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Landlords Beware! CondoWong's Bad Reputation from Agents and Tenants in Toronto

A few days ago, we received some interesting phone calls from fellow agents.

They said there is a rumor going around the City of Toronto saying that our brokerage is breaking the law and the news will be on Toronto Star.

They also said CondoWong has a very bad reputation out there in the agent community.

And so I’m ready for more 1 star reviews.

Of course, I’m going to share the juicy stories with you.

The latest inflation data for February was just released earlier in the week.

Canada’s inflation unexpectedly fell to only 2.8%.

But mortgage interest costs and rent continue to be the primary drivers of the inflation rate.

Landlords are stressful because rent may not be enough to cover all the running costs.

Tenants are stressful because rent has been ever increasing.

So the tensions between landlords and tenants have become more and more challenging to deal with.

Have you heard the term “Cash for Keys”?

It is a popular new tactic that tenants use against landlords.

I’m going to tell you about it at the end of the episode, so make sure you stay till the end.

Within the real estate business, the rental segment is the toughest to stay profitable in because it is a lot of work for very little money.

Most agents would want to avoid rentals if they have a choice.

But as you all know, the real estate market has been extremely quiet, a lot of agents had their income significantly reduced.

So agents are stressful as well.

Some agents are doing rentals just so they get a few hundred dollars of extra income.

For agents representing tenants, their goal is to find a landlord who would accept the tenants into the unit.

For agents representing landlords, they may or may not care about the tenant qualities, depending on how much they value the landlords.

For the majority of agents, it is a done deal once they match the landlords and tenants.

For us, things are very different because we do rental management as well.

After we put tenants into a unit, we still have to manage them throughout the entire lease term.

You see, it is in our best interest to put in the best tenants possible.

If we put in some troublesome tenants, we are the ones who suffer from that.

And we are currently managing 700 units, if we have a lot of troublesome tenants, our business would break down.

That’s why we have a very rigorous screening process in place.

Nowadays, there are so many fake documents, people edit their credit reports; create employment letters.

So if you don’t take the time and effort to verify all the documents, you can easily be tricked.

We often ask a lot of questions and request a bunch of supporting documents.

But in the end, we might still reject the offer.

That’s exactly why the tenants’ agents hate us because they did a lot of work, but in the end the deal doesn’t go through.

Tenants who got rejected hate us.

Sometimes they demand a reason for the rejection.  

We may or may not provide a reason, we are not required to.

When tenants get upset, they go to Google and give us a 1 star rating.

2024 is a record year of condo completions.

Just within our brokerage, we are handling over 300 occupancies.

For some developers, they would only grant the permission to lease during the occupancy period if you go through their designated brokerage for rentals.

Our landlords would join our rental management program, but they still have to go through this designated brokerage so they can put their units on MLS to find a tenant.

Here’s the thing.

The agents in the designated brokerage have no relationship with our landlords.  

They just want to put in a tenant and close the deal.

In many instances, they would simply forward an offer and tell our clients to accept it.

So our clients would come to us and ask for our opinions.

We then do all that screening and very often it ends up with a rejection.

Of course, the agents are frustrated because we are in their way and they can’t close the deal.

Overall, we have a large number of active rental listings, 86 at the moment, we do reject a bunch of offers on a daily basis.

So yes, CondoWong does have a very bad reputation in the agents’ community.  

We are well known for rejecting offers.

All that bad reputation is just about putting the tenant in.

Let’s talk about rental management.

In the perfect world, the landlord and tenant would have a very peaceful relationship.

In reality, we represent landlords and we won’t be able to entertain every request from a tenant, so conflicts cannot always be avoided.

When tenants don’t get what they want, they threaten to say bad things about us on social media.

I’m starting to think that the number of 1-stars is a reflection of how well we’re protecting the landlords, how ironic.

Nowadays, more landlords are thinking about selling because of the high interest rates.

Things can get challenging when you have tenants living in the unit.

The unit may be very messy and the tenants may not cooperate with the showing times.

Ideally, you want the tenants to move out of the unit so you can stage it nicely and it will be available for showings anytime.

But there are only 2 legitimate reasons to ask your tenants to leave.

One, you are taking the unit back for self-use.

Two, you have sold the unit to an end-user.

Tenants know about their rights very well.

They know the landlord wants to sell and they know they don’t need to leave.

This is exactly when “Cash for Keys” comes in.

Want your keys back?  Give me some cash.

The amount would be up for negotiation, it really depends on how hard it is to sell with the tenants living in the unit.

Recently, we sold a unit to an end-user while the tenant is still living in the unit.

So we served an N12 notice to the tenant notifying him the unit was sold to an end-user and that he has to vacate the unit in 60 days.

He replied and said “Cash for Keys”.

If we are willing to pay him $30,000, he is willing to sign a mutual lease termination and vacate the unit.

What he is really saying is, if I’m still here on your resale closing date, your deal is going to fall apart, so pay me $30,000 now and you can close your sale.


Essentially, he’s holding the unit hostage and asking for ransom.

Here’s what you need to do.

You don’t wait until your closing date to find out that your tenant is still there.

You can apply for an eviction order once the unit is sold.

And you can request for an expedited eviction order based on your closing date.

In fact, I have something to say to the Landlord and Tenant Board.

You came up with the N12 and you said that the tenant is entitled to one month’s rent compensation.

You shouldn’t allow the opportunity for tenants to demand for ransom.  

In a way, Cash for Keys is created by tenants to challenge the ability of the Landlord and Tenant Board to enforce the N12 within 60 days.

In my opinion, an eviction order should be automatically granted when the N12 is submitted with proper supporting documents.  

If somehow landlords misuse this power, you can penalize them with a high fee.  

You came up with the N12 and you should enforce it. 

Cash for Keys is just wrong.

We should not encourage it, especially when there is no HST, no income tax involved and the government is losing income.

If you support this message to the Landlord and Tenant Board, give me a like.

If you want to hear more, make sure you subscribe.


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