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Mississauga Landlords: Licensing and Secondary Suites

January 1st, 2014 · Landlord License, Mississauga landlords

 Mississauga landlords landlord licensing 2014

Starting this month you need a license for your secondary suite in Mississauga

It’s the New Year and it’s an important one for landlords.

As we wrote earlier, beginning January 2nd, 2014 Mississauga landlords need to get a landlord license for your secondary suites.

You read that correctly.

The new program starts tomorrow. Here’s what the bylaw states:

Effective January 2, 2014, all second units in Mississauga require a license under Second Unit Licensing By-law 204-13 to ensure they are safe.

Many Mississauga Landlords Are Unaware of the Licensing Plan

That’s right.

The City of Mississauga has some information on their webpage.

And you can read the actual Mississauga landlord license by-law on their site.

The Ontario Landlords Association interviewed government officials about landlord licensing and have a very helpful blog post that all Mississauga landlords should read to learn about landlord licensing.

Remind Us Of How This Came About

The Ontario Provincial government created a law require all municipalities in the province to create paths for landlords to legalize any second units in their homes.

We’ve seen some municipal governments use this as a way to propose landlord licensing as part of this path, such as what Hamilton landlords faced down last year.

It’s a growing trend there are now calls to license Ottawa landlords and secondary suites in places such as Windsor.

What Do They Mean By ‘Second Units’?

You can also call them:

1. Basement apartments

2. In-law Suites

3. Secondary Suites

On July 3rd of last year City Council approved of a plan for Mississauga landlords to create legal second units.

The new bylaw begins today and to have a legal secondary suite, basement apartment, on in-law unit in Mississauga you must have a license from the government.

Landlords Have Lots of Questions

We know.

We’ve seen the emails.

One of the most common questions is about fees and about investment rental properties.

Here’s the answer from the Ontario Landlords Association:

Question:

What are the fees if the homeowner lives in the house and rents out their basement compared to the owner not living there?

Answer:

1. Owner-Occupied Property

If the owner lives in the dwelling, an application for a license for an owner-occupied dwelling can be submitted to the City.

The license fee for a second unit in an owner- occupied dwelling is $500 with annual renewal fee of $250.

… 

2. Non-Owner Occupied Rental Property

If the owner does not live in dwelling, an application for an investment dwelling will need to be submitted to the City.

The requirement to live on the property only applies to the owner registered on title and not relations. The license fee for a second unit for an investment dwelling is $1000 with an annual renewal fee of $500. 

Mississauga Landlords and Landlord Licensing

Are you aware of the new bylaw?

Do you agree with the new bylaw?

Are the fees to get a license fair?

These are questions we will keep our eyes on and report back in later posts.

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Mississauga Landlords: Property Management

December 19th, 2013 · Landlord Licensing, Mississauga landlords

 Mississauga landlords property management

We have discussed how Mississauga landlords can find good tenants, now let’s talk about how to keep your tenants happy

As our city is growing and more opportunities arise more and more people are becoming Mississauga landlords and are doing everything it takes to learn more and succeed.

2014 is an important year for us as Mississauga landlords will require expensive licenses to become or continue as landlords renting out residential rental properties.

With Licensing The Stakes for Landlords Rise

Now that landlords will require expensive licenses the stakes have risen for Mississauga landlords.

Not only do we need to focus on finding good tenants, when we find them we need to know how to keep them renting from us.

Tenant Screening

We can see from reading at the Ontario Landlords Association that landlords all over Ontario continue to fall victim to predatory tenants.

These tenants know the Ontario Residential Tenancy Act by heart. They know every loop-hole and trick.

They also know how to manipulate the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.

With the help of Tenant Duty Counsel, these bad tenants can avoid paying the rent for months on end.

It can take up to a year to evict them, and it will end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Fortunately, landlords can now do high quality tenant screening and affordable credit checks to help weed out the bad tenants and find all the good ones out there.

Mississauga landlords know investing in good tenant screening is the key for success.

After all, one call from a bad, manipulative and clever tenant could lead to you losing your license and destroy your rental business.

Keeping Good Tenants

With the chance a bad tenant could lead to you losing your rental license and the time and patience required to find good tenants it’s important to become a superior property manager.

This means once you find good tenants you know what to do to keep them renting from you.

There’s an interesting post by Toronto Landlords on how to keep good tenants.

The landlord suggests buying Christmas gifts and giving them to your good tenants to show you appreciate them.

It doesn’t matter what religion they are, as gift-giving during this holiday is becoming popular around the world.

There’s a great thread at the Ontario Landlords Forum on the subject. You can even vote about what you think about giving gifts.

2014 Is An Important Year for Us

Mississauga Landlords know we face some big challenges in 2014.

Let’s get ready to face these challenges together. These are challenges landlords in British Columbia and Alberta landlords don’t face.

Let’s take on each and every obstacle that we face. Keep reading here because we are on your side!

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Mississauga Landlords Tenant Screening: Credit Checks

November 18th, 2013 · Credit Checks, Tenant Screening

 Mississauga landlords tenant screening credit check

With Licensing Coming in 2014 It’s More Important Than Ever for Mississauga Landlords To Do Proper Screening of Potential Tenants

In our last post we discussed the harsh reality of Mississauga landlords needing a license to operate.

We introduced our readers to the City of Mississauga information site called Housing Choices.

On January 2, 2014 if you are a landlord in Mississauga you will need to apply for and receive a license or your rental property could be shut down.

Tenants Can Call The City

Part of the landlord licensing program is tenants can call the city directly if they have any concerns about the safety of the rental property.

While most tenants are honest and if there are any maintenance issues they will contact the landlord and be cooperative while the landlord does the repairs (if needed).

There Are Bad Tenants Out There Too

We have also heard of many cases where tenants will attempt to gain control over their landlord by contacting the city first.

Instead of cooperating with the landlord, these bad tenants will attempt to give the landlord problems by getting the city involved.

We have seen examples where the tenants even make the damages, then call the city claiming won’t do repairs (even when they don’t even inform the landlord about the damages).

Under the Mississauga landlord licensing plan, tenants can contact the city to shut down a landlords rental property by making them lose their license.

Tenant Screening

While a minority, these types of tenants who want to shut you down and make you lose thousands of dollars and ruin your rental business do exist.

This is why it’s more important than ever for Mississauga landlords to do proper tenant screening to find good, reasonable tenants who respect you and your rental property.

Tenant Credit Checks

One aspect of good tenant screening is to always do a tenant credit check.

A tenant credit check will show you a tenant’s financial background.

A Tenant Credit Check Will Show You:

1. The tenant’s current and past addresses (so you can contact previous landlords)

2. The tenant’s current and past occupations,

3. The tenants loans, debts,  and if any collection agencies are chasing them

4. If the tenant has any small claims court judgments against them

5. The tenants “credit score” which is a way to judge their financial reliability

Tenants who pay their bills on time, respect businesses and creditors, and have a high credit score are usually people who are responsible.

You want responsible people to be your tenants

We’ve seen lots of cases of landlords lose tenants of thousands of dollars by not doing a tenant credit check before renting to a tenant.

Aren’t Tenant Credit Checks Expensive and Complicated?

They used to be.

Not anymore. You can become a member of the Ontario Landlords Association and begin doing high quality, affordable tenant credit checks in minutes.

Mississauga landlords, landlord licensing is less than two months away.

Find good tenants and protect your rental property with tenant credit checks as part of your tenant screening process.

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Mississauga Landlords Will Need a License Beginning January 2, 2014

October 21st, 2013 · Landlord Licensing

 Mississauga landlords must get a license

Many Mississauga Landlords Are Unaware of the New Bylaw

We’ve read a lot about Hamilton landlords fighting against “landlord licensing” in the past couple of months.

The City of Hamilton was prepared to create a new bylaw for residential landlords with rental properties of six units or less. Landlords there gathered together and educated the government why licensing Hamilton landlords was a bad idea.

Did you know landlords is Mississauga will need a landlord license to operate beginning on January 2nd, 2014?

We wrote about this before, alerting landlords about licensing.

It’s also been discussed on the Ontario Landlords Association website and on the City of Mississauga website called “Housing Choices.”

Background

Mississauga held public meetings in 2012 to gather the public’s thoughts and ideas about second units in Mississauga.  People could also email their comments or fill out a survey online. 

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to permit second units on July 3th, 2013. The plan includes Official Plan polices and zoning regulations now in effect.

Are You Prepared to get a “Landlord License?”

Second units are part of the City’s new affordable housing strategy. Second units which will need a license include:

1. basement apartments

2. in-law suites

3. secondary suites.

Provincial laws in Ontario require municipalities to allow second units in homes and have policies for landlords to create legal second units.

How Can a Second Unit Be Legal?

Your rental unit must have a have a City of Mississauga license.

When Will the City Start Issuing Licenses?

The City will be issuing licenses after January 2, 2014. Second units will only be licensed if they comply with the Official Plan policies, zoning regulations, and Ontario fire and building code regulations.

To Discuss Landlord Licensing with other landlords go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

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Ex-Tenants Charged – Landlord Evicts Them, Police Find 40 Pythons in Brantford Motel

September 1st, 2013 · Brantford landlords, Pets

Brantford Ontario tenants with snakes evicted

We all know the importance of renting to good tenants and avoiding bad tenants (who may also be dangerous tenants!)

What are good tenants?

First of all good tenants will pay on rent on time.

Second, they will respect you, other tenants, and your rental property.

They will also make sure not to undertake any dangerous behaviour that could put the health and safety of the landlord or other tenants at risk.

Bad tenants won’t pay rent. They won’t respect you, or other tenants or your property.

And they won’t illegally have 40 snakes in the rental unit.

Ex-Tenants Charged

According to a report on City News, police were recently called to a Brantford, Ontario motel.

A motel guest notified police he suspect a guest in another room at the motel had a lot of snake in his room with him.

Yes, snakes.

When police arrived they found the guests along with five young children (one was an infant) … along with 40 pythons.

The police found the snakes in plastic storage bins in the room. The snakes were in distress and not being taken care of property.

Against the Law

It is illegal in Brantford to own a python. It goes against the City bylaw.

What Does This Have To With Being a Landlord?

The guests who owned the pythons had gone out for dinner when the police came.

These guests / snake owners had recently been evicted from their rental unit.

After the eviction the landlord called police to tell them his ex-tenants had checked into the motel with the snakes.

Good Property Management

Successful landlords regularly check to know what is going on in their rental units. Regular inspections are part of good property management.

According to Darren Grandel, who is a senior investigator for the Ontario SPCA it’s very important to contact to contact the SPCA or a local veterinarian to see what steps are available to help your animals if you can’t take proper care of them.

To report any cruelty to animals please contact 1-888-668-7722 or via email at cruelty@spca.on.ca

Always make sure to provide property notice before doing any inspections or entering a rental property that has tenants.

To Discuss This And Other Landlord and Tenant Issues Go To The Ontario Landlord Forum

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Legal Basements, But Don’t Forget To Screen Your Tenants Carefully (A Basement Tenant Murdered His Landlord!)

August 17th, 2013 · Uncategorized

 Mississauga landlords tenant screening

You read on this blog before Ontario laws now require municipalities to allow second units in homes which are also known as basement apartments, in-law suites and secondary suites. 

Mississauga City Council approved a plan to legalize second units in Mississauga. We discussed this before at:

Mississauga Approves Plan to Legalize Basement Rental Apartments

According to the City’s Commissioner of Planning and Building “With our plan, homeowners will be able to make their units safe and legal – every city needs safe, affordable housing for people to feel they belong,”

It sounds like great news, right?

However this new bylaw leads to a whole new bunch of issues for our city, including safety for new landlords renting out their basement apartments!

Renting out your basement might at first look like ‘easy money.’

It’s not. You have to be careful and screen your potential tenants carefully.

Let’s look at the Mississauga News from last April of last year:

Landlord killed by tenant, judge hears

A Mississauga man living in the basement of a home attacked his landlord while he was repairing a window, delivering two “lethal” stab wounds that killed the married father of three, Brampton court heard this morning.

Salik Bin Sajid, 25, who remains in custody, pleaded not guilty today to first-degree murder as the judge-alone trial before Justice Bonnie Wein got under way.

Sajid is charged with killing Mustaeen Siddiqi, 45, who was stabbed on June 10, 2009 inside his Warwickshire Way home when he went to do repairs for tenants living in his basement.
Crown prosecutor Alex Cornelius said forensic evidence shows Siddiqi sustained “three significant stab wounds,” two of which were lethal.

The Crown will call several police officers, including a forensics officer and officers who detained and interviewed the accused, court heard.

Siddiqi, who later died in hospital, was the target of a murder plot, according to Peel Regional Police homicide investigators. They say the plan was carried out just before noon inside the Mavis Rd./Eglinton Ave. area home.

Police said “the victim did absolutely nothing wrong,” calling the slaying “an absolutely horrific tragedy.”

Sajid, who moved to Mississauga from Pakistan earlier that year, had lived in the basement of the home with his family, including a brother and parents, for about a month, police said.
The trial continued…

To discuss this and other Ontario Landlord and Tenant Issues go to the free Ontario Landlord Forum

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Mississauga Approves Plan to Legalize Basement Rental Apartments

August 11th, 2013 · Basement apartment, Becoming a landlord

 Mississauga landlords can rent basement apartments

Get ready Mississauga landlords, home-owners and investors. Legal basement apartments are coming to Mississauga!

Ontario laws now require municipalities to allow second units in homes which are also known as basement apartments, in-law suites and secondary suites. 

City Council approved a plan to legalize second units in Mississauga.

According to the City’s Commissioner of Planning and Building “With our plan, homeowners will be able to make their units safe and legal – every city needs safe, affordable housing for people to feel they belong,”

Ed Jajecki continue by stating the Official Plan amendment and zoning bylaw changes approved by Council permit second units in homes in our city

He said units must meet Ontario Building Code standards. And landlords should know the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act and Human Rights Code.

Council also approved a licensing program, and will consider a proposed bylaw to support the program in the fall. 

If approved, the bylaw will set licensing fees and other requirements, such as inspections and proof of insurance, for owners who want to rent second units.

Heather MacDonald is the Director of Strategic Housing Initiatives for the city. According to MacDonald “The City’s goals for legalizing second units include ensuring safety, preserving neighborhood character and maintaining public services.”

Mississauga held public meetings in 2012 to gather the public’s thoughts and ideas about second units in Mississauga.  People could also email their comments or fill out a survey online. 

A statutory public meeting required by the Planning Act was held in early 2013. The City’s Second Units Implementation Strategy is part of Housing Choices: Mississauga’s Affordable Housing Strategy. 

A public education program about legal second units in Mississauga will be available in the fall of 2013. 

Under the municipality’s proposed plan, a dwelling containing a second unit would have to be the principal residence of the owner. Other proposed aspects of the plan include having one mandatory parking spot for a basement apartment and establishing minimum and maximum sizes for the units, among other things. The City also wants to license the units to ensure they’re safe. 

Potential Landlords Beware!  Renting out your basement apartment to the wrong tenant can lead to problems.

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