Addressing your common concerns and questions.
Current landlords have access to our Housing and Residences office, which can act as a resource if questions or problems arise, and to provide tips on renting your accommodations.
Spend time creating your listing description and upload pictures; students want to know as many details about their potential new home as possible. If your accommodations are close to major businesses, shopping, bus-routes, or other amenities those details can make your place look more appealing.
Also, some listings might be more appropriate for graduate students or families – family friendly neighbourhoods, which are close to schools – make sure you include those details in your description.
Low call volume
The first thing that you need to consider is how available you are making yourself to prospective tenants. Do you have voicemail, email, or an alternate phone number where you can be reached? Secondly, you need to consider the demand for housing. Is there an over-abundance of student housing in your area? If so, you may want to consider adjusting your rent, and take care in ensuring that your accommodations are well-maintained and attractive to students.
Consider posting pictures of your accommodation on your advertisement. This is often helpful to students who aren’t able to view your accommodations themselves.
You can add multiple pictures to your ad before you submit it to Housing and Residences, or, if you have already submitted your ad, you can use the URL keycode sent to you via email to access your advertisement and submit pictures.
University of Waterloo co-op terms
The University of Waterloo operates on co-op terms starting at the beginning of January, May, and September of each year. Students in co-op find placements all across Canada and the United States and always need somewhere to live.
If you are an out of town landlord, a good time to advertise to catch these students is about two months before the start of each term, and if you’re a landlord in Kitchener-Waterloo you might want to consider split leases.
Since co-op students alternate between four months of school and four months of work, many students are looking for housing for only four months at a time. Instead of requiring a 12-month lease, please consider having students sign a split lease for two separate 4-month terms.
For example, the majority of students who are on co-op in winter 2015 will be in Waterloo for fall 2014 and spring 2015. Instead of having students sign a 12-month lease or an 8-month lease from September to April, have them sign an 8-month split lease for fall and spring.
This is advantageous for landlords because there are generally less students studying on campus in the summer, so securing your rooms in advance means that you will not have to advertise again for the spring term. Also, it is much easier to find students for the winter term than it is for the spring. When students inquire about your property, ask if they are co-op students and if so, when their next co-op term will occur.
Proximity to large companies
If your accommodations are situated close to major companies that are known to employ uWaterloo co-op students, you can include this information on your ad.
You can let students know what companies are nearby, and the walking/bus distance to these companies. This information can be very valuable to co-op students not familiar with your city.
I gave notice and the tenant moved out but left some belongings behind. What should I do with them?
The Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) states that where a tenant has vacated a rental unit and has left belongings in the unit, the landlord is permitted to sell the belongings, retain them for the landlord's own use, or otherwise dispose of the abandoned property.
My tenant recently passed away, what are my obligations?
If a tenant dies and there are no other tenants in the unit, the tenancy is deemed to be terminated 30 days after the death of the tenant. The landlord must preserve any property of the tenant who has died other than property that is unsafe or unhygienic.
The landlord must provide reasonable access to the rental unit to allow the executor of the estate or family member to remove the tenant's property. The landlord is permitted to sell, retain for the landlord's own use or dispose of the property once 30 days have passed from the day the tenant died.
The Act states that if within six months of the tenant's death the executor or administrator of the tenant's estate or a family member claims any of the property that the landlord has sold, the landlord shall pay to the estate the amount of the proceeds from the sale, after deducting the landlord's reasonable out of pocket expenses for moving, storing, securing or selling the property; and/or any arrears of rent owing. Where the landlord has retained the belongings for his own use, if the executor or administrator of the tenant's estate or a family member claims the property, the landlord shall return the property to the tenant's estate.
The tenant has damaged the premises, what actions can I take?
If the tenant or a person the tenant allows in the rental unit willfully or negligently causes damage to the rental unit, the landlord can give notice. The notice must be dated for 20 days, detail the reasons for termination and inform the tenant s/he is required to pay the reasonable costs of repairs or make the repairs within 7 days. The notice becomes void if the tenant complies within 7 days.
The tenant plays loud music until the early morning hours, what can I do?
If the conduct of a tenant, another occupant of the rental unit or a person permitted in the rental unit by the tenant substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the rental unit, a notice may be given. Notice cannot be effective earlier than 20 days and must explain the reasons for termination and require the tenant to stop the activity or conduct or correct the problem set out in the notice within seven days.
What action can a landlord take if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
A landlord may issue a notice of termination if the tenant fails to pay rent lawfully owing under a tenancy agreement. The notice may not be effective earlier than the 7th day for a daily or weekly tenancy or the 14th day for all other types of tenancy agreements. The notice must specify the amount of rent overdue and that the tenant may avoid termination by paying the rent before the notice becomes effective.
Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, what is it?
The Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal is a quasi-judicial agency that determines issues and rules on disputes that arise between residential landlords and tenants. The Members are not judges, but do have the authority to rule on applications. The Members must have the ability to hold hearings; make reasonable decisions; deal effectively with landlord and tenant relationships, possess knowledge related to administrative justice and fairness and follow an established Code of Conduct and Rules of Practice. The Tribunal is required to report annually on its operations, business plans, service levels and performance to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
The Tribunal's central toll-free telephone number is 1-888-332-3234 (in the Toronto area call 416-645-8080). The Tribunal has eight Regional Offices across the province located in London, Hamilton, Ottawa, Sudbury, Mississauga and three in Toronto. The Tribunal web site provides further information about the Tribunal, has forms available for downloading and allows you to check the status of your application.
What services are offered by the Tribunal?
The Tribunal’s Regional Offices offer a full range of services that include hearings, mediation, processing applications, providing general information on the Residential Tenancies Act’ and distributing printed material including forms. Client Service Offices offer similar services with the exception of hearings and mediation. Document Filing Centres receive applications and distribute printed material only.
The tenant has acquired a pet since moving in. Our agreement states NO PETS, what are my rights?
The Residential Tenancies Act’ allows tenants to have pets regardless of any agreement they may have entered to the contrary. If the pet causes damages, disturbances, allergic reaction or is of a breed that is inherently dangerous you have grounds to issue a notice of termination.
How does a landlord give notice to enter the unit?
A landlord may deliver the written notice of his/her intention to enter the rental unit by: a) Handing it to the tenant or an adult on the tenant's premises; b) Leaving it in the mail box or in a place where mail is ordinarily delivered; c) Sliding it under the tenant's door; or d) Posting it on the tenant's door 24 hours in advance.
I've given the required notice and the tenant refuses to let me in. What can I do?
Landlords who are unable to gain access to the rental unit have two options: a) Document their efforts to enter the unit and issue a notice of early termination on the basis of substantial interference with the landlord's enjoyment of the premises; or b) Contact the Investigation and Enforcement Unit of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. They will contact the tenant and, in many circumstances, are able to secure tenant cooperation without taking legal action.
The tenant has a lease that expires in six months, can the purchaser terminate early?
If there is a written fixed term tenancy (lease), the tenant is entitled to continue the tenancy until the expiration of that agreement. The purchaser will have to honour the terms of the lease. However, the tenancy may be terminated early if the tenant agrees.
What happens if the tenant doesn't leave?
If the renter/occupant fails to vacate the premises after notice is given, the owner may take steps to recover possession of the premises. The owner may change the locks to the premises once the date of termination has passed, however, this may result in police involvement.
What is the cost of an eviction?
When the landlord attends the Enforcement Office, the landlord will be required to pay $315.00 PLUS $0.58 per kilometre that the Sheriff has to travel from the courthouse to the eviction address.
What information can I require from a prospective tenant?
Landlords may use income information, credit checks, credit references, rental history, guarantees, and other similar business practices to screen tenants as prescribed in the Regulations made under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Typically, prospective tenants are asked to provide information related to employment, current and previous landlords, banking information and, most importantly, authorization for the landlord to conduct a credit check.
NOTE: A landlord cannot access a prospective tenant's confidential credit information unless s/he provides written consent.