Five Common Mistakes Landlords Make When Renting Out a Residential Unit

Author: Deborah K Shewman, Licensed Paralegal | | Categories: Employment Law , Legal Services , Paralegal Services


Renting is a great way to earn passive income; however, it is not as simple as it entails much more than maybe initially considered.

When you decide to rent out a property, you’re essentially starting a small business. This means you will assume certain liabilities along with the advantages of being a landlord.

As an experienced legal representative, Deborah K Shewman Licensed Paralegal, will provide information about what it takes to be a landlord and what mistakes you should avoid going forward.

1. Forgetting to fill out the tenant application
Not having a prospective tenant fill out an application to rent the unit is a common mistake often made by first-time landlords. Often tenants are only asked to sign a lease and pay the first and last month’s rent.

Having the tenant fill out a rental application allows a landlord to ask them for consent to do a credit check, provide references, and collect other important information required to locate the tenant later or to collect rent arrears.

2. Committing errors on Landlord and Tenant Board Notices
Most landlords often make mistakes on the Landlord and Tenant Board Notices, which can regularly render the notice invalid. It is important to complete the forms accurately so that your ultimate application does not get dismissed when you go to a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board. If your application is dismissed, you will have to begin the entire process anew.

3. Mistaking the proper method of serving documents
Landlords frequently serve various documents to tenants in a way that is not considered valid service pursuant to the Rules of the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Residential Tenancies Act. In the case of invalid service of a document, it cannot be relied upon in the application and hearing process. It is important to consider the proper method of service of the various different types of documents served to ensure the success of your application and to obtain the order requested from the Landlord and Tenant Board.

4. Waiting to serve rental arrears notices
Notices for rental arrears should be served the day after rent is due and not paid by the tenant. This is important because if you wait for a tenant to catch up with their rent and they continue to be in arrears every month, you will be waiting for much longer to obtain a hearing date and order from the Landlord and Tenant Board. The Landlord and Tenant Board are working hard to reduce the delay in providing hearing dates. However, the sooner you file your application, the sooner your matter can be heard.

5. Serving multiple rental arrears notices
Landlords are only required to serve one notice of eviction for rental arrears on the tenant. Frequently a tenant in default of their rent will continue to be in arrears. As long as the first Notice for rental arrears has been completed and served correctly, it is not necessary to keep serving the tenant with rental arrears notices every month. Once you file your application with the Landlord and Tenant Board for the rental arrears, all rental arrears will be tallied at the hearing by the adjudicator. Serving tenants with multiple notices for rental arrears could be determined as harassment by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

To avoid these and other mistakes, reach out to Deborah K Shewman Licensed Paralegal. I have over fifteen years of experience in the legal field. I have worked as a senior litigation law clerk in Toronto law firms and was a member of the Ontario Institute of Law Clerks, working in the areas of personal injury, professional negligence, medical malpractice, criminal and civil litigation, account collections, and small claims court.

Get in touch with me today!

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