Landlording Advice - Terminating or Restricting Services

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Landlording Problems - Terminating or Restricting Services

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Q: We have a four unit building and no leases. I am assuming they are considered month to month then. Originally when they moved in we provided cable. This has increased from $20 per month to $45 now. We provide free laundry as well (the use of a washer and dryer in a common room) Can we change this now? Can we give notice and cut off the cable and have them pay for their own cable and bring in pay machines into the laundry rooms? If so how much notice do we need to give them and what forms would we need to us, or can we just do up leases with the new terms and have them agree to that?

A: Sure, you can try bumping up the rent, but you gotta' expect the tenant(s) to raise a beef and you gotta’ understand that if you don’t go through all the hoops, and the tenants challenge you in arbitration, you are almost certain to lose. The legislation governs rent increases and restricts how much rents can jump in one go. The legislation also stipulates that rents can only go up once per year. There is a ceiling on how much rent can jump, and the notice period must be fulfilled, otherwise you can’t try raising the rent again for one whole year. The legislation also allows for challenges to a proposed rent increase. (See the the RTO website for allowable rent increases). In the situation you describe, it is apparent that you now want to charge for what has up to now been included in the rent. In other words, you wanta' change horses midstream. But, the way the tenants have been proceeding (month to month) will be recognized by the RTO, and they are entitled to get what they’ve been paying for. Bumping up the rent when the landlord feels like it almost always raises a stink, and is a loser because it is not in harmony with the legislation. Cutting off the laundry and bringing in pay machines simply won't wash (pardon the pun). Neither will cutting off the cable get very far. Up until now it has been included in the rent. So, short version? You’re hooped.


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