they were among the 911 callers.

Fire Chief Jeff Newbury estimated damage to be $35,000, with the one unit rendered uninhabitable. Firefighters cleared the scene at 11:30 p.m. One cat and two dogs — one dog was terrier-like and the other was a pit bull — died in the fire. Newbury said the dogs were in cages and so “didn’t have a chance.”

The owner of the duplex, Randy Spradling, said the tenants moved into the duplex Friday and he believes they went to live with friends after the fire.

Read more here.

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Barrie Landlords Tenant Screening – Credit Checks and Criminal Checks

June 11th, 2014 · Barrie landlords, Tenant Credit Checks, Tenant Criminal Checks

 Barrie landlords tenant credit check criminal check

Barrie Landlords – With Lots of Positive News Happening, Make Sure You Rent To Good Tenants By Running Credit Checks and Criminal Checks As Part Of Your Tenant Screening

More good news is out there for those of us investing in rental properties.

As we’ve written before, Barrie landlords have our rentals in a top investment city.

The Real Estate Investors network ranked Barrie as the third best place to be a landlord in 2014. This is up a spot from last years’ report.

New Plans Coming for Secondary Suites

Also in the news is a meeting held at City Hall in May.

According to the Simcoe.com the meeting was about a plan for Barrie homeowners to more easily create secondary suites in their houses.

At the moment, we have pretty strict by-laws restricting secondary suites (aka “basement apartments”) to only zoned areas in Barrie.

The new proposed plan would change this. The entire city would be opened up for the creation of secondary suites.

There was some controversy over the maximum size for the new apartments to be built but progress was made and city staff will take everyone into consideration for an upcoming report.

Rent to Good Tenants

With all the good news and forward thinking going on, it can be easy to lose focus.

Remember, the key to being a successful landlord is to make sure you rent to good tenants.

A story on the Simcoe website about an evicted tenant who lost more than his rental home leads to this sobering reality.

Tenant On Probation Gets Caught

Worried he might cause trouble Barrie landlord called the police for assistance as the tenant the landlord was evicting took his things from the rental property.

The officers found the tenant being evicted had a conviction for sexually assaulting a child.

The tenant was ordered not to use the internet. However, during the eviction he told officers he had used the internet and his computer, game system and his smart-phone were taken.

How Can You Rent To Good Tenants?

They key is good tenant screening.

How Do I Do Good Tenant Screening?

You should also include:

1. Check employment references

2. Call past landlords

3. Conduct credit checks and criminal check

Bad tenants lie all the time

This is why you need to do credit and criminal checks to make sure what the tenants (and their references) say are in fact the truth and not part of a scam to trick you.

Check out Ontario Landlord Credit Check for details on how bad tenants try to trick good landlords.

It’s not just in Ontario these days.

Even BC landlords are doing credit checks on their tenants.

When you think of the most business friendly province you think of Alberta right? But now even Alberta landlords are running credit checks on their renters.

How Can I Do A Tenant Credit Check and Tenant Criminal Check?

You can join the Ontario Landlords Association.

For only a one-time fee you can start running premium tenant credit checks and premium tenant criminal checks for affordable prices.

Barrie landlords – With good news coming in make sure you rent to good tenants with credit checks and criminal checks as part of your tenant screening system!

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Barrie Landlords: We Are the #3 City To Invest In Rental Property

April 12th, 2014 · Rental Property, Tenant screening

There’s some good news for Barrie landlords and rental property investors in our city today.

The Real Estate Investment Network (REIN) has chosen Barrie as the #3 best place to invest for income properties in Ontario.

This is up from the #4 ranking for Barrie in 2013.

The report included Innisfil with Barrie.

Orillia was also a top performer as it was rated the 11th best Ontario city for landlords.

Investing In Barrie Rental Properties

According to Don Campbell of REIN, one of the major pluses for Barrie is the expansion and improvement of Highway 400.

As a story from Simcoe.com explains, the Ontari Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is planning to widen Highway 400

We will be getting 8 lanes from Higway 89 up to Essa Road.

Highway 400 will go up to 10 lanes (!) to Bayfield St.

These infrastructure improvements are coming because under the Places to Grow plan, Barrie is going to be a centre of north GTA economic activity along with Bradford and Alliston.

The Ontario provincial government predicts the Barrie population to reach 210,000 by the year 2031.

Barrie Rentals Are Attractive to Investors

This ranking by REIN comes alongside other positive news for our area.

The Globe and Mail interviewed income property investor.

She says finding cash-flowing properties in the GTA is difficult, which is why she recommends investing in Barrie and also recommend becoming a Hamilton landlord or an Oshawa landlord.

Challenges and Opportunities

Of course, experience landlords know there are challenges to being a landlord in Barrie.

Yes, there are bad tenants out there.

And in Ontario we don’t have the same fair laws that Alberta landlords have.

There are also a lot of good tenants and this side of the tenant pool is growing as Barrie grows.

Make sure tenant credit checks are part of your screening system.

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Barrie Landlords: Rent Increase Guideline 2014

January 3rd, 2014 · Barrie landlords, Rent Increase Guideline 2014

Barrie landlords rent increase guideline 2014

Barrie Landlords Can Raise the Rent By 0.8 Percent In 2014

It’s the new year and snow squalls and the cold weather aren’t the only things on the minds of Barrie landlords.

We are also thinking of our rental properties and how to make this new year successful for us.

Toronto Sun: Ontario Rent Increase Guideline

The column in the Toronto Sun was shocking to landlords all over Ontario.

It was shocking because it stated the Ontario Rent Increase Guideline for 2014 was only 0.8%

This means you can only raise the rent by this ridiculously low amount for your tenants.

As the Sun column explained this is the second lowest rate since rent control started in Ontario in the mid 1970s.

The lowest rate was  0.7% in 2011

Too Low

Have the expenses you face as a residential property investor only gone up less than 1%?

Most landlords will say no.

We warned landlords last summer when reported how much Barrie landlords will be able to raise the rent.

We explained when the news first broke that if your renter is paying $1000 per month for rent you can only increase the by $8.00.

Yeah, $8. About the price gas to drive over to your rental property and serve them the paperwork required to legally raise the rent.

No one is happy about it (except tenants).

We’ve read angry posts from Ottawa landlords and people with rentals in places such as Windsor.

How To Increase the Rent

Remember there are rules you have to follow to raise the rent.

For example you can only give an increase if a year has gone by since (a) the last increase, and (b) since the tenants first moved in.

You also have to give your tenants written notice of the increase. It has to be at least ninety days before the rent increase start up date.

Happy New Year To Barrie Landlords

We will everyone the best in the New Year and will continue to write about the opportunities and challenges we face as residential rental property investors.

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Investing In Barrie: How To Become a Successful Landlord

December 1st, 2013 · How To Be A Successful Barrie Landlord

Barrie landlords success

There are lots Of Opportunities in Becoming a Landlord In Barrie, But You Need to Be Professional and Know What You Are Doing

Experienced Barrie landlords know our city is filled with opportunities and challenges.

There are a lot of positives to invest in Barrie residential real estate and become a landlord (or an investor).

As you can read in the Ontario Landlords Association forum, there are also lots of challenges in Barrie and all over Ontario.

Barrie A Top Ontario Investment Town in 2013

According to a report in The Examiner Barrie, Ontario is considered the 4th best city in Ontario for investing in rental properties.

The rankings come from research done by the Real Estate Investment Network (REIN).

In 2013 Barrie is only behind:

1. Waterloo, Ontario

2. Kitchener/Cambridge, Ontario

3. Hamilton, Ontario.

Hany Kirolos Spoke About What This Means

Who is Hany Kirolos? He is the Barrie Director of Economic Development.

Kirolos was happy Barrie was recognized in such a way but he said he wasn’t surprised.

He said Barrie has consistently been highly ranks and things keep getting better.

Why Was Barrie Ranked So High?

REIN’s report says Barrie is an attractive community for people who want a laid back lifestyle yet still want to live near a large city.

The economy is also getting stronger.

It’s no longer just a recreational area – with its golf courses, ski hills and trails – but has a year-round, diverse economy.

According to REIN Barrie is not just a place to take a vacation anymore.

With economic diversification, aggressive plans for growth and new transportation, Barrie on on the right track.

Barrie Landlords Still Face Challenges

Experienced landlords in Barrie know that while there are some great opportunities here, there are also tenants who keep Barrie paralegals charging high fees for landlords in trouble salivating.

Want More Proof Of Why You Need To Screen Tenants Carefully?

As we wrote last month there is lots of proof.

The story in the Barrie Advance was downright scary.

A John Street man called police frantically after another tenant of the building was allegedly chasing him around with a knife.

He told police he was locked in his own room for safety.

Police arrived Saturday afternoon to find the suspect also was locked in his own room.

A 53-year-old Barrie man was charged with weapons dangerous, uttering death threat and failing to comply with probation. He was held for a bail hearing.

Tenant Screening

One bad tenant can cost you thousands and if you hire someone to go to the Landlord and Tenant Board to ‘terminate’ the tenancy it will cost you even more money with no guarantees of success (but you still pay).

Multi Unit Buildings

If you own a property with more than one rental unit it important to protect your tenants by screening new potential tenants carefully.

Barrie Landlord Reality Check

Experienced Landlords know our city has lots of opportunities.

There are also tenants out there who will harm you and your rental property business.

This can lead you to lose thousands in lost rent and damages and legal fees to people who speak a good game yet never guarantee results.

Ontario Landlords Association

The Ontario Landlords Association offers Barrie Landlords access to incredible tools including Equifax tenant credit checks for only $10 / check.

Invest in yourself and your rental property by making sure you rent to all the excellent tenants out there (and steer clear of all the ‘pro tenants’ wanting to milk you dry!)

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Tenant Screening Barrie: Tenant Criminal Checks & Tenant Credit Checks

October 30th, 2013 · Tenant Credit Checks, Tenant Criminal Checks

 Barrie landlords Tenant Credit Check Tenant Criminal Check

The Key To Being A Successful Landlord is Tenant Screening with Tenant Credit Checks

Unfortunately the news story was nothing new for Barrie landlords.

Veteran landlords here have seen it all.

From tenants breaking leases to leaving thousands of dollars owed.

Or leaving the rental property full of trash.

What about doing a midnight run and the landlord shows up and sees their investment property basically destroyed.

And we won’t even discuss how some toilets have been left behind.

You can take a look but be warned the sights are very unsettling.

Residential Tenancies Act

The Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board do little to protect landlords in Ontario.

Not only does the LTB not protect landlords, their “hug a thug” policies don’t protect good tenants from bad tenants.

Barrie Tenant Calls Police

Just last month there was a horrific story on Simcoe.com about a Barrie tenant who called police after another tenant in the rental building attacked him with a knife.

According to the story he had to lock himself in his room to try to stay safe.

When police arrived they charged a fifty-three year old male tenant with not only dangerous weapons, but for giving a death threat and not obeying his probation orders.

How Can You Protect Yourself, Your Rental Property and Your Tenants?

The key is to make sure you thoroughly check out the people who want to become your tenants.

According to the Globe and Mail, Selecting good tenants is the #1 step to being a successful landlord.

The article says residential landlords who do property screening will succeed.

Those who don’t are on the road to failure.

It also says renting to unqualified tenants (because of bad tenant screening) is the biggest reason landlords decide to give up and stop being landlords.

Don’t be one of these failures.

Tenant Credit Checks

Make sure you know who you are renting to and who you are putting in your rental property.

This not only protects you, it protects your property and it protects any other tenants you have.

A tenant credit check will show you the financial history of the person who wants to rent to you.

Numbers don’t lie.

You can get a credit score and see if the interested renter pays their bills on time.

Criminal Checks

A criminal check will help you protect yourself and your tenants.

Has the interested renter ever served time for fraud? Bouncing cheques? Assault?

How Can I Do a Tenant Credit Check and a Tenant Criminal Check?

Join the Ontario Landlords Association and get easy access to premium credit checks and criminal checks.

Barrie Landlords Make Sure You Protect Yourself, Your Rental Property and Your Tenants.

Make Tenant Credit and Criminal Checks Part of Your Tenant Screening System!

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Pro-active Barrie Landlord Educates Her Student Tenants On Garbage Disposal

October 1st, 2013 · Barrie Bylaws

 Barrie landlord Tenants Clean up the the garbage

It’s Time For A Legal Damage Deposit for Ontario Landlords

Being a landlord who rents to students has advantages.

What type of advantages?

Most student tenants have youthful optimism and are busy studying to get high grades, finding part time jobs and (with hormones raging) concentrating on their social lives.

This use of time and energy usually means they are far too try to use the Residential Tenancy Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board as a weapon to intimidate or get money from their landlord.

So you can avoid the troubles many small residential landlords are facing in Ontario.

In case you are wondering about some of the challenges Ontario Landlords face renting to the general public here’s only a few from the Ontario Landlords Association site:

Tenants Bringing in Dangerous Pets

Tenants Not Paying the Rent and Manipulating the System

Tenants Threatening Their Landlord

Sadly, the list goes on…and on….

What Are Some Of the Negatives Of Renting To Students?

While renting to students is usually a very rewarding experience, there are some things new investors should know about regarding the student tenant demographic. These issues were made clear recently in a story in the Barrie Advance.

Meet Anna Moore

Anna Moore is the president of Student Property Management.

She says that on August 31st of this year she cleaned out the forty or so properties she manages.

The total amount of garbage she cleaned out was…wait for it…

….over fifteen tonnes!

Yes, that’s right. Over fifteen tonnes of trash. Moore says many students simply leave without cleaning up.

Proactive Enforcement

According to Moore Barrie bylaw officers and the Police Service are taking garbage and other complaints against students and student housing very seriously.

She says Georgian College is also trying to educate students about their responsibilities when renting a property while attending school.

Barrie acting bylaw services manager Tammy Banting said the city most often receives complaints about noise, unkempt yards and parking issues, as cars block driveways or take over front lawns.

City staff work with residents and homeowners to help them comply with the rules and practices of being a good neighbour, she added.

Ontario Landlords Need To Be Able To Charge A Damage Deposit

Unlike other provinces, Ontario landlords cannot collect a damage deposit.

If we could charge a damage deposit don’t you think most of these students would make an effort to clean up? Most would.

By avoiding these horrendous clean ups not only would landlords save money (allowing them to not have to raise rents), but there would be a lot more people interested in investing in Ontario rental properties (creating more choice for tenants).

It’s time we follow other provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, etc. to offer private landlords at least a bit of protection from tenants who decide to leave trash and damages when they leave.

To Discuss This And Other Barrie Landlord Issues Come Join the Discussion at the Barrie Landlord Forum.

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