Manitoba Landlords Association


Welcome to the MBLA for Small Business Landlords

The Manitoba Landlords Association (MBLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Tenant Screening – Avoid Bad Tenants With Credit and Criminal Checks

 October 5th, 2013

calgary landlord tenant from hell

It’s Time For Manitoba Landlords To Protect Themselves With Great Tenant Screening (Including Credit Checks and Criminal Checks)

We’ve all heard about landlords facing the challenges of bad tenants before. 

Not only bad tenants, but bad tenants being difficult for good tenants.

While the majority of tenants are good, these bad tenants are everywhere, all over Canada.

This Time It’s Different

We have a big wake-up call for all Manitoba Landlords.

There is now a problem facing landlords that is growing and can be devastating for your rental business.

It could also be a huge disruption and harm you and your family.

Freeman-On-The Land

According to a report at the Ontario Landlords Association Calgary landlord felt like a prisoner after the basement of her rental property was taken over by a Freeman-On-The-Land tenant.

Background

The landlord, Rebekah Caverhill rented out the back half of a duplex she currently owns in the lovely Parkdale area of Calgary to a new tenant in the Autumn of 2011.

She Thought She Rented To a Nice New Tenant

A few months after he moved in the landlord found the tenant had changed the locks.

She saw through the windows the property had been painted black.

CBC news said when she wanted to talk to him he screamed “I am a Freeman on the landlord, this is now my house not yours, the property is now my Embassy!”

He then slammed the door and locked it, using the new locks he set up without permission from the landlord.

He Screamed “It’s Not Your Home Anymore!”

Tenant Screening Is the Key for Success for Manitoba Landlords

Make sure you know who you are renting to before you hand over the key.

The Manitoba Landlords Association offers access to inexpensive credit checks and criminal checks for landlords.

Protect yourself, your family, and your rental property.

Screen Well!

To Discuss This And Other Landlord and Tenant Issues Go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum

PROVINCE ADVISES MANITOBA RENT GUIDELINE SET AT 2% FOR 2014

 September 4, 2013

Manitoba lanldlords 2014 rent increase guideline

Residential landlords all over Manitoba are facing increased pressures these days.

It could be bad tenants or changes in the ways we can legally conduct business (because that’s what we are – business people running a business).

Increased Costs

 We also face increased costs.

 Whether it’s insurance, taxes or the price of hiring good contractors to keep our property safe and attractive, it’s becoming more expensive to be a landlord in Manitoba.

Fortunately we can try to recover our costs by raising rents, right? Many landlords have emailed us saying that at a minimum their costs are rising by 5% each year. We repeat – that’s the MINIMUM. Many landlords have figures which far exceed 5%.

To counter these costs many small and medium residential landlords need to raise the rent. When you include the fact many landlords are being forced to leave their properties vacant if they can’t find a good tenant and a fair rent is more important than ever like in other anti-landlord provinces such as Ontario.

How Much Can You Raise the Rent in 2014?

On a Sleepy End of Summer Friday Afternoon the Government Announced the 2014 Rent Increase

Remember last Friday? Last Friday in August. Start of a long week-end. You had the barbeque ready, friends coming over, and your kids were excited for the last week-end before school.

That was the day the government announced the 2014 Rent Increase Guideline

Here it is in all it’s non-glory:

“Manitoba Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs advises the 2014 rent guideline has been set at two per cent and will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The guideline is determined annually and takes into account cost increases such as utilities, property taxes and other expenses in the operation of a residential complex.  Manitoba has proposed legislation that would make future calculations as transparent as possible.  It is anticipated a prescribed formula or the consumer price index for Manitoba would be used to help determine the guideline rate.”

That’s right. Only 2%

Landlords can apply for an increase above the guideline if they can show the guideline will not cover cost increases they have incurred. 

Tenants must receive written notice of a rent increase at least three months before the increase takes effect.  For example, for a rent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2014, tenants must receive notice by Sept. 30, 2013.  With few exceptions, rent can only be increased once a year.

Tenants have the right to object to any rent increase, whether it is below, at or above the guideline. Objections must be made at least 60 days before the rent increase is set to take effect.”

Maybe it’s time all landlords in the province remember this when the next election comes.

To discuss this and other Manitoba landlord and tenant issues go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum.

How About Some Media Coverage Of Winnipeg’s Worst Tenants?

August 25, 2013

Winnipeg landlords rights

The Winnipeg Free Press had a story about Winnipeg’s worst rental properties.

It’s very common for the media to make landlords (especially small residential landlords) their favourite whipping boy/girl.

We’re only the people who create safe and affordable housing for thousands of renters across Manitoba.

We’re easy to attack.  We don’t have the millions of dollars in resources the large corporate landlords have to hire lawyers and public relations specialists.

We spend our money paying our taxes on time and maintaining our properties in the hope our tenants will stay, pay the rent on time, not damage the rental unit, and maybe even appreciate the risk we take to provide safe and affordable housing. Hey, let’s follow the Ontario model of treating small residential landlords like serfs.

But that’s not sexy.  Stories about good landlords are boring, plain…vanilla in a media world that craves excitement and hits to their website. Who cares if the government creates rules that will lead to less investment and lead good landlords to invest outside the province.

 There was an excellent letter to the Free Press from a landlord’s perspective.

 It surprising it was even published because it was so honest.

Re: Revealing the ‘Peg’s worst homes (July 2). I have been a landlord since 2010 in the North End. I bought two houses, both of which were restored to prime condition. Each time a tenant moved, I had to spend thousands of dollars to restore the home to a livable condition.

I recently sold one of the houses, because I had to spend about $15,000 to restore it. The tenant had called Manitoba Health to complain about the condition of the house. Manitoba Health condemned the house, doing us a huge favour.

They got rid of the tenant legally, where as a landlord, I couldn’t. This house was restored and sold. I now look at stories like this with more open eyes. Is the landlord a slum landlord or is the tenant a slum tenant?

The Free Press writes stories about slum landlords all the time. Don’t you think it’s about time to write about the slum tenant?

PAT KRAHN

Winnipeg

To Discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum.

 

 

Winnipeg Renter Meeting

 July 3, 2013

Winnipeg Renters

Are you a renter in Winnipeg with questions? If you are there is a Renter Meeting for you with the Residential Tenancy Branch and the City by-law department presenting.

For example, have you ever asked yourself the following:

1.    Can you stop paying rent if repairs aren’t completed?

You know, if you broke the door or the fridge.

2.    What can you do if you find bedbugs and your landlord doesn’t spray?

Shouldn’t the landlord be responsible for bedbugs, even if they are brought in by tenants.

3.    What qualifies the apartment you rent as being condemned?

If you don’t take out the garbage or clean up the yard could it lead to you having to actually move out.

4.    When is it right to call the City by-law department?

Do you only do this after you have been evicted?

5.    If I call the Residential Tenancy Branch will I be evicted?

You’ve heard about all that spying in the United States. Has the landlord bugged your phone?

All your questions will be answered July 4th, 2013 at the big meeting.

Presenters will include the Residential Tenancy Branch and the Winnipeg By-law and Enforcement Office.

If you are a Winnipeg landlord you can arrange your own meeting. After all, landlords are all raking in the money by running slums and ripping off tenants, right?

Or does the government want to portray hard-working small landlords that way. They seem to think small landlords don’t face challenges.

Small landlords who, in reality, create high quality, affordable housing for thousands of people in our city.

Small landlords who increasingly have to deal with tenants who don’t pay rent and don’t respect our properties.

Small landlords who are true stake-holders in the economic growth of our province.

Maybe the government should hold a meeting for us showing their appreciation of what we do.

Manitoba Government Proposes Changes for Landlords and Tenants

June 1st, 2013

Can Daily Affirmations Help You Change Your Mindset?

According to a report on CBC news, the Manitoba government is proposing changes to landlord and tenant laws in the province.

Bill 40 was introduced in the legislature. The government has stated this Bill will help landlords. For example, it proposes allowing landlords to end a tenancy in response to unlawful activity if it damages the building or poses a safety risk to other tenants.

It’s clear landlords need more tools to deal with dangerous situations.

In a news release by the Minister in charge of healthy living, seniors and consumer affairs, Jim Rondeau:

“We’re … giving landlords new powers to evict tenants who break the law, such as drug dealers, because illegal activity can create an unsafe living environment for tenants and real problems for landlords.”

The bill also proposes making landlords provide compensation for moving costs, as well as higher rental rates, if they are purposefully creating an “undesirable living environment” to displace tenants.

Among other things, it calls for changes to how rent increases are set so that they would follow a prescribed formula or are linked to the Consumer Price Index.

Rondeau’s news release also said “the legislation would allow landlords to charge a higher pet damage for new tenants to encourage more landlords to allow pets in their buildings

Here are the main points of the proposed changes

         The province will devise a formula, perhaps based on the consumer price index as the Ontario rent increase formula is, for setting annual allowable rent increases.

     Rules will be changed to make it easier for landlords to evict dangerous, law-breaking tenants

     Landlords who purposely create undesirable living conditions during building renovations to push tenants out will have to compensate them for moving costs and the increased rent.

     The appeals process will be reformed to speed up rulings in cases where tenants have not paid their rent.

     Landlords will be allowed to charge a higher pet-damage deposit for new tenants to encourage more landlords to allow pets.

     The rules for granting above-guideline rental increases will be tightened and limits will be set on the amount landlords can immediately charge to pay for renovations.

To discuss these and other issues facing Manitoba landlords go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum

 

How Is the Winnipeg Rental Market? One Tenant Is Leaving

May 5th, 2013

Winnipeg rental market tenant leaving landlords

After a terrible experience with Winnipeg’s rental market, a Nunavut woman who just moved in to Manitoba as a tenant said she’ll move back north.

According to a report on CBC News, tenant Madelaine Napayok said in March 2013 she had paid a total of $1,900 for rental payments and damage deposits to Property 1 Management since she moved to Winnipeg from Whale Cove, Nunavut.

Sadly the different property the company has moved her into has a lot of issues such as a broken window, walls with holes and a kitchen without a stove.

“Unbelievable,” she said. “The province of Manitoba and their tenancies? My goodness galore! I lived in Nunavut and I never saw anything like this” she added.

On March 1, Napayok has paid $800 for the rent and $400 as a damage deposit for the apartment in Selkirk Avenue however she was told the apartment was not yet ready.

“So they moved us to a house on Valour Road which had no stove,” she pointed out.

Then Property 1 Management offered her a suite in a house at Pritchard Avenue.

She moved in on the 12th of April and the suite had mould, windows broken, dirty walls with holes, bathroom fixtures with cracks and leaks.

“This is horrendous. It’s like Halloween III,” Napayok said as she refers to the horror movie.

“I was expecting a nice fancy place for 800 bucks — like, proper running water and [a] proper door and clean house.”

Roger Seyforth, the owner of the Pritchard Avenue house told CBC News he’s paying Property 1 to manage his rental unit. Seyforth lives in British Columbia and had no idea someone was living in his unit.

The house was previously trashed by crack cocaine dealers and was evicted with the assistance of Manitoba Justice. “No one was going to go into that suite until we completed the repairs,” Seyforth mentioned. We’ve heard these types of stories all over Canada, especially in BC and in Ontario.

One of the Property 1 officials told CBC News that they are trying their best to help Napayok. The official said she chose the suite in Pritchard Avenue and did not pay the rent for April.

As of the moment the suite is under repair and Napayok is staying with friends. While we hear many landlords are leaving the market, in this case the tenant is planning to move back to Whale Cove by the end of the month.

The North End Tenant-Landlord Cooperation Program believes that Property 1 owes Napayok and has filed the papers with Manitoba’s Residential Tenancies Branch to recover the $1,900.

To discuss this and other landlord issues go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum

Manitoba Conservatives Demand Increase In Rent Allowance For People On Social Assistance

April 6th, 2013

Raise the rental allowance for Manitoba tenants on welfare


Yes, Believe It Or Not, The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives Are Calling For A Welfare Rent Increase

According to a CBC News report, Manitoba Progressive Conservative leader (and leader of the Opposition) Brian Pallister has called for an increase in the rental allowance for tenants on welfare.

There have been lots of changes to how landlords and tenants do business in Manitoba with the changes to how the Residential Tenancy Branch oversees our industry. Now Manitoba’s Opposition party wants the rental allowance should be increased to coincide with the rising cost of living in the province.

PC leader Brian Pallister is calling for an increase to 75% of the median market rental rate.Mr. Pallister explained the rental allowance for people on government assistance in Manitoba hasn’t increase in twenty years.

However, rents have gone up dramatically in the same time frame.He pointed out raising the allow won’t put tenants on welfare on “easy street”, but will allow them to keep some of their month each month for other important expenses. This is a very enlightened and progressive way to help tenants on welfare. It’s an amazing contrast to Ontario where landlords are basically threatened to rent to tenants who don’t qualify and pass the average landlords’ tenant screening policy.

This is a big policy change for Manitoba. In the 1990’s the party called for cuts to government assistance.

The government said there aren’t any plans to increase the rental allowance in the budget scheduled for April 16th.

We at the MLA appreciate the pragmatic approach of the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives. It will make Manitoba a better place to invest in.

Tenants in Winnipeg face vacancy rates near 0%. It is almost impossible for tenants on social assistance to find the kind of good, safe housing each citizen deserves no matter how they pay their rent.

It’s time for the government to recognize the problem tenants on assistance face and follow the policy advice of Mr. Pallister.

We agree that it’s time resources were invested to “Make it possible for people living on social allowance to be able to afford a place to live.”

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum and network with thousands of other landlords across Canada.

Manitoba Landlords Face New Rules (Thanks Residential Tenancies Branch)

March 7th, 2013

Manitoba landlords face new rules March 1st, 2013

In Spain there is a popular blessing. It goes like this “May no new things arise.” This blessing shows a belief that it is good to live in times of stability and consistency.

In China there is a well-known curse. The curse says “May you living in interesting times.” This is curse assumes times of change are not good ones.

Manitoba Landlords Get Ready. The Manitoba Residential Tenancies Branch has announced that several new rule changes passed last year went into effect last week on March 1st.

If you think the new rules help landlords deal with things like evicting bad tenants think again. Our current Manitoba government isn’t the only Canadian government that doesn’t seem very concerned about landlords dealing with violence.

So what do Manitoba landlords faces with these new rules from the Residential Tenancies Branch?

One of the new changes involved a way renters in Manitoba can challenge any rent increase they receive from the landlord. They can make this challenge even if the rent increase is only at or even below the government’s published guideline.

Since last March 1st, tenants can object to a simple rent increase for the following reasons:

1. They claim the landlord is not maintaining the rental property

2. They claim the landlord has withdrawn or even reduced a previous facility or a servce

3. They claim the landlord hasn’t been following the Manitoba Residential Tenancies Act

4. The tenants don’t believe the landlords costs have really increased.

Yes, you read #4 correctly. In this era of rising costs, the tenants can challenge the rent increase because they don’t believe the landlords costs have gone up. Gulp!

Other changes include renters will no longer have to pay for late fees for their rent if they can show the delay wasn’t there fault because it was outside of their power to do anything. For example, maybe there was a problem with the mail.

There are also huge changes for Manitoba landlords who do renovations.

The government says manyl forms have been updated for use beginning March 1, 2013.

These include:

-Manitoba landlords Notice of Rent Increase (Form 1A)

-Manitoba landlords Notice: Notice to New Tenant (Form 2),

-Lots of termination forms, including Notice of Termination by Landlord (for cause other than non-payment of rent) which is Form 10, and Forms 11A, 11B, and 11C.

Lots of Tenant Rights Changes and NOTHING for landlords.  More reason than ever before to make sure you find good tenants.

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum

Brandon Manitoba Landlord – Increasing costs for landlords makes housing less affordable

February 9th, 2013

Landlord is losing money

Brandon, Manitoba Landlords Letter About Increasing Costs for Landlords Strikes a Nerve All over the Province!

Manitoba landlords are facing a lot of challenges in 2013.

Landlords across the province are shocked we can only raise the rent by 1% in 2013 despite our rising costs.

Tenant on tenant violence is increasing and driving international students away from studying in our universities.

A letter in the Brandon Sun newspaper from a Brandon landlord has led to a very strong reaction from small residential landlords across the province.

In his or her letter, the landlord supportss Brandon councillors who made a good decision to accept one million dollars to sell an asset owned by the city.

He or she also specifically commended Councillor McCrae for truly representing the citizens of Brandon by making it clear any proposals on affordable housing could be decided on my council, not only by the mayor in a unilateral decision.

The letter continued…

The writer stated it was good news city council in Brandon has ruled they will increase spending for affordable housing. He or she also stated if was good for the city that there are resources available to help Brandon tenants in need.

However, the write said his or her employer supplies affordable housing for the city already. And rather than receiving support and encouragement the employer has received:

1. A large new tax increase on each unit supplied to tenants in need

2. Large new increases in costs for garbage collection.

Why did the letter get such a strong reaction?

Because Manitoba landlords are getting fed up with a government who doesn’t appreciate us. We have a growing economy and more people are coming to our province and need places to live. Yet our government leaders are treating small business landlords in a poor fashion that mirrors anti-landlord provinces such as Ontario where landlords are leaving the market instead of pro-rental housing growth provinces like Alberta.

It’s time Manitoba landlords are appreciated for being important suppliers of safe and affordable housing in Manitoba!

To discuss this and other landlord matters go to the Manitoba Landlord Forum

Landlords Face Many Challenges in 2013 – Make Sure You Rent to Good Tenants Using The Power of Equifax Credit Checks

January 13th, 2013

MLA Challenges

Dangerous Challenges Face Manitoba Landlords in 2013 Making Equifax Tenant Screening Using Credit Checks More Important Than Ever

A year of challenges.  That’s what Manitoba landlords face in 2013.

Looking back at what happened in the rental market and to landlords in 2012, the trends are clear.

And it’s not good news for good Manitoba landlords.

Whether you own your investment property in Winnipeg, Brandon, or elsewhere the message is clear: the current government is not on our side and are making it increasingly difficult for small landlords to succeed.

The trends make it more important than ever for Manitoba landlords to rent out to good tenants and avoid the pros.

Let’s look at some of these challenges and trends.

1.  Want to raise the rent in 2013?  The government set the rate at only 1%

We are all faced with lots of increased costs this year.  Taxes are going up, utility costs are going up, and good contractors are charging more than ever to do repairs and improvements.

You want to maintain and even improve your rental property.  That’s expensive.

So what does the government do? They say you can’t raise the rent more than 1%1

Why would anyone sane create such a short-sighted policy that will hurt good landlords who want to rent out great properties?

According to the government they, “…understand how stressful it can be for students, seniors and low-income families to make ends meet.  Rent guidelines help ensure fairness for renters.”

Yeah, right.

Good properties require regular upkeep from good contractors. That means landlords have to pay and have to at least cover their costs. 1% doesn’t do that.

2.  Bad Tenants Are Driving Out Good Tenants

Remember the story of the Chinese international student studying at the University of Manitoba?  You know, the student who was lucky to dodge a bullet coming from another tenants.

The tenant was Kate Cheng was about to enjoy a late night snack when she realized drywall in the apartment was falling. She didn’t worry too much at the time because she thought a neighbour must have been doing some late night drilling to put up pictures.

It was only later she realized the seriousness of the situation – someone had shot bullets into her apartment and she was lucky to be alive.

3.  Tenant Versus Tenant Violence is Escalating

Another example in 2012 shows trends for landlords.

Loud music and a floor-stomping tenant led to a woman being stabbed in an Agnes Street apartment Tuesday night, police said.

Or the tenant who stabbed his neighbouring tenant.

Police said the woman and two men were socializing in a suite while playing loud music around the supper hour.

A tenant directly above the group took offence to the noise and began jumping on the floor in an attempt to get the partiers to turn down the music. Two men from the party confronted the upstairs tenant, then returned to the downstairs suite, police said.

4.  Government Social Housing Is Going Down the Drain (With Tenants Living in Fear)

Or lets discuss the tenant who is living in government housing who is scared beyond belief after another tenant was murdered in the same rental building

5.  Tenants Complaining And Going Over Your Head and Directly to the Government

The current government is encouraging tenants to go over the landlords head with complaints.

Instead of mature discussion, tenants are being encouraged to contact government by-law officers to punish their landlords.  This is common in other anti-landlord provinces.

So What Can A Landlord Do In The Current Anti-Good Landlord Environment We Face?

The key is renting to qualified tenants.

Qualified tenants will respect your property, respect the landlords, and pay on time!

How Can You Find Qualified Tenants?

The Manitoba Landlords Association has the answer.

The answer is making Equifax your partner in Tenant Screening and finding great, qualified tenants.

Equifax is the world-wide leader for credit fraud and screening.

 MLA equifax

 

MLA members can work with Equifax to make sure you you make objective and informed decisions when approving or declining prospective tenants.

MLA Members Have Access to:

  • Online tool that captures information you already have such as applicant’s name, address and date of birth
  • Takes the guesswork out of the credit worthiness decision
  • Provides clear and concise recommendations—you do not need to be an expert on reading credit reports or interpreting credit scores

How it Works

Whether you maintain two rental units or 200, we designed Tenant Selector with your needs in mind. It is easy to use, secure and provides a real-time recommendation based on the credit worthiness of the applicant(s). Tenant Selector considers:

The likelihood the tenant will declare bankruptcy in the next 24 months

  • The probability the tenant will make their rent payments to you on time
  • Irregularities or confirmed misuse in names, addresses and phone numbers—or other suspicious behaviour that could indicate fraud
  • The tenant’s ability to afford the cost of rent plus other debts (Total Debt Service Ratio)

Even if your applicant does not have a credit score, Tenant Selector can still deliver an “accept” or “decline” recommendation based on all available information.

Manitoba landlords the message is clear. The government will not help us, so make sure you rent only to good tenants. The Equifax Tenant Screening is a tool you need to use.

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