Want to Learn How to Choose Better Tenants? Watch SingleKey’s Viler Lika Explain How with REIN

how-to-find-better-tenants-landlord-tips-video

Want tenant tips from some of Canada’s leading landlord and real estate experts? This past February, the Real Estate Investment Network’s (REIN) JG Francoeur and Patrick Francy sat down with our founder Viler Lika to talk about how SingleKey helps small everyday Canadian landlords better manage their rental properties by choosing the right tenants in order to reduce delinquency risk right at the start.

In the interview, we dive into the real costs of evicting tenants, and how SingleKey can really help landlords across Canada deal with one of the most stressful and costly experiences of their landlord journey. Francoeur and Francy bring up some good points as well. They ask how SingleKey determines the worthiness of a prospective tenant and why we never decline tenants based on credit score alone.

Some of the questions we answer in the interview are:

  1. What sort of expenses does home insurance not cover?

  1. How can SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee help you cover eviction expenses?

  1. Are the best tenants always the ones with the best credit scores?

  1. How detailed should you be with a tenant’s references?

The video also includes a detailed rundown of SingleKey Tenant Credit Check and Background Check. Viler explains how landlords can use the information they find here to find the best tenants and to support the gut feeling they may have about a prospective tenant. The tenant screening report goes far beyond a simple credit report. If you’ve been interested in seeing our comprehensive tenant credit and background check in action, this is a great time to see it explained in detail.

You can watch the entire video on Facebook Live below.

REIN is a news and resource company that helps thousands of Canadians protect their investments and better prepares them for navigating the challenges of managing a rental property. They offer Canadians unbiased real estate education and advice through webinars, a membership program, and a free weekly podcast called “The Everday Millionaire.” REIN has been featured on CNN, The Globe and Mail, and CTV Canada.

Cost of Evicting a Tenant: the Ultimate Guide for Canadian Landlords

cost of evictions in Canada
cost of evictions in Canada

Delinquent tenants are arguably the biggest risk a landlord faces when they decide to invest in rental property. While landlords try their best to screen for good tenants to keep their rental income secure, sometimes the unexpected can still happen. Landlords still have to deal with evictions when they end up with delinquent tenants who may not pay their rent or may even damage the property.

So how do landlords evict tenants in Canada? What does the eviction process look like and how much does it actually cost to remove a delinquent tenant?

When calculating the cost of evicting a tenant, Canadian landlords need to keep three things in mind:

A. Loss of Rental Income During Evictions

The only recourse that landlords have to deal with non-payment of rent and tenants who refuse to leave the unit is to go through the provincial tribunal or court to file for tenant eviction.

The problem is that the process of eviction in most provinces suffers mainly from long delays due to a high backlog of hearings. So it takes a long time  to carry out eviction procedures from start to finish.

The duration of the eviction process in Canada depends on three things:

Statutory Delays

Statutory delays are periods of time that a landlord must wait before they can apply to their provincial tribunal or court to remove a tenant. This set number of days differs in each province.

The purpose of these additional wait times is to give tenants the opportunity to pay any outstanding rent owed to a landlord. If the set number of days passes, the landlord can then apply for an eviction order on the grounds of non-payment of rent.

How long does it take to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent in each province?

In British Columbia, a landlord must issue a 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent when a landlord fails to pay rent by the agreed upon date. Within the 10 days, if the tenant fails to pay the outstanding balance of rent, a landlord must wait the respective 10 days before they can apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch to claim the lost rental income.

When a landlord wishes to remove a tenant in Alberta, the landlord is to serve the tenant with a 14- day notice to vacate the unit.

In Saskatchewan when a tenant is 15 days late to paying rent, the landlord has the right to immediately end the tenancy by serving the tenant with an eviction notice.

In Manitoba a landlord is entitled to evict a tenant 5 days after the rent is due. On the 5th day, the landlord can ask the tenant to vacate the unit and has full discretion in determining how soon the tenant should vacate the unit.

The average amount of time given to tenants to allow them to leave is between 5 and 10 additional days (this is at the discretion of the landlord as there is no guidance on this).

In Ontario, eviction proceedings take at least 25 days.

First, a landlord must issue a Termination Notice (N4 Form) when the tenant is late on rent, then they have to wait 14 days to file an application for eviction (L1 Form) with the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict the tenant.

In addition to this initial 14 days, and unlike any other province, there is also a statutory requirement that the landlord must wait an additional 11 days to allow the tenant to either pay the outstanding balance or vacate the unit before the landlord is allowed to hire a sheriff to enforce the standard order.

In Quebec, the landlord must wait 3 weeks from when the payment was initially due before filing to evict a tenant. Once a tenant is 21 days late, the landlord can then apply to the Tribunal to end the tenancy, remove the tenant, and recover the lost rent.

Following the application for eviction after 21 days, if the tenant pays the outstanding balance to the landlord before the Tribunal reaches a conclusion, then the termination of the tenancy is avoided.

In Nova Scotia, a landlord can only serve a delinquent tenant with a notice after their rent is 15 days late. Further, a landlord must wait an additional 15 days from the date the tenant is handed the eviction notice before the eviction can be carried out, totalling a minimum of 30 days of mandatory wait time before a tenant can be evicted.

In PEI, a landlord can issue a notice to evict the tenant as soon as rent is 1 day late. The tenant then has 20 days to vacate the unit. If they manage to pay the outstanding balance within 10 days, then the eviction notice is invalidated.

Similar to PEI, in New Brunswick the landlord can issue an eviction notice to a tenant as soon as rent is 1 day late. The tenant then has 15 days to vacate the unit.

In Newfoundland when a tenant is 5 days late in paying rent, a landlord will then serve a tenant with notice that the tenancy has ended, and the tenant then has 10 days to vacate the unit amounting to an average of 15 days for the entire eviction process.

Court Delays

Court delays are the length of time between the issuing of the notice to the tenant or filing with the provincial tribunal, to when an arbitrator issues a decision. These numbers include any delays in scheduling a hearing date, and any delays in the arbitration proceedings including the amount of time it takes to release a decision.

How long does it take to get an eviction court order?

In British Columbia, after a landlord files the appropriate 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent and a tenant has not paid all outstanding rent or vacated the unit, the landlord must then proceed to claim the unpaid rent amount with the provincial tribunal (the RTB).

In BC, the tribunal can take 1-2 weeks to schedule a hearing for the two parties to plead their case depending on the availability of arbitrators and their caseload. Following the end of the arbitration, the tribunal will make the final decision within 30 days of the hearing.

In Alberta, it can take as little as 5 days to as much as 48 days for a landlord to have a hearing scheduled. On average, it takes 25 days after filing a dispute to get a hearing scheduled. Following the conclusion of the hearing, it takes an additional 10 days for the arbitrator to reach a final and binding decision. Depending on the outcome of the possession order, a landlord may further need to wait between 10 to 30 days before they can regain possession of the unit.

In Saskatchewan, due to the lighter caseload, hearings are scheduled approximately 7 days from when the claim is brought the tribunal.

Manitoba’s court system adds an additional 15 days in lost time. This is because it takes approximately 12 days for the hearing to be scheduled. Following the hearing, the arbitrators release the final outcome after 3 days.

Ontario’s court delays total an average of 51 days. It takes 14 days for the provincial tribunal to schedule a hearing. When the hearing date is set, it is typically scheduled for 4-6 weeks later.

Similar to Ontario, Quebec’s tribunal system is subject to heavy delays. It can take up to 3 months in some cases for a tribunal to release a final decision. However, on average, it takes 30 days for a final and binding decision to be made.

For Nova Scotian landlords, it can take up to an additional 20 days to receive a verdict for eviction. This is a combination of delays in scheduling the hearing and waiting for a conclusion by the arbitrator to be reached. 

In PEI, the provincial tribunal prioritises eviction hearings over other landlord-tenant disputes. So hearings are scheduled between 7 – 10 days after the landlord brings forth the claim to the tribunal.

New Brunswick boasts the shortest court delay length across Canada. Landlords there face shorter wait times as it takes an average of 5 days for the court to issue their decision.

In Newfoundland, after requesting a hearing at the Residential Tenancies, there is an additional 14 day wait before the hearing is conducted. While the average length of delay is 14 days, tenants, in some cases, can have up to 18 days to file an appeal and have the case reconsidered.

Sheriff Delays

Following the eviction decision from the court, landlords need to also account for the time it’ll take to hire a sheriff to enforce an order of possession or court order to remove a non-paying tenant and allow a landlord to re-possess his unit.

How long does a sheriff take to evict a tenant?

In every province except for Ontario, it takes between 1-6 days for the sheriff to enforce an eviction. However, in Ontario, due to the backlog of cases in the LTB there is also a high demand for sheriffs to enforce evictions. Therefore, following the issuing of an order to allow a landlord to regain possession of the unit, and following the statutory waiting period of 11 days to allow the tenant to move out of the unit, if the tenant does not leave, it takes an average of 30 days more for an Ontario landlord to hire a sheriff to uphold the eviction order.

This statistic is one of the key reasons why the process of carrying out an eviction in Ontario is longer than any other province. While we see the average across the country is only 4 days, in Ontario this process takes approximately 8 times longer than in the rest of Canada.

How Long Does the Eviction Process Take in Total?

It takes between 2 weeks to 3 months to remove a delinquent tenant (depending on what province you reside in). The province with the longest procedural delays during an eviction is Ontario and the province that has the shortest delays is Saskatchewan.

So how much rent in total can a landlord expect to lose?

You can calculate the total amount of rent a landlord expects to lose while going through the eviction process using this formula:

TOTAL LOST RENT $ = AVG EVICTION TIME (+1 MONTH TO FIND A NEW TENANT) X AVG MONTHLY RENT $

To determine the total cost in lost rent when faced with a delinquent tenant, it is important to consider what the monthly average monthly rent and utilities are in each province:

On top of not receiving rent for multiple months, a landlord can expect to spend an additional 1 extra month to post ads, screen, and sign a lease with a new tenant. This does not include any time spent repairing any possible damages to the property by the delinquent tenant.

This lost income also does not include extra costs such as legal expenses, court fees, etc that may be incurred during eviction proceedings.

The average landlord renting a 1-bedroom unit can expect to lose between $2,000 to $4,000 worth of rent while going through the eviction process. In Ontario, landlords are subject to much higher losses as Ontario landlords can expect to lose $9,000 in rent! This is due to the lengthy eviction process in Ontario (3 to 5 month) combined with the higher avg. rent prices.

B. Eviction Legal Costs

In addition to the rental income that landlords lose during the process of evicting a tenant, they also spend thousands of dollars in legal costs.

There are 3 types of legal costs:

Legal Fees

Legal expenses mainly include the cost of hiring a paralegal to deal with a case on behalf of a landlord. Paralegals will file relevant paperwork, handle the eviction hearing and any other negotiations that may be necessary throughout the process.

Legal Costs For Eviction in Canada

In British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the average landlord spends between $700- $800 to hire a paralegal to carry out the eviction process. 

However, in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, and Newfoundland, the average landlord spends approximately $400 – $500 on legal expenses over the course of an eviction.

Unsurprisingly, Ontario and Quebec are the most expensive provinces in relation to hiring legal assistance due to longer eviction processes. In Ontario legal fees cost $2,000 on average and in Quebec they cost $1,000 on average.

Court Fees

Court fees are the payment to be made to the court or a tribunal in order to file a claim or order to evict a tenant. Generally, the average spend for court applications is between $50 to $100. Ontario, once again, remains as the outlier as the cost to file an application with the LTB for eviction is $175 (nearly twice as much as the next most expensive province).

Sheriff Fees

The cost of hiring a sheriff to enforce an order to remove a tenant widely varies across Canada. The average amount ranges between $100 – $200. In Ontario, due to the high demand for sheriffs, a landlord must also spend approximately $400 before a tenant is removed by a sheriff. On the other hand, landlords in Newfoundland, PEI, and New Brunswick pay a measly $50 – $75 for the same service.

C. Estimated Property Damage Costs

Lost rental income is one of the scariest expenses that a landlord can face. The only thing that can make a landlord’s job harder is when a delinquent tenant damages their property before vacating the unit.

In Canada, 1 in 6 eviction cases includes a claim for compensation for damages to the unit in addition to lost rent. The average landlord claims between $1,500 to $3,500 in court against a tenant for damages caused to their unit.

Damages caused to a landlord’s unit tend to extend the waiting time and the amount of losses that a landlord suffers before they are able to find a new tenant and begin renting the unit out once again. It can take 1-2 weeks just to do simple repairs to the property. Landlords may not be able to recover the full amount of damages from the tenant in court so they may still be left with some expenses to cover out of pocket.

What is the total cost of eviction?

In all Canadian provinces, even the least expensive ones, the costs of eviction can be substantial. From the many days it takes to begin eviction proceedings to the additional months it takes to remove a tenant; landlords lose an average of 2 months (60+ days) of rental income going through the process. They also have to account for an extra 1 month of lost rental income till they find a new tenant.

The average cost shouldered by landlords across Canada is between $4,000 to $5,000 in eviction expenses. These costs can even reach $11,000 in more expensive provinces with lengthy processes such as Ontario.

How do landlords protect their rental income and keep renting risk-free?

For a landlord to protect themselves and their unit, the first step to be taken is to perform a proper tenant screening when signing a new lease.

Tenant screening services offer financial insight into the tenant’s history. Some services, like SingleKey offer a comprehensive  Tenant Credit and Background Check in Canada that includes a full credit check, as well as a background check and a social media scan. All this information comes wrapped in one report, and you can get started in just 5 minutes.

For landlords who are looking for additional peace of mind and protection for their unit, products such as the SingleKey Rent Guarantee program offer just that. The SingleKey Rent Guarantee Program protects landlords from losing rental income by guaranteeing up to $60,000 worth of coverage.

What Is The Hardest Part About Being A Landlord?

the hardest part of being a landlord
What is the hardest part about being a landlord? Find out!

A landlord’s work is never done. Or, at least, it seems that way to the majority of individuals who hold the title of landlord. While it is often heralded as a rewarding occupation (many people love owning various properties for the purpose of profit), the landlord position is certainly not one that is without hardships. But what is the hardest part about being a landlord?

Many will tell you that it’s the non-stop ringing of the phone.

In most cases, the “phone is ringing off the hook” scenario is one that conveys that business is booming. In a landlord’s case, it may just mean that, as well. A ringing phone can signify a potential renter calling to look at the property. But, most often, the phone calls are complaints. On BiggerPockets.com, Kevin Perk tops his list of things he hates most about being a landlord with the inundation of phone calls he receives.

“When you become a landlord, your phone begins to ring,” he details, “Sometimes that can be good; other times it can be bad. Good or bad, there comes a time when you’ll be ready to throw your phone in the river because it never seems to stop ringing. Prospective tenants call looking to rent an apartment. Current tenants call to tell you something is broken, that they will be late with their rent or to complain about something else. There is always someone calling.”

Others will say that it’s the carrying of a mortgage.

Renters aren’t the only ones who are required to make monthly payments. Quite obviously, landlords – a.k.a. property owners – have monthly payments of their own to make. And, in many cases, they have several properties to pay for. Paying the mortgage is a monthly obligation that can often be a tough task. This is especially true if there is difficulty with collecting rent from tenants on a timely basis.

On ClubThrifty.com, Greg Johnson lists carrying a mortgage at the top of his “Being A Landlord – The Bad” list. “Don’t run out and finance a rental house just yet!” he advises, “Borrowing on a rental house means some fairly major risk for you. If your renter doesn’t pay, is late, or the property is empty, you still have to pay that mortgage bill every month. Before making the leap, be sure you’ve got the money to cover the costs for a few months if needed.”

Most will complain about having to collect the rent each month.

Depending on how many tenants you have living in your property, monthly rent collection can be an intimidating duty. Hopefully, the majority of your tenants are the types who promptly pay their rents without having to be constantly reminded. However, nearly every landlord has experienced altercations with tenants who list numerous excuses as to why they don’t have enough money to pay their rents by their due dates.

At Single-Key, we sympathize with this dilemma. In fact, we understand the difficulties that are presented on both sides. This is why we offer a service that provides both landlords and tenants with great peace of mind. For landlords, we take over the responsibility of collecting rent from your tenants! As a result, you are guaranteed to receive all of your rent money on time, each and every month.

For tenants, we make it a lot easier for you to pay your rent if your landlord is a Single-Key customer! We offer payment flexibility that includes allowing you a choice to pay with either cheque or Interac. And we also allow you to postpone your rent for a month, if absolutely necessary.

For more information about SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 416-518-3489 or email us at contact@single-key.com.

What Are The Necessary Steps To Evicting A Delinquent Tenant?

Evicting a delinquent tenant can be a stressful process. It doesn't have to be. Check out this blog post to learn how.

Being a landlord certainly has its benefits. Among the most obvious are the ability to earn a steady income through your investment property and the potential of making new friends through the people who rent your space. Owning and renting a property, however, does have its disadvantages. No matter how thorough your vetting process may be, you always run the risk of renting your property to nightmarish tenants.

Are they constantly throwing parties and damaging your unit? Do they elicit constant noise complaints? Are they regularly late with rent? Have they not paid their rent in months? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve likely already contemplated taking the steps to evict your tenants. How do you go about it? If we’re being perfectly honest, it can be a super annoying process. What steps are necessary to evict a delinquent tenant?

1. Fill out a Form N4.

For Ontario-based landlords, a Form N4 must be completed. This is also known as the “Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent”. The form requests of you to provide information pertaining to the issues you’re having with your tenant. It also informs that your tenant has until midnight on the day his/her rent is due to pay the rent and that you must wait until after that day to give the tenant notice of his/her eviction.

It’s also vital you carefully check your math. The form will eventually be submitted to your tenant and it is imperative that the exact amount of the past due rent is listed in the tables provided. Of important note: “If your tenant pays rent by the month or year, you must give at least 14 days notice. If your tenant pays rent by the day or week, you must give at least 7 days notice.”

2. Fill out a Form L1 if the tenant does not make a payment within 14 days.

If you’ve provided your tenant with your completed N4 notice and he/she still doesn’t pay the rent within 14 days, you’ll need to complete a Form L1 – Checklist. It is also known as the “Application to Evict a Tenant for Non-payment of Rent and to Collect Rent the Tenant Owes”. There is no less than seven-part of this application. Completing them requires you to provide information about the address of the rental unit and the total amount owed by the tenant.

As well, you are asked to provide information about the tenant’s rent amount, the rent deposit and whether or not the tenant is still in possession of the rental unit. You’ll also need to show how you’ve calculated the amount owed you. 

3. Hire a lawyer and to go a hearing at the Landlord and Tenant board.

If you believe this sounds expensive and time-consuming, you’d be right. Not to mention, hearings can often take months to schedule. The process is generally a long and drawn-out one that also tends to be very tenant-favouring.

4. Book the Sheriff to evict the tenant.

This step is only necessary if you’re successful at your Landlord and Tenant board meeting. It will also cost you $500 to book the sheriff. Keep in mind that, on average, it takes approximately 89 days to successfully evict a tenant in Ontario. Unfortunately, most bad tenants are known for their tendencies to keep their homes in disarray. If this is the issue you’ve encountered, you’ll likely have to fork out thousands of dollars for repairs and renovations.

How can you avoid these headaches as a landlord?

SingleKey proudly offers Rent Guarantee. This program has helped many an Ontario landlord to evade unnecessary headaches and time-wasting stress. By taking advantage of Rent Guarantee, you put the burden on SingleKey to manage the time-consuming, tenant-evicting hassle for you. So, how does it work?

Firstly, we invite tenants to apply online for your rental property. After receiving their pertinent information, we screen them for you. As part of the process, we pull credit reports, call references and verify employment and income information. We also collect your rent for you! Rent is collected via pre-authorized debit and is deposited directly into your account. This has been proven to be much faster than either cheques or Interac e-transfers, guaranteeing you an end to late payments.

We don’t use the word “guarantee” lightly, by the way. We ensure that your rent is paid for up to 12 months or $60,000 – even in the event that your tenant misses his/her payment. In fact, we guarantee payment of your rent up until the tenant is removed from your property. We even protect that property of yours. We cover up to $10,000 in property damage due to tenant vandalism. Finally – and this may be the best part – we handle evictions for you!

For more information about SingleKey’s Rent Guarantee, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 416-518-3489 or email us at contact@single-key.com.