Comments & Misconceptions

Oh well, now THAT is annoying!

Went back to catch up on the discussion on the Nina Willis article on the TO Star site…. lots I would have liked to respond to (in addition to the ones I already had, that is) but they’d closed the comments down again.

Seriously…can people really be that uninformed? (that’s a nice way of saying stOOpid, in case you were wondering) Clearly, many can – and yet that doesn’t prevent them from putting forth what they (don’t) know as fact.

Whole lot of blaming the landlord, of course… that’s pretty much a given in any conversation about landlord & tenant issues…. the landlord is perceived to be the side with power & money; tenants are powerless & poor. Not, of course, at all true in reality in many cases – but that is the perception that persists. The reality, however, in Ontario at this point in time is that tenants have a great deal of power – and landlords actually have very little.

landlord1People think that landlords can get rid of tenants for any number of reasons – including even just the end of the lease. It is true that in some provinces the end of the lease/rental agreement means the end of the tenancy – parties must renegotiate, or the tenant moves on – but in Ontario, the end of the lease means nothing… a landlord is not permitted to require that a tenant leave … what happens is that the arrangement automatically becomes a month to month agreement – in theory, it is to continue to be subject to the terms of the original lease or rental agreement – but in practice, in Ontario, it often results in tenants no longer bothering to consider themselves subject to the agreement but yet entitled to stay as long as they like.

There are some pretty misguided notions as to how much control a landlord has over who winds up in their properties, also.  A lot of commenters blame the landlord for having rented to Nina Willis …. and sure, that’s reasonable… a Google search of that name will, in fact, bring up stories about her tenant history, and clearly, any landlord that chooses to rent to her in spite of that can be blamed for being ripped off (although still wouldn’t deserve the months & years of delay and fees and other assorted BS it takes to get rid of her because Ontario’s landlord & tenant system is so messed up, even so) …. but seriously …. do you honestly think that she is applying for places using the name Nina Willis? All she ever has to do to get around her notoriety is to get a friend to apply in their name – not a damn thing the landlord can do about it, since the Legalized Theft Board says landlords have pretty much no say about who can actually live in an apartment as long as occupancy bylaws aren’t broken.

In both of the tenant-from-hell situations I had, by the way, the tenants I rented to were actually fine …for months. But once they hook up with jackass boyfriends and move them in and stop paying rent (#1) or start doing major damages (#2), it all goes to hell in a handbasket. You do not, as a landlord, have any say at all as to who your tenants hang out, move in, sleep with, etc …. and as I learned the hard way to the tune of over $10k even when the jackass boyfriend actually signs a rental agreement with you, the LTB won’t necessarily consider them a legal tenant and will remove them from the order so that they won’t have any requirement to pay. Occupants don’t have to pay rent, according to the LTB.

Then there is the notion that a credit check and references are the solution to everything and thus it is fair to blame the landlord and not shive a git about the thousands of dollars they lose over the course of dealing with a bad tenant in an even worse ~system~ ….   sure, it’s pretty easy to run a credit check …. by joining the OLA, can do that relatively easily (it’s the only one of the things the OLA claims to offer that it actually does, actually) …. but since the person that’s applying is not necessarily the person you’re going to wind up with – and since landlord & tenant issues don’t actually wind up on credit reports most of the time, that is hardly the panacea that many seem to think.

Anyway …I could go on and on about other misconceptions people have about landlording in Ontario but this post is already long enough for a blog post so I shall shut up for now…..  will likely write another though, in response to the charming individual who suggested that I was “stupid” for thinking that any of this had anything at all to do with politics, and especially the Ontario Liberals …. later!


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