Resources for Landlords
Becoming a landlord can be a very rewarding and sometimes lucrative experience. It also comes with many responsibilities, which many people do not think of when they start. This resource section seeks to provide landlords with the information that will make their rental experience positive for themselves and their tenants.
Before You Rent
If you are thinking of becoming a landlord, carefully research the legal obligations and responsibilities you’ll assume once you’ve entered into a tenancy agreement. In addition to clearly understanding a landlord’s legal rights and responsibilities, you must also realize the significant commitment you are making when you rent to someone. What may seem like a fairly benign requests from a tenant (or potential tenant), or a small decision made about the rental space, could result in the landlord being in a costly legal predicament!
This guide published by the Landlord Self Help Centre outlines some considerations that landlords are obligated to follow through the Residential Tenancy Act (2006) including: security of tenure, setting the rent, tenant screening, discrimination, rental deposits, tenant information package, interest on deposits, receipt provision, access to vital services, and termination of tenancy.
Residential Rental Housing License - City of North Bay
In 2012, the City of North Bay created the Residential Rental Housing by-law 2012-55, whch created the Residential Rental Housing License. This license needs to be obtained by landlords who rent out 3-5 bedrooms in a single house. Once an application for the license has been made, an inspection of the house will be conducted by at least 2 members of city staff from the Fire, Building, and Zoning departments to ensure the building is up to code and follows the city by-laws. Another inspection by an electrical contractor is also required.
Once these inspections have been passed successfully, the landlord will obtain their license. A certificate proving the landlord has obtained this license must be displayed within 1 meter of the main entrance of the rental house. This license is valid for 2 years and must be renewed. The license puts ease of mind to both the landlord and the students renting because everyone involved knows that the house is up to code and is safe.
For more information check out the links below:
City of North Bay Residential Rental Housing Brochure: https://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/media/1930/rrhl-information-borchure.pdf?v=635971778090000000
General Information of Residential Rental Housing License: https://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/cityhall/department/planning-services/residential-rental-housing-licensing/#:~:text=The%20Residential%20Rental%20Housing%20By,a%20license%20from%20the%20City.&text=The%20fee%20for%20the%20initial,entire%20City%20of%20North%20Bay.
Checklist for Inspections: https://www.cityofnorthbay.ca/media/24434/rrhl-compliance-checklist-2019.pdf?v=636909251030000000
Finding a Tenant & Starting a Tenancy
Publishing your listing
Off Campus Living serves as a very good portal to publish your living space. A housing professional will answer your inquiries, help you establish and publish your advert, and provide education and resources for yourself, as landlord, and your tenant. For more information, please see the webpage on "getting listed".
Of course, there are other ways to publish your space, both online and offline. Kijiji is a popular avenue for many renters. Some landlords opt to print their ad and post it around the university and college in spaces marked specifically for community posts (note: posters put on non-community boards will be removed). Some landlords opt for posting on community boards in local grocery stores and community centres. One should be aware that students tend to be digital in nature, and may not know that these other marketing options even exist!
Tips for Avoiding Scams
If the parent of a potential student tenant is contacting you, this is suspicious. The actual tenant that will be living in the space should be your primary contact.
Many scam emails will contain several grammatical errors.
Only accept checks/deposits if the amount on them is the exact amount agreed upon; no more, no less. If a potential tenant has said they have sent you a check but the amount is too much. Do not send them the difference. A common scam is that once the check is deposited, it will bounce.
When in doubt, you can ask the student for a ‘Proof of Enrolment’ letter, that they will be able to receive from Nipissing University or Canadore College. However, it is important to remember that students must be enrolled in courses in order to have access to their ‘Proof of Enrolment’ letter. Sometimes international students will not enroll in courses until they come to campus in order to receive assistance with the process. If this is the case, they should have received a letter of acceptance to their program at their institution and you can ask for proof of that.
Never give out your personal financial information.
If you think you are being contacted by a scammer the best thing to do is to not respond and block them from contacting you any further.
If you don’t feel comfortable about an email or phone call you receive from a potential tenant, you do not need to continue contact with them.
Every person has the right to be free from discrimination in housing because of Code-protected grounds. You have the right to equal treatment when buying, selling, renting or being evicted from an apartment, house, condominium or commercial property.
Standard Lease in Ontario
The Government of Ontario has a standard lease for landlords in Ontario to use. As of April 30, 2018, most priavte market rentals are required to use this created standard form (lease) when entering into a tenancy agreement. Both the tenant and the landlord must sign the lease at least by the date the tenant is scheduled to move into the rental unit.
The landlord must provide the tenant with a copy of the lease within 21 days after the tenant signs it and gives it to the landlord. There is a view-only version of the form and a fill-in version as well. The forms can be found available on the Government of Ontario website here: http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/forms/ssbforms.nsf/FormDetail?OpenForm&ACT=RDR&TAB=PROFILE&SRCH&ENV=WWE&TIT=2229E&NO=047-2229E
Maintaining a Tenancy
The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) has rules about the maintenance and repair of rental properties. This brochure, published by the Landlord and Tenant Board (2007), explains some of these rules, however, it is not a complete summary of the law and it is not intended to provide legal advice. These rules apply to all rental agreements, even if:
- the agreement is not in writing,
- a written agreement conflicts with the rules under the Act, and
- the rental property was not in good condition and the tenant agreed to rent it anyway.
Advice, Assistance, and Support
Landlord Self Help Centre provides a number of resources for landlords. Landlord’s Self-Help Centre is a non-profit community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario and mandated to support Ontario’s small-scale landlord community exclusively. LSHC provides information, summary advice and referrals. It develops educational materials and delivers educational outreach programs which aim to help small landlords better understand their rights and responsibilities and navigate the regulatory environment to which they are subject. This site offers information on a variety of topics related to residential tenancies and rental relationships in Ontario, it is geared toward the needs of small-scale landlords.