Ontario Landlords Protest Against Hearing Delays and Professional Tenants


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Small Ownership Landlords of Ontario (SOLO), an advocacy group for rental property owners, is protesting against the provincial system, which limits their rights and forces them to house professional tenants who exploit Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board hearing delays. SOLO is demanding compensation from the provincial government for the unreasonable delays in scheduling LTB hearings and other issues. SOLO co-founder Boubacar Bah claims that professional tenants can exploit hearing delays by withholding rent payments, while small property owners fall into financial turmoil. Sherry Halsted, a member of SOLO, had planned to sell her Hamilton rental property but faced challenges when the tenant refused to move and waited for an LTB hearing date. Halsted and her partner had secured a willing buyer, but as the sale was set to close, the tenant still refused to move. The hearing was eventually scheduled for October 20, but by that time, the sale had collapsed. Halsted and her partner were left with a rental property that had decreased by $192,000, and the real estate agents and brokers lost their commissions. SOLO is also requesting a system like New Brunswick, where an eviction can proceed without an LTB hearing in cases where non-payment of rent is the sole concern. Although some property owners may exploit tenants to maximize profits, Bah noted that property owners can face fines of up to $50,000 while tenants often face fewer consequences. Some SOLO members have faced financial ruin from tenants who have withheld rent, and in one case brought to SOLO's attention, a young Hamilton rental property owner died by suicide after a tenant’s nonpayment of rent created extreme financial hardship.

Read the full article on: THE SPEC