Posts Tagged ‘Landlord Forum’

P.E.I. Landlords Can Raise the Rent by 2% in 2014

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

P.E.I. Landlords Rent Increase 2014

 

Good news for P.E.I. landlords.

This is especially important with all the bad news for landlords we’ve seen over the past year in the region.

The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (also known as IRAC)  had meetings on whether or not there should be a rent increase and, if so, what the allowable rent increase should be.

In its report, IRAC said it received eight submissions from tenants, one from a landlord and one from anti-poverty group Alert.

According to the Guardian website starting Jan. 1, 2014, landlords will be allowed to increase rent for heated premises by two per cent, while rent for unheated premises and mobile homes in trailer parks can go up by one per cent.

How does that compare to other provinces? Well according to the Ontario Landlords AssociationOntario landlords can raise the rent 0.8% in 2014.

In its report on the increases, IRAC said it considered submissions from the public, the vacancy rates in P.E.I., the province’s economic outlook, increases in other provinces, consumer price index forecasts and previous allowed rent increases.

Although IRAC approved an increase, that doesn’t necessarily mean rent will go up the full amount or at all because it is at the landlord’s discretion, as long as they don’t go above the maximum allowed.

Among the concerns tenants raised were the negative effects of a rent increase on people with fixed incomes, above average construction of new rental units and the negative effects an increase would have on students.

IRAC has allowed rent increases every year for the last 10 years, including in 2013 when landlords were able to raise it by as much as five per cent for heated premises and three per cent for unheated.

The report showed rents went up in Charlottetown for 2013 where the average for a two-bedroom unit reached $831 compared to $797 in 2012.

Summerside’s average was $697 in 2013 compared to $669 last year.

That was despite an overall vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent across the province, which was up from 4.8 per cent in 2012.

While IRAC found property taxes are expected to be within the range of consumer price index increases and electricity rate increases will be stable for several years, heating oil prices 35 per cent over the past four years.

To Discuss This And Other Landlord Issues Go To the Canada Landlords Forum!

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

More than 50 cats and kittens were removed from a 1-bedroom apartment in Halifax.

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

June 1st, 2013

Halifax landlord tenant pets

 

No matter where you are in Canada, landlords know tenants often leave things behind. This time it’s different!

According to a report on CBC news the Disaster Animal Response Team of Nova Scotia says more than 50 cats have been removed from a one bedroom apartment in Halifax.

The team was contacted by the landlord on Friday and with the co-operation of the tenant, 51 cats — ranging from small kittens to adults — were removed from the home of an elderly woman.

Spokeswoman Catherine Stevens says there were several sets of kittens, some that were born just a few days ago, and another cat who may be pregnant.

Stevens says the good news is all the cats were in good health.

 She says a temporary shelter has been set up, where the animals will be cared for over the next few days.

The cats will also be spayed and neutered before going to the SPCA for adoption.

Stevens is reminding the public of the importance of having your pet spayed or neutered.

We would like to remind the provincial government these are some of the issues we face and landlords need more tools to take effective action.

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