Month: September 2013

Ottawa Student Landlords – Time For Class For University of Ottawa or Carleton Student Tenants

We are now just about two weeks in to having all the new students renting our properties.

Ottawa is a great city for students, and it can be a great city for landlords who rent to students.

It can be a very different experience for landlords compared to renting out to the jaded general public.

It rare for a student to have the time or motivation to manipulate and use the Landlord and Tenant Board as a weapon against their landlord. Unlike some other Ontario tenants out there.

There’s more!

The University of Ottawa is one of our nations’ best schools.

Carleton University has grown immensely over the years and now offers some of the best programmes in not only Canada, but in North America.

Students and Tenant Insurance

According to the Ontario Landlords Association many students aren’t aware of the value of getting tenant insurance.

The Ontario Landlords Association advises the following:

Student landlords have a great opportunity to ‘educate’ their student tenants and protect themselves (and help students know how to protect themselves).

This is great advice.

Tenant Insurance

Many students aren’t aware of tenant insurance.

Even if they know they might disregard it as an extra and useless expense. Remember, students are often on a tight budget and every cent counts.

Help Your Student Tenants Protect Themselves

A simple phone call can protect students from all kinds of mishaps in and around campus.

There’s the obvious— fire, water damage and theft—concerns but there are also liability concerns.

If someone is injured on the premises or a toilet floods over and causes water damage to a few floors below, it can hugely expensive and time consuming without insurance.

Not every rental unit problem is the landlord’s responsibility either.

“There can be a lot of misconceptions out there,” one insurance expert said. “It depends who was found to be negligent. Tenants can be held responsible.” Without proper insurance, tenants who are found to be at-fault are on the hook for damages.

Tenant insurance is especially important for students because student housing can be more risky than single-family homes thanks to high turnover rates—not to mention the parties.

Protecting possessions from theft is reason enough to seek out coverage.

Students may not have accumulated many material possessions but the belongings they do have is usually pretty valuable like notebook computers, TVs, textbooks and even musical instruments.

For those trying to make ends meet, tenants may be tempted to skip tenant’s insurance to try to cut costs.

Explain to them they should consider the cost of replacing their laptop or smartphone if they were robbed.

Now is a good time to hold class to teach basics of tenant’s insurance and ensure your renters have the right coverage in place to protect themselves.

To Discuss Insurance, Student Housing, and Other Issues Welcome to the Ontario Landlord Forum

Ottawa Tenants Demand Compensation From Ottawa Landlord … For Repairs and Improvements

The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act requires landlords to be responsible for the maintenance of the rental unit.

It also requires landlords to allow their tenants to have a reasonable level of enjoyment in the property.

What if these two aspects of the law clash?

This is yet another challenge Ontario Landlords face.

We can this this type of class going on in three buildings near Metcalfe and Somerset Streets in Ottawa.

According to CBC News tenants in the buildings claim the construction work going on by Taggart Realty Management is harming their reasonable enjoyment of their rental units.

According to the tenants, the loudest repair work is done in the evening when tenants come home from work.

Tenant Lisa Blais says the constant loud noise has been going on since May of this year.

In response Blais and her partner have created the Centretown Tenants Association.

The goal of the association is to demand Taggart Realty Management takes their concerns seriously and address them.

According to Blais, “The way that Taggart is doing this, by doing it in the evening hours and by using the tools and the drills and the jackhammers the way they are, incessantly, is unfair.

They are demanding:

  1. A 25% rent reduction (to be retroactive to when the repairs began)
  2. Fines against the landlord

She said 70 people have joined the association, including tenants from two nearby buildings who are also affected by construction.

When a tenant complained about a foul odour was giving her headaches, the landlord offered to provide temporary housing for until the smell went away.

Taggart and the tenants association met a couple of weeks ago to attempt to mediate the issue. So far it has been unsuccessful.

Are Tenant Complaints Above the Law that Non-Tenants Follow? Do Tenants Have Special Rights?

It’s a common tenant complaint that landlords don’t make repairs or improvements on their rental buildings. The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board even have a special ‘Tenants Rights’ form (T6) to force landlords to do repairs.

We’ve heard numerous times from landlords that, like in this case, tenants also complain when landlords do repairs or make improvements to their rental properties.

We ask: Has Taggert Realty Management broken any bylaws?

You don’t have to be a renter to be inconvenienced by a neighbor doing repairs to their house.

Or the City doing roadwork near you.

We have noise bylaws for a reason.

It’s common for construction companies to do work in the evening…until the bylaws say it’s time to shut down.

Doesn’t complaining work is being done in the evening discriminate against those who work at night and people who stay at home during the day?

Does the Residential Tenancies Act trump the laws non-tenants have to follow?

We are going to follow this case carefully.

To Discuss this and Other Ottawa Landlord and Tenant Issues go to the Ontario Landlord Forum.

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