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Renting to Students in Hamilton (Part 1)

March 17th, 2014 · Hamilton District and Apartment Association, Rent to Students Hamilton

 Hamilton landlords Ontario lanldords association rent to students

Is Renting to Hamilton Students Your Next Investment?

Things are looking up for Hamilton landlords in 2014.

Many landlords seeing some very sweet appreciation of our rental properties.

Since so many of us focus on cash-flow, seeing our rental properties go up in price is amazing news in case we want to sell or re-finance our mortgages.

As the CBC News report shows we are also seeing good job growth and more good tenants coming to our city and wanting to work and develop roots here.

We are on a roll since Hamilton landlords united and defeated the crazy idea of a ‘tenant tax’ also know as Hamilton landlord licensing.

Studying in Hamilton

Hamilton is a great city for students.

We have lots of excellent places for students to study.

These education institutions including Mohawk College.

We Are Home To a World Class University

Hamilton is also home to McMaster University.

This is an internationally renowned schools with over 24,000 undergraduate students and over 4,000 graduate students.

McMaster is also home to one of Canada’s most famous medical schools.

Tips for Student Landlords

The Ontario Landlords Association is a leading helper and friend for small landlords across Ontario.

Some of the older landlord associations such as the Hamilton District and Apartment Association are very helpful for large corporate landlords with all those big buildings you see but not good for small residential landlords.

After all they have done nothing to help us for years?

The answer is: Nothing!

Except they still love taking those annual fees.

They don’t help small landlords.

The Ontario Landlords Association focuses on real issues for small landlords.

They have an excellent interview with Jennifer Radley who is the Manager of the University of Toronto Housing Services Center.

Jennifer took questions from small landlords and investors on to become a successful student landlord.

Sure, she is working at the University of Toronto but her advice and tips are helpful for landlords all over.

Whether you are a landlord in Hamilton, a British Columbia landlord renting to students attending UBC or an Alberta Landlord renting to students at the University of Calgary the tips are important.

It’s also essential reading for an Ottawa landlord renting to Carleton students or UofO students.

What Questions Did Landlords Ask?

For example, one of the questions was about what students want from a rental property and what landlords should make sure of to motivate students to rent from them.

The answer from Jennifer was very thorough and included:

1. Students want to rent properties close to campus or with easy access to it

2. Landlords should make sure your rents are competitive

3. Students love properties where rent includes utilities

4. If you have a basement unit, make sure it’s bright and happy.

5. Students want a safe rental so they can focus on studies at all times.

Becoming a Hamilton Student Landlord

We’ll have more on these important tips of Hamilton Landlords in our next blog.

There is a great opportunity in Hamilton and smart investors are getting in now. 

There is a growing amount of students coming to Hamilton and they are looking for professional landlords. 

They are looking to rent from you!

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Hamilton Landlords: Tenant Screening

December 18th, 2013 · Hamilton Landlords, Tenant Screening

Hamilton landlords tenant screening

Tenant Credit Checks Are a Key Part Of Good Tenant Screening So Make Sure The Checks Aren’t Faked by Tricky Bad Tenants!

It was a challenging year for Hamilton landlords in 2013.

Fortunately we stuck together and made our voices heard and as the year ends we have lots of optimism for 2014.

As the US economy picks up it will mean more jobs for Ontario.

And things are looking good for Hamilton real estate and for investors and landlords in our city.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation the housing market will be healthy in 2014 and prices will rise above inflation.

Prices in October 2013 increased more than 5% over a year earlier.

More Good Tenants

As the Hamilton economy grows and house prices increase it means there will be more good renters for landlords.

People who would have purchased their own property before are now renting to afford more expensive properties.

People who plan to own their own home can be very attractive tenants as they want to keep their credit score at a high level to eventually get a mortgage.

They also want to save for their own down payment and not waste time arguing with their landlord at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Find The Good Tenants Out There and Avoid the Pro Tenants

It’s now more important than ever Hamilton landlords, Toronto landlords and landlords all over the province screen carefully and rent to good tenants.

The reality is there are still a large number of bad tenants out there who will manipulate the system and cost you thousands of dollars and months of stress and frustration.

Tenant Credit Checks

This is a very important part of a landlords’ tenant screening process.

Unfortunately some landlords have experienced tenants who produce their own credit report which has turned out to be fake.

More and more small landlords are waking up to the importance of good tenant screening and demanding a tenant credit check before renting out their property to someone.

Bad tenants learn fast.

This means bad tenants will expect landlords to want a credit check.

And they know their credit is bad because they have cheated others and this is reflected in their credit report.

So these bad tenants prepare by creating fraudulent, fake credit reports and try to pass them off as real to unsuspecting landlords.

How Can You Deal With These Tenant Tricks?

It’s easy.

Hamilton landlords can take control of their own tenant screening process.

Never accept a credit report offered to you by a potential tenant. Instead, do your own tenant credit checks.

You can join the Ontario Landlords Association and for a very small one time set up fee you can begin doing credit checks offered by Equifax, Tenant Verification Services, and GARDA background screening.

Each check is very affordable.

And it gives you, the landlord, total control of the tenant screening process.

Hamilton landlords things are looking bright for 2014.

Make sure you find good tenants by taking control of your rental business!

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Invest in Hamilton: New Hamilton Landlords (and good news for existing landlords)

November 4th, 2013 · New Landlords

Hamilton Landlords Become a Landlord In Hamilton 2014

We’ve had lots of good news for Hamilton landlords in the past month.

One of the most important things is that landlords licensing has been put on hold.

It looked like residential landlords would certainly need to get a license back in September.

Due to good organization, clear logical facts behind our case against licensing, and passionate landlords cooperating together the City of Hamilton decided to shelve the program.

And while some on City Council are dedicated to attempt to bring back the program, for now level-hotheadedness wins.

It was a terrific win for Hamilton landlords and tenants.

We want to thank the Ontario Landlords Association for their important role in stopping landlord licensing.

What’s Next for Hamilton Landlords and Residential Real Estate Investors?

There is some more good news.

We said the Hamilton real estate market was finally revving up.

According to a report on CBC News we were correct.

A Hot 2014 in Hamilton

The report is about one of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) forecasts on real estate.

According to Abdul Kargbo, a senior market analyst for the Hamilton area and Brampton area for CMHC more newcomers are moving to Hamilton.

More newcomers means more houses sales (and more tenants) for us.

This is great news for landlords as it means house prices are rising (appreciation of rental properties) and more tenants looking for to rent from us.

September 2013 Was a Great Month For Hamilton Real Estate

The month of September was a huge month. The number of home sales was 1,207. This was only 1 sale short of the all-time record.

Hamilton House Prices Also Rose

Prices for home in September 2013 were 7 percent higher compared to a year before.

The average sale price was a whopping $392,013!

Avoid Professional Tenants and Find All the Great Ones Coming To Hamilton

More people moving to Hamilton is good news for landlords.

More people means more good tenants.

Of course, while the majority of tenants are good you still need to protect yourself and be extremely careful!

With this influx of renters it’s important for Hamilton landlords to do proper tenant screening.

How Can I Protect Myself and Find Great Tenants?

With tenant credit checks you can find good tenants and avoid bad tenants who won’t pay the rent and will cause damages to your rental property.

A tenant credit check is an essential tool to making sure you rent to good tenants.

Things Are Looking Up

Hamilton landlords are on a roll.

Remember to screen your tenants carefully. This always includes a tenant credit check.

Let’s keep working hard, banding together, and making Hamilton read estate rock!

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Hamilton Landlords Win! Licensing Won’t Be Happening (For Now)

October 7th, 2013 · Hamilton Landlord Licensing

Hamilton landlords say no to landlord licensing and win

We reported our concerns regarding licensing Hamilton landlords in September.

At that time Hamilton City Council was considering a plan to license small residential landlords (while ignoring larger landlords and buildings).

We made it clear we opposed the plan. We want our government to be an agent for promoting growth and success for our city and creating plans to help create better rental properties in our city.

We want our government to help landlords and tenants and that’s why we said NO to landlord licensing.

Licensing Landlords Is An Issue For All Ontario Landlords

What is happening in Hamilton was noticed by residential landlords all across Ontario.

There was concern that a vote for licensing landlords in Hamilton would set a bad example of other cities and towns across the province.

The Ontario Landlords Association is the recognized voice of small residential landlords and they were strongly against licensing.

They called for the Hamilton Planning Committee to refuse the city staff recommendation and reject landlord licensing because “any other choice will hurt Hamilton for decades to come, including tenants.”

Hamilton City Council Voted No

Landlords and tenant advocates passionately explained how licensing would hurt investment in Hamilton rentals and could lead to as many as 10,000 tenants having to move out of their current rented properties.

It what came as a surprise to many council watchers, Hamilton City council voted against the new bylaw to license landlords.

Instead of licensing, Hamilton will make the current temporary enforcement program and make the program permanent.

The city started this program in 2010. Four new staff will be hired.

The Battle Isn’t Over

While council voted against the bylaw this time, Ward 1 Councillor Brian McHattie said the issued has not gone away.

McHattie believes there was far too much influence by landlords and Realtors.

Hamilton Landlords Showed the Way

We understand landlords face many challenges all over Ontario.

Whether it’s tenants leaving garbage and damages behind to the dangers of bad tenants holding your property hostage, the dangers for landlords are real and growing.

The fight over licensing is proof landlords need to keep an eye on our local governments. Hamilton landlords stuck together, were vocal, and played a key role in getting the government to do the right thing.

To Discuss Hamilton Landlord Licensing And Other Issues Go To the Ontario Landlord Forum

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Keep Our City Firing On All Cylinders – Hamilton Landlords Say No to Licensing

September 17th, 2013 · Hamilton Landlord Licensing

 Hamilton landlords say no to landlord licensing keep our city growing

Hamilton real estate is on a roll these days.

Prices are healthy and going up and we are becoming an increasingly attractive place for people around the province, the country, and the world to invest.

Hamilton ranked as Canada’s top investment areas for the second straight year by Site Selection Magazine. The article was even called ”Hamilton is Firing on All Cylinders

Let’s Keep Our Economy Firing on All Cylinders

Hamilton Landlords are calling for our government to create policies that help our city grow and succeed, not hurt our city.

The City of Hamilton promises the following to citizens

Our Vision

To be the best place in Canada to raise a child, promote innovation, engage citizens and provide diverse economic opportunities.

Our Mission

We provide quality public service that contribute to a healthy,safe and prosperous community, in a sustainable manner.

Our Values

Accountability, Cost Consciousness, Equity, Excellence, Honesty, Innovation, Leadership, Respect and Teamwork

Except Hamilton Staff Want to Fill Their Coffers and Wreck Our Rental Sector

On June 26, 2013 City Council directed city staff to “…report back to the Planning Committee with options and alternatives related to the licensing of rental housing no later than September 2013.”

And now we know the recommendation that will be presented to the Planning Committee today.



Parking and By-law Services Division

TO:  Chair and Members, Planning Committee


SUBJECT/REPORT NO: Rental Housing Licensing By-law PED10049(m) (City Wide)


That the Rental Housing Licensing By-law attached as Appendix “A” to ReportPED10049(m), which is in a form satisfactory to the City Solicitor, and which would become Schedule (30) Rental Dwelling Units of the Licensing By-law No. 07-170 and come into force on April 10, 2017, be approved.

Good Landlords and Tenants Say No To Landlord Licensing

There’s an excellent message to the Hamilton Planning Committee from the Ontario Landlords Association titled: “Licensing Landlords Is Not the Solution For Hamilton”

The OLA states:

The City needs to do a better job of dealing with unprofessional landlords and poorly maintained properties while at the same time supporting and encouraging those who invest and create high quality rental space.


We agree. Let’s keep Hamilton moving forward and that means saying NO to landlord licensing.

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Hamilton Landlords – How to Find Good Tenants (With Landlord Licensing Looming!)

September 2nd, 2013 · Hamilton Landlord Licensing, Tenant Screening

 Hamilton landlords find good tenants ipad landlord licensing

Good tenants.

They are the life blood for the success and prosperity for Hamilton landlords.

If you rent to good tenants your mortgage gets paid and business life is good.

On the other hand, renting to bad tenants can lead to not only financial problems but also stress, sleepless nights and a long and expensive process at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Finding good tenants is more important than ever considering Hamilton landlords face landlord licensing.

How Do You Find Good Tenants?

One of the keys to get as many people as possible interested in your property.

There’s strength in numbers. This means the more people you get in to view your unit will lead to more choices for you and the opportunity to rent to a qualified tenant.

What’s Does “Qualified Tenant” Mean?

It’s important to only rent to qualified tenants. If you don’t you risk being forced to use the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict them.

The Landlord and Tenant Board is unfair for landlords. Very unfair.

The LTB is a mess, it’s unprofessional, and it exists to help tenants at the expense of landlords, including good landlords.

At the Landlord and Tenant Board, every tenant gets free legal help. The legal help is called Tenant Duty Counsel.

They have an extremely close relationship with LTB adjudicators and often use unscrupulous methods (some might say ‘tricks’) to help their tenant clients…while being unfair to the landlord.

-A qualified tenant has a high credit score

-A qualified tenant has stable long-term employment

-A qualified tenant will pass your person interview and show you and your property respect

How Can I Attract More People To Be Interested in My Rental Property?

There are a lot of ways to do this.

One idea has been in the news recently at the Toronto Landlords site.

A landlord in Nova Scotia offers free iPads to people who rent from him. It might seem a little silly at first, but it has brought in a lot of potential tenants to see his property.

To discuss this and other Hamilton Landlord issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

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Hamilton Landlords Say NO to the City Landlord Licensing Scheme (Because it’s not the right way to go forward!)

August 17th, 2013 · Hamilton Landlord Licensing

 Hamilton landlord licensing

Do We Really Need A Tax On Tenants Or Are There Better Solutions to Help Our City?

According to a report from CBC news the city of Hamilton will soon come up with a new draft of a bylaw to license some Hamilton residential landlords.

The government wants this bylaw to apply to owners of buildings with six or fewer units. If you own this type of rental property you will be required to apply for a license to continue to operate. No license, and you have to shut down (and tell your tenants to leave!)

Marty Hazell is the director of Hamilton parking and bylaw services.

Hazell said the new draft version of the bylaw will continue to focus on licensing landlords.

However the new draft will include “…bringing back different forms of costing and implementation, all focused on licensing.”

What’s The Purpose For This Licensing Scheme?

According to the City the purpose of the bylaw is to crack down on improper rental units. The problem that created this is focused on issues McMaster University and Mohawk College.

How Would Landlords Get a License?

To get a license, landlords would have to provide a property maintenance plan, proof of insurance and zoning verification, among other documentation. The “permanent proactive bylaw enforcement program” would also require about 17 new city staff in the bylaw enforcement division.

What Do Hamilton Landlords Think About This Scheme?

Landlords and tenants packed the council chambers last December in response to the city’s proposed new bylaw

Opponents of the bylaw say it could result in the disappearance of as many as 30 per cent of Hamilton’s rental units at a time when the city is in dire need of affordable housing.

They proposed a different plan that would include an ombudsman office to handle rental unit issues and an off campus code of conduct for McMaster and Mohawk students. They also wanted amendments to a section of the city’s zoning bylaw that they say are impossible for landlords to meet.

The good news is Hamilton Landlord fought back and made our opinions heard!

What Did the Landlords Actually Say At the Meeting?

The landlords made excellent arguments against this ridiculous plan.

1. Hamilton landlords made it clear there is already enough red-tape and ‘protection’ of tenants with the existing Ontario Residential Tenancies Act, the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Hamilton Fire Code.

2. Hamilton Landlords made it clear the licensing system doesn’t target landlords and properties who are problems. Instead, it targets all landlords.

3.  Hamilton landlords illustrated how a problem that is essentially based near McMaster University (student housing) is being used for a program that encompasses the whole city unnecessarily.

4. Hamilton landlords made it clear the real problem is a simple zoning issue and not some huge catastrophe of bad housing.

 5. Licensing will cause lots of good landlords to simply leave the industry. This will decrease the number of affordable rental properties and those who stay in the industry will conduct especially thorough tenant screening making it hard for many tenants to find a nice place to live.

To discuss this and other Hamilton Landlord and Tenant issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum


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Hamilton Landlord and Tenant Problems: Floods, Skunks, Coachroaches and More!

August 11th, 2013 · Landlord and Tenant Problems, Landlord legal issues

 Hamilton landlord tenants confrontation

Neighbours noticed a large amount of abandoned belongings, including furniture and clothes on a Hamilton road this month.

Along with the junk were signs reading: Danger Due to Cockroaches and Landlord Refuses to Restore our Hydro.

According to a story in the Hamilton Spectator, the belongings were owned by tenants living in the two-story rental property that uses that same lawn.

What’s Going On?

Unfortunately, it’s another unnecessary landlord-tenant conflict in large part because of the bad rules government landlords and tenants in Ontario. We see this all the time in this province, under these laws.

The tenants are named Tyler McFadden and Julie Lamarche. 

The couple said their rent is $1,000 a month, utilities included. McFadden’s 16-year-old son also lives with them.

They claim their landlord has not undertaken her responsibilities to maintain their rental unit.

What are the Problems?

Some of the problems they claim include:

1. Gas to the unit was shut off on July 8, restored July 26, and now only available intermittently.

2. A leaky roof

3. Blocked plumbing pipes

4. Cockroaches, fleas and ticks

5. Skunks and racoons in the attic

6. The ceiling full of holes

Property standards, the Electrical Safety Authority, and bylaw officers have ordered the landlord to repair the house.

The land registry office lists Althea Hall, 64, as the owner of their unit, which is at 791 Lawrence Rd. Records show Hall purchased the property in 2003. The property is currently listed on MLS for sale for $249,888.

According to tenant Lamarche the house is “… nothing but a nightmare.”

McFadden said “We feel our whole world, our home has been crushed and we can’t get out from under it.”

The House Is For Sale

The landlord is attempting to sell the house and it is listed on MLS.

How Can We Avoid These Types of Problems?

No one should live in an unsafe or poorly maintained house and we sympathize with these tenants and hope they soon find new and better housing for their family as soon as possible.

We also hope they realize that the current laws in Ontario discourage investment in residential rental housing…and that is part of the reason they are having a hard time finding a new rental.

Let’s look at it from the landlords’ perspective

There’s a good chance she simply cannot afford to maintain the house any longer. This could be why she is selling it.

Does the government have a program to help small residential landlords (who supply a lot of affordable housing in Hamilton) an interest free loan to help this landlord pay for the repairs she might not be able to afford?

Secondly, in Ontario tenants get what is called “security of tenancy”.  This means that after a fixed term lease ends, tenants don’t have to move…even if they agreed to do so in the lease!  They can stay on a ‘month by month’ basis and there are strict criteria for a landlord to evict them. It is a long and expensive process.

Let’s say the laws changed in Ontario and suddenly a ‘lease was a lease.’  When the lease ends these tenants would have to move out…solving their problem living in this particular property. They would have to move.

Meanwhile, the landlord would have time to show the unit to prospective buyers without people living in the unit and without constant pressure to spend money she might not have to satisfy their demands. 

Instead of confrontation the tenants would be out of the property (as it’s not the current landlords’ fault they cannot find a new rental property) and the landlady could either take time to repair it or simply sell it.

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act hurts both tenants and landlords and is often the reason for unnecessary confrontation and hardship for tenants and landlords.

It’s Time To Change the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act For Hamilton Landlords and Tenants!

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