Can’t Sell Your House? Rent It Out

June 23rd, 2017 · Personal House, Property Management

Since I have been in business (10 years now) I slowly steadily chug along, adding a few property management properties to our portfolio, renting a few more, keep on top of things in a pretty unexciting way. Property management done properly should be totally boring.

From January this year, owners who had been clients for years just decided to sell. I even asked why they were selling out of curiosity and it just seemed that they thought it was high prices and that’s it. Vague. Even the strip mall I manage was sold. I was panicking a little bit, in 10 years it has never happened that I lost more clients over 6 months than I gained. In fact it’s kind of rare for people to move or change managers at all. This new development was a little frightening.

Enter My Saviours

Recently I’m having new phone calls, I can’t sell my house, can you rent it? Yesterday it was a potential client from Vancouver, no offers on his house in Toronto, he’s relocated for work. Can I help? They’re going to give it a few more weeks on the market and then they’ll rent/manage.

I’m already renting a house that didn’t sell in Oshawa.

That’s been the problem with housing traditionally, it’s not very liquid, and we’ve all been a little spoiled by the GTA market that has houses sold on multiple offers in a week after holding back offers.

I’m also currently managing a lot of houses for people who have to leave the country, and will eventually need their houses back.  They could sell but don’t want to.

Those trying to sell their houses and not being able to… that’s really new.

The only problem is that in this rental market, you can’t generally cover your expenses with the rent on a house or condo. If you rent a million $ house you’ll get a bit more than $2000 per month depending on the area, time of year, quality of house etc. Unfortunately the upper level of rents is determined by what people make in their jobs, and that has not changed to follow the housing market.

If  you can’t sell your house,  we can rent it.

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Have You Been Ripped Off By Home Capital Group?

June 23rd, 2017 · Mortgages

Home Capital, Home Trust and Re-Charge and their companies may have overcharged their former customers. I have proof that this has happened to at least one person. I have reason to believe that this is common practice for them. If you have been overcharged, ripped off, foreclosed or power of sale by Home Capital Group or any of their affiliates, I would love to see your paperwork. The goal is to get your money back.

Over Charging

Home Trust takes advantage of people who are in financial difficulty but have equity in their home to charge fees that are contrary to the Interest Act. Here’s a case that goes into some detail about what charges are and aren’t allowed. Basically if it’s not interest, it’s not allowed unless it’s a reimbursement for actual costs that are reasonable and can be accounted for.

Examples of Overcharges

  • late fees
  • escalation clauses
  • NSF fees over $50
  • home insurance administration fees
  • home insurance premium
  • unsubstantiated legal fees
  • appraisal or inspection fees
  • pre-payment compensation
  • interest on open items
  • etc.

The goal is to get a few people together, and start a class action lawsuit (you don’t have to pay upfront for the lawyer) to get your money back and stop them from doing it to anyone else. Here’s a sample of some of the overcharges I have seen on my friend’s statement. Anonymised Home Trust Company (This is just one example ) I’m sure there are some very creative over charges out there.

You may not even know you’ve been stolen from, losing your home is extremely stressful, and you may not have been looking properly at your papers or known what was and wasn’t allowed. Oftentimes people don’t have a choice but to pay, because otherwise they can’t switch mortgages. The end result is years of higher and excessive payments on their new mortgage.

According to the evidence I have seen, Home Capital Group is operating their bank using Excel spreadsheets and word templates. They seem to have no central accounting system. The problem with that, is they have basically no control. Furthermore they don’t seem to save documents they issue to their clients, and I have seen multiple documents supposedly issued on the same day, with different amounts and different totals. Needless to say this a problem when you are a bank. In fact my little property management company has better internal systems than Home Trust. That’s frightening.

People who have asked them for an accounting of how much they are owed, have gotten a variety of responses and it differs from day to day. The bottom line is a lot of mistakes are made and because they are dealing with people’s homes it can cause serious and long term side effects.

If you disagree with their accounting and you don’t pay, you have to either hire a lawyer $$$, or the charge will be put on your credit report. Obviously this makes it even harder for their customers to get better mortgage terms elsewhere.

Earlier today it came out that one of Warren Buffet’s companies has decided to lend them money and buy shares. This is excellent news because now their overcharged customers will be able to sue to get their money back.

So if you’ve been overcharged and abused by Home Trust/Home Capital Group, now is the time to fight for what’s right. Please email me directly at or call me at 416-880-4126 to talk.

Many Thanks

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Tenant Concern Emails

June 5th, 2017 · Landlord & Tenant Board, Rental Property

Here’s some tenant concerns.

Property Showings

I gave 60 days notice to move out. The rental agent has been giving me a 24 notice for every single weekday, even though she only shows it about once every 2 weeks. That means I have to get up and be sure to take a shower & be ready for 9-5 every weekday, even though she may not bring anyone in all week. The notices are given ahead of time, one listing Mon, Tues, Wed. A second notice is given for Thurs & Friday. That way if someone shows up at her office she can walk them right over. I’m retired so at home most of the time. Is this allowed?

The answer is, this is stupid. First it’s not 24 hour notice for showing your apartment, all she needs to do is try to contact you. Second notices like this are silly because the idea of giving notice is to let people know that you’re coming in, and as you noted, she doesn’t actually come in. So she’s wasting paper, annoying you, and not really giving you the information you need. Here’s the Landlord & Tenant Board Brochure on Rules for property showings.

I would suggest you speak to her and let her know your concerns. If you’d like to have a lie in, I’d suggest that you tell her that she can come in any afternoon just call first. I assume she already calls first anyhow.

Landlord From Hell – Edited For Legibility

My boyfriend David has lived in this basement apt for 20 years and I have lived there with him for about 5 years. Our landlord is a slum landlord that has a 4 million dollar house for sale and many properties and a ranch of cottages. The apt which was bought by her about 10 years ago was cut up.into rooms and bachelor basement apartments. She charges us $526 for our bachelor basement which has mold and no fire escape and the other apts the same as ours pay $1000. She has taken us to court lots of times and we have always won. One time we were in our yard and she said why aren’t you in court because she sent the court papers to Royal York South not Royal York Rd. We went to the tribunal and got it fixed and went court.

On Thursday May 4, without any notice, the sheriff came to our door saying that “We are evicted” I was at work, my boyfriend came to my work with our two small dogs and told me this. I said “For what?” So here goes the story, we had an electrical panel in our unit that has hydro meters and the breakers. We had kept our cabinet and t.v. in front of it.  Hydro men came in measured the hydro reading and everything was always fine. In 2012 she built a wooden door covering it with a lock on it with our things still in there.  My boyfriend took off the lock to get our things out and put a latch on the door which she said was fine and we could keep our things still in there.  It was fine.  My boyfriend gave her the lock back intact.

In Aug of 2016, she told us that she is moving some of the hydro meters outside. We have till the end of the week to remove our cabinets and t.v. out of there which we said was fine. I came home the next day after work and saw that my things were thrown all over the apartment. My speakers were damaged. I went outside and saw a man working out there. I asked him if someone has broken into my unit and he had said that the landlord came in and thrown all my stuff out of there. He said he is a landlord and would never have done something like that to one of his tenants. 

So when we got evicted last Thursday we didn’t know why so we went to Etobicoke South Tenants Lawyers and they didn’t have the file either. They had on file us asking about when she built the wooden door blocking the electrical panels taking up part of our unit in 2012. We went to the tribunal on St Clair to pick up our file and it said that we put the building in danger by taking off the lock. This happened 4 years ago. She doesn’t worry about the people living there with no fire escape. Anyways she swore to the judge that we paid our rent late in 2016. I keep all my files and I pay by money order so I have all my money order bills from 2014 in a file. The newer ones I haven’t filed but found two that stated that we paid before the month was finished for the first for which she claimed that we paid late for those months. My boyfriend didn’t grab anything when the sheriff came because it was a shock.

She stole all of our new ones from the cabinets so she filed this court order in Feb to evict us and that if we stay in March we have to pay her 17 dollars a day and 200 for the broken lock which was not broken. We never got any of the court papers because she put different postal code 2 streets away from us and didn’t slip the other court papers under the door so within the 72 hours that we had to get our things she would only let my boyfriend get into the unit and I could not get my medications I needed. For 2 days we had to call the police because she would not let us in during our 72 notice so we went to the tribunal and had an interim order put in to freeze the case.  We did not know anything about this so they did freeze it till our court date. I served her with the papers and then on Monday the court informed us the interim is changed that she has to keep the rest of our things safe. But she went the same day as the sheriff evicted us and had some have a new lease to move in so someone is in our unit right now.

I lost both my parents by the age of 23 to cancer my boyfriend has no family. I am 34 years old, we both work. The only family I have is in Brampton which we are staying with right now. I took one week vacation from work but I’m going to have to travel 2 hours each way to work. We tried to find an apartment for this weekend but nothing available in the area close to work  that we want.

One day, internet guys came to my place to set up the internet for me and she wouldn’t let them without my boyfriend there and they told her they don’t need her permission and she told them I don’t live there which I do that I’m only there for sex. This shocked these poor guys, they waited till she left and hooked it up for me. I paid a 40 dollar charge for them to come. They told her that she said no and they told her I would have to wait another 2 weeks which I already waited for them to come. She said she doesn’t care with a half empty bottle of vodka in her hand.

The shower had mold in it so she cut a piece of it out and we had to put a heavy duty plastic bag so the water wouldn’t run into our kitchen cabinet. That was like that for 2 years. She asked my boyfriend to do it because he would clean and paint and not even a thank you.

He likes to keep the building clean. He said he has no time to tile it, he said it was her job and she said you only rent the room not the bathroom or shower. (This is included in our unit) I slipped on ice. She does not maintain the units. People are in and out and she jacks up the rent, doesn’t do credit checks, and people who have bad credit pay her the money. My neighbour is a young university student that is moving out June 1st. The police are there every day. She keeps entering her unit. She has video of the landlord swinging an umbrella at her and she just changed the locks on them and they had to call police again.

I think you should do a story of this landlord from hell. I think she was also stealing my mail I haven’t gotten mail in months which is strange. Also she is such a bad lady she only wanted our aparment to jack up the rent and if it not safe how is someone living there already as soon as we were put on the street?  Thank God for my elderly aunt and uncle because we would have nowhere to go. Everyone that meets this lady says she is the worst landlord from hell. She has postings up on Kijiji about the apartments and she posted fake pictures of her mansion that it is the apartment for rent.  I will also email you the Kijiji link my name is Margo please email me back, this is going to court right now so I don’t know what can be done but me and my boyfriend are homeless with two dogs living at my aunt’s and uncles but no home to call our own.

I also forgot to tell you the story a couple of winters ago she had some kind of inspector come in and she didn’t give us notice.  Just told us to take our stuff off the wall, unplug our things and throw it on the bed. She did this to us in Feb because she put storage on our door and made us turn our apt upside down to look like it was not being used. We did that to help her not to lose our place. We stayed out in a really cold Feb with 2 small dogs. 2 times we stayed at friends but 2 other times.we had no notice and had to walk around in the cold. Who is gonna let you take a dog into a mall etc right? I got a bad cold that time. She is such an awful woman greed about money with her fur coats and not about people’s safety and wellness taking cash not paying taxes on the apartments. I always bought money orders to cover my ass.

She also stole our dehumidifier when we got evicted and said it wasn’t there when we asked her for it back. She took the April rent like nothing and always asked us like she nice, “everything ok ?” She only got away with it because we were not in court. If we would have known we would of went. Where are we gonna find a place for that kind of money? Maybe being out of the dark is better and the window wells are also bottled shut outside so no way you would ever get out if there was a fire.

the landlord is worried about losing 400 a month on our rent. We are sick because we are scared. What we are gonna do? I have to go back to work. It takes me 2 hours each way. Hopefully we will find a place soon. The police officers that helped us, they help carry our stuff for us and they said she is a nasty woman but now that we are staying in Brampton till hopefully no later than June the 1st. Maybe we can find an apartment June 1st. Our lawyer at Etobicoke South said he will not go to court and represent us since it not emergency. We are not homeless but we are homeless. Just staying here temporarily. Please if there is anything you can do to help us with a lawyer. I work at a factory and my boyfriend does construction here and there so he doesn’t work or study. I am the sole provider of the life, the food, the dogs, the rent for most of the months. It’s hard on me also then being on the street without knowing anything.

She is also putting our belongings outside now in the rain for days and she has a court order to keep them safe and some of the apartments in the building have gotten shut down by fire inspector.

Thank you for listening

I feel bad for these tenants, I really do. No doubt there is a whole other side to this story from the landlord.  This is a pretty typical Toronto problem. The rent is super low, the landlord wants more rent to pay for things. Mainly these tenants who seem to have significant issues (BF doesn’t really work) probably don’t have good credit, they have 2 dogs which going to hamper their search. Mainly there are no $500 apartments in Toronto that I’m aware of.

These tenants will suffer significant hurdles to get new housing. The landlord will clean the place up and move on. The landlord might have some serious issues with the Landlord & Tenant Board.

Happy Monday

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Landlording – You can get in but you may never get out

June 1st, 2017 · Kids & Family

The Rental Fairness Act has passed and received Royal Assent May 30th. You can read it yourself here.

Yes the Rent Increase Above The Guideline has been lost, but worse than that are the new rules about the N-12 which is the Notice to End your Tenancy Because the Landlord, a Purchaser or a Family Member Requires the Rental Unit.

So in the past a lot of fast and loose games were played with this form and landlords felt that they could just terminate the tenancy and “say they wanted to move in”. Paralegals in the know have said that you should plan to occupy the unit for at least a year if you use this form, but now that has been enshrined in the law.

How it works is you would give an N-12 notice, the tenant moves, and then up to a year later, they could pursue you for Notice in Bad Faith.

Read It and Weep

Here are the new grounds for Notice in Bad Faith and addition of payment of one month’s rent compensation payable up to the last day of the termination period.

8 The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Compensation, notice under s. 48

48.1  A landlord shall compensate a tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or offer the tenant another rental unit acceptable to the tenant if the landlord gives the tenant a notice of termination of the tenancy under section 48.

9 The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Compensation under ss. 48.1, 52, 54 or 55

55.1  If the landlord is required to compensate a tenant under section 48.1, 52, 54 or 55, the landlord shall compensate the tenant no later than on the termination date specified in the notice of termination of the tenancy given by the landlord under section 48 or 50.

10 Section 57 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Presumption, notice under s. 48

(5)  For the purposes of an application under clause (1) (a), it is presumed, unless the contrary is proven on a balance of probabilities, that a landlord gave a notice of termination under section 48 in bad faith, if at any time during the period described in subsection (6) the landlord,

  (a)  advertises the rental unit for rent; or

  (b)  enters into a tenancy agreement in respect of the rental unit with someone other than the former tenant;

   (c)  advertises the rental unit, or the building that contains the rental unit, for sale;

  (d)  demolishes the rental unit or the building containing the rental unit; or

  (e)  takes any step to convert the rental unit, or the building containing the rental unit, to use for a purpose other than residential premises.


(6)  The period referred to in subsection (5) is the period that,

  (a)  begins on the day the landlord gives the notice of termination under section 48; and

  (b)  ends one year after the former tenant vacates the rental unit.

No More Games

There will be no more fun times for landlords and getting your tenant out to take your unit just became exponentially harder. Obviously this is aimed at the specuvestors who were just waiting to sell. I have heard of some crazy stories, people hiring stagers while the tenant is still living there and cleaners etc.

Mostly I have heard a lot of landlord complaining the tenant doesn’t keep things clean enough or bend over backwards enough to allow for showings etc. At these times I remind them that while they themselves may make a ton of money on the sale of their property, after having a bunch of strangers interrupting them and looking at their underwear drawers, tenants get an eviction notice and higher rent elsewhere. It’s not hard to see why tenants are not so enthusiastic about the sale of the property.

In case you were wondering, the obligation lays with the land which is a funny way of saying that the new buyer is going to be responsible. If they say they are moving in, they’d better not rent it out for more money. There’s going to be a lot more assumption of tenants going forward.

Over and Out

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Equitable Bank – Tell Me More About Your Business Failure Plan.

May 30th, 2017 · Mortgages

I don’t even know the jokers that are running Equitable Bank but a picture is worth a thousand words. How much maple syrup are they drinking over there?

And the Big 6 banks loaned them money and here’s the document (of course) Equitable loan

To be honest, I have no idea what the actual interest that is going to be charged on the $2 Billion loan. It’s like one of those bloody logic puzzles.

  • The Term – 2years
  • Up Front Fee is 0.75% of $2 Billion = $15,000,000
  • 1.25% over each banks cost of funding ??? = ??? for money borrowed
  • Standby fee for money not used is .05% = Max of $10,000,000

The amount charged fully depends on how much is borrowed but it’s a minimum of $25,000,000. If Equitable draws from this loan to fund a mortgage at the advertised rate above of 2.64% they are making a maximum gross profit of .64% assuming the lending banks cost of funding is 0. (Which obviously it isn’t) To calculate 0.75% + 1.25% = 2% + bank cost of funding (?)

What does this mean? It means that either their advertised rate is bullshit or they are in the business of losing money. Hopefully they charge a much higher rate than the advertised 2.64% but that also means they are taking on more risk.

If the VIP’s and high muckety mucks weren’t so busy trying to convince me how stable and wonderful this mortgage banking is, I wouldn’t really care, but a little digging reveals that the margins are not attractive. It’s just not sustainable over time, and unless there is something I’m missing which I may well be, the long term prospects for this company are nil.

As a banking entity you cannot get on the wrong side of interest rates and survive. It’s the same with real estate in your cost of borrowing is 5% your cap rate has to be 7% or preferably higher, otherwise you’re just slowly losing money and eventually you’ll be buying your coffee at Maxwell House instead of Tims or Starbucks. We all know that Maxwell House is some nasty shit so please, remember the fundamentals.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that a margin of 0.34% interest is a huge problem and obviously you’ll probably need an office or two and a secretary and a janitor and these people will like payment.

Thanks to @Keubiko for the graphic

Tell me more about how safe and secure Canadian banking is.

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