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How to Deal With Difficult Tenants in Toronto

It’s difficult to work with some tenants. However, it is possible to work through these issues and deal with them in a way that allows you to continue renting your property without any problems. If you want to know how to get rid of a bad tenant in Ontario, continue reading for some valuable tips.

Who is a bad tenant?

The worst part about bad tenants? They can cost you money. But how can you know that a tenant is bad?

  • A bad tenant is someone who doesn’t pay their rent or is consistently late with their payments. This can be for a variety of reasons, but it’s important to note that if your tenant has stopped paying rent, you have every right as a landlord to evict them from the property.
  • A bad tenant is also someone who damages or destroys property. 
  • They can also cause problems for other tenants in the building by making noise at all hours or harassing their neighbours. 

This type of behavior may result in other people calling you with complaints, which takes up your time and energy as well as increases the legal costs associated with managing these issues.

Landlord’s Responsibilities In Ontario

Before understanding how to deal with a bad tenant, it’s important to know your rights and tenant responsibilities. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) governs most residential tenancy issues in Ontario. It outlines what landlords and tenants are entitled to in their respective roles. Let’s talk about the landlord’s responsibilities. 

  • The first responsibility is keeping the residential area in a way that meets health, maintenance, and safety standards. Landlords are liable for repairing everything that is broken in the home when they give rent because they need to maintain the roofs, walls, doors, windows, lighting, appliances, plumbing systems, etc. in good working order. When they don’t work, they have to repair them. But once a tenant damages something in the home, tenants become responsible for the cost of repairs.
  • They have no right to harass anyone. 
  • They need to provide essential services that every tenant needs in their occupancy, including access to warm and cold water, electricity, and other care services. They have to provide all vital services regardless of whether the tenant paid the rent on time or not. 
  • They have to provide all the urgent documents to tenants, including a copy of the lease.

How to Get Rid of a Bad Tenant In Ontario?

If you want to know how to get rid of a bad tenant, ensure to check these tips: 

  1. Understand Their Situation

First things first: remember that every tenant is different. You can’t treat them all the same way or expect them to follow the same rules, and if something doesn’t work for one tenant, it might be totally fine for another.

You need to be understanding because many people have difficulties and tough times in their lives. So, instead of giving penalties immediately, go and talk to them to understand why they are late on their rent and what problems they have. For example, sometimes your long-term tenant, who is a good and responsible person, may have difficulties. If you communicate with them in the right way and fairly treat them, they’ll be more open to speaking about the issues, and it’ll be easier to find solutions. 

  1. Don’t be too Understanding

This is related to the previous point. Though you should try to understand your tenant at some point, it never means that you should tolerate everything. If your tenant is having trouble keeping up with the rent payments or paying their utility bills on time, try giving them some advice and helping them figure out a plan together so they can get back on track with their finances as soon as possible. However, once they begin to use your kindness to their advantage by consistently paying their rent late or not at all, you need to be firm about your policies and send them a late rent notice.

Remember that when you have troubles or don’t want to spend too much time collecting rent or dealing with late rent, you can opt for a property management company to take the task off your hands. 

  1. Explain the Terms

A lease is a legal document that’s signed by both the landlord and the tenant. It should clearly state the terms and conditions for renting your property to a tenant, including what’s included in the rent as well as any extra charges. In addition to knowing how much they’re paying each month in rent, make sure you have clauses on noise levels (including when they can party), pets (if any are allowed), smoking (if smoking is prohibited), etc.

  1. Warn Them

If you feel like there is something wrong with your tenant’s behavior or their apartment, give them a warning. This will give them time to correct whatever issue they are having before it becomes too serious. You can also use this opportunity to remind them that there are consequences for breaking the rules.

  1. Record Everything

When thinking about how to get rid of a bad tenant, you cannot overlook the importance of documents. Have all the necessary documents, including the conversation notes, emails, pictures (especially when the damage occurred), etc. Document everything and keep records of any interactions with them, this will help you in court later on.

  1. Help Them Find a New Home

One of the ways to get rid of bad tenants is by helping them find a new place to live. Show the benefits of the new home and look at other affordable housing options in the neighbourhood.

So, if you’re thinking of ways to get rid of a bad tenant, ensure that they find a new home and encourage them to move out. But don’t lie to anyone about anything to harm your reputation. 

How Can a Landlord Evict a Tenant?

When thinking of legal ways to get rid of a bad tenant, you can consider an eviction process. But can a landlord evict a tenant? Yes, though it’s not always easy. It can be a little bit complicated and challenging if you’re doing it for the first time. That’s why many landlords opt for property management companies to help them with evictions. 

So, when can a landlord evict a tenant? We know that it’s embarrassing when you have tenants who didn’t pay rent for months, damaged property, or maybe violated the lease agreement and broke the rules. So, here are some situations when you can evict your tenant: 

  • Late payments
  • Damaging property
  • Not paying for the rent at all
  • Not paying utilities
  • Other violations (e.g. disturbing neighbours, bringing pets when they are not allowed, etc.)

Here are the steps of what you can do for the eviction process:

  • Have the vital documents.
  • Before filing an eviction, give them a notice. 
  • Have proof that they violated the rental agreement. 
  • After these you will wait until they will leave the property, otherwise, you can hire a lawyer to do the work. 

Since this is a very long and complex process and you need to do everything properly, you can consider hiring a property management company to handle the complicated tenant eviction process. 

Hopefully, you’ve found the article helpful. Double-check the details on how to get rid of problematic tenants. Good luck!