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05 March 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Should You Move for a Better School in Ottawa?

Many parents think that moving to a better school district will guarantee quality education for their children. According to statistics, parents in search of a better school district will move by the time their oldest child is four years old.  They often end up in a neighbourhood they can barely afford, rather than staying put and saving as much money as possible for college tuition and retirement.  If you are unsure about taking on higherOttawarent payments in exchange for a better school, consider the following:

moving to different city for better school1.  Before assuming that the local public elementary school near your home for rent inOttawais not good enough, investigate for yourself.  Talk to parents whose children attend the school, sit in on a class, and meet the teachers and the administration.

2.  Remember that houses in areas with high-scoring public schools are easier to sell and command higher prices.  For tenants, this means pricierOttawarental properties.

3.  If you are convinced a private school is your best option, examine your budget.  Can you realistically afford monthly tuition and the costs of yourOttawarental?  Keep in mind that many private schools will request additional donations during the year. If the school offers scholarships or financial aid, this will be a lifesaver if you lose your job.

Now ask yourself the following:

How many children do we have or plan to have?

How secure is my job?

How long do we plan to stay in this area?

Aside from the schools, what are our social expectations for this community?

How diverse is the school?

Is the environment right for our child? Is it too high pressure?

Will we need two incomes to cover the rent there?

With these thoughts in mind, it will be easier to make the best decision for you and your family.

 

MORE INFORMATION

GENERAL

http://www.ottawa.ca/

Image By: Jordanhill School D&T Dept 

03 March 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Home-Made Cleaning Products for Toronto Rentals

Before you undertake spring cleaning in your home for rent inToronto, consider making your own cleaning products.  They will be non-toxic, and will also cost much less.  With baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar, you can vanquish even the toughest stains in a Toronto rental.

Porcelain and tile

Sprinkle surfaces with baking soda or kosher salt and scrub with a moist sponge.  To tackle mildew or grease, spray the area with lemon juice or vinegar.  Let it sit for a few minutes and then scrub with a stiff brush.  If you want to use a disinfectant, make your own by mixing 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap and 30 drops of tea tree oil.make your own cleaning products

Kitchen Counters

Sprinkle with baking soda, then scrub with a damp cloth or sponge.  If a stain persists, make a paste of baking soda and water and leave it on the surface for a while before mopping it up.  You can also use this paste on stainless steel sinks, oven tops and refrigerators.

Windows and Mirrors

Your grandmother probably used the old standby of 2 tablespoons of white vinegar per gallon of water.  If the smell bothers you, use club soda or undiluted lemon juice instead.  Use newspaper in place of paper towels.

Oven Cleaning

Coat the inside of a dirty oven with a paste of water and baking soda. Let it stand overnight for best results.  The next day, scrub off the grime with a moist cloth.

Wood Floors

To restore the natural glow of hardwood floors, make a solution of 1/4 cup white vinegar and 30 ounces of warm water. Put in a spray bottle, and then spray on a cotton towel until lightly damp. Now you can safely mop the floors and dispense of any grime.

There you have it!  Now spread the word about home-made cleaning products among your neighbours in houses for rent inToronto.  Let the green revolution begin!

 

MORE INFORMATION

GENERAL

http://www.toronto.ca/

Image By: Sherman the WonderMop 

01 March 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Alternatives to Eviction for London Landlords with Non-Paying Tenants

Eviction is an ugly business and, if you are a landlord, it can be costly in time and money. In London, as well as other parts of Ontario, statistics show that the average eviction process can take around 103 days, including delays.

The Ontario eviction process is lengthy and the average eviction bill can be $5,000 or more. This includes lost rent, legal and other fees, your time, re-letting costs and lost interest.

alternative to eviction

And the fact that Ontario law does not permit security deposits means that a vengeful tenant could cause a lot of expensive damage before you can get them out of your London property.

Are there any alternatives to eviction for London landlords saddled with non-paying tenants? The answer is a qualified “yes”. Below is an outline of a strategy you could try.

  1. Meet the tenant on neutral ground and review the situation. Warn them they are not only building up rent arrears but also legal fees.
  2. Tell them that, unless they mend their ways, their bad payment record will be added to their credit history. Add that you will not give a good referral to potential landlords.
  3. Warn them you will delegate debt collection to an agency which will be relentless in pursuit of the monies owed.

Unless your non-paying tenant is a really ‘hard-case’, this conversation should have made them sit up and take notice.

Now offer a solution, sometimes known as ‘cash for keys’. Tell them:

  1. If they move out by a certain time you will pay them a specified amount of money when they return the keys, provided the apartment is in the same condition it was when they took it over.
  2. That you will waive the monies owed and not report them to credit agencies.

If the tenant agrees, put these points in a letter and ask them to sign it. The ‘cash for keys’ approach may go against the grain, but if it works it could save you a whole lot of stress and strain.

More Information

Landlord and Tenant Board

http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/STEL02_111286.html

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28 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Making Your New Oakville Neighborhood Work for You

When searching for your Oakville rental apartment you there is more to think about than the apartment itself. You should also bear in mind the type of neighbourhood you would like to live in. This has important implications for your social life and even your health. It may not be possible to tick all the boxes on your ‘ideal place to live’ list but you should try to find somewhere that will fulfil a reasonable proportion of your needs. This will make it much easier to settle in and feel at home.

take neighborhood helpPoints you should check out in advance include the following:

  • After hours transportation. The journey to work might be okay from your new place, but if you are likely to be out a lot in the evenings, make sure you can also get home safely at night.
  • If you are keen on sports – inspect the local facilities – gym, swimming pools, tennis courts, or whatever you require for your needs. See if they are affordable and of a sufficiently good standard.
  • If you like walking, cycling or jogging, or you have a dog, explore the local green spaces.
  • Try to find out what sort of community you will be living in. Is it a vibrant place with lots of activities like parades, charity events or street parties? Take time to visit the library or local community center. Find out what is available in the way of hobby clubs and evening classes.

When you have finally moved into your Oakville rental – here’s some things you can do to help you settle in.

  • Browse the local newspaper, or free paper to find out about things like theatre, restaurants and the local music scene.
  • Sign up for some classes to indulge your pet interests and help you get to know people.
  • Attend the drop-in nights at your local community center.
  • Consider volunteering in the community. There is often a wide range of volunteer opportunities available. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. Depending what you do, it can also provide a chance to learn fresh skills.
Image by: Andrea_44

26 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Stay Safe! Advice for Rental Apartment Tenants in Ontario

When you look at the national crime figures, Ontario consistently comes out among the safest Canadian provinces.

If you live in Ontario this is good news but you should still take every possible precaution to avoid being a crime victim. People living in city apartments need to be especially careful because in multiple occupancy buildings it is difficult to keep track of who’s coming or going and who lives where.

Safety in apartments

Here are 10 hints and tips to help you stay safe in your Ontario rental apartment.

  1. Get renter’s insurance to protect your valuables. Record the description, serial number and cost of each valuable item. Take pictures of your most precious things and attach the photos to the receipts in case you need to make a claim. Keep a copy of your records online, in a fire-proof locked box, or in the bank.
  2. Make sure that the apartment locks have been changed since the previous occupant moved out.
  3. Your Ontario apartment front door should have a peephole viewer. If necessary, ask the landlord to install one.
  4. Always lock the door even when you are just popping out for a few minutes.
  5. Never advertise the fact you are away from home. For example, don’t leave notes for friends or delivery companies.
  6. Do not put your full name on your nameplate, especially if you are a single woman living alone.
  7. Never leave a spare key anywhere outside your Ontario apartment.
  8. Buy timers and set them so that your lights (or a radio) turn on when you’re away from home in the evening.
  9. Take in your newspapers and packages every day. Cancel newspapers when you go away
  10. Don’t “buzz” people up unless you know them well or are expecting them. If you don’t know them, then ask for some identification. It is best to be safe!
Image By: Dottie Mae 

24 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Alternative Ways to Use Charcoal in Mississauga

You would never guess it, but charcoal has a multitude of uses in your home for rent inMississauga.  So banish your childhood fears of receiving a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking and learn to embrace charcoal!  Just make sure that you use chemical-free, natural lump variety charcoal.  Otherwise, you run the risk of endangering people, plants and animals.

alternative use of charcoal

  1. Bust the rust – Keep a few lumps of charcoal in your toolbox to absorb moisture and keep your hammers from rusting.  To keep gardening tools rust-free, wrap them in a large plastic bag and add a few pieces of charcoal.
  2. Nurture your garden – Add charcoal to the compost pile to increase the carbon content.  Your garden will be the envy of your neighbours in houses for rent inMississauga!
  3. Clear the air – By absorbing moisture, charcoal helps cut down on mould and mildew.  Put a few pieces in an old pair of pantyhose and hang it in the basement of yourMississaugarental, or place it in the closet, or keep it in the refrigerator.
  4. Banish shoe odour – Before you stash your shoes in the closet, place a piece of charcoal in an old sock and stick it in your shoes.  Not only will pesky odours be eliminated, but moisture will be removed, thus helping your footwear to last longer.
  5. Preserve those bouquets – Charcoal surpasses aspirin or sugar at keeping cut flowers fresh, so slip a couple of pieces in a flower vase and marvel at how long the water stays clean and clear.
  6. Mark the spot – Use charcoal in place of chalk to mark measurements on concrete, or to make a hopscotch diagram for the kids.  It washes off as easily as chalk, so you will not run the risk of angering the landlords ofMississaugahouse rentals.

 

MORE INFORMATION

GENERAL

http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/home

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22 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Tips to Becoming a Successful Gardener in London

If you are a first time gardener in a home for rent in London, we have a few techniques for ensuring a gorgeous garden.  Even if you live in the smallest of houses for rent in London, the following essentials will work!

1. Compost is key – Where else can you get gold from garbage?  Mother Nature never throws away anything, so use your kitchen debris to improve the soil in your garden.  Coffee grounds, orange peels, egg shells – all are excellent for composting.
Tips to Becoming a Successful Gardener in London

2. Use your compost – Spread it around plants to stave off disease, mix a little into the potting soil to give it beneficial micronutrients, lavish it on the soil to improve its structure or to restore life to soil that has suffered too much chemical abuse.  This, alas, is a too common occurrence in the gardens of London house rentals.

3. Plant crops in wide beds – No, we are not assuming that you have a huge spread around your London rental.   Crops are simply anything that is planted for harvest, be it vegetables, flowers or shrubs that will be transplanted.  If you keep these grouped tightly in beds that are not walked on, you will reduce weeding, save water and let the compost be concentrated where it can do the most good.

4. Learn to love mulch – Mulch provides a protective barrier to the soil by moderating temperature, conserving water and preventing soil from splashing up.  Organic mulch is best, but find the right mulch for your garden.  For example, straw is ideal for a vegetable patch because it is wonderfully inexpensive and breaks down faster than wood chips.  Wood chips take longer to decompose, so they are perfect to place around shrubs.

5. Feed the soil, not the plants – Soil that is rich in organic matter, i.e. compost, has plenty of nutrients to nurture your plants.
MORE INFORMATION

GENERAL

http://www.london.ca/

GARDENING IN CANADA

http://www.canadiangardening.com/

http://canadaonline.about.com/od/homes/a/gardening.htm

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21 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Seven Tips for Better Communication with Your Toronto Landlord

If you live in a rental apartment in Toronto, or anywhere else for that matter, having a good and positive relationship with your landlord can increase your quality of life. It will not only mean that your maintenance requests are likely to be dealt with more quickly but it could make life easier if you ever need an extension on your rent cheque (no guarantees here).

better communication with your toronto landlord

Here are seven tips to help you establish and maintain cordial relations with your Toronto landlord.

  1. Always be truthful when submitting your rental application. Do not inflate your income or lie about a poor credit rating. If you have credit problems, send a letter outlining the situation and expressing your desire to remedy it along with your rental application. This will make a landlord feel that you are acting responsibly in the face of your difficulties.
  2. Read your lease very carefully before signing. This is important because you are making legally binding commitments about payments, upkeep, and repairs.
  3. If a landlord has promised to do a repair, or to install new appliances or carpeting, or to do anything else as a condition of your lease then make sure to get it in writing.
  4. Always ask the Toronto landlord or property management agency for more than one way to get in touch. Try to collect cell phone, email, address and home phone numbers for the key individuals. If there is an emergency in the property you don’t want to be waiting for a reply to an email!
  5. Make sure that you know the proper process for contacting your landlord in case of any questions or repair issues.
  6. If any damages happen during use of your Toronto rental you should take a photo of the damage and call the landlord at once. Take note of when you call and follow it up with an email that puts the timing of your action in writing.
  7. If you see foresee problems about being able to pay the rent on time contact your Toronto landlord as soon as possible and work out an agreement. If your landlord believes you genuinely want to pay they are more likely to try to help you. The worst thing you can do is to not communicate.

 

Image By: Dan Zen 

18 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Going Smoke Free in your Ontario Rentals – Advice for Landlords

Smokers are in the minority these days in Ontario – 85 per cent of adults in the province don’t smoke and these non-smokers dislike having to breathe the second-hand smoke of the 15 per cent that still light up.

For example, in the Peel region of Ontario (which covers Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga), the Public Health department has received significant numbers of complaints from apartment tenants about other people’s cigarette smoke drifting into their homes.

smokers and non smokers tenants

As a result, Peel officials are lobbying to ban smoking from apartments and condos to reduce the health problems caused by second-hand smoke. If their initiative is successful, it could mean that apartment dwellers in the region would not be allowed to smoke in their own homes!

If you are an Ontario landlord, it makes sense to consider introducing a no-smoking policy in your rental apartments now, in advance of any legal action by the regional or provincial authorities. A no-smoking policy is a clause in the lease that prohibits smoking in the unit, part of the building, the whole building or the entire property.

It is perfectly legal for landlords in Ontario to introduce these rules and they can be enforced. However the conditions can only be written into new lease documents.  You cannot add no-smoking conditions to the leases of any of your current tenants. Instead you must wait for the existing leases to expire before making a fresh document with the new conditions clearly set out.

Some of the main reasons for introducing a no-smoking policy in your Ontario rental are:

  • There is an increased demand for smoke-free housing but only a fairly small proportion of rental units in Ontario are currently smoke-free. Offering smoke-free housing makes business sense.
  • If you own multiple rental units in one building and allow smoking, then you may get conflicts between the smokers and non-smokers. The non-smokers may hold you responsible for the fact that their enjoyment of the property is impaired by smoke seeping from other apartments. Smooth management of the premises may be adversely affected.
  • Tobacco smoke affects air quality, can stain paintwork and give furnished apartments an unpleasant musty smell.
  • Cigarette smoking in an apartment increases the risk of fire.
  • A no-smoking building will have happier, healthier tenants, which is better for your business!

 

More Information

http://www.smokefreehousingon.ca/sfho/landlords-laws.html

Image By:  meddygarnet

16 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Keep Squeaky Floors from Deterring Tenants in Oakville

As a landlord of Oakville rental properties, you know that the properties must be presented in the best way possible.  Still, there might be some issues that you never considered a deterrent when it comes to attracting potential tenants.  For example, the creak in the floor of your Oakville rental might strike you as an endearing quirk that gives a house a certain charm.  To a tenant, however, it sounds like shoddy maintenance and a possible source of trouble.  The good news is that you do not need to rip up your floors or spend a lot on fixing them.  Read on for tips on how to silence the squeak and increase the potential of your Oakville rentals.

squeaky floors, advice for landlords, landlord tips

First, the facts:  squeaks occur when wood floors, subfloors or joists shrink.  This is because the wood pulls nails loose as it contracts.  The loose spots then flex and rub up against each other, causing a squeak. Squeaks are most noticeable in winter because the drier indoor air causes wood to lose more moisture.  So what can you do?

– Dust a bit of talcum powder or powdered graphite in the spaces between the floor boards of your houses for rent in Oakville.

– If that does not work and if the area below the floor is finished, buy a kit with some breakaway screws and a tool that can be used both to measure the proper depth to drill the screws and to snap them off.  Kits are available for carpeted and hardwood floors.

– If the area is in an unfinished basement, and you suspect the problem is a subfloor that sags, you can secure it by driving screws directly up into the hardwood.  If the subfloor is badly supported, reinforce it with a scrap board secured to the subfloor by diagonally driven nails and construction adhesive.

 

MORE INFORMATION

GENERAL

http://www.oakville.ca/

Image By: MShades