In most cases no. Many of our trades are happy to provide estimates free of charge. However, specialized trades such as electricians, appliance repair technicians, plumbers may charge a site visit fee which is then deducted from the estimate if the repairs are approved.
The Residential Tenancies Act stipulates that property owners are required to maintain the property in a good state of repair. They don't delve into the details of what is covered under this duty but through our research into past decisions the Board has made, we've seen some pretty ridiculous requests made by tenants that were enforced by the Board (i.e. changing of light bulbs, etc.). As such, when rejecting a request from a tenant, caution must be exerted. Obviously if the request is more of an aesthetic (change the colour of the walls) or a lifestyle request (can you install a bike rack for me) rejection is permitted. But if the tenants have a valid request (i.e. my dishwasher broke), then you are obligated to have it fixed within a reasonable amount of time.
The cost of repair will automatically be deducted from your rental income. If there are not enough funds in your account to cover the repair, you will be requested to advance funds to ensure that payment can be made.
The frequency of our inspections depends on your need to have someone walk through the property to ensure everything is physically fine. We have two mandatory inspections that we conduct: a move in inspection and a move out inspection. This is done for legal purposes to record the condition of the property at the time it is handed over to the tenant and vice versa when the tenant leaves. That way, if there is a dispute regarding damages, there is evidence to back a claim. With that said, each quarter you will be sent a notice that we will be conducting inspections. Should you wish for an inspection to be done, simply let us know and we will schedule it.
We do a visual and physical walk through of the property. We examine the property for obvious signs of damage. Our reports are in written and photographic in nature. We also test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. We do not move furniture, test mechanical functioning of dishwashers, washers and dryers for safety purposes. We walk through the property to ensure that the tenant has not caused any physical damage.
We charge $100 per inspection plus applicable taxes (HST).
3-4 business days.
Unfortunately we must conduct a move in and move out inspection for any tenant that we have found. We will however not inspect a property for which you found a tenant and are comfortable with.
The law prescribes a defined number of ways in which a lease can be cancelled. Most of the time, a 60 day notice period is required. You may also need to complete an affidavit and/or attend a hearing. Each situation is unique so it is best to contact our office to ensure that you are taking the right steps. Quite recently, the government has made changes to residential tenancy laws requiring owners to pay tenants the equivalent of one month's rent if owners want to move back into their properties. It is important to consult our office is you are considering moving back into your property.
There are different avenues for resolving these issues. Usually, if we notice some damage during an inspection, our tenants are compliant and will remedy the damages. Sometimes though, more serious strategies must be taken including sending a written or formal notice, which effectively seeks to terminate the lease with the tenant based on the damages. We have very rarely seen situation in which a tenant will cause damage but not rectify it - so you don't have too much to worry about. Also keep in mind that the tenant is permitted some wear and tear - meaning that you can't expect the property to be returned to you in perfect condition.
If your tenant misses a payment on the day it is due or our bank notifies us of an NSF, we will immediately contact the tenant to see why there was a default. Normally, there are some budgeting issues and the tenant will apologize and pays their rent immediately. In rarer cases, the tenant may have experienced financial setbacks, such as job loss or divorce. In these situations, we quickly try to resolve the situation in a timely and cost effective manner. We should add though that we take immediate steps to rectify the default as to avoid any delays in potential proceedings that may be required.
If the tenant consistently pays their rent late and this is becoming increasingly inconvenient to you, we may apply to terminate their lease at the end of their term. Usually the board considers the rent persistently late when a tenant has had 6 or more late payments. It should be noted that just because the landlord and tenant board finds that the tenant has paid their rent persistently late, they may not always immediately terminate the lease. Often times, the tenants will be placed on a strict payment plan requiring them to pay their rent on the due date. If there is another missed payment, then the board will order the termination of the lease without a hearing.
The price of an eviction varies. We have internally carried out multiple evictions without having to go to court. Our strategies resolve these issues in a timely manner. If the case must go to the tribunal then it depends on the complexity of the case. Our paralegal offers extremely competitive rates for when court is required.
We have worked with many of our competitors in Toronto and have great relations with them. Sometimes this is the nature of the industry and keeping relationships positive makes transitions much smoother. As such, we have our own internal checklist that we send our competitors if and when you decide to make the switch to our company. If the company you are with has a penalty clause, in some cases, we may pay this penalty on your behalf.
If you have a relative or friend who specializes in a certain trade and can help you complete a repair then we certainly do not have any problems with this.