While landlords do see their fair, perhaps unfair, share of problems with tenants, in some cases the reverse is also the case. This is particularly true in the condo market notes Geordie Dent, the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association’s executive director. FMTA has put together a list of the most common problems tenants have with their landlords.
Rents Raised Far Too High
Condos that went up after 1991 are not covered by rent control. In those cases landlords sometimes increase rents so much and so frequently that the units end up far more expensive than others in the surrounding area. A few areas are seeing these new buildings charge more than 40 percent more than surrounding structures. That may lead to good tenants going elsewhere and the landlord with a largely vacant building. That’s not a good scenario for either party.
In a condo strata situation, tenants are expected to go to landlords with their repair issues. The landlord in turn goes to the condo board. In an increasing number of cases, tenants have been directed to the board itself. This causes a host of problems, but one of the worst is the board asking that tenant to pay for repairs they are not responsible for. There are usually laws against this practice. The landlord may also end up paying fees if this is the case.
Landlords sometimes mislead or fail to inform tenants about condo rules and regulations set up by the condo board. These can cover a number of issues, including use of certain facilities, the ability to rent a moving elevator and a limit on how many guests are allowed. If a tenant doesn’t know the rules, how can they comply? Another issue sometimes seen is that landlords pass on certain deposits and/or fees to the tenants that the landlords are responsible for, which is illegal.
The Issue of Pets
Many landlords choose to avoid the pet issue by issuing a no pet clause in the lease. Condo boards usually allow some provisions for pets, which the landlord can take advantage of by paying a deposit to allow at least some types of pets in the unit. Refusing to pay this deposit limits the number of people willing to rent that unit. A vacant unit means zero money in the bank. Pet owners are more than willing to pay a cleaning deposit or other reasonable fees in order to keep their four legged, or perhaps feathered, friends.
Dealing with Emergencies
A landlord shows his true value when dealing with an emergency. In a condo situation, flooding is the most common problem. Usually this scenario means water coming into a unit from the condo directly above. The law states that landlords are required to do these repairs but often those repairs are slow, or don’t even happen at all. Delaying repairs can lead to additional damage as well as mould, which can be a health hazard. Basically if you don’t have the funds to deal with such situations, you shouldn’t be in the landlord business anyway. And, it is a business, treat it as such.