Rent Check Credit Bureau

A utilities nightmare?

Case Study #2:

Utilities re: Ontario Municipal Act: Landlord forced to pay Tenant's unpaid utilities on property tax bill.

An Ontario landlord has paid over $7,500 in utilities since tenants moved in even though the lease stated the tenants should pay. The landlord sought relief from the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal (ORHT) who decided it was not in there jurisdiction to hear non- payment of utilities and the Small Claims Court decided it was not in their jurisdiction since the defendants were still in possession and recommended that the ORHT hear the matter. In the meantime the tenants remain without paying utilities for years. The Onatrio Municipal Act puts the responsibility of unpaid utilities on the property owner and attaches all unpaid accounts to the property tax bill. A lose lose situation for the landlord and unless one has thousands to spend in higher courts to assert the lease violation this hardship may indeed cause property loss. Eventually the residents slipped into a cronic failing to pay the rent for various reasons. This allowed the owner to finally end this case with a successful eviction proceeding. Watch for our TIPS broadcast on how to structure the rent payment to avoid this situation altogether.

Can I report this to Rent Check? Yes, do report unpaid utilities to us but we caution you to only do so if our consent language or equivalent is part of your housing application and the resident has signed it. Consent is not required if you obtained a Judgment against a prior tenant in Small Claims.


John Dobrowolski. President & CEO
Rent Check Credit Bureau

voice: 1-800-661-7312 / 416-365-7060 ext.222