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Have you been Threatened, Cursed at, Property Damaged as a Small Landlord?

December 18th, 2011 · 3,650 Comments · Bad tenants

It seems so simple.  Here is the plan:

You buy a high quality living space.  

You paid for buying the place, you pay the taxes, you have the deed, you painted it, you added the washer and dryer,  you put down carpet, you even put some nice pretty flowers in the flower bed out front.

You advertise it.

You look to find someone looking for a clean, nice, and safe house.  You made sure you looked at the market rents in your area and you are very competitive.  You use the well-known channels to advertise, such as ViewIt, RentSeeker, Craigslist, Kijiji and your local newspaper.

You find a tenant

You get a bunch of people contact you interested in your place.  You show it to them, get them to fill out applications, and eventually choose someone.  The person you choose is clear they love the place, and can afford the rent.

Deal is done.  Wow, being an Ontario landlord is easy!

Hold on.  Things you never expected begin to happen.

Here is a heartfelt confession from an experienced Ontario landlord:

I have had tenants swear at me, threaten me, damage property, moveout in the middle of the night, not pay the rent and worse.

When I first started out as a Landlord, I was practically broke. This meant I had to accept almost anyone.

Over the years I have saved (form my full time job) and secured a line of credit. This means that I can now “afford” to leave and apt empty for a few months if needed.

The qualty of your tenants is critical.

I am very careful to whom I rent now.

On one occassion, I was showing a house that I had just spent $18,000.00 on (material costs only) and I had worked for 7 weeks renovating it and lost 20lbs (which I did not need to).

The prospective tenants were obviously a bit rough around the edges (similiar to the ones that had just left). These tenants also had a large dog and a large extended family and would also have various family members staying with them from time to time. They loved the house and wanted to move in.

I told the mother (“dad” did not bother to come and see the house), that I was offering her a very nice, newly updated home at a below market price.

“what are you offering me in return?” (just paying the rent is not enough)

She did not understand, and she did not get the house.

She was offering me a huge dog, an extended family, lots of wear and tear and house that would be tired and wornout in a few years.


The next family were perfect.

What’s the lesson from this?

The lesson is to view every applicant with a huge amount of suspicion.  They can make your life a living Hell, if they want to.  Such are the laws in Ontario.

Screen well, my friends.

To read more go to the Ontario Landlords Association Advice Forums here



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