Happy Surprise – Legal Challenge to Tribunal Privacy Laws

November 14th, 2017 · Landlord Advocacy, Property Management, Real Estate Lawyer

Imagine my happiness when I read this article today about how The Toronto Star is Launching a legal challenge to Tribunal’s cloaks on Privacy.

I’m sure the next question is why are you so happy about that Rachelle? Well years ago RentCheck used to maintain a proper database with all the rent thieves names in it. And then the Province passed privacy laws and then the Landlord & Tenant Board stopped allowing RentCheck to access the rent thieves names and it made it almost impossible for landlord to protect themselves from savvy rent thieves. Then we all had to rely on landlords reporting on their own instead of bulk reports that made it possible and economical for RentCheck to maintain a database. Each credit checking system has their own small database.

The bottom line is that this particular rule cloaks serial rent scammers. They should not be protected. Everyone goes on and on about due diligence on the part of landlords when they get scammed, but surely landlords aren’t expected to be forensic detectives when it comes to rental applications.

The worst rent thieves know exactly what landlords want and they give it to them, great credit report, great references, great employment checks, but in this digital age, that stuff is easy as pie to fake and produce. If you’re computer savvy at all you can probably fake everything you need in a couple hours. Couple buddies to answer the phone and you’re in like Flynn.

So while everyone is busy blaming the victim (the landlord in this case) I actually know how charming and lovely these fraudsters are at getting past landlord’s defenses.

Mike Lemke

Here’s a perfect example of a rent thief. He goes from place to place to place… simply stealing. If it was a bank or cars he’d be in jail right now but because it’s rent well the landlord did not do their due diligence. But look at that face. Most people would want to rent him a place, and that’s how they scam. He’s clean cut, no neck tattoos, great (but fake) credit, proof of employment etc.

Is this really a guy the Landlord & Tenant Board wants to protect? You certainly wouldn’t want his next landlord discriminating based on him scamming his three previous landlords victims would we? Maybe he found a spot of mould behind the toilet in his band new condo and so now he can’t pay rent because of his terrible allergic reaction he lost his job.

He also scams other tenants getting people to put down deposits on apartments and then stealing form them too. They also should perform due diligence I guess.

Facts are that this guy is a sociopath who steals and instead of scamming like our friend Chrome who steals credit card numbers, he steals from landlords. Those landlords have to continue to pay their mortgages, property taxes, and even for his electricity. It’s really shitty.

The Landlord & Tenant Board adjudicators need to realize that an Order to pay is not payment. Just in case maybe we should ask the Adjudicators if they would like to receive their paychecks in the form of LTB tenant Orders. Ha that would serve them right.

Personally I can’t wait to see if this legal challenge stops the bleeding hearts from shielding and cloaking the rent thieves. I for one am completely done with a system that enables theft.

I’m Done like Dinner on this issue. How about you?

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Remembrance Day Thoughts

November 11th, 2017 · Testimonial

The picture says it all, the incredible loss and sacrifice. Thank you.

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Latest City of Toronto AirBnb Short Term Rental Rules

November 9th, 2017 · Rental Property

Well here it is, the City of Toronto’s New Short Term Rental Rules I suggest getting a full glass of cheap whisky because it’s 30 pages of completely unenforceable rules and regulations about short term rentals.

Whack A Mole

  1. AirBnb
  2. Craigslist
  3. Kijiji
  4. Mls
  5. Viewit
  6. Zumper
  7. Padmapper
  8. Booking
  9. Backpage
  10. Rent Compass
  11. Are you getting the picture that there is more websites offering this service than you can shake a stick at?

The city can get a couple of thousand bucks for fees and licensing but that’s it.


So there is this guy I love on twitter that spends his evenings reporting illegal AirBnb’s in the city of Vancouver.



He reports the people running illegal AirBnb’s to the city and more importantly Canada Revenue.  It’s sweetly naive.

The City of Toronto has done the same as Vancouver making rules about short term rentals but without some dedicated enforcement it’s just semantics.

For instance they say…

  • People may rent their entire home while they are away for a maximum of 180 nights per year.

So how do you enforce this?  and do the houses stay empty for the rest of the year? that seems counterproductive no?

I’m not a fan of short term rentals, I’m a fan of great long term tenants that pay in full and on time.  That’s a business model I’ve seen work for thousands of landlords. Hotels are also a business model that works. I’ve learned to stay far away from supposed get rich quick ideas. We are desperate for decent housing for people who live here, and hotels stay empty while short term rental landlords hobby rent their properties. It’s insane.

The issue as always is enforcement, and so with this 30 page proposal, how many additional staff are going to be hired to makes sure the rules are followed? We already know from Vancouver that AirBnb is not going to enforce the rules for the city, and we know the city is not enforcing the AirBnB rules and that’s just one of many websites.

It’s not enough to cut down thousands of trees to make stacks of rule books, there has to be following through of those rules and as Vancouver residents looking for affordable accommodation have found, violators apparently get a letter. Not sure that is effectively going to stop people.

Lipservice and placating – Popular at City Hall

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Aim Low – Landlord Edition.

November 8th, 2017 · Rental Property

AS IS Rentals

As is rental are not a legal class of rentals in Ontario. So imagine my surprise when I saw this ad from craigslist.  This is the actual ad link but it will expire shortly but I’ve saved this for posterity.  The picture above and the text below.


I’m looking for someone Handy or familiar with Renovations to finish and live in my unfinished basement. Location is great: Toronto’s Junction/Bloor West Village Area. Close to High Park and Subway Access from Runnymede Station

– space is available for a 14*7 feet bedroom/office and living space
– private entrance off of side of home
– private bathroom and sink/laundry tub (separate from bedroom dimensions), possible on site laundry in 2018
– looking for someone to Frame, Sound Proof, Drywall, Mud, Paint, Install Sub floor and flooring
– wiring will be completed by a professional electrician (pot lights and proper switches, done to code)
– I will buy the materials, you do the labour at your own pace – previous renovation references needed
– Year to Year lease, looking for someone longterm who will enjoy the space
– Perfect for a single person, who basically needs a place to sleep/shower
– Absolutely NO Smoking, children or pets in or around the property

– $500/month rent including all utilities and internet (first and last rent collected in advance + 2 months to start buying materials)
– no parking on site, street parking available with permit
– open to any ideas or design plans for the space
– space is currently very unfinished, but could be great with the right vision
– this is in the basement of my family home, quiet and respectful.

Please let me know if you’re interested or any ideas you have.
I will be putting together pictures soon.


No Happy Endings

The landlords I have known who have used this strategy have all been burnt big time. The work doesn’t get done, and the tenant ends up not paying rent and the apartment is half completed. In one case the tenant took the kitchen cupboards. In most cases, there are a lot of empty promises and non payment of rent. So while I’m not saying this arrangement has never worked out for anyone anywhere, as a practical matter in my career it’s been a nightmare.

Finally, the landlord is required by law to have the space in habitable condition and so theoretically this tenant could move in, and immediately file at the Landlord & Tenant Board to get back the excess rent above the amount of first & last, and force the landlord to get the space habitable for her/him and keep the $500 per month rent virtually forever. This ad is an invitation to predatory tenants.

Sometimes I just lack the words…

But let’s be crystal clear here, the scenario described is truly total shit for the tenant/contractor. The proposed scenario is to move into an unfinished basement, with bare concrete walls, no bathroom and start reno work for no pay except $??? per month, I mean you still have to pay $500 to live in a construction site. So you’re not going to attract the highest caliber of tenant or contractor. In fact that reminds of that couple who hired a local contractor with no truck who didn’t like to wear socks or underwear and then freaked out when their foundation collapses.

You get what you pay for.

Just don’t do it.

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Landlord Imitator Scams

October 31st, 2017 · Kids & Family

Tenants these days are often super cautious about committing to an apartment. Landlords also have to be super cautious about committing to tenants. Both parties are often victims of scammers.

Landlord Scammers


We gave in a rental application with a certified cheque and documentation. The home owner cashed the cheque, rented the house to someone else and is now now giving us the run around. He does not answer the phone and when we text him he texts back, “can i call you later?” and he never gets back to us. What do we do?

Call the Police right away was my advice.

Another scam that was revealed today involves a fake landlord taking multiple deposits. This particular guy stole a lot of money from international students. A lot of them give multiple months of rent to landlords because they have no credit or job. I hope he goes to jail.

Dealing with Suspicious Tenants

The very first important step is not to take a tenant’s suspicions personally. They have every reason to be worried they might be scammed and in most cases they have just met us. It’s only normal that they would be reluctant to part with their hard earned money without some type of assurance we are who we are. Personally I’ve had people ask for my driver’s license and I’ve given it over.

I must admit it’s a bit off-putting to be treated like you would steal money from a tenant, but considering the pretty constant stream of scams I’ve been hearing about regarding rental transactions, I can provide some assurances to a tenant doing their own due diligence and trying not to get ripped off.

Happy Renting


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