Greater Sudbury Landloard Association https://gsla.ca An education provider to all landlords/property managers in the Greater Sudbury region Wed, 02 Oct 2019 13:40:31 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.3 https://gsla.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/GSLA_logo-150x150.png Greater Sudbury Landloard Association https://gsla.ca 32 32 GSLA Petition to Landlord Tenant Board https://gsla.ca/gsla-petition-to-landlord-tenant-board/ https://gsla.ca/gsla-petition-to-landlord-tenant-board/#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2019 20:22:32 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=1164 http://chng.it/xvvhf4cc7c

 

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Landlords and tenants in Sudbury dealing with costly delays after closure of local office https://gsla.ca/landlords-and-tenants-in-sudbury-dealing-with-costly-delays-after-closure-of-local-office/ https://gsla.ca/landlords-and-tenants-in-sudbury-dealing-with-costly-delays-after-closure-of-local-office/#respond Tue, 02 Apr 2019 02:12:45 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=859 Landlords and tenants in Sudbury dealing with costly delays after closure of local office

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/landlord-tenant-board-sudbury-costly-delays-1.5075836

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Expect delays: Staffing shortage causing chaos at landlord-tenant board https://gsla.ca/expect-delays-staffing-shortage-causing-chaos-at-landlord-tenant-board/ https://gsla.ca/expect-delays-staffing-shortage-causing-chaos-at-landlord-tenant-board/#respond Thu, 14 Feb 2019 17:53:02 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=707 A staffing shortage at the Sudbury office of the Landlord-Tenant Board is causing significant delays in resolving disputes between owners and tenants.

The Sudbury office used to have two adjudicators, but one has resigned and hasn’t been permanently replaced, while another is on leave. 

Vanessa Campbell, spokesperson for the Social Justice Tribunals Ontario, said in an email the shortage will cause delays in Sudbury, since there’s a lack of LTB adjudictors across Ontario. Starting in October, Campbell said hearings will only be held every second week, instead of weekly, until the shortage is addressed.

“Hearing blocks for September and October are now full,” she wrote. “The next available date for a hearing is Nov. 13, 2018.

“Generally, when facing a shortage in one region, the LTB looks to use adjudicators from other parts of the province. However, because the shortage is provincewide, our ability to use this approach is also limited.”

Campbell didn’t say when the province expected to deal with the shortage, adding only that “the LTB continues to work hard to meet the needs of landlords and tenants and remains committed to providing fair, effective and timely dispute resolution.”

Michel Marcotte, a licensed paralegal in Sudbury who handles cases for landlords and tenants, estimates there are 7,000-8,000 cases that head to the LTB each year, and about a quarter of those head to a hearing in front of an adjudicator. 

The shortage isn’t causing major problems yet, Marcotte said, since not many hearings usually happen over the summer.

“What will happen is you’ll get a backlog, starting in September,” he said. “And then you’re playing catch up.”

If the problem isn’t addressed soon, Marcotte said the backlog will grow quickly, leaving landlords and tenants in the lurch. 

“If you’re a landlord, and you have a really, really bad tenant that owes you a lot of money or does damage to your residence, you’re talking about waiting an extra two months,” he said. “By that time, you’ve lost even more money, you could lose other tenants sometimes because they don’t want to be around these people. So it can have quite an impact.”

Tenants do have some other avenues, Marcotte said. Greater Sudbury’s bylaw department, for example, can enforce housing standards and force the landlord to make repairs.

“So [tenants] do have some other avenues, but they’re very limited.”

The wait time for a hearing was already as much as two months, he said, compared to Alberta, where hearings are often scheduled within three weeks.

“We need more adjudicators, because it’s really slowing down the process,” Marcotte said. “It’s detrimental to landlords and the tenants, who could end up with health issues or monetary problems.”

Ray Goulet, president of the Greater Sudbury Landords Association, said some hearings are scheduled for next month, but the prospect of longer waits to resolve problems with tenants could be devastating for some landlords.

If you’re dealing with a tenant who doesn’t pay their rent, it already takes two to four months to get orders to evict them, he said.

“The average price for an apartment is $1,000 a month,” Goulet sauid. “So you could be out of pocket for $4,000. If you lose too much rent, you lose pretty much any profit for the year.”

Jonathan Wong, staff lawyer with the Sudbury Community Legal Clinic where tenants go for legal help, said there are two issues they are facing. Earlier this year, the province ended counter service at the LTB, meaning tenants have to go to the Service Ontario counters.

That means the staff that tenants are dealing with don’t have the same expertise surrounding LTB rules, and can’t help with the details of filing emergency forms.
 
And the shortage of adjudicators means temporary ones are flown in, making it difficult to get a full day of hearings in. Hearings often go long, meaning anyone still waiting at the end of the day has to reschedule.

“That causes additional expenses for both the tenants and the landlords, if they have to appear on multiple days,” he said. “If they have serious issues, there is a form that tenants can use to try and get an expedited hearing, but practically speaking that’s not going to happen if there’s a lack of (hearing times).”

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Call for Better Protection for Landlords https://gsla.ca/call-for-better-protection-for-landlords/ https://gsla.ca/call-for-better-protection-for-landlords/#respond Wed, 29 Aug 2018 03:16:01 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=564 In North Bay, the local city council is set to lobby the province for better protection for landlords left with costly property damage by tenants.

For a landlord, walking into a rental unit that has been damaged by a tenant is a nightmare.

One that city councillors say is becoming all too common.

Now, local politicians are banding together and demanding balance between landlord and tenant rights.

Mike Anthony is a North Bay city councillor.

“It seems right now that the system’s out of whack. And while we have to protect tenant rights, tenants have rights and that’s important, it needs to be balanced so landlords aren’t feeling vulnerable and like this, are suffering, like we have seen recently.” said Anthony.

As for the landlord association, it’s eager to see change as well.

John Wilson is the President of the Near North Landlords Association.

“Not all tenants are bad. We have great tenants, but there’s 2-3% of the tenancy force out there right now that are creating 99% of the problems. If we can bring balance back into the legislation, so that both tenant and landlord rights are protected, then we will have done our job.” said Wilson.

City council has now put forward a motion requesting three things.

“For the province to obviously protect basic and important tenant rights, but also to investigate policy and regulations that would help protect property further. Ways to penalize those who do willful damage and ways to better help re-coupe costs.” said Anthony.

Mark King is also a North Bay city councillor.

“In working with the landlords association, I asked them to compose a letter of their concerns. I will take that directly to the housing minister, which we do have an audience with.” said King.

He says he will meet with the provincial housing minister next week to discuss this issue and to present a list of those landlord association concerns.

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Sudbury landlords concerned about problems new pot legislation will create https://gsla.ca/sudbury-landlords-concerned-about-problems-new-pot-legislation-will-create/ https://gsla.ca/sudbury-landlords-concerned-about-problems-new-pot-legislation-will-create/#respond Tue, 17 Jul 2018 16:03:27 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=544 Sudbury landlords making buildings non-smoking in anticipation of cannabis law

Landlords in Sudbury are trying to get ahead of cannabis legislation coming this fall.

The federal government has spelled out the framework, but for those who rent out apartments, houses and other units, those details are still hazy. They anticipate problems.

Among the stipulations of the law, adults over the age of 18 can possess 30 grams of dried marijuana.

For landlords, one of the biggest concerns is the odour that will come from when a tenant decides to smoke their pot.

The Greater Sudbury Landlord Association (GSLA) is telling its members to change rental agreement leases now, which will keep their buildings smoke-free, president Ray Goulet said.

The GSLA is a group of roughly 60 landlords, realtors and property owners in the city.

Goulet says when dried marijuana is smoked the smell is pungent to neighbours and others who may share the same furnace system.

“You can smell it clearly.”

“You take your smoking outside because it could affect the mom next door with her baby,” he said.

“A lot of people are inflicted with asthma [or] health conditions. They don’t want marijuana smoking or regular smoking.”

Most non-smoking units have designated smoking sections somewhere outside on the property.

Damage to units

Sherry Jordan, vice-president of the GSLA, says there are also concerns about damage to rental units from both marijuana and cigarette smoke.

“Smoke seeps and it gets into drywall, carpeting, flooring, cupboards, everywhere. And sometimes it can become a health hazard,” she said.

“Those things would need to be changed out completely, and a renovation would need to occur, which can be quite expensive on landlords,” Jordan said.

She added that having an existing smoker in a rental unit will get a little trickier.

“Because you can’t change rules once they’re in there,” Jordan said.

All-inclusive leases

Another detail within the new cannabis legislation allows for up to four marijuana plants to be grown per residence for personal use.

Goulet says this could cause a problem in the future because many landlords offer all-inclusive rents for their tenants. The landlord pays the hydro bill and water for the entire building.

“In most cases it’s not just going to be four [marijuana plants], it’s going to grow into eight or twelve plants.”

“They have to supply all the lighting for this, they have to supply the water. It’s going to deteriorate the floors. The hydro is going to be that much more expensive.”

Goulet says landlords across the country will get clarity on the pot legislation in early October.

“For now, as a safeguard all the landlords are writing it into their leases: no smoking, no growing,” he said.

“If we don’t get clarity from the government…if they turn around and say yes the licensed marijuana user is entitled to grow, then we as an association need to speak up and say no, we can’t have that because they’re going to destroy our properties,” Goulet said.

Any disagreements between landlords and tenants are taken to the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board.

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Group gives landlords ‘a voice’ https://gsla.ca/group-gives-landlords-a-voice/ https://gsla.ca/group-gives-landlords-a-voice/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2018 15:01:43 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=524 Ray Goulet moved to Sudbury in 2011. He now owns five buildings and 31 apartments, but says he has experienced a terrible trend – bad tenants.

“I was amazed with the amount of poor rentals, people taking advantage of the landlords, and there were no rules in place,” Goulet said. “There was no organization for landlords in town, even though there were a lot of landlords, and there was no voice for the landlord here in Sudbury.”

Goulet, along with others, formed the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association, which is now up and running and looking to continue to grow its membership.

It is a non-profit organization that services the public by educating all landlords in the Nickel City area. There are meetings once a month at the Caruso Club with guest speakers from the community providing knowledge in any and all things like plumbers, health department, bylaws, tribunal, paralegals, pest control and snow removal.

“We wanted to gather and have there be a voice for everyone in Sudbury as a landlords group,” Goulet said.

Currently, there about 25 paid members and roughly 90 landlords on a distribution list.

“We look forward to more members joining our group,” Goulet said.

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Who is responsible for clearing ice on rental properties? https://gsla.ca/who-is-responsible-for-clearing-ice-on-rental-properties/ https://gsla.ca/who-is-responsible-for-clearing-ice-on-rental-properties/#respond Fri, 06 Apr 2018 16:42:16 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=208 It’s that time of the year when parking lots, driveways and sidewalks are extremely slippery.

Homeowners are required to clear ice for people who might walk onto their property, but what are the rules for renters and landlords? Freeze and thaw conditions at the tail end of winter can lead to a lot ice buildup.

At the thousands of rental properties in Sudbury, the city says the responsibility for safety is squarely on the landlord.

Brendan Adair is the Manager of Security, Bylaw and Court Services with the City of Greater Sudbury.

“It does put responsibility on them to make sure that walkways, parking lots and any entrance to a property is safe for any resident that lives there.” said Adair.

Some landlords say they can’t always stay on top of their properties, especially when they own several buildings or during rapidly changing weather conditions.

Ray Goulet is a property manager and part of the Greater Sudbury Landlord Association.

“One day it’s warm, the next day it’s just cold. So, we as landlords maintain the responsibility to try to stay on top of it as best we can.” said the property manager.

Goulet says good communication from tenants is important.

“Work on developing a relationship with your superintendent, with your landlord, to get them to come out, sand and salt, and clear that driveway. They’re obligated to do so. That’s part of the terms and conditions of leasing and that’s what the landlord should be doing.” said Goulet.

“In the event that they don’t see any action or there’s a complete disregard, we are a support to them and they can call 3-1-1 to put that case in.” said Adair.

He also says the goal of the bylaw is compliance, not penalizing, but says if the landlord refuses to act, the city can get the work done itself and pass the bill on to the building owner.

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Landlord assoc. says too many renting laws favour tenants https://gsla.ca/landlord-assoc-says-too-many-renting-laws-favour-tenants/ https://gsla.ca/landlord-assoc-says-too-many-renting-laws-favour-tenants/#respond Wed, 21 Mar 2018 03:17:39 +0000 http://gsla.ca/?p=83 Group looks to educate landlords on responsibilities, level the playing field for building owners

The Greater Sudbury Landlord Association has amassed more than 30 members in just six short months of existence and their doors are open to new members.

Made up of landlords, professional realtors, and property managers, the GSLA is aiming to educate its members and visitors through monthly meetings that each focus on a different subject matter related to property management.

Guest speakers have included pest control experts, paralegals and city bylaw enforcement. The association has requested a representative of the Landlord Tenant Board attend as a guest speaker.

The GSLA was formed in January of this year and has held a meeting at the CarusoClub once a month since being formed.

“Landlords were a bit unsure of their rights and their responsibilities of being a landlord,” said Sherry Jordan, vice president of the GSLA. “We’re also looking to be a voice in the community to hopefully get some things changed at the provincial level that are more in favour of the landlord and not so one-sided to the tenant.”

Jordan says that things like tenant notices to vacate are very one-sided and can often leave landlords on the hook for a lot of money.

“If a landlord proceeds with an eviction for non-payment, a tenant has a right to file a stay, so even though the landlord has incurred all kinds of costs and waited all the time that the Landlord Tenant Board has told them to wait, even at the last minute you may not get your property returned to you,” said Jordan.

“Then you have to set another date in the landlord tribunal to try to get the tenant out again. We feel it’s very one-sided in favour of the tenant and we’d like to see some changes.”

Once monthly, the GSLA brings in a guest speaker to educate landlords on best practices for managing a property and tenants.

“We’ve had a paralegal come in and tell us what kind of things to put on lease agreements, what to ask for on an application,” said Jordan. “We just had Brandon Adair from city bylaw and he spoke to us about things like pets and barbecues and fire pits and towing vehicles on properties, so bringing these types of community leaders in to educate our landlords is a big part of what we’re doing.”

Membership to the GSLA is $120 annually, or $10 per meeting for non-members. It pays to be a member though, Jordan said, as you’re always kept up to date even if you miss meetings.

“There’s people who may be away at camp during the summer months or have other commitments, but there’s a meeting they’re really interested in; if you’re a member you’ll receive the minutes from past meetings and you’ll be put on an email list to stay updated,” said Jordan.

Being a member also comes with some perks, as organizations like Abel Pest Control offer a discount to landlords who are members of the GSLA.

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the GSLA, or attending their next monthly meeting can contact greatersudburylandlors@gmail.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

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