The regional market perspective for the Waterloo rental housing industry
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Produced by RHB Inc., creators of RHB Magazine, RHB TV, RHB Newsreel, Perpetual Media Group (PMG) and Boldtv, and in collaboration with the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA), theANNUAL delivers a complete market perspective for the rental housing industries of Ottawa, Hamilton, Waterloo and London. Developing a standalone resource guide with vital and practical information is never an easy undertaking. There are reasons why in-depth, analysis and forecasting aren’t done in this form and on this scale for our industry! Time, resources and industry knowledge are required to deliver a comprehensive report respecting individual regional apartment owners and managers while allowing them to respond to market needs, size and competition. What you’ll find in theANNUAL regional edition is: • The State of the Industry Report, an indepth look at the individual cities’ market conditions, based on CMHC and Stats Canada data. •
Realty Check, a look at multi-family sales and purchases in each of the four regional markets, with a special showcase of notable transactions and analysis from the National Apartment Team at Colliers International.
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Association Report, from our partners at HDAA, LPMA, WRAMA and EOLO, an overview of what we need to know about each city and association.
Neighbourhood Trends, information and stats you need to know showing what makes them hot!
Legislation Report, the Cohen Highley team shares legal insight on four topics of significance.
Five Things You Should Know, some interesting tips and tools for managing the physical elements of your buildings.
The industry’s vetted report of the Top Ten, Owners, Managers and REITs for each area.
This has been a labour of love. As Canada’s national voice for the apartment industry, RHB Inc. prides itself on always delivering the latest news and information that help our industry maintain a competitive advantage. Therefore, we’d like to acknowledge the following people and companies for their help gathering the information and data which enabled us to deliver this comprehensive guide: John Dickie, CFAA and EOLO; Arun Pathak, Hamilton District Apartment Association, (HDAA); Lisa Smith, London Property Management Association (LPMA); Andrew Macallum, Waterloo Region Apartment Association (WRAMA); and the Colliers International National Apartment Team, Joshua Perlstein (Hamilton), Curtis Darling (Waterloo), Emily McClelland (Ottawa) and Lisa Lansink (London). RHB Inc. accepts responsibility for accurately delivering relevant news to the rental housing industry. As well, we always want to hear from you, the people who make up the rental housing industry. Let us know your thoughts on what you’ve read and what you’d want to see next year in theANNUAL, both at the National and Regional levels. All the best, Debbie Dollar-Seldon Associate Publisher
Co-Founder, Principal Juan Malvestitti Associate Publisher Debbie Dollar-Seldon Contributing Editor John Dickie, President CFAA Art Director Kyu Shim Director of Sales Nishant Rai Office Manager Geeta Lokhram
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Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the CFAA Board or management. CFAA and RHB Inc. accept no liability for information contained herein. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without the written permission from the publisher. P.O. Box 696, Maple, ON L6A 1S7 416-236-7473 Produced in Canada All contents copyright © RHB Inc. Canadian Publications Mail Product
Welcome to the 2019 regional edition of theANNUAL. Not unlike our National edition, theANNUAL regional edition is a special industry specific periodical, delivering relevant, timely information and data with a single-minded approach: “What does the Apartment industry need to know!” With that as our goal, our research team reviewed extensive data from numerous sources to bring you the regional editions of theANNUAL. From CMHC, Stats Canada, association executives, Government sources and apartment owners, managers & REITs, we bring you the most complete and thorough industry guide that delivers regional specific information and data.
Co-Founder, Principal Marc Côté
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
2 – FOREWORD
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY – 8
15 – REALTY CHECK
ASSOCIATION REPORT – 21
4 – theANNUAL Waterloo
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
29 – NEIGHBOURHOOD TRENDS
TOP 10 – 35
47 – RENTAL LEGISLATION
5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW – 55
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Three Townships AVR: 1.8% 2BR: $908
Waterloo AVR: 3.1% 2BR: $1463 2
Three Townships AVR: 1.8% 2BR: $908
1 Cambridge Kitchener East AVR: 3.4%
AVR: 1.5% 2BR: $1171
Three Townships AVR: 1.8% 2BR: $908
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo Statistics 1. Kitchener Central: AVR: 1.8% 2BR: $1093 2. Kitchener West: AVR: 4.1% 2BR: $1207
AVR= Average Vacancy Rate at October 2018 2BR= Average Rent of 2 Bedroom Suite
AVERAGE RENT IN SENIOR’S RENTAL HOUSING IN 2018
average household income after taxes
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$3168 per month with meals included in the rent
64,760 private rental households in K-C-W
34,617 private purpose built apartments
21,895 condominum units in K-C-W (including apartment condos and row-house condos)
K-C-W IMMIGRATION – PERMANENT RESIDENTS 4000 3500 3000 2500
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State of the Industry K-C-W area
e rs ve
34,617 – Prim ary Ap art m en tU ni
3047 – Row housing 14,385 – Rented houses, duplexes, doubles and accessory suites 4605 – Rental Condo apartments
K-C-W’s important rental market facts Important things to know about primary rental market for the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo region
Important things to know about K-C-W’s secondary rental market
Average rent for a 2 bedroom condo is $1,614 in 2018
Most of the apartment buildings with 50-199 units are located in Kitchener east. 3,047 townhomes & 34,617 private apartment units as of October 2018
Full time international enrolment between ‘05-’11 for UoW grew by 219%, and student housing supply increased to 13266 beds.
theANNUAL Waterloo – 11
State of the Industry Guelph Info
3 Bedrooms +
Between ‘00-’16 Guelph student housing supply increased to
Guelph 2-Bedroom Rent vs Mortgage Carrying Costs
Rent 13.7% of Guelph’s dwelling units are part of a condominium
23.8% of Guelph’s households have a least one senior living there
Important things to know about Guelph’s housing structures & population
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21.3% of Guelph’s dwelling units are private apartments
3 Bedrooms +
3 Bedrooms +
3 Bedrooms +
3 Bedrooms +
3 Bedrooms +
Info Survey Date
2 Bedroom Oct-17
3 Bedrooms +
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 13
COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL CANADA
400+ offices in 68 countries on 6 continents United States: 155 Canada: 48 Latin America: 20 Asia Pacific: 94 EMEA: 119
LANDLORD REPRESENTATION TENANT REPRESENTATION VALUATION & ADVISORY SERVICES
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square feet under management
professionals and staff
REAL ESTATE MANAGEMENT SERVICES
CAPITAL MARKETS & INVESTMENT SERVICES
*Based on 2018 results
ABOUT COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL GROUP INC. Colliers International Group Inc. is an industry-leading real estate services company with a global brand operating in 68 countries and a workforce of more than 17,300 skilled professionals serving clients in the world’s most important markets. Colliers is the fastest-growing publicly listed global real estate services company, with 2018 corporate revenues of $2.8 billion ($3.3 billion including affiliates). With an enterprising culture and significant employee ownership and control, Colliers professionals provide a full range of services to real estate occupiers, owners and investors worldwide. Services include strategic advice and execution for property sales, leasing and finance; global corporate solutions; property, facility and project management; workplace solutions; appraisal, valuation and tax consulting; customized research; and thought leadership consulting.
Colliers professionals think differently, share great ideas and offer thoughtful and innovative advice that help clients accelerate their success. Colliers has been ranked among the top 100 outsourcing firms by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals’ Global Outsourcing for 13 consecutive years, more than any other real estate services firm. Colliers has also been ranked the number one property manager in the world by Commercial Property Executive for two years in a row.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
FOR THE LATEST NEWS
CURTIS DARLING Associate Vice President Direct +1 519 904 7004 Mobile +1 226 972 0658 Curtis.Darling@colliers.com Colliers International 305 King Street W., 6th Floor, Suite 606 Kitchener, ON N2G 1B9 | Canada Main +1 519 570 1330 Fax +1 519 570 1185
For the latest news from Colliers, visit Colliers.com or follow us on Twitter: @Colliers and LinkedIn. To see the latest news from Colliers International in Canada, follow @collierscanada on Twitter and Colliers International on LinkedIn
The transactions of note in: Waterloo Cambridge Kitchener
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 15
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Halifax, Nova Scotia
K-C-W & Guelph
Kitchener-Waterloo has consistently been viewed as a stable and diverse economy for investors to participate in. In the spring of 2019, the ION LRT began operation and replaced bus service between the north end of Waterloo and the south end of Kitchener, resulting in increased development of multifamily and mixed-use properties near stations along the line. The growth and demand for rental apartments has always been attractive to apartment investors and this year shows much of the same. While not record highs, demand for apartments continues to grow at over 4%, a number that outpaces the last 10-year average. The cost of rent has also increased, climbing nearly 6% and outpacing the provincial guidelines. With these increases, we should expect cap rates to continue their compression from the mid-4% range into the high-3% range on average as investors count on large rental increases for long-term cumulative returns.
The region has seen buildings continue to transact at record high prices, with new-build properties, including 100 Walter Street, selling for over $300,000 per unit. The market remains strong in vendorâ€™s favour, as well-positioned buildings coming to market receive multiple offers from a diverse group of buyers. With competition between REITs, private buyers and syndicated investors remaining strong, a lack of supply has forced these groups to delve into buildings of 20 units or less. Curtis Darling Associate Vice President National Apartment Team Colliers International
Summary Table Weighted Avg $/Unit
Highrise Cap Rate Range
2018 Vacancy Rate
*Price per unit and cap rates derived from Realnet and Colliers Research, Vacancy Rates are from the fall 2018 CMHC Rental Market Report *Price per unit encompasses all 2018 multifamily property sales, excluding retirement and student residences
460 Belmont Ave W B&C
Purchaser: Realstar Group Stories: 8,12 Units: 240 Price/Unit: $278,125
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 17
Realty Check 200 Shakespeare Dr
Purchaser: Timbercreek Stories: 11 Units: 138 Price/Unit: $275,362
100 Walter St Purchaser: Well Grounded Real Estate Stories: 5 Units: 38 Price per bedroom: $304,605
Purchaser: Starlight Investments Stories: 3 Units: 36 Price per bedroom: $263,889
Purchaser: CLV Group Stories: 3.5 Units: 40 Price/Unit: $155,000
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280 Wesley Blvd
101 Church St
Recent Realty Transactions 80 Union Blvd Purchaser: 80 Union Boulevard (Waterloo) Ltd Stories: 3.5 Units: 22 Price/Unit: $118,182
262 Cedar St Purchaser: Antonowicz Holdings Inc Stories: 2.5 Units: 11 Price/Unit: $115,000
1148 Queens Blvd
Purchaser: Ballfinch Holdings Inc Stories: 2.5 Units: 6 Price/Unit: $140,000
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 19
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Association Report The Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association (WRAMA) was formed to provide information and support to owners and managers of residential rental properties all over the Golden Triangle (Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding area). WRAMA’s mission is to actively and positively develop and sustain the integrity of its members’ business – the provision of private residential rental accommodation – in the Golden Triangle. According to the Region of Waterloo, “the region is the 10th most populous Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Canada, with 583,500 residents in 2016 (with the total 2018 year-end population of the Region of Waterloo sitting at 601,220). The Province’s Growth Plan projects that Waterloo Region’s population will reach 742,000 by 2031, which makes it one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario.” Currently, eight municipalities govern the Region of Waterloo, with one in each of the cities of Kitchener, Cambridge, Waterloo; each of the four townships of Woolwich, Wellesley, Wilmot and North Dumfries; and a larger regional government. In a continued effort to help decision makers address municipal rental housing issues, WRAMA has responded with a credible and informed voice, providing insight to the challenges and opportunities that exist in the Region of Waterloo. The ION Light Rail transit system began service on June 21, 2019, linking the Conestoga Mall at the north end of the Waterloo to the Fairway Mall at the south end of Kitchener. This system not only helps plan for the unprecedented population growth over the next decade, but also adds to Waterloo Region’s world class reputation of being forward thinking. The marketing and introduction of the trains has included local media attention, public service announcements and free ridership until July 1, 2019.
Grand River Transit operations ION Light Rail and the bus system in Waterloo Region.
The predicted population growth and expansion of Conestoga College, Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo has not gone unnoticed by housing developers. A mix of projects ranging from
22 – theANNUAL Waterloo
residential condominium projects to purpose-built residential rental housing is reflected by a skyline littered with cranes and construction. Halifax-based Killam REIT continues to build its presence as “one of Canada’s largest residential landlords, owning, operating, managing and developing a $2.7 billion portfolio of apartments and manufactured home community properties.” River’s Edge I & II and Saginaw Gardens by Killam REIT, located in Cambridge, are soon to be joined by Westmount Place in central Waterloo.
Westmount Place by Killam REIT (rendition)
HIP Developments is “seen as the innovative leader in real estate development in southern Ontario.” President Scott Higgins grew up in Cambridge, and HIP’s projects (including Gaslight District in Cambridge, and Strata and Circa 1877 in Waterloo) “not only create exciting new forms of residential living, they tangibly contribute to making the community more creative, vibrant and confident.” Family-owned Drewlo Holdings Inc. owns and manages over 8,900 rental housing units and “has been developing, constructing and managing apartment buildings for 60 years”. Its latest project is in downtowneast Kitchener, on the ION line, and is situated across the street from the largest high school in the Region and a bustling downtown retail experience anchored by the Kitchener Farmers Market.
GOVERNING AND AMALGAMATION The Government of Ontario is conducting a review of the governance structure of Ontario’s eight regional municipalities, including Waterloo. Here are some facts about the review. Since Ontario’s regional municipalities were established in the 1970s, populations have grown or changed, infrastructure pressures have increased, and taxpayers’ dollars are being stretched.
Strata condo development by HIP Developments (rendition)
The government is committed to undertaking a review of regional government and Simcoe County to help ensure that the upper- and lower-tier municipalities in these geographic areas are efficient and accountable to their residents and businesses. The review will cover Halton, York, Durham, Waterloo, Niagara, Peel, Muskoka District, and Oxford County, and their lower-tier municipalities. Simcoe County and its lower-tier municipalities will be included in the review because of its rapid growth and associated challenges. In total, 82 upper and lower-tier municipalities are included in the review.
475 King Street by Drewlo Holdings (rendition)
Kitchener team Momentum Developments realized success with One Victoria at the intersection of King & Victoria in downtown Kitchener. The team has since completed and/or started eight new projects, “contributing to the revitalization of Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener, our buildings are purposely mixeduse properties”.
With the help of an advisory body comprised of 2 special advisors, we are reviewing regional governments and Simcoe County to help ensure that these municipalities are working effectively and efficiently, and can continue to provide the vital services that communities depend on. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has appointed 2 special advisors, Ken Seiling (former Region of Waterloo Chair) and Michael Fenn (former chief administrative officer of Hamilton-Wentworth Region), as an advisory body to help with this review. The potential impact of amalgamation on rental housing provision in Waterloo Region cannot be overstated.
Charlie West by Momentum Developments (rendition)
Considering the way licensing has unfolded in the City of Waterloo, most people think landlords would be better off if the Region of Waterloo were amalgamated into a single-tier city, or at least licensing power were moved to the upper-tier. Rental licensing would not stand the test at a regional
theANNUAL Waterloo – 23
Association Report government level. WRAMA’s position on amalgamation aligns with that of former Mayor of Kitchener, Carl Zehr, who in an interview with the Kitchener Record said, “having one regional government, three cities and four townships leads to a fractured system that doesn’t speak with one voice. We need one emergency plan. One arts, culture and heritage plan. One local government with one set of bylaws. One local government that shares assessment growth and property taxes”. Carl Zehr became Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 1997 and is Kitchener’s longest serving mayor. Amalgamation will help address rental licensing that is only applicable to small rental housing providers (and not applicable to landlords who own single-unit condominiums), and its duplicative and contradictory relationship with:
1 The ResidentialTenancies Act (RTA), where dispute resolution occurs through the Landlord andTenant Board;
2 The Ontario Electrical Safety Code and its enforcement by the Electrical Safety Authority;
3 The LTB and Divisional Court ruling that the levy of the licensing fee is an extraordinary cost in “municipal taxes and charges”;
4 The Ontario Fire Code and provincial legislation mandates that state that all homes must have working smoke alarms on every level and outside all sleeping areas, and, as of April 2015, working CO alarms outside all sleeping areas;
5 The Police Records Checks Reform Act (PRCRA) which took effect on November 1, 2018;
6 The LTB and Social Justice Tribunals of Ontario requirement that, if a landlord provides heat, they need to keep your unit heated to at least 20 degrees Celsius from September 1 to June 15;
7 The Province of Ontario’s mandatory, standardized lease that was implemented April 30, 2018;
8 The insurance that is required by property owners from most lenders or mortgage holders that will insist that you purchase home insurance, and the liability insurance that, as of April 2018, all tenants must have at all times;
9 The existing City of Waterloo property standards by-law (no. 2011-122) that regulates the maintenance and occupancy of lands and buildings within the city;
10 The existing City of Waterloo lot maintenance bylaw (no. 2011-123) that sets the minimum standards for land maintenance in the city.
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WRAMA EVENTS WRAMA is grateful to have had many industry experts speak at events. The topics, products and services that support best practice in rental housing provision are a draw for members. Additionally, the networking and experience sharing among members has proven to be a strong draw.
September 2018 Keynote: Jim Foote, Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing, First National Financial LP Expert Panel: Gail Kukor-Lang, paralegal from Cohen Highley Lawyers Adam Hoffman, Realtor from Remax Realtron Realty Kayla Andrade, Founder, Ontario Landlord Watch James Craig, Senior Sales Associate, National Apartment Group, CBRE Limited
October 2018 Larry Smith (WRAMA Director) “A History of City of Waterloo Rental Licensing” Peter Miller (WRAMA Director) “Legal Challenges against City of Waterloo Rental Licensing” Table Discussion - Myths vs. Facts of City of Waterloo Rental Licensing Candidate Forum
November 2018 Jeffrey Schumacher, Supervisor, Housing Programs and Development for the Region of Waterloo Brian Dietrich and Chris Evans of SAFEsystem
January 2019 John Macdonald, OAA, MRAIC, Principal, John MacDonald Architect Jennifer Tsao from CMHC John MacDonald, Architect
February 2019 Joe Hoffer, Partner, Cohen Highley Lawyers Bill Ridley & Drew Davidson, Royal Candian Legion,
Don’t let your profits drip away! Hidden leaks
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Leaks and poor water efficiency can cost you hundreds of dollars per unit each year. But there’s a solution. The Region of Waterloo’s WET Program can boost your bottom line with water efficiency upgrades. We offer landlords: • $15 rebate for each toilet flapper replaced • free showerheads and aerator upgrades • funding for building-wide toilet, showerhead and aerator upgrades • funding for audits or sub-metering to bill fairly and encourage repairs and conservation • water softening and conditioning solutions
Landlords have saved up to
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Contact us to learn more.
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Association Report Canadian Armed Forces Housing Outreach Brittany Lee (Naborly - Tenant screening you can trust)
March 2019 Jean Howitt, owner and CEO; Laney Marshall VP Operations of Richardson Fire Systems Ralph Schmidt, City of Cambridge Fire Prevention Officer
December 12 AM 570 News: Waterloo sticks with controversial rental licensing fee (22:10) Interview with Brian Bourke https://www.570news.com/audio/kitchener-today-withbrian-bourke/
AM 570 News
WRAMA AROUND TOWN (AND ONTARIO)
Brian Bourke, Host, Kitchener Today AM 570 Scott Higgins, President, HIP Developments Tony Irwin, President & CEO, FRPO
WRAMA MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS November 29 AM 570 News: Housing minister says nixing rent control on new units will ‘solve’ lack of supply (45:42) Interview with Brian Bourke https://www.570news.com/audio/kitchener-today-withbrian-bourke/
October 17 City of Waterloo Mayoral Candidate Forum
November 15 National Housing Day
November 29 WRAMA with Ted Whitehead, Director of Certification, Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario at PM Expo
December 10 City of Waterloo Council Presentation, Rental License ByLaw Concerns, Facts & Sources
CBC Investigates: Landlords claim ‘professional tenant’ scammed them out of thousands in rent https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/kitchener-waterloo/ tenant-rental-scam-waterloo-region-1.4915096
Region of Waterloo Council Presentation, Tax & Residential Rental Housing Provision
WRAMA attends The Empire Club of Canada’s presentation of Tony Irwin, FRPO
CBC Radio The Morning Edition - K-W with Craig Norris: Landlords claim ‘professional tenant’ scammed them out of thousands in rent Interview with Peggy Lam https://www.cbc.ca/listen/shows/the-morning-edition-k-w/ episode/15643446
December 10 WRAMA Presents at Waterloo City Council Meeting https://www.facebook.com/notes/waterlooregional-apartment-management-association/ rental-licensing-concerns-presentation-to-c-of-wcouncil/315352175975046/
December 12 The Record Jeff Outhit: Waterloo sticks with controversial rental licensing fee https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9079447-
26 – theANNUAL Waterloo
April 17 Guest panelist at Hamilton District Apartment Association Rental Housing Trade Show 2019
April 29 Catherine Fife, City of Waterloo Rental Licensing and The Police Record Checks Reform Act
May 15 Minister Steve Clark at CFAA Conference
May 29 Citizens for Cambridge Affordable Housing Presentation
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Neighbourhood Trends Latest information on some of K-C-W’s neighbourhoods in…
Kitchener Cambridge Waterloo
Hespeler Kitchener South-East Waterloo North-West Woolwich & North Dumfries
theANNUAL Waterloo – 29
Neighbourhood Trends K-C-W Tenant income distribution o $20,0 0 0 t
$60k – $79,999k before taxes
es tax re efo 99 b $39,9
$80k – $99,999k before taxes
,0 0 20 n$ tha Less
$100k+ before taxes
e or ef 0b
s xe ta
523,900 K-C-W population
$4 0,0 00
to $5 9,999 be fore taxes
17.9% of rental households include at least one senior
31.8% The average household size in K-C-W is
30 – theANNUAL Waterloo
of K-C-W’s private homes are rentals
22.8% of rental households are run by 25-34 year olds
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo NUMBERS ARE THE TOTAL OF STARTS (ACTUAL), UNDER CONSTRUCTION, AND COMPLETIONS IN 2018 ACROSS ALL INTENDED MARKETS (* INDICATES 2019 NUMBERS)
Kitchener South Central, East, West
Woolwich & North Dumfries
Kitchener South Central, East, West
Kitchener South- East
Waterloo North- West
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 31
Neighbourhood Trends Guelph Tenant income distribution $60k – $79,999k before taxes $80k – $99,999k before taxes
$100k+ before taxes
151,984 Guelph population
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17% of rental households include at least
The average household size in Guelph is
– $5 9,9 9 9
re b efo
of Guelph’s households are rentals
17.6% of rental households are childless.
Guelph STARTS (ACTUAL) Guelph South
UNDER CONSTRUCTION Guelph South
COMPLETION Guelph South
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 33
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Top 10 Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo’s top ten private landlords by size
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Owners, Managers & REITs
Number of suites
36 â€“ theANNUAL Waterloo
Number of suites
theANNUAL Waterloo â€“ 37
Owners, Managers & REITs
Centurion Asset Management Inc. Category:
Number of suites
Domus Student Housing Category:
Number of suites
Number of suites could not be verified by client at time of print*
38 â€“ theANNUAL Waterloo
“Through my capacity as Realty Asset Manager for the City of Surrey, I have contracted the services of Canadian Tenant Inspection Services Ltd for the last 10 years. CTI Services has looked after the inspection services for our rental portfolio. I have had no concerns when dealing with CTI Services during our contractual arrangement and know that any request will be completed in a prompt professional manner. In summary, based on the level of service CTI Services has provided for me, I would have no concerns recommending them for inspection services.” –Ken Woodward, Realty Asset Manager, City of Surrey
Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations
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Owners, Managers & REITs
EIWO Canadian Management Ltd Category:
Number of suites
Timbercreek Asset Management Category:
Number of suites
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Rental Legislation FOREWORD Knowing and understanding the laws that govern us is essential to working in the rental housing industry. While staying up-to-date is important, understanding and interpreting legislation can make the difference in your success and profitability. Last year, we reached out to Cohen Highley, one of Ontario’s premier legal resources for residential landlords and property managers, for any new legislation and updates for the rental housing industry. This year, we did the same thing. In the following pages, Cohen Highley’s Joe Hoffer, Kristin Ley and Laura Gilthero, detail and analyse everything from the challenges of online packages, fire code violations, privacy issues and harassment of your staff. theAnnual is pleased to be able to bring you their perspective and we hope you’re able to implement the legislation to the betterment of your tenants, staff and business.
LOBBY CRUSH A recent CTV article discussed the special challenges faced by residential landlords arising from the substantial increase in on-line shopping and package deliveries to apartment complexes. The author of the article, Katherine Roth of the Associated Press, writes: “For apartment dwellers – and the managers of the buildings they live in – it’s tough to manage the boxes and items that pile up, sometimes clogging precious space for days.” The article details the problems and the use of third-party service and storage options that can be accessed by landlords and tenants to meet the challenges. The article itself was published June 25 and can be accessed at the following link: https://www.ctvnews.ca/lifestyle/lobbycrush-online-shopping-leads-to-mountains-ofboxes-1.4482284 Predictably, managing the challenges of off-site package delivery through a third-party service will come at a cost, often to both landlords and tenants. It is also a non-starter for the landlord to have to assume responsibility for accepting and managing delivery of parcels on-site, as there are liability risks and costs associated with that. While using thirdparty options, as suggested in the article, may solve the problems for landlords, there is one potential solution, not referenced in the article, which may be implemented by landlords in Ontario (and some
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other Provinces) that can result in additional rental revenue. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, Ontario (RTA), a landlord and a tenant can agree to a rent increase in exchange for the landlord providing a “prescribed” service (s. 123 RTA). “Lockers or other storage space” is a prescribed service under the regulations to the RTA. A landlord who makes a parcel storage service available to tenants may therefore charge for the service, thereby meeting the challenge of managing parcel deliveries while also increasing the “rent” that may be charged to that tenant. To introduce the prescribed service to current tenants, a space will be needed in which a system can be implemented to allow access to delivery services and tenants. Any agreement with the tenant for the rent increase in exchange for the storage and pickup service should include language to limit liability of the landlord and to limit the size, weight and nature of the items suitable for delivery to the on-site storage facility. Tenants who do not wish to use the service may be informed that their deliveries will not be accepted or administered by the landlord and that deliveries to the building will be at the tenants’ risk. The administration and other logistics of a parcel delivery, storage and pick up service (access by various delivery services such as UPS, Amazon, Canada Post, etc. and access by tenants) can all be managed through technology and some practical
“Under the Residential Tenancies Act, Ontario (RTA), a landlord and a tenant can agree to a rent increase in exchange for the landlord providing a “prescribed” service (s. 123 RTA).” innovation and there are many options available to landlords. The article referenced above cites “Amazon Locker”, “Apartment Locker” and “Luxer One”, among others, as third-party storage and delivery services which are currently available. In the case of Luxer One, it claims to have established 3500 locations in place within just a few years. Landlords who recognize they have the space and the administrative capacity to implement an onsite storage service will be in a position to increase revenue and meet tenant service demands. With new tenancies, the additional service can be listed as an “up sell” available, in addition to the basic rent. With existing tenancies, if tenants agree to pay for the service and enter into a s. 123 RTA agreement for that service, the payment becomes an added component of rent and is therefore subject to annual rent increases on the total sum of rent otherwise payable. The agreements, once implemented, cannot be unilaterally terminated by one party, but if both parties agree to terminate, the rent may then be reduced based on the original amount paid by the tenant plus any Guideline increases that may have been taken during the life of the agreement. The amount that the landlord may charge for the service is loosely governed by regulations to the RTA but is ultimately determined by what the “market will bear”. Most large operators of multi-res buildings will readily recognize that there is a demand for a process in their buildings whereby on-line delivery services can drop off packages; where those packages can be securely stored; and where the packages can be accessed by tenants. Landlords will also recognize the value of meeting tenant demand while also increasing rental revenue and eliminating the need for the landlord to manage, store and distribute packages free of charge (or prohibit deliveries altogether). The key factors in successfully implementing an on-site, revenue generating solution are to create the physical and
administrative model and to then ensure that the s. 123 agreement meets the legal criteria for RTA compliance.
LANDLORDS PAY FOR TENANTS’ FIRE CODE VIOLATIONS A landlord in Waterloo was ordered by a municipal fire inspector to replace all smoke detectors in the bedrooms of his apartment building with heat detectors. While it is unconventional to install interconnected smoke detectors within bedrooms, the landlord intended to provide a higher level of fire safety in the apartment building than that required by the Fire Code. The landlord prohibited smoking in the rental units, but in direct contravention of their lease agreements, tenants were smoking in the bedrooms. Because smoke detectors were installed in the bedrooms, the tenants’ activity triggered regular false alarms. To avoid false alarms, the tenants were then taking increasingly extreme measures to disable the smoke detection system. While there was some dispute about how the fire inspector ended up carrying out an inspection at the property, an inspection did take place and resulted in the order for the replacement of the smoke detectors. The Fire Safety Commission, on appeal, accepted the evidence of the fire inspector that people tend to grow complacent about fire safety in the face of frequent false alarms and that such complacency extends beyond those triggering the false alarms to tenants through the entire building. The Commission also accepted that frequent false alarms make people more inclined to tamper with fire safety systems. As a result, the Commission agreed it was necessary in the interests of fire safety for the smoke detectors to be replaced. See Gondosch v. Waterloo Fire Rescue, 2016 CanLII 102465 (ON FSC).
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Rental Legislation “The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) governs the ways in which landlords collect, use and disclose tenants’ personal information.” In light of this decision, landlords are reminded of their ability (and obligation, in some cases) to terminate a tenancy under the Residential Tenancies Act for interference with the landlord’s lawful right and interest (N5); impaired safety (N7); and illegal acts (N6), all of which could have applied in this case. Had the landlords acted promptly in addressing the tenants’ behaviour, the costs of replacing the fire safety equipment may have been avoided. If you have a situation where tenants are engaging in the type of behaviour described above, consider the findings of the Commission in this case and act promptly to stop the behaviour or end the tenancy before the tenants’ liability becomes your own.
WHEN POLICE REQUEST A TENANT’S PERSONAL INFORMATION The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) governs the ways in which landlords collect, use and disclose tenants’ personal information. For the purposes of PIPEDA, personal information means any information about an identifiable individual, such as a tenant’s address, phone number, name, income information, etc. Landlords often collect, use and disclose this type of information to administer leases and to carry out their obligations in the course of the landlordtenant relationship. In general, PIPEDA requires that landlords obtain the consent of tenants in order to collect, use and disclose their personal information for these or any other purposes. However, it is not uncommon for landlords to receive requests from the police for production of a tenant’s personal information without the tenant’s consent. When faced with these requests, landlords should be aware of the limited instances under PIPEDA when disclosure of a tenant’s personal information to police, without the tenant’s consent, would be lawful.
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Section 7(3) of PIPEDA sets out the circumstances in which a landlord may disclose a tenant’s personal information without his or her knowledge or consent. Generally, section 7(3) provides that when faced with a police request for disclosure of a tenant’s personal information without the tenant’s consent, landlords have two options to make a lawful disclosure; otherwise, landlords may face liability for breaches of PIPEDA: Option 1: Landlords are able to lawfully disclose a tenant’s personal information to the police, without the tenant’s consent, if the police have provided the landlord with a subpoena, warrant, or order compelling production of the information. Landlords should retain a copy of any such document to show due diligence. Option 2: If the police do not have a subpoena, warrant or court order, landlords are able to lawfully disclose a tenant’s personal information if the police provide the landlord with the following three items: 1) A written request for the information 2) Written documentation identifying their “lawful authority” to obtain the information. In considering whether a law enforcement authority has identified its “lawful authority” under this option, the Supreme Court of Canada has been clear that “lawful authority” requires more than just a request by law enforcement, and rather requires law enforcement to provide their specific, legal authority to request the information, otherwise landlords should insist that a subpoena, warrant, or order is obtained. 3) Written documentation indicating for which of the following four purposes the information is being requested:
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Rental Legislation i. The police suspect that the information relates to national security, the defence of Canada or the conduct of international affairs; ii. The disclosure is requested for the purpose of enforcing any law of Canada, a province or a foreign jurisdiction, carrying out an investigation relating to the enforcement of any such law or gathering intelligence for the purpose of enforcing any such law; iii. The disclosure is requested for the purpose of administering any law of Canada or a province; or, iv. The disclosure is requested for the purpose of communicating with the next of kin or authorized representative of an injured, ill or deceased individual. As noted above, if a landlord is unable to satisfy the criteria of either Option 1 or Option 2, landlords should refuse the request for disclosure and document the reasons for doing so. Otherwise, landlords may find themselves offside of PIPEDA’s requirements.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO IF TENANTS HARASS YOUR ON-SITE STAFF Most landlords and on-site staff have probably encountered the “difficult” tenant who uses verbal abuse, personal attacks, threats, and intimidation (“harassment”) as a means of getting what they want. Some Landlord and Tenant Board decisions and some employer landlords have sometimes downplayed the seriousness of a situation where a tenant engages in harassment of landlord employees. The message is that accepting tenant harassment of landlord employees is “just part of the job”, but it isn’t, and employment law takes this kind of harassment seriously. Landlords have a legal obligation to take steps (including potentially seeking the eviction of the tenant) to ensure that such harassment stops. What does the law require? There are two statutes that are most relevant to the legal obligations imposed on landlords to prevent tenant harassment of their staff, namely the Occupational Health and
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Safety Act (OHSA) and the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The OHSA requires that employers prepare a written harassment policy and a workplace harassment implementation program to address workplace harassment. A landlord who employs more than 5 persons is required to post that written policy in the workplace, but regardless of the number of employees, having the harassment policy is mandatory. For many landlord employees, the “workplace” is, or includes, the apartment building where they work: cleaners, building managers/administration, and maintenance personnel are all entitled to a workplace environment that is free from harassment from tenants, members of their household, and guests. The OHSA imposes a positive obligation on the landlord/employer to take measures to curb tenant harassment and a landlord who fails to do so invites prosecution and liability under the OHSA. In summary, tenants who harass employees of a landlord trigger a landlord’s potential liability under the OHSA and thereby interfere with the landlord’s “legal interest” to maintain a harassment-free workplace. Section 36 of the RTA confirms that harassment of landlords (which includes employees) by a tenant is conduct which interferes with a landlord’s legal interest. Section 36 RTA states: “A tenant shall not harass, obstruct, coerce, threaten or interfere with a landlord”. A breach of this section of the RTA by a tenant properly gives rise to service of an N5 Notice of Termination on the grounds of “interference with the landlord’s legal interest”. As a landlord, what should you do when you are faced with allegations that a tenant has harassed an employee? The OHSA requires that an employer have, in its harassment implementation program, measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace harassment to the employer or supervisor and a process for how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents and complaints of workplace harassment. So, make
“Most landlords and on-site staff have probably encountered the “difficult” tenant who uses verbal abuse, personal attacks, threats, and intimidation (“harassment”) as a means of getting what they want.”
sure that you have the required policies in place and that what you are dealing with is harassment. The regulations to the OHSA define “workplace harassment” as a person “…engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome”. The language is very broad and open to subjective interpretation. A tenant asking that maintenance be done, and following up again and again, is not harassment. A tenant engages in harassment by making repeated, derogatory, personal comments directed at the employee and/or to other tenants about the conduct, dress, ethnicity or work ethic of a superintendent; or, engaging in “bullying”, by threatening the landlord’s employee with loss of employment or through verbal abuse directed at the employee. By ensuring that the Workplace Harassment Policy and your Implementation Program include policies to address harassment of employees by tenants, and having reasonable steps in place to address such harassment, landlords can effectively deal with abusive tenants. Usual protocols involve recording the complaint, investigating the complaint, and a progressive approach to ensuring that the harassment stops. In terms of the “progressive approach”, the first step is to make the tenant aware of the offensive conduct alleged to have occurred and give the tenant an opportunity to respond and/or stop the conduct complained of. If the harassment continues (and it often does) then the next step is to serve an N5, pointing out the tenant’s breach of s. 36 of the RTA and the interference with the landlord’s legal interest under the OHSA to ensure that the workplace be free from harassment. If the tenant stops the behavior, the N5 is “void”, but if the behavior continues in the 7 days
following service of the N5, or if the first N5 is “void” due to compliance but a second N5 is served on the same tenant within 6 months of the first N5, then an application may be made to the Board for eviction. Remember, the names, times, and full details of the conduct complained of must be set out in the N5 or the notice, or any application based on it, will be dismissed due to vagueness. The Board always has an overriding discretion to refuse to grant an eviction on the basis that the tenant’s conduct is not “serious” or that it would not be unfair to refuse the eviction. In the past, there were instances where the Board did not consider tenant abuse of landlord staff to be particularly serious but the OHSA obligations to create a harassment-free workplace are a powerful aid to establishing the legislature’s acknowledgement that harassment, even by tenants, is “serious” and that no worker, even a landlord employee, should have to accept exposure to such harassment. Assistance in developing general harassment policies is available from the OHSA website and through enrollment in FRPO’s Certified Rental Building Program (CRB). In tailoring the policies to deal specifically with tenant/resident behaviors, it is prudent to obtain legal advice and training from someone familiar with OHSA harassment policy drafting, implementation, and training. Special care should be taken when dealing with individuals who attribute the manifestation of their abusive conduct to a disability, in which case special rules and policies under the Human Rights Code may apply. A link to the OHSA site is: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/hs/pubs/wpvh/ harassment
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5 things you should know What building owners and property managers should know about repairs – Page 56 – By McIntosh Perry
How to identify issues with your parking lot – Page 57 – By Lincoln Construction Group
5 tips for maintaining good tenant relationships – Page 58 – By A.P. Reid Insurance
Best practices for on-site interaction with property managers and residents – Page 59-60 – By Wyse Meter Solutions
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5 things you should know What building owners and property managers should know about repairs – By McIntosh Perry Any repair to a building, major or minor, raises anxiety for tenants, owners and managers alike. Here are some points everyone should know to stay ALERT:
Act Fast: Most repairs, especially parking garages and balconies, aren’t anything you want to rush through or save for later. The cost of repairing problems gets higher if you leave them, but it’s more about protecting the safety of your tenants and staff. Look Alive: Always be on the look out for damage, cracks, wear and tear, etc. Once damage is spotted, it’s time to act. Expert Assessment: The first step when you notice damage is to get an assessment from a qualified engineer/building science specialist who can determine the condition and the extent of the issue. The next step is to work with a specialist to develop a schedule of repairs and then begin to tender the work with a trusted contractor.
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Rally Everyone: Repairs can be noisy and disruptive. It’s essential to prepare impacted tenants well before the crews show up and work with your project partners to alleviate any resident or staff concerns. Keep up the communication – this will help keeping the work on schedule and manage expectations Take The Time: The best approach is to monitor the condition of your building regularly through in-house and periodic independent evaluations. When it’s time to do a repair, the path to a successful project will be much smoother if you’ve already laid the groundwork.
How to identify issues with your parking lot – By Lincoln Construction Group When Does a Parking Lot Need Repair? As we all know, the Canadian climate can be erratic with constant weather fluctuations creating potential maintenance issues when it comes to our parking lots. Ensuring proper maintenance can be difficult and confusing if you are not sure where to start. Here are 5 Things that can help you better understand your parking lot!
Whether it’s shrinkage, alligatoring, widening, or cracking edges, any kind of cracking can be harmful to your parking lot. Even the smallest cracks left unattended can allow water to penetrate the surface of your parking lot and compromise your subbase.
Potholes: Potholes are the result of water damage and consistent wear. If cracking is left unattended the water that penetrates those cracks will erode the foundation underneath which, along with consistent wear, will cause your surface asphalt to crumble, resulting in a pothole.
Catch basins: Cracking and alligatoring asphalt around your catch basin are potential warnings of issues at the subbase level. In this case a profession contractor should be called to inspect the catch basins to ensure the concrete modulocs are not broken or a pipe is not damaged. Weather fluctuations: Our fluctuating and turbulent Canadian climate unfortunately allows for variability with the structural components of our parking lots, leaving a lot of room for change throughout the year. Occasional maintenance checks will save you time and money!
Faded line markings: Faded line marks are a problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Line marking is the only way vehicles and pedestrians know how to maneuver around your parking lot. If the lines begin to fade, they should be redrawn as soon as possible.
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5 things you should know 5 tips for maintaining good tenant relationships â€“ By A.P. Reid Insurance
Take care of your property: Taking measures to properly maintain the premises proves that you take your role as building manager seriously and it encourages them to take pride in the condition of their rented spaces. Maintain accurate records: Along with establishing a procedure for dealing with tenant and maintenance requests, establish a system for documenting these requests and any further communication between you and tenants. Take proper security measures: Although you may not be expected to guarantee the safety of tenants, visitors and guests, you must exercise reasonable care to protect them from foreseeable events.
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Resolve issues immediately: When receiving a tenant or maintenance request, it is best to resolve the issue within two to three business days, and to fix the problem properly the first time. Delayed action about an issue may seem unnecessary to tenants, and it could cause distrust and anger to fester. Transfer risk: Even with a positive landlord-tenant relationship, there are potential exposures that must be addressed with welldesigned property and liability insurance policies. Coverages to think about include buildings insurance, contents insurance, emergency assistance and accidental damage insurance.
Best practices for on-site interaction with property managers and residents – By Wyse Meter Solutions 1 Know your audience: Each property site has a different management style, and may have varying social environments. You might be entering a new building with calm tenants, or an existing building with some historical challenges. Whichever the case, your presence there is meant to be an informative source, acting as a facilitator for both management and tenants. The ability to remain calm and diplomatic will be very beneficial in this role.
2 Know your stats: It is a valuable practice to study and make note of all billing, deposits, account numbers and management information before meeting with respective on-site staff and residents. Being prepared for all meetings and any potential inquires that might arise will assure your customers of your thorough knowledge base and expertise. Your confidence in handling all situations will also hinge upon knowing these statistics inside and out. Contact your head office billing team if you are missing any vital statistics or information.
3 Always be prompt and reliable: Respect goes both ways. The best way to create a positive first impression and develop a mutually respectful ongoing relationship is to be punctual and reliable. Always arrive on time and assure the on-site staff is expecting you. Particularly for utility suppliers, billing and utilities are not the on-site staff’s expertise, so management will be happy to have your assistance with what can often be timeconsuming administrative tasks.
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5 things you should know Best practices for on-site interaction with property managers and residents – By Wyse Meter Solutions 4 Ask for help:
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly if you are entering a new client relationship or environment. The property management staff will know information about the building you may not. (Such as the number of suites, beds, turnover rate etc.) Asking these questions shows your genuine attention and care for their specific building needs.
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Follow-up: Just as you would after any sales meeting or interview, show your care and respect with a follow up email the day of or the following day thanking clients and residents for their time and providing a general recap of your meeting. This ensures that the valuable information you’ve provided has been received both verbally and in writing. It also ensures that all parties have your contact information should they have follow-up questions or the need to schedule another on-site visit.
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