Archive for the ‘Rental Property’ Category

Lunenburg County – Hard To Find A Place To Call Home

Monday, August 26th, 2013

September 1st, 2013

 Affordable Rental Housing

According to a report in the Chronical Herald affordable housing is still a serious problem in Lunenburg County, despite the formation three years ago of a coalition to raise awareness of the issue.

Helen Lanthier of the South Shore Housing Action Coalition says more than 50 per cent of Lunenburg County residents make less than $25,000 a year, and with 91.4 per cent of housing owned, very few apartments are available.

Lanthier went before District of Lunenburg council Tuesday morning, saying, “We’re not here to ask for money,” but to ask for support to promote an affordable housing plan for the region.

Council did pass a motion in 2010 to create a committee to develop an affordable housing plan, but then opted instead to appoint a councillor to the newly formed action coalition. It was formed that year to work for quality, safe and affordable housing in Lunenburg and Queens counties.

The coalition pointed at the time to a shortage of rental units in the region, citing also a lack of different types of housing, such as condominiums and co-operative housing. Lanthier said 34 per cent of renters in Lunenburg County spent more than 30 per cent of their income on housing.

She told councillors Tuesday that when the coalition formed, it believed that “without concrete steps, this situation is likely to get worse before it gets better, mainly because of an aging population.”

And she said that’s exactly what has happened. “Nothing’s changed. The issues of 2010 remain the issues of 2013.”

Lanthier said many renters don’t complain about problems, such as mould, poor maintenance and heating for fear of retribution from the landlord or owner. This is very different than in Ontario where tenants are encouraged to complain by the Landlord and Tenant Board.

Nancy Green, a former home visitor with South Shore Health’s public health services, told of one family of four that lived in a one-bedroom unit with black mould, a leaky roof and poor insulation. They had to use the food bank in part because the father missed work because he was sick from their living conditions.

Their rent was $700 a month when they moved in, and went up by $50 a month.

“The story of (that family) is one that is being played out along the South Shore,” Green said. “Something must be done to improve housing. A house is not just a shelter, it’s a home. It’s where we grow, celebrate, relax and seek comfort. A house is not a home when it’s inadequate.”

A lack of affordable housing also impacts the sustainability and economic viability of a community, Lanthier said, making it a challenge for businesses to keep workers and leading to increased health-care costs.

She said the coalition is asking all municipal councils on the South Shore to commit to development of a local housing action plan. Whether that’s done jointly or individually, “it’s the foundation for changing the nature of affordable housing on the South Shore,” she said.

“The need is real, there’s no question,” said Mayor Don Downe, with affordable housing as great an issue in Lunenburg County as it is in Vancouver.

He said the province’s recently released housing strategy is “a good starting point, but there needs to be some federal and provincial money put into the program to provide the services that people really require to be able to stay in our communities.”

Down said he will take the issue to a regional meeting in September of municipal councils from Lunenburg, Queens and Halifax counties. He hopes the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities will then vote to push the province to work on an affordable housing strategy for urban and rural communities across the province.

To discuss this and other Landlord and Tenant Issues go to the free Nova Scotia Landlords Forum

Nova Scotia set to tackle affordable housing challenge (what about private landlords?)

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

May 5th, 2013 facing challenges

 

According to a new report in the Chronical Herald, Nova Scotia is finally getting ready to table a new strategy to create more affordable housing in the province. Where is the good news for private landlords?

Municipality of the District of Lunenburg Mayor Don Down says in his area there is a tremendous need for affordable housing. He stated it’s both an urban and rural issue.

District councillors listened carefully in March as the Minister for Housing and in charge of the Housing Development Corporation of Nova Scotia outlined the provinces new strategy.

Denise Peterson-Rafuse said the new strategy will be a new approach and be different than anything before.

She said the province needs a strong plan if we are to move forward. No plan means no movement and no progress.

Nova Scotia has some of the oldest public housing in Canada. Many units need major repairs, as fast!

Tenants already face lots of problems here. The Minister made it clear that the facts show more serious problems than are visible. “For those who need and require affordable housing, there’s a long wait list. We know that,” the minister said.

And she said the issue of homelessness differs across the province. “There seems to be more attention to homelessness in urban areas, it’s more noticed, but there’s a silent homelessness in rural Nova Scotia that’s not often discussed,” she said.

Peterson-Rafuse said she wants to look at different models for communities, and she wants the communities to say what they think will work for them.

“We’re very open to mould the project to the way that you feel it needs to be and what you feel is best for you as a municipality, what is the best for you as a community,” she said.

The minister said the province wants to partner with developers, community groups and municipalities, which Downe said could work well in turning empty schools into rental or private properties, multi-residential or seniors complexes.

While we applaud the minister for finally taking action on this issue, we wonder why there isn’t more support for residential landlords? Even though we don’t have the same problems landlords in Ontario have, landlords here still a lot of issues that need to be addressed!

To discuss this and other issues facing Nova Scotia landlords and tenants go to the Nova Scotia Landlord Forum.

P.E.I. Tenant Surprised When His Landlord Refused To Provide a Rent Receipt

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

March 21st, 2013

receipt460

 

Today’s topic is about rent receipts. According to a report on CBC News, a Charlottetown tenant was amazed his landlord refused to give him a receipt after he paid his rent.

What Did the Landlord Say?

The tenant, Leonard Handrahan, asked his landlord for a receipt and she told him they simply do not provide rent receipts.

What Did He Do Next?

Handrahan contacted the government for help. After all, there have been many new rules put into place for landlords in the region recently.

Did He Receive Help?

He said he was astonished there are no laws in P.E.I. making a landlord provide a rent receipt to their tenants. He has now made it his mission to get the law changed so he can make sure to get rent receipts in the future.

Why Does He Need a Receipt So Badly?

He recently moved out of his old place and into a new rental unit. He needed receipts from his previous landlord because he needs proof of rent because he’s on income support. He requires a lot of medication which is paid for by income support. Handrahan says that at any time the government could demand to see all his receipts or he could lose the benefit.

What Did  Handrahan’s Former Landlord Say About This?

His former landlord said he didn’t even ask her for receipts until he had already vacated the unit.

Handrahan denies this.

Has the Government Commented on This Case?

According to the P.E.I. director for residential rental property, the whole issue about receipts isn’t common.

However, she said changing the law would be a good idea and would avoid these types of conflicts which are common in other provinces such as Ontario.

To discuss this and other issues facing landlords, join our Landlord Forum and network with thousands of other landlords across Canada.

Halifax Tenants and Landlords – Beware Apartment Rental Scam

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

November 13th, 2012

 

Halifax police are warning the public about an ongoing apartment rental scam in the city.

What’s the Scam?

This is not a typical landlord and tenant issue. It’s another Kijiji scam. It continues to happen.

What Happened?

The police were sent a complaint from a potential tenant who answered a Kijiji post for an available rental unit.

And?

The potential renter set a time and eventually met with his landlord. He paid the required deposit and even signed the lease.

So the Tenancy Commenced!

No.

The so-called ‘landlord’ immediately stopped being available to this tenant. He even disconnected his phone!

He vanished, with the potential tenant out of a lot of money! And the real landlord who wants to rent out  and offer great landlord services was screwed over.

Is this a Common Scam?

Sadly, yes. Tenants need to realize good (and real) landlords will do proper tenant screening before handing over the key to the rental property!

The police have been alerted to many of these types of crimes recently.

.

Good landlords and tenants be aware there are a lot of scammers out there. This case in Halifax is only the tip of the iceberg.