Being a landlord has its ups and downs depending on the space you own and the tenants you rent to.
The same could be said for a tenant and the landlord who rents them a place to live.
As a landlord you have lots of responsibilities and one of them is listening to what your tenants have to say as long as the requests are reasonable.
I don’t know if the Landlord Tenant Act is the same all around Canada but what I do know is there should be some standardization when it comes to maintaining a property.
You don’t have to jump at every single complaint but you must or at least should adhere to complaints that are of important nature.
It also takes time to get the right people in to get the job done so having reasonable expectations as a tenant is also important.
Wanting the paint color changed in your kitchen is not an emergency as a tenant but if your toilet is not working that is a different story.
Money in my pocket
Sure, renting is a lucrative business and if you can score a rental building, multi-unit house or even just a house to rent you are well on your way to cashing in. This isn’t as easy as it sound though.
Some tenants in Newfoundland and Labrador are complaining that these landlords are getting paid direct from social assistance yet the apartments are not being maintained.
Even so if the tenants complain to social assistance they are apparently told to move. That seems like the easiest answer to a problem if that is in fact the way it’s handled.
As we all know social assistance doesn’t offer much in the way of money so having a strict budget is imperative so finding a rental unit they can afford means slim pickings.
It sounds to me like a revolving door and no one is taking responsibility for anything. Almost the mentality of ‘suck it up buttercup you could be on the streets’. Not very motivating for many renters.
Being a landlord
My parents have owned homes in the UK for as long as I can remember and my wife’s parents have owned properties in Ontario as well.
Most times the renters were on social assistance of some sorts when my parents rented to them other times not, which was never a problem.
My parents wanted tenants who would pay their rent on time and respect the property while keeping it clean. Not too much to ask for considering they did their part as landlords. Not every landlord will be like my parents though.
Completing an appropriate background check is important but it’s not always that convenient for the tenant to landlord.
We hope in the future to be landlords ourselves but will do our best to maintain the property we are investing our own money in. Even if we had to hire outside help to maintain the properties you can bet we will be monitoring the progress.
Social assistance rental struggles
It’s not easy finding a landlord to rent to you when you collect social assistance/welfare because people tend to look down on the recipients. There are various reasons why people rely on the government system and we should not be there to judge.
In the end they are their own judges and if the rules are in place and our tax money is being spent on them because it is deemed necessary. We do have to put some faith in our system to make sure things are being conducted properly.
My wife said she struggled as a young adult to even rent an apartment in the city we live in now. It took her weeks of searching for someone to rent to a newly graduated student not working in her field yet. The struggle is not just for social assistance recipients but for many people.
I say we are all human and things happen for a reason. Just because someone is struggling to find a job and has to rely on the government system doesn’t make them lazy, dirty thieves who will steal and sell anything to make a buck. Gosh, that bothers me.
It’s a stigma that will be carried forever but none the less we are all human and as individuals we can rise to the top. Over the years my parents have had many phone calls from the tenants about problems at the houses.
There was never a time when my parents said, no we aren’t going to repair a leak or a door that won’t close or a refrigerator that won’t work.
That’s what being a landlord is all about. When you become what is known as the slum landlord you are known as someone who likes to take the money and run.
You don’t care about the people, the space and the way they have to live their life. Even if they aren’t the cleanest housekeepers that doesn’t mean you have to reduce your landlord responsibilities to only collecting rent.
Renters moving out
My parents just recently went into one of their homes where a couple split up and it was their primary residence before renting it out.
They couldn’t believe what they saw as the walls had holes in them and it was very dirty. You won’t always get what you want out of a tenant.
Sure they will be responsible for the damage but leaves me to wonder if some renters are creating this stigma put on them. Problem is we all don’t live by the same standards BUT there should be basic standards that must be met by both the landlord and the tenant.
If my parents knew this was the state of the place while they were in the house something would have been done about it.
A friend of ours who had recently went through a divorce and was not working had to collect social assistance until she could find a job as a personal support worker.
She didn’t think it would take too long but in the mean-time she had to sort some things out. Applying for social assistance wasn’t something she wanted to do but was what other options did she have if no one was hiring her?
She always had a tidy house when we visited and was pleasant to deal with. Struggling to find somewhere to rent was what happened to her.
You would think it’s easy but no one wants to rent to someone collecting social assistance/welfare. They think they will trash the place and not take care of it so why bother fixing anything.
Not everyone is like this, heck there are people who have money and professional careers that can’t even support their own property. You’d be shocked to go in some people’s houses.
Then you have landlords who will rent to social assistance recipients because they know the cheque is as good as in the mail each month.
There’s nothing worse than having a tenant who says they can’t pay the rent on time for one reason or another. The problem is lots of these low-income housing estates are full so it’s a struggle to get in.
Taking care of business
Plenty of landlords don’t upkeep the buildings like they should and maintenance requests from tenants go unanswered or ignored for weeks and months on end. This is taxpayer money they are stashing away at the expense of the tenant.
Some never get repaired or even looked at. I’m not sure why some landlords let their properties crumble to the ground the way they do. It shouldn’t be that way.
If everyone including the landlord took pride of ownership then these places won’t have to be what some call a slum place to live because of lack of property maintenance and tenant upkeep.
No one should have to beg to get a landlord to fix a serious problem in a rental unit.
Most tenants fear getting evicted if they complain and it’s a real struggle for anyone to secure a new rental unit. So the tenants take the living conditions as they are and improvise just to keep a roof over their heads.
Landlord Tenant Act
Sure, being a landlord is tough but you have to take the good with the bad. Not everyone is a pain in the arse when they rent no matter where the money comes from.
Landlords should uphold to basic maintenance rules and the Landlord tenant act should force these landlords who pocket the rent money and get rich month after month while their tenants suffer.
There are great landlords out there and there are landlords that don’t care one bit about the tenants and those are the people who need to smarten up. A business is a business, so treat it like one.
Sure I’m generalizing saying they are getting rich and we know that may be far from the truth but that’s what it seems to people on the outside looking in.
We perceive only what we think we know even if it’s not true, like the millionaire next door. If you can’t fund a property the way it should be then sell it to someone who can.
Same goes to some of these tenants, it’s not your property to trash so take pride of what you live in and the stuff that you own.
No one should have to live in below standard rental environments and I’m sure if you as a landlord were in their position you certainly wouldn’t want to either.
Our friend by the way ended up having to move in with a friend and live on her couch because her landlord refused to finish a renovation in the rental unit. There was no refrigerator and the ceiling was leaking in the bathroom from the unit above.
Have your say:
Should landlords be forced to uphold some sort of basic maintenance for tenants in low-income or any rental unit? What about the tenants? What conditions were you forced to live in?
If you don’t already know I have a second Facebook page online called The Free Recipe Depot where I share recipes from other Foodie Bloggers from around the world.
Once a week I pick one recipe that has been submitted as my Top Recipe of the week. Trust me when I say this is no easy task as some of these foodies can cook up a storm.
This week that recipe goes to a food blog called Bunny’s Warm Oven. I thought since we are freezing our tails off in Canada at the moment there’s nothing more fitting than a frozen treat.
Sure a hot chocolate would be nice but heck might as well join in the cold fun. Enjoy this lovely Frozen Strawberry Dessert. It looks delicious.
Weekly CBB posts
If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!
- Driving distractions and making your own rules of the road- Katrina B
- Forcing your financial belief system never works
- When you see someone stealing food
- When the sole provider of the house loses their job
- Orange and carrot breakfast muffin- Nicola D
- How to lose your job with one dumb move
Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read online over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.
- How safe are your bank deposits?- Boomer and Echo
- RESP investment planning- The Passive Income Earner
- I may be a landlord by years end- My Journey To Millions
- Irregular vs Emergency Savings- See Debt Run
- Why I don’t work overtime- The Four Hour Work Day
- RRSP’s make great cents if you manage the refund- My Own Advisor
Well, that’s a wrap for this PF Friday’s Grab a brew #61. Happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.
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