kingstonlandlords header image 1

Kingston Landlords – Bad credit, tough renting

June 10th, 2016 · Kingston Landlords, Latest News, Ontario Landlords Association, Tenant Credit Checks

Kingston landlords bad credit tough renting

The Kingston branch of the Ontario Landlord Association advocates for credit checks as a way of protecting building owners from losing money. Renting out property is a major investment.

Kingston landlords know being a successful landlord means renting to good tenants.

The good news is there are lots of excellent tenants out there who are looking for high quality, affordable rental properties owned by service oriented and professional landlords.

Unfortunately, there are also tenants out there who know how to manipulate the faulty Ontario system for governing residential rental housing.

Just today there was an excellent article by at SLAW – Canada’s Online Legal Magazine called “Tenant Screws Landlord, And So Does The System.”

It’s about a recent decision from the Divisional Court which provides an “outrageous, and perfect example of how the legal system in the Province allows residential tenants to live rent free for over a year, and in this case, close to a year and a half”.

Experienced small landlords know renting to the wrong tenant can not only destroy your rental business, it can destroy you financially.

Bad credit, tough renting

A story in the Whig stated: “The Kingston branch of the Ontario Landlord Association advocates for credit checks as a way of protecting building owners from losing money. Renting out property is a major investment.

This is true.

The Ontario Landlords Association educates small residential landlords on how to be a professional landlord. This includes learning the laws for landlords and tenants in Ontario and doing proper tenant screening, including tenant credit checks.

The story continued “On their website the Kingston Landlords advise there are “no ‘ifs, ands, and buts’ with a credit check. You see if they pay what they should pay.”

This is also correct. Landlords across Canada are running credit checks to help choose tenants.

BC landlords are still reeling after a couple of serial bad tenants ripped off 6 landlords in only two years. None of the British Columbia landlords ran credit checks on these tenants.

Even in landlord-friendly Alberta, Alberta landlords are running credit checks after some shocking stories of grow-ops and violence against landlords.

“And your credit doesn’t have anything to do with rent”

Some tenants don’t see why a credit rating should be an important part of tenant screening.

Paying rent is paying a bill for living in a property. A credit check informs a potential landlord if the potential tenants pay their bills on time.

If a tenant has bad credit they can always discuss the issue with their potential landlord. They can explain why they have bad credit and why they should be rented to.

Tenants should realize it’s nothing personal against them, only the system is stacked against small landlords and we have to be very careful.

Toronto Star Recommends Joining a Group Such As the Ontario Landlords Association

Many tenants wonder how they can run a credit check on a tenant.

You must use a company that is certified to run checks on tenants. This means you cannot use a friend who is a mortgage agent, Realtor, car dealership employee, etc. to run checks on tenants.

The Toronto Star recommends joining a group like the Ontario Landlords Association.

Here’s what they say:

Do a proper credit check using Equifax or TransUnion. The cost is approximately $20.

Or join a group such as the Ontario Landlords Association where after becoming a member, you can do a credit check for as low as $10, and use their supporting materials to assist you.

Kingston Landlords – Protect your rental business.

Join the Ontario Landlords Association and get access to premium documents, networking, advice and premium credit checks for only $10 per check.

Join up for a low one-time set up fee!

Make sure you rent to all the good tenants out there and succeed as a landlord!

→ No CommentsTags:····

Kingston Landlords: Tip for Renting to Students

March 18th, 2014 · Queen's University, Rent to Students

Kingston landlords Ontario Landlords Association Tips for Rent to Students

The Ontario Landlords Association Has Tips and Advice To Help You Become a Successful Kingston Student Landlord

Renting to students can be a very rewarding investment.

Students are usually focused more on their studies and social lives and far too busy to create drama with their landlord.

This is welcome relief to Ontario landlords who face adult tenants who manipulate the system and end up costing you stress and thousands of dollars in lost rent and damages.

Also, student s have access to OSAP (student loans) so they have enough money to pay the rent and don’t have to worry about job losses.

Many student landlords want a parent to be the student tenant’s co-signer and this is viewed as acceptable while a working adult tenant might object to it.

Kingston Has A Large Group Of Student Tenants

Kingston has a lot educational institutions and that means a lot of students living away from home and looking for good rental housing.

For example, we have Queens University.

It’s a highly regarded university where most of the students are from outside of Kingston.

These students tend to live in university residence for the first year.  However, a lack of privacy and expensive meal plans means many move out and look for private rental housing after the frosh year.

The Queen’s School of business is internationally known and attracts a large number of foreign students who are looking for rental housing.

Kingston is also home to reputable and growing schools such as St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College of Canada.

Challenges Exist For Student Landlords and Student Tenants

Many students in Kingston complain about the condition of many rental properties in Kingston.

For decades, students and non-landlords in Kingston have complained about the condition of the Queens University “Ghetto”. 

We recommend this story about landlord-tenant relations in Kingston in The Whig.

There has even been an award for the worst student landlord. 

This landlord receives the ‘Golden Cockroach’ award.

While some in the Kingston community feel this type of award warns students about bad rental properties, others feel it is needlessly confrontational.

Opportunities for Good New Landlords

It’s clear there are a lot of students in Kingston and they are looking for quality rental properties run by professional landlords. 

This is similar to other cities across Ontario

The Ontario Landlords Association recently interviewed the Manager of Housing Services for the University of Toronto.

It’s important reading for current landlords and those interested investing in student rental properties.

Housing Services gives insight on what students want and how landlords can attract good student tenants to their properties.

You can read the article at “Renting to Students in Ontario.”

Becoming a Student Landlord

Are you interested in becoming a student landlord?

It’s becoming clear that students no longer accept poorly maintained rental properties.

They want to rent safe homes run by professional landlords.  This is a great opportunity for those landlords and investors who want to raise the bar.

Whether you are looking at investing in Kingston, are an Ottawa landlord marketing to U of O students, or even in another province where British Columbia landlords have a huge international group of students to rent to, the time is now to invest.

We will discuss this topic more in upcoming blogs.

→ No CommentsTags:···

Rent Increase Kingston: How Much Can Landlords Raise the Rent in 2014?

January 7th, 2014 · Kingston Landlords, Rent Increase 2014

 Kingston Landlords rent increase 2014

There’s A Lot On the Minds Of Kingston Landlords Are We Start The New Year

Happy New Year to all landlords and property investors in our city.

2013 was an important year for our industry and the new year looks to have the chance to be even more important.

The City Of Kingston Wants You To Become a Landlord

As we wrote last year, the city government is now encouraging homeowners to become landlords.

More basement and in-law suites creates more rental units and more affordable housing.

The Ontario government forced all municipalities in the province to come up with paths for people to become landlords and rent out legal second suites.

In 2013 Kingston followed this mandate and began creating ways for people to become landlords.

They could follow new city rules to register their rental units in a process that was far less complicated than what existed before.

Questions from Landlords

With the increase in landlords we’ve received a bunch of emails over the past while on a variety of topics.

One of the more popular topics was about rent.

Here’s one from Marie who has rented out her basement since last summer.

“Hi. We are new landlords with a 2 bedroom basement apartment.

We found tenants quick but now realize we charged them too low because they use so much hydro.

We would like to raise the rent and want to know how much we legally can.”

Rent Increase Guideline 2014

Landlords must follow the Ontario government Rent Increase Guideline.

A recent article in the Ottawa Sun surprised a lot of new landlords and investors.

You can only raise the rent 0.8% on your tenants in 2014.

Yes, that’s really the number. You aren’t seeing things.

The low increase has a lot of Ontario landlords concerned about their ability to keep up with rising expenses in the new year.

Whether you own locally or are a landlord in Ottawa or as far away as Barrie or anywhere else in the province, 0.8% is very low and many landlords are not happy and want things to change.

Kingston Landlords 2014

The low rent increase is only one of the challenges Kingston landlords face in 2014.

In the coming months we will discuss this and other topics that we hope can keep you informed and help you and your rental business.

→ No CommentsTags:····

Landlord Question: Should I Buy My Good Tenants A Christmas Gift?

December 12th, 2013 · Kingston Landlords, Property Management

 Kingston landlords gifts for good tenants

It’s a question that comes up every December.

And you won’t get any answer from the ‘Help for Landlords’ section at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

And with so many new landlords coming in Kingston since the legal became to create paths for legal suites it’s a question that many people here are also asking (or going to ask).

Here’s the situation:

A landlord has a nice rental property and rents it to some really good tenants.

The tenants pay the rent on time. They treat the property with great care…like it’s their own.

They are polite and respectful to the landlord.

Should The Landlord Give a Gift To Their Good Tenants?

This was the question from a new landlord who posted in the Ontario Landlords Association forum.

BrendaD explained her current situation.

She and her husband are new, first time landlords.

Her first tenants didn’t work out and they left after only two months.

She has new tenants: a single mother with two children. Unlike the last tenants this single mother and her kids have been ideal.

BrendaD wants to show her appreciation. She also knows the single mum is on a tight budget and some gifts would likely be appreciated and help her out during Christmas (and make her kids happy).

She is thinking of giving the Mother a gift card of some type.

Maybe a gift card to a restaurant such as Montana’s or Swiss Chalet.

Or a card for a nice shoe store or even Canadian Tire or Walmart or Target.

Nothing extravagant, but a night out at a restaurant that is easy to get to in Kingston.

She was thinking of getting some toys at Toys ‘R’ Us for the two children.

Are There Any Potential Pitfalls in Giving Good Tenants Gifts?

According the Ontario Landlords Association pitfalls do exist.

For example:

1. What if the tenants don’t celebrate Christmas and get offended?

We live in a multicultural society and landlords in Toronto and the GTA should be particularly sensitive.

2. Some tenants might see your gift giving as ‘showing off your wealth’

3. It could lead to your tenants thinking they need charity

Kingston Landlords What Do You Think?

Will you give your good tenants gifts this holiday?  Is it a good idea from Brenda to give gifts?

You can vote on the Ontario Landlord forum and give your advice to Brenda and landlords all over Canada.

→ No CommentsTags:······

Tenant Credit Check & Tenant Criminal Check

October 27th, 2013 · Tenant Credit Checks, Tenant Criminal Checks

Kingston Landlords Tenant Credit Check Tenant Criminal Check

Tenant Screening is the Key to Success, Including Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks

Being a private residential landlord can be a very exciting (and profitable experience).

We’ve ready lots of stories of successful Kingston landlords.

We are home to one of Canada’s best universities and our city is growing.

Landlord Challenges

There are also lots of challenges for landlords in Kingston and all over Ontario.

Let’s face it. The laws are simply unfair.

Unlike other provinces such as British Columbia and Alberta, the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act doesn’t allow residential landlords to charge a damage deposit.

This means tenants have ‘no skin in the game’ when they move out.

If they owe thousands of dollars in rent or damages they can simply leave.

What Can You Do With Tenants Who Leave Owing you Money?

Your only option is Small Claims Court.

Some Ontario landlords have succeeded suing their tenants in Small Claims Court. There was an excellent story at the Ontario Landlords Association site recently.

All landlords should read it. Those thinking of becoming landlords should also take a careful look.

The small claims court process can be a long and expensive journey even finding your deadbeat tenants to serve him or her the paperwork to start the legal process.

The Key For Landlord Success Is Tenant Screening

Success or failure begins before you hand over the keys.

Since the City of Kingston is now promoting people to become residential landlords this advice might seem a bit radical or even paranoid.

It’s not.

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is not fair. It’s extremely pro ‘bad tenant’ and treats landlords as profit-hungry monsters.

It doesn’t matter if you are the best, most honest landlord out there who provides the best, cleanest, prettiest property at an affordable price. The Landlord and Tenant Board will instantly view you as the worst, most evil slumlord know to mankind.

How Can You Find Good Tenants?

The key is tenant screening.

This means doing very thorough research on a potential tenant.

Remember evicting a bad tenants in Ontario can take months and cost you thousands of dollars.

Tenant Credit Check

Always do a tenant credit check.

A credit check can show you if your potential tenant pays the bills on time.

There is no “ifs, ands, and buts” with a credit check. You will see if they pay what they should pay.

There are some really crappy companies out there offering a tenant credit check.

Make sure you do a FULL credit report from GARDA.

Tenant Criminal Check

Nowadays you should also do a tenant criminal check.

This will protect you and also protect your other tenants and neighbours.

Where Can I Do Premium Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks?

The Ontario Landlords Association provides you with these tools for a terrific price.

Make sure you do a Tenant Credit Check before handing over the keys!

Kingston Landlords Make Sure You Find Great Tenants by Doing Tenant Credit Checks and Tenant Criminal Checks.

→ 1 CommentTags:··

Renting to Students? Educate Them To Protect Themselves (and protect you and your rental property)

September 15th, 2013 · Rent to Students

 Kinsgston landlords Queen's University Student Housing

The end of August and first couple of weeks of September see lots of students moving to Kingston.

Many are coming here for the first time. Thousands of others are returning for another year of school.

This is a great opportunity for new Kingston landlords.

While most first students move into university housing for the first year, the trend has always been that many students want to live off-campus beginning in the second year.

Queen’s University

One of the largest student populations coming to Kingston is from Queen’s University.

The University website has a website to assist students and provide them with information and various resources on how to stay safe whether the students are living in residence or off-campus.

We like the fact the website makes it clear the students’ safety is up them and they must be responsible for their action.

The Queen’s University Student Safety and Community Living page informs students to put a lot of thought and consideration to make sure they protect their belongings, their privacy and themselves during the school year.

Support Services for Students in Distress

The website also links to a page called “Support Services for Students in Distress.”

It a good resource for students to know there are resources and assistance available for student who are in distress.

The page includes information such as:

– How to reach campus security and emergency services

– How to contact the university 24 hour emergency line

– How to contact Frontenac Community Mental Health Services

Tenant Insurance

Landlords who rent to students in Kingston can also play an important role in helping their students stay safe.

Many students are unaware of the important of getting Tenant insurance (also called Renters Insurance or Content insurance).

There’s an excellent article at the Ontario Landlords Association site called Student Housing and Tenant Insurance.

The article shows how landlords can protect themselves by educating their tenants.

Many students don’t know that Tenant insurance is easily accessible, low cost, and can protect them from lots of liability.

The Academic Year Has Begun And A Great Way To Start Off Right Is Inform Your Student Renters How To Stay Safe

→ 2 CommentsTags:···

The City of Kingston Wants You To Become a Landlord

September 7th, 2013 · Kingston Landlords

Kingston landlords government secondary suites basement apartments income property

Have you the visited  HGTV channel and seen Scott McGillivray and the show ‘Income Property’.

Scott partners with homeowners who want to purchase an income property to make their financial dreams a reality.  He guides them through the entire process.

Some episodes begin with buying the house.

Some episodes focus on building the secondary suite.

They add a kitchen, bathroom, living rooms, bedrooms and turn a once empty basement in to a revenue creating basement rental unit.

Some episodes go right to renting out the property and banking the rental cheques.

Do You Want to Be a Landlord in Kingston?

Lots of people watch Income Property and become interested in becoming a landlord.

If you live in Kingston Ontario there’s good news.

What’s the good news?

The Kingston government wants people to rent out their basements and in-law suites.

According to an article at the Ontario Landlords Association website the city of Kingston is encouraging house owners to create secondary suites because they will create more rental units in the city.

Earlier this year Kingston council followed the mandate set by the Provincial Liberal government to create ways for private investors to create legal secondary suites.

Prior to these new bylaw if you wanted to make a secondary suite in your basement or attic you had to apply for rezoning. It was a longer and more complicated process.

Looks Like We Are Going To See A Lot More Landlords in Kingston


The Government is pushing forward and encouraging people to build new rental suites.

This along with the shows such as ‘Income Property’ will lead lots of people to invest and become landlords.

Looks Good! Is There a Downside To This?


Shows like Income Property don’t explain how difficult it can be for a landlord in Ontario.

Furthermore, the government isn’t warning people how the rules and laws side with (bad) tenants.

There are lots of stories out there about tenants ruining small landlords who did nothing wrong except try to make some extra money with their ‘Income Property.’

In fact, the Ontario Landlords Association wrote:

“We ask that cities such as Kingston also assist landlords in making sure the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board are reformed. Changes need to be made, and fast.

Otherwise we warn the City of Kingston – many of these new landlords won’t be landlords for long.”

If you want to be a landlord in Ontario make sure you do lots of research about what you are really getting into.

When you have a tenant who won’t pay rent or has destroyed your unit, don’t expect Scott McGillivray to help.

To Discuss This and Other Kingston Landlord Issues Go to the Ontario Landlord Forum

→ 1 CommentTags:····