Ignore this post at your peril, landlords of Ontario. Back in this post in 2010 I was upset about the City of Toronto’s Water Billing Tactics where you can hardly even send a bill to your tenants and they must pay $26 per bill to get it sent to your rental property in their name. If the bill doesn’t get paid by your tenants, no worries, it just gets transferred to your taxes. Why would you have a problem with that? You’re a landlord and therefore rich.
Tenants Treated As Subhuman
First of all these policies are very discriminatory against tenants as they remove the right of the tenant to not pay their bill without the landlord knowing – violating their privacy. They also penalize all tenants by not treating them as equals. Everybody else gets to pay their own bills. Tenants should also have the same rights as other people to get chased by collection agencies and have to provide deposits for services if they don’t pay their utilities. Landlords already know that many tenants are deadbeats and won’t pay their bills; however it’s not really our problem to collect the water charges for the city from the tenant. We have enough problems dealing with rental payments.
Landlords Expected To Pay Instead
The landlord rents the property in good faith to a tenant who they believe will pay their rent and utilities. They do not use the water, they cannot cut the water off if the tenant doesn’t pay for it and it’s a total miscarriage of justice to expect landlords to pay for the water bills. Every other business that provides services has a collections department, including landlords. In fact our ability to collect from tenants is already seriously impacted by the ridiculous delays enacted by the Residential Tenancies Act. To collect water bills from a tenant we would have to go to Small Claims Court at our own expense. How cool is that?
A Little Bit Of History…
I often hear the question… “How did it get so bad?” or “Landlord have no rights” For the most part this is true and there has been a marked erosion of Landlord Rights in this province because landlords allow themselves to be divided. For example our Water Billing issue was enacted in different cities at different times. It doesn’t affect each landlord right away. For the most part tenants do pay their bills. One poor sucker at a time the landlord gets the bill. At that time they are outraged, but $500 water bill is not enough to go to court for. Maybe he collects from the tenant. Eventually it will be your turn to take the hit on the water bill.
It’s the same with the Residential Tenancies Act and the delays there. In Toronto you can expect 6-8 delays for the sheriff. That’s two month’s rent! But again it’s only a few landlords at a time, and it’s not you. So no one does anything.
Landlords Working Together As A Cohesive Group
I’ve said for a long time that landlords need to get together and work as a cohesive group. Just because in your city right now your water bills aren’t being transferred to your taxes doesn’t mean they won’t. It means now now, not yet. So when I was contacted by Kayla Andrade a landlord in Cambridge who is getting a petition together and going to Queen’s Park I was more than happy to help and give her additional information.
Do You Want To Make A Difference?
Right now, we’re working on getting all landlords in Ontario to sign a petition. That’s it. Take five minutes of your day and download the form and fax it or scan and email it or mail it to Kayla. Make a difference for landlords.
Fax to: 1-647-724-1619
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail To: Kayla Andrade, 6 Glen Road, Cambridge On, N1R 4L2
Call Kayla: 1-519-740-7903
Spreading The Word
Download the form, attach it and email all your friends and family and as many people as possible, share this post on Facebook and Twitter. Please folks care enough about your fellow landlords to make a difference. Seriously.