Nova Scotia Landlords Association


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The Nova Scotia Landlords Association (NSLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

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Halifax Landlord – Fined $93,500 for having extra apartments!

February 9th, 2013

Halifax landlord fined for extra rental apartments

A Halifax landlord has been hit with a record fine for violating the municipality’s land-use bylaws.

With already confusion in the landlord community over new rules for landlords the media reports of this huge fine has shocked many Nova Scotia landlords.

In this post we’ll give an overview of what happened.

In January the company Hanstholm Realty Inc. were ordered to pay a fine of $93,500 after they went to provincial court in Halifax where they lost their case.

According to the prosecutor in the case (who represented the Halifax Regional Municipality) this was the largest fine for land usage in Canadian history!

Previously the largest fine was approximately $30,000.

The huge fine reflected the landlords profit from creating 7 more rental units in the building, with an additional premium of forty percent added.

The whole situation is because the building was legally allowed to have 101 rental units. This was agreed upon in an agreement between the landlord and the city government.

However, in 2009 the city of Halifax found the extra units. The landlords corporation didn’t agree to the various options presented to them by the government which led to the fines.

Of course Nova Scotia landlords need to follow the law at all times. 

However, we think governments should also work hard to encourage landlords to create more affordable and safe rental properties. We’ve seen situation in other provinces where the government says there is a shortage of affordable housing and at the same time punished landlords who create it.

Government needs to work with private landlords to create an environment where investment is welcomed. Certainly go after those who break the rules. At the same time let’s make sure those rules are fair and respect the important role private landlords play in our economy and our society.

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

tro/217936-halifax-landlord-fihttp://thechronicleheraldhttp://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/217936-halifax-landlord-fined-93500-for-having-extra-apartments.ca/mened-93500-for-having-extra-apartments

Nova Scotia Landlords Question – How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013?

January 8th, 2013

 Nova scotia landlords how much can i raise the rent in 2013

Nova Scotia Landlords Can Raise the Rent 3% in 2013

Unlike in Alberta, landlords in Nova Scotia can only increase the rent for current tenants as much as the government will allow.

The government Residential Tenancies program announces an Annual Allowable Rent Increase Amount (AARIA).

The AARIA is published annually before April 1st.  The published amount is the limit landlords can increase rents from January 1st to December 31st for the year following.

The 2013 allowable rent increase (between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013) is 3.0%.

In Ontario landlords can raise the rent by 2.5% in 2013.

In British Columbia landlords can raise the rent by 3.8% in 2013.

In Manitoba landlords can raise the rent by 1% in 2013.

How Does the Government Calculate AARIA?

The formula for calculating the annual AARIA is (X + Y) ÷ 2.

  • X = the annual average percentage change for the Consumer Price Index* for the calendar year immediately before the year the annual allowable rent increase amount is published.
  • Y = the annual average percentage change for the Consumer Price Index for the calendar year immediately before the calendar year used for X.

If the annual average percentage change for the Consumer Price Index for a given year is a negative value, the percentage change that will be used to calculate the AARIA will be 0.0 % for that year.

* the Consumer Price Index means the all-items Consumer Price Index for Nova Scotia, not seasonally adjusted, published by Statistics Canada.

How To Give Your Tenants A Rent Increase

A landlord may give tenants in a land-lease community a rental increase that is anywhere between zero and the AARIA, using the Notice of Rent Increase form provided.

The Guideline Rate of 3% Is Too Low

If a landlord wishes to give a rent increase that is higher than AARIA, the landlord must make an application to director using the guidelines in the Landlord’s Guide to Residential Tenancies.  This can be a complicated process.  It’s a good reason to make sure you find great tenants.

New Rules for Nova Scotia Landlords

December 1st, 2012

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Nova Scotia Landlords Are Facing Unfair Rules as the Government Caters to Tenants and Activists and Changes the Residential Tenancies Act

What’s Going On?

The government has created new rules for landlords and tenants.

Why Are They Making Changes?

No doubt this has a lot to do with the fact over 30% of the population are renters.

When Did These Changes Become Law?

November 15th, 2012.

When Was the Last Time Changes Were Made?

It was a decade ago.

Why Now?

Again, there are a lot of voter out there, um, I mean, tenants out there. And even the most ridiculous tenant is a potential voter.

So What are the Changes?

The main changes are:

#1 Landlords can charge a maximum $75 sublet fee.

#2 Zero per cent interest rate earned on security deposits

#3 Land-lease community landlords can increase rent annually by an amount dictated by Residential Tenancies.

#4 Rental contracts, except fixed-term leases, are automatically renewed.

#5 Tenants can terminate fixed-term leases early for health reasons.

#6 If rent is 15 days late, landlords can give tenants a 15-day notice to quit. Tenants can pay rent, end the lease or appeal the notice.

Hmmm, I Don’t See Anything To Help Landlords With Bad Tenants

That’s because there isn’t anything to help. The issue has been ignored by the government and most of those in the media. It’s why you better be prepared for the worst if you are a landlord. And if you don’t have the time to be prepared, hire an excellent property management company that offers elite services.

Why?

It’s not ‘cool’ to talk about bad tenants. It’s far easier to frame all renters as ‘victims.’ After all, the elite thinks, who will rent with housing prices so relatively cheap here compared to the rest of Canada. The tenant activist and the government don’t care about landlords getting cheated in Nova Scotia.

I’m Confused About Point #5. 

Okay.

This Looks To Be A Recipe For Abuse…And An Easy Way To Get Out of A Fixed Term Lease

Yes.

Getting out of your legal responsibility for ‘health reasons’ creates a very slippery slope and is open to abuse as some tenants will see it as an invitation to break a lease. There are lots of manipulative tenants out there.

What Is the End Result of This?

The end result is the province is looking backward and not forward.

How So?

Instead of encouraging investment, the new laws seem to view landlords as ‘villains’ and tenants as ‘victims.’

Real life is different.

The government is short-sited and mistaken with these new changes to the laws governing landlords and tenants.

If you are a landlord in Nova Scotia you need to do careful tenant screening, including credit checks and be fully aware the government is biased against you and and doesn’t care about the risk you have taken investing in rental properties.

That’s Harsh!

That’s reality. If Nova Scotia doesn’t appreciate the investments of landlords then maybe Nova Scotia landlords should look elsewhere to invest.

Landlords Make Sure you Do Proper Tenant Screening, Including Credit Checks, And Only Rent to Responsible Tenants. If you Get Bad Tenants, The Government Has Made It Clear: You Are On Your Own! To Discuss this and Other Nova Scotia Landlord Issues, Go to the Free Nova Scotia Landlords Forum.

Charlottetown apartment boom creates renter’s market Vacancy rates rise as construction continues

 

Charlottetown apartment boom creates renter’s market

Vacancy rates rise as construction continues

The city has seen the addition of 1,000 apartments in the last four years. (CBC)

Vacancy rates in Prince Edward Island’s capital city have doubled in the past two years, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A report by the CMHC says the rate in Charlottetown is now hovering at five per cent.

“There should be an ample supply of apartments available at all rent ranges and all ages. We are seeing increased vacancies right across the board,” said Jason Beaton of the CMHC.

The vacancies are – in part – due to new construction. The city has seen 1,000 new apartments built in the last four years.

Norray Properties has 30 buildings in the city with a total 320 units. Management tells CBC News about 10 per cent of their apartments are not rented.

Beaton said CHMC will release a new set of rental numbers in the coming weeks. He expects it will, once again, favour renters.

“We expect vacancy rates will rise from their current level,” he said. “There’s still several hundred apartments under construction.”

Tenants making a move

For tenants, the over-supply is good news. Companies are offering deals such as free rent for the first month as a way to lure in new renters.

“We’ll definitely make more of an effort to see what’s available to me and see if I can’t take advantage of what’s out there,” said Ruby Madigan.

She recently moved to the city from Colorado and hopes to move out of her current apartment soon. Madigan’s neighbourhood is noisy because it’s an area populated by students.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2012/11/27/pei-vacancy-rates-584.html

Pets in New Brunswick

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/11/20/nb-one-pet-policy.html

Halifax Tenants and Landlords – Beware Apartment Rental Scam

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.

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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.

 

 

Novsa Scotia Renters Say – Force Landlords To Pass On Tax Reduction

Force landlords to pass on tax reduction, renters say

Apartment owner says renters should not expect lower rents

CBC News

Posted: Sep 13, 2012 6:00 AM AT

Last Updated: Sep 13, 2012 10:48 AM AT

Read 51 comments51

A proposed provincial property tax reform for landlords is coming under fire by people who rent and who want to see their bills reduced.

The provincial government plans to reduce the amount of tax that is imposed on rental properties, commercial properties and second homes — what landlords have long referred to as “double taxation.”

But people who live in apartments, such as students, seniors and people on low incomes, may not see any rent reductions because landlords won’t be forced to pass on the savings to tenants.

Andrew Martel, the president of the University of New Brunswick Student Union, said the provincial government should force landlords to pass on the savings to students.

“The majority of those living here in Fredericton would feel safer knowing that these savings would come down to the students so that our rents wouldn’t be as high,” he said.

Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch announced a series of property tax reform proposals on Wednesday.Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch announced a series of property tax reform proposals on Wednesday. (CBC)Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch, who announced the proposed reforms on Wednesday, said he hopes the tax cut is passed on as lower rent, but stressed that’s not up to him.

“We can affect the provincial tax rate on that particular building. We can’t directly pass that on to the renters,” Fitch said.

Willy Scholten, who speaks for apartment owners in the province, said he wouldn’t guarantee the double tax being reduced by about one quarter will translate into lower rents.

“The expectation would be this will have the ability to minimize rent increases,” he said.

The local government minister said tenants push landlords to share the tax cut, just as landlords successfully pushed the provincial government to make the cut.

The proposed package of reforms also includes a new “spike protection” mechanism to guard against large property tax assessment hikes, lifting the three-per-cent property tax freeze, and the option of monthly payments instead of one large annual payment.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/story/2012/09/12/nb-property-tax-landlords-rent.html

Landlord Email To Tenants Over Election Causes Uproar

November 1st, 2012

 

 

Building owner’s message urges support for Uteck

Canada has a history of student groups, labour organizations, celebrities and newspapers endorsing political candidates.

Now, a company that owns apartment buildings in the Halifax region is encouraging its tenants to vote for a particular council candidate in a five-person race, and that has an opponent seeing red.

Gerry Walsh said Thursday that renters in buildings owned by Paramount Management have recently received an email message urging them to vote for Sue Uteck in the new Peninsula South-Downtown district.

Aside from Walsh and Uteck, Mike MacDonell, Waye Mason and Dawg Father PHD are seeking to represent the Halifax constituency.

Voting day is Saturday.

Walsh said the property owner’s message to tenants is inappropriate at best and constitutes interference at worst.

“We support Sue, and think you should too,” part of the email correspondence says.

An apartment building owner has a certain amount of authority over renters, Walsh said, and that power structure is why he feels this case is troubling.

“I see quite a big distinction between the unions or student groups or (others) endorsing” a candidate, Walsh told The Chronicle Herald. “Because that relationship is more peer-to-peer than the landlord-tenant example here.” Walsh said Paramount Management is owned by developer Louis Lawen, a contributor to Uteck’s last campaign in 2008.

Uteck confirmed Lawen “did contribute to my campaign. That is a matter of public record.”

As for the message to renters, “I was not aware that (Paramount) was going to write to its tenants about supporting me,” she said. “It was their own initiative.”

Meanwhile, in a release Thursday, the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour said it is “closely watching municipal and school board elections throughout the province this week.”

It said the federation “is pleased to endorse and support pro-worker candidates across the Halifax Regional Municipality.”

The umbrella trade union organization “supports progressive, pro-worker candidates who will make sure issues like good jobs, affordable housing and quality public services like libraries and recreation programs are front and centre.”

http://thechronicleherald.ca/municipal2012/150862-election-email-to-tenants-rapped#.UIFfXUYihVg.twitter

http://ontariolandlords.org/blog/housing-minister-wynne-on-the-rent-increase-guideline/

http://albertalandlords.ca/2012/10/11/landlords-fire-prevention-week-time-to-make-your-secondary-suites-legal/

Tenants Claiming Mold Ordered to Leave Rental Unit

Sept 9th, 2012

 

What Happened?

According to the Truro Daily News a Salmon River tenant who accused his landlord of failing to deal with mold issues in his rented trailer has been ordered to vacate the premises by the Nova Scotia tenancy board.

What About The Mold Issue?

As well, an inspection of the residence carried out by a Municipality of Colchester building inspector has determined that while some mold growth was visible around the bathroom window and in a rear bedroom, the recommended remedy was to remove the mold with a solution of warm water and detergent.

What’s the Background to this Story?

In early August, the Truro Daily News published a story in which former Ontario resident Joey Nahwegahbow said he discovered mould in the mobile home he had rented in mid July from Dockrey Apartments owners Robert and Kathryn Dockrey.

What Did the Tenant Do?

Nahwegahbow accused his landlord of refusing to properly deal with the problem and subsequently filed complaints with the municipality and the residential tenancy board. The Landlord needed help.

Was There a Hearing?

The tenancy board hearing was scheduled for Thursday but in a ruling issued following that session, Nahwegahbow and his wife Stacey Ann were ordered to vacate the premises on or before midnight of Sept. 17.

“The tenants’ claims are dismissed because the tenants did not appear to defend their claims,” residential tenancy officer Clare Kennedy wrote in the finding, which also indicates the Dockreys are owed $1,300 in unpaid rent.

Did He Eventually Show Up?

Nahwegahbow acknowledged that he appeared late for the hearing but his request for it to continue following his arrival was denied.

He said he plans to appeal the decision and also to have a more expert analysis conducted regarding the mold situation.

The Dockreys also expressed frustration over the situation and plan to continue their efforts to have the Nahwegahbows vacate the premises.

With more and more tenants claiming mold, bedbug and other issues (whether valid or not) Nova Scotia Landlords must be diligent and conduct proper tenant screening.

*Please note the picture in this article is not the property written about, but a general picture of a property with mold.

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