“This is what it’s like dealing with newbie landlords.”

Canayjun at greaterfool.ca 12 Feb 2011 4:47pm“The numerous first time landlords, that arose from the enormous level of spec buying in past two years, are an interesting bunch. They have no clue what they are doing. The four I have negotiated a lease with recently, all believed they were going to buy in and flip the property for a quick profit of $20,000 to $50,000.

None of them knows how to be a landlord. One gave back the damage deposit, not mine, the previous tenant’s, (minus $200), then tallied up the costs to repair the damage (which totalled $600). He was informed by his realtor (who did a market evaluation for him), that he rented us the condo far below market value. I thought it was a good deal. And apparently it was a good deal. Good for us.

Another newbie landlord didn’t know how to fill out the rental agreement forms. I had to do it for them. Another landlord thought they could store whatever they wanted in our back yard, after we moved in. We actually got into arguments over it. They didn’t understand that the house and yard was now ours, not theirs.

Another landlord increased the rent by the allowable amount in BC, then threatened to kick us out if we didn’t sign another one year lease–totally illegal. When he realized he couldn’t kick us out for not signing another lease, he offered to reduce the rent to its original amount if we signed another lease.

Another landlord thought he would store dump trucks on the unused/unoccupied portion of the property on our current acreage rental. I already shut down the dump truck storage (30 trucks) that was beside us on the neighbours property by complaining to city hall. So our landlord thought he could move in 50 dump trucks and store them on the other side of us to make some money. Never going to happen.

Another landlord deposited our rent cheque into the wrong bank account, apparently he has several bank accounts, and then demanded another rent cheque to cover the “missing” rent from August. It took five hours to make him understand he wasn’t missing any rent.

This is what it’s like dealing with newbie landlords.

It’s so much better to rent through a management company. On high end properties they are very, very willing to fix things quickly. And we are currently renting three high end properties.

But these are all minor worries really. My two big worries are if they are going to sell at lease renewal time and whether they might end up in foreclosure.
In reality, my worst case scenario is having to move before I want to, and even that is not the end of the world.”

21 responses to ““This is what it’s like dealing with newbie landlords.”

  1. Why does this person rent so much? What’s he up to?

    • Your second question implies that the answer may be “no good”.
      Let’s assume his motives are innocent unless we get more info.
      Does ‘we’ refer to extended family?

  2. Today I seen a very interesting set of signs… one was a for sale listing and nailed onto that was a for rent sign… huge 3 story house so i am presuming that the basement is the “for rent” area. I drive by this house 3-4 times a week and this is the first time I have seen these 2 signs so they have been added to the front lawn over the last 4 days… my guess is that this will be for rent for a long time…

  3. Wow. you have a lot of landlords. liar.

  4. Snats; MLC -> I have posted at greaterfool.ca asking Canayjun to clarify.

  5. I’ve experienced the same thing in Toronto. Too many “accidental landlords”.

  6. An organization that brings in visitors for a few months work and needs to provide them with a rental place could easily be juggling three at a time.

  7. This guy sounds like the tenant from hell… I’ve been a landlord and currently rent – this isn’t my property – it’s theirs. Tenants have too many rights in this province.

  8. Renters pay darn good $ for a place to live. If landlords want more access to the land and property it should be in the rental agreement. Otherwise GTFO and give 24 hours’ notice.

    If landlords think the law’s unfair, lobby your MLA and in the meantime increase the tenant’s rent to compensate for the risk you’re taking. Well, try to increase it, anyways! 😆

  9. I’ve had eight landlords since 2007. My adult daughter (22) has lived in two different condos since 2007. My adult son (20) has lived in four different condos since 2008. (yes I know that’s excessive, that’s my burden). My husband and I have lived in two different rental homes since 2009. We hope to stay put for at least two years in the current one. All eight of these leases were/are in my name. So I’ve had to deal with all eight landlords. I feel like somewhat of an expert with regard to residential leases.

    Some of the landlords have been outstanding. The newbies have all caused us a great deal of aggravation.

    Life is much more predictable if you own than if you rent. But right now I have no interest in buying anything. ALL of the landlords that are renting houses out in BC are really, really paranoid about ending up with a grow op in their house.

    I just finished filling out the “Inspection Damage Report” for the eighth lease and taken possession of the keys for my son. I filled out the form for the landlord, because he didn’t think it was even necessary to do a move in inspection. It’s a matter of “I will do the work myself, on behalf of the landlord, or it won’t get done.” This is with regard to paperwork only though, not repairs. That’s the burden of dealing with newbies. And there’s a lot of them out there.

    Yeah, I’m sure I’m the tenant from hell for thinking that the yard was actually included with the rent. Or that I should be happy to pay two months rent for August, because the landlord accidentally deposited the rent cheque into their savings account instead of their chequing account. I mean really, who wouldn’t be happy to dole out double rent for August under these circumstances?

    I’m not interested replying any further to these posts if all I’m going to do is get attacked.

  10. Ignore steve, he is an idiot. No doubt a bored used house salesman.

    Canayjun, I found your post interesting, and I think everyone else appreciated reading it.

    Just curious why you filled out the inspection report? If its not done, doesn’t the law automatically favour the tenant?

  11. Actually in fairness I think I’d like to make some comments about some of the “previous” tenants I’ve encountered. In the most recent lease agreement (for a one bedroom), the previous tenant signed a one year for himself. Then he proceeded to move in four more people. There were bunk beds in the 4 X 8 den. There were bunk beds in the living room, yes the living room. And there was a single bed in the bedroom. So five people lived in the one bedroom suite, which is why they got evicted.

    For my daughter’s current lease (Two bedroom), the previous tenants were relatives of the owner. We found out that everyone from management to fellow owners/renters were really, really, really happy when the landlord’s relatives moved out, because they complained about EVERYTHING. They were broadly not liked. I had no problem with them, because all they did was show us the suite.

    The newbie landlord houses were all in great shape, because they had previously been occupied by the owner (or a relative). But we did look at 7 or 8 true rentals. In other words, houses that had been rental houses for at least ten years. And they were trashed, or not updated since the 70’s or 80’s. Long time landlords don’t want to put money into them. And tenants don’t care if they trash the house. That’s what I noticed.

    I got to see things from how the landlords work. I got a much smaller glimpse of what tenants can be like. I have no doubt whatsoever that there are probably a lot of horror stories that landlords can tell about horrible tenants.

  12. It’s a very good question: why do landlord’s not put $ into a property to keep it up? It seems like a microcosm of BC: unwilling to invest or pay for quality. Is BC really that dumb when it comes to investing or is everyone collectively on weed, tenants and lls alike?

    • As long as they can rent it out, why upgrade?

      Additionally, most of the houses build over the last 20 years are essentially throw away anyway, so why put a lot of money into it?

      Most landlords, especially the ones that don’t really want to be landlords, believe the “a tenant will pay your mortgage”, they completely forget that they are a business owner now.

      Furthermore, with the rental market squeezed the last few years there was little incentive to do upgrades because you could rent it even if it would have been on fire.

      All of that will change in the next few years, the non-upgraded one will either stand empty or be rented out at rock bottom prices. Many new landlords will learn quickly that a tenant isn’t only a cash machine but also has rights.

      It will be an interesting eye opener for many.

  13. It’s true if your landlord doesn’t fill out a Condition Inspection Report when you move in (and when you move out), they are required to refund 100% of your damage deposit at the end of the tenancy. BUT they can then file a claim for damages separately (after deposit refund) and you don’t have any proof of what damage was there to begin with. You could end up paying for damage that existed when you moved in.

    Seasoned landlords fix things that are broken, but don’t update, because updates cut into profits. Newbie landlords are basically spec buyers whose mortgage is under water and they have to rent out their place to make their mortgage payments. Condo landlords are hard hit with mortgage and strata fees and property taxes. I think most condo landlords are losing money on their condo rentals.

    I think the current ratio of 70% of Canadians owning their own home is going to change drastically. A return to 55% to 60% is probably reasonable, which means a lot of people are going to exit the home ownership market over the next few years. Housing prices will fall, rents will also fall.

    • I think the current ratio of 70% of Canadians owning their own home is going to change drastically. A return to 55% to 60% is probably reasonable, which means a lot of people are going to exit the home ownership market over the next few years. Housing prices will fall, rents will also fall.

      Actually that rate is pretty BS, they put that number out so that people think that only losers rent.

      If we’d only count the properties that are actually paid off you can probably cut the 70% in half and still may have some distance to go.

  14. There are people who have made money flipping, BUT there are a lot of people who thought they would make money who will lose. For every successful flipper, there could be twenty who lose. I don’t know the ratio, but I’m guessing it’s pretty high. This is why people are fooled into becoming flippers. A friend of mine bought four condos in Calgary during the late 80’s rally in housing. He sold all four at a loss and it took four years to sell them. That’s because it took him four years to save the money to top up the sale proceeds to the bank. He’s a doctor, so he was able to get out fairly easily.

    I’ve been a homeowner from 87 to 09, I don’t miss owning. Renting has pitfalls, but renting allows you to invest in other things instead.

    To me, when they state 70%, it tells me the market is tapped out. It’s not a “Oh dear, I better get back in there too” for me. It’s a “Wow, the market is saturated, a late 80’s style correction is imminent.” They need to be careful when they put out statistics, because it doesn’t necessarily communicate what they want it to.

  15. “BUT they can then file a claim for damages separately (after deposit refund) and you don’t have any proof of what damage was there to begin with. You could end up paying for damage that existed when you moved in. ”

    This seems highly unlikely. Whether its the RTB Dispute Resolution process or even Small Claims Court, the landlord is going to have to answer to why they didn’t do the property inspection. They need proof themselves. Unless you are wealthy enough that you fear a nuisance legal action, I still don’t see the point of filling it out for the landlord. Certainly a typical tenant would have no reason to.

    One thing to keep in mind. A landlord who doesn’t bother with inspections might be under the impression that they can just keep the deposit and ignore your requests for it. Many landlords are unaware of new laws that punish this behaviour. Be ready to pursue it with RTB when you leave (I’m sure you are anyhow 🙂 ).

  16. The RTA people said a landlord can request damages separately from a damage deposit, but that doesn’t mean they will get it. If they circumvent the system by not doing an Inspection Report, it certainly doesn’t ingratiate them to the RTA people. And I think the damage request would be arbitrated by the RTA people. It’s not so much that I worry they will go that route. I more worry that they will go that route not realizing that it leads nowhere, and then you have to deal with it as a pseudo nuisance lawsuit.

    Thus far I’ve been able to get my damage deposit back, because we treat rental houses/condos as homes, not rentals. We don’t damage anything. But, newbie landlords don’t understand the RTA, but they have the best condos/houses. So I fill out the forms and get their signature and I also take pictures of the damage before we move in.

    I don’t really understand how people can look down on renters. It takes a really, really insecure person to look down on someone for any reason whatsoever. So…if your self esteem is wrapped up in being a home owner, I feel sorry for you. Mike, I don’t mean you as in you, I mean you as in “anyone.”

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