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Vol. 12 No. 2 June 2019

Canada’s #1 most widely read publication for Apartment Owners, Managers and Association Executives

CFAA-RHC 2019 The conference is at the forefront of current and future issues in Canada’s rental housing industry.

The official publication of:

The signs are there Rental housing providers have a positive impact on their tenants, their communities and society at large, as Skyline Group of Companies and Deveraux Groups of Companies will show.

CBRE Demand for multifamily investments in Halifax has remained consistent through the first half of 2019.

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EDITOR’S NOTES When will the rain end? I don’t think it matters where you live in Canada – there’s just too much rain right now. I feel for all the people who are suffering through flooding and related damage in many parts of Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. We’re experiencing 100-year flooding events that are occurring way more often than once every 100 years. Is it a sign of worse things to come? Climate change is a reality, and we cannot ignore it. Let’s hope that things calm down sooner rather than later. This issue of RHB Magazine features an article that is long overdue. As members of the rental housing industry, we read and hear about the negative side of being rental providers. We should be promoting all the good being done by landlords, property managers, landlord associations and those who work in the rental housing industry. And that’s what we are doing. We are featuring two companies doing great things – Deveraux Group of Companies and Skyline Living. And we plan to promote other great people and companies in future issues. Let’s start a conversation. If you’re holding this magazine, you’re either at CFAA-RHC 2019, which took place on May 13 – 15 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Toronto, or the show has already passed. If you’re in the former group, then you already know about all the great speakers, networking opportunities and vendors that were there. If you’re in the latter group, then check out the article on what to expect at the conference. It will definitely make you want to attend next year’s conference in Halifax. Make sure to have a read through CFAA’s newsletter, National Outlook. Pay close attention to the Regional Association Voice, as LPMA discusses balancing the risks of renting to seniors, while EOLO describes the planning reforms announced very recently in Ontario. Also read about what CBRE has to say about the state of multifamily investments in Halifax. As usual, we enjoy hearing from our readers and support twoway communication. If you have any comments or questions, send them to david@rentalhousingbusiness.ca. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy the issue! David Gargaro Senior Editor

4 | June 2019

Co-founder, Publisher

Marc Côté marc@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Co-founder, Director

Juan Malvestitti juan@rentalhousingbuisness.ca

Editorial

David Gargaro david@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Contributing Editor

John Dickie, President CFAA jdickie@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Art Director Kyu Shim

Director of National Sales Nishant Rai

Office Manager Geeta Lokhram

Subscriptions

One year $49.99 Cdn Two years $79.99 Cdn Single copy sales $9.99 Cdn 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 Sales Agreement No. 42652516


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CONTENTS

VOL.12 NO.2 2019

CFAA-RHC 2019

Learn about what to expect when attending this year’s Rental Housing Conference.

RHB’s forum for rental housing associations to share news, events and industry information

Hot Topics: WRAMA discusses the recent amalgamation consultation by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, as well as WRAMA’s recent events and meetings. pg.45 EOLO explains the recent changes to development charges and development approvals announced by the Ontario government in the Housing Supply Action Plan. pg. 49 HDAA provides tips on how to effectively market your rental property. pg. 53 LPMA describes the risks that landlords face when renting to seniors, and what steps can be taken to minimize those risks. pg. 57

The Member Associations

Regional Association Voice

The signs are there Rental providers have a positive impact on their tenants, the community and society at large.

6 | June 2019

Regional Association Voice features the latest industry news from four member associations.

Suite Count Demand for multifamily investments in Halifax has remained consistent through the first half of 2019.


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PRESIDENT’S CORNER These are exciting times for the rental housing industry. For the first time in thirteen years, Ontario’s rental providers have a government which cares more about what people want, and where they want to live, than about academic priorities and where the government thinks everyone should want to live. On May 2, the Honourable Steve Clark, Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced a major reform of the development process, and of development and other municipal charges, under the title, Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan: More Homes, More choice. That reform package addresses many of the issues CFAA and our member association have raised for several years. It can serve as a model for how other provinces and cities can encourage the construction of more rental housing. For more information see page 37. At the federal level there is some forward motion on tax reform. As well, CFAA has engaged both Capital Hill Group, and Len Farber, a consultant on tax policy, who was the General Director, Tax Policy Branch, at the Department of Finance for many years. See page 36 for more on CFAA’s expanded tax lobbying work, and what is needed for it to continue. The new Canada Housing Benefit (CHB) is also being designed at this time. CFAA and our members and allies promote the support of tenants who have the most trouble affording their rents in the private rental sector as the best use of the CHBs. The CFAA Rental Housing Awards 2019 are being presented at the Awards Dinner on May 14, part of CFAA-RHC 2019. To see a complete

8 | June 2019

list of this year’s finalists, see page 38. Stay tuned for the next issue of RHB, or visit www. cfaa-fcapi.org, to find out the winners. CFAA is hosting Rental Housing Conference 2019 from May 13 to 15, 2019, in downtown Toronto. The conference offered sessions in the following areas: technology, tenant relations, rental development, rental markets, human resources, marketing, and leadership. For more information about which sessions different people should be sure to catch, see RHB’s Conference Guide at page 32. Plan now to join your colleagues at CFAARHC 2020 in Halifax in mid-May! All proceeds of CFAA-Rental Housing Conferences go to support CFAA’s federal lobbying efforts on behalf of the rental housing industry!

John Dickie, CFAA President


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In this issue of... NATIONAL OUTLOOK 35. CFAA has recently relaunched lobbying on federal tax issues, with the help of Robert McCreight of Capital Hill Group, and Len Farber. See what progress they are making and what their next steps will be.

37. Ontario’s May 2 Housing Supply Action Plan is a possible model for other communities which need to solve issues about uncertain community benefit charges or planning delays.

38. CFAA will recognize the winners of the 2019 National Rental Housing Awards at the CFAA Awards Dinner on May 14, as part of CFAA-RHC 2019. Shown here are the finalists.

CFAA Member Associations Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization (EOLO) www.eolo.ca P: 613-235-9792 Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) www.frpo.org P: 416-385-1100, 1-877-688-1960 Greater Toronto Apartment Association (GTAA) www.gtaaonline.com P: 416-385-3435 Hamilton & District Apartment Association (HDAA) www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca P: 905-632-4435 Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS) www.ipoans.ns.ca P: 902-425-3572 LandlordBC www.landlordbc.ca P: 1-604-733-9440 Vancouver Office P: 604-733-9440 Victoria Office P: 250-382-6324 London Property Management Association (LPMA) www.lpma.ca P: 519-672-6999 Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia (MHPOA) www.mhpo.com P: 1-877-222-4560

To subscribe to CFAA’s e-Newsletter, please send your email address to communication@cfaa-fcapi.org.

The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations represents the owners and managers of close to one million residential rental suites in Canada, through 11 apartment associations and direct landlord memberships across Canada. CFAA is the sole national organization representing the interests of Canada’s $480 billion rental housing industry. For more information about CFAA itself, see www.cfaa-fcapi.org or telephone 613-235-0101.

10 | June 2019

Professional Property Managers’ Association (of Manitoba) (PPMA) www.ppmamanitoba.com P: 204-957-1224 Saskatchewan Landlord Association Inc. (SKLA) www.skla.ca P: 306-653-7149 Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association (WRAMA) www.wrama.com P: 519-748-0703


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S R E N W O 6 P O T R REALSTA

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The signs

Rental providers have a positive impact on society

If it weren’t for bad news, there would be no news at all. That’s a shame, because

rental providers deserve to be recognized for the good that they do for their tenants, the community and society at large.

A few bad landlords have given the entire rental housing industry a bad reputation – among tenants and the general public, within the government, and in the media. We’ve all read stories about how landlords have increased rents “for no reason” or have not properly maintained their buildings. The media tends to focus on the negative when discussing any story, and the rental housing industry is no exception. As members of the rental housing industry, we have to do a better job of promoting the positive. We should talk about all the good things that rental providers do for tenants and our communities.

14 | June 2019


are there

who cannot afford to buy a home are able to rent one. And when landlords rent to people who choose to rent, they make it easier for people to move to new jobs, to downsize, or to attend university or college.” Every day, members of the rental housing industry do things to better the lives of their tenants and the community at large. They provide residents with much-needed amenities to make their lives more convenient. They host a wide variety of events, enabling residents to get to know each other and build stronger community relationships. They sponsor charitable events and contribute to fundraising that benefits tenants, the communities in which they live and society as a whole. Rental housing employees will sometimes even help tenants on an individual level by discounting rents, buying groceries, helping with household issues or taking them to appointments. Even landlord associations, which are set up to support landlords, have done many positive things to contribute to the betterment of society. Association members have built homes for Habitat for Humanity, have been actively involved in addressing affordable housing and homelessness problems, and have run numerous food and clothing drives across Canada. They have contributed thousands of hours, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, to initiatives that support the betterment of people’s lives with very little fanfare.

(From left to right) R. Jason Ashdown, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, B.J. Santavy, Vice President , and Denis Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer

As an industry, we provide clean, safe, affordable housing to people across all levels of society – from students to young families to retired veterans. Landlords, property managers and other frontline staff truly get to know their tenants, and help them in many different ways – from connecting them to social services to finding them the most appropriate places to live to ensuring their overall well-being. “What is so often overlooked is the positive impact rental providers have through the service and product they provide,” said John Dickie, President, Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA). “Most people

Many rental housing providers have been recognized for their work and achievements through numerous awards. However, on both an individual and industry level, we don’t do enough to talk about all the good things that people and companies are doing. It’s long past time that we celebrate the industry and the people who do good deeds. RHB Magazine is featuring two outstanding rental providers, Skyline Group of Companies and Deveraux Group of Companies, who have made positive contributions. We could have included many more, and we will in future issues. But now it’s your turn to talk about your stories and contributions – to your peers, your association, the media, and governments. By David Gargaro

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Skyline Living – Commitment to supporting tenants

Skyline Living has always focused on acting with a

conscience. This involves providing its residents, investors, staff and partners with meaningful value in every interaction. Since its inception 20 years ago, the company has understood the importance of building lasting relationships through social responsibility. The Tenant Relief Fund is Skyline’s newest social responsibility initiative and proof of its commitment to the people they serve. R. Jason Ashdown, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, and B.J. Santavy, Vice President

While Skyline Living was formally incorporated in 1999, it has been around since the mid-90s. The full-service real estate investment management organization owns and manages more than 250 properties across Canada, which includes over 17,000 suites that house upward of 40,000 people. Skyline Living has been a trailblazer in supporting communities and has received numerous industry awards for raising the bar in the rental housing industry. “Since its inception 20 years ago, Skyline Living has understood the importance of building lasting relationships through social responsibility,” said R. Jason Ashdown, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. “To be successful while still working with a conscience, in business, you must be

16 | June 2019

transparent, reliable, have integrity and manage with a good moral compass. We have always held ourselves accountable to the needs of our staff, our communities, our stakeholders and, maybe of most importance, our tenants.”

Establishing the Tenant Relief Fund There is a real housing crisis in Canada, as many people are struggling to find affordable housing options. Home ownership is expensive, and there is a lack of supply and availability of rental apartments. Skyline Living saw that changes needed to be made in the industry and, in response to this, launched the Tenant Relief Fund in 2018. Its goal was to create a support network and deliver resources to tenants that might need assistance with staying in their homes.


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The implementation of the Tenant Relief Fund is a rarity in the rental housing industry, as Skyline Living looks to bridge the gap of communication between landlord and tenant. There have been many news stories about the housing crisis in Canada, with countless reports on landlords taking advantage of the housing shortage to drive their revenues through exorbitant rent increases and even wrongful evictions. “There are obvious holes in the social fabric with people falling through the cracks, sometimes at no fault of their own,” said B.J. Santavy, Vice President. “Skyline Living’s Tenant Relief Fund works with its tenants to educate and support them in finding the resources they need to reduce evictions and work on getting them back on track.” The Tenant Relief Fund operates under the governance of Skyline Living’s Tenant Relief Committee, which was established to help tenants who have fallen on hard times, many of whom are at risk of losing their home. This service facilitates tenant outreach by connecting them to assistance through community and government resources, and, when necessary, provides financial assistance through the established fund, which has a reserved budget of $200,000 annually. Implementing these types of tenant advocacy programs has positive impacts on the rental housing industry for tenants and landlords. These goodwill programs help to create a loyal tenant base, which results in better tenant retention, less turnover and improved community reputation. They also help to open dialogue with governing bodies and decisionmakers to promote positive change in the industry. By taking a proactive approach to the situation, the fund will help reduce the number of evictions, which are costly and have a serious negative impact on tenants’ lives. “We have taken the initiative and deployed the human and financial resources needed

18 | June 2019

to help tenants that have exhausted all other options or have fallen through the cracks and require assistance to get them back on their feet,” said Santavy. “Through 20 years in business, we have built strong relationships with many loyal and long-standing tenants and are now able to be there for them when they need support. Skyline Living is in the property management business, but we must not forget that we are first and foremost in the people business.” Developing the Tenant Relief Fund was not without its challenges. Skyline Living had to decide who would fit the eligibility criteria for financial aid and recognize tenants in need. Its goal was to proactively assist tenants with getting back on their feet while also empowering them with knowledge and resources for the future. The company had to develop a process and create a workflow that would be able to assist each tenant’s unique circumstances efficiently. It also had to work within its legal guidelines as a landlord while trying to keep the tenant out of court. Skyline Living had to train more than 500 employees on how to apply the program. Field staff have built trusting relationships with their tenants and are often first to recognize tenant struggles, so the company worked with property managers to teach staff on becoming more proactive in assisting struggling tenants rather than leaving the situation to worsen. It has also cultivated an “army of community givers,” which is an extension of that by focusing on giving back to those that have been an integral part in the company’s growth and success over the years. “Our resident managers and property managers are very involved in the communities they serve and have personal experience with our tenants, so they’ve become keenly aware to recognize when a tenant has fallen on hard times and when to refer them to the Tenant Relief Committee,” said Santavy. “Significant effort and time CONTINUED ON PAGE 22


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Stepping up to make a difference in extreme times Landlords, property managers and other members of the rental housing industry make regular contributions to improving the lives of their tenants as well as the communities in which they live. They have also gone above and beyond during emergencies. To follow are some of those amazing stories. Fort McMurray wildfires On May 1, 2016, wildfires swept through Fort McMurray, causing widespread destruction and displacing tens of thousands of people from their homes. Many members of the rental housing industry came forward to help their tenants and others who either lost their homes or were forced to flee the region. Yardi Canada Ltd. set up a centralized housing registry for Alberta on the RentCafé website, which enabled landlords to list available rental accommodations for evacuees. Mainstreet Equity Corp. offered 100 apartments in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon with at least three months of free rent for Fort McMurray evacuees. Within the first 24 hours of making the offer, all 100 suites had been filled. Two days later, Mainstreet offered another 100 rental units in Edmonton. Boardwalk Rental Communities made hundreds of rental units available at no cost

20 | March 2019

to Fort McMurray evacuees on a short-term basis. Gatineau and Ottawa tornadoes On September 21, 2018, six tornadoes ripped through the Gatineau and Ottawa communities, leaving hundreds of people without power. The storms also caused severe damage to the Mont-Bleu neighbourhood, which is home to Skyline Living’s Les Jardins Radisson. Skyline Living’s staff worked with emergency services to help injured tenants and evacuate units safely, as well as assess the damage, implementing its Business Continuity Plan (BCP). R. Jason Ashdown, the company’s co-founder, and other staff members drove for six hours to bring tools and generators. They set up emergency power for their office to coordinate efforts, as well as keep tenants and their families informed of the situation. They implemented a system to allow tenants to collect belongings, set up care for pets, and set about cleaning and repairing the property. Skyline Living also arranged food drives, while other properties collected donations for the Red Cross.


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can be deployed on any one case, so a considerable challenge is knowing and understanding where time and energy is best spent. To mitigate this challenge, we employed the help of staff members from different departments within Skyline Living to provide us with their unique insight and expertise needed to ensure all tenants’ needs could be met.” Tenant cases are built and submitted to the Tenant Relief Committee, who decides on what resources and aid are required for each situation. For example, the committee has deployed resources for those who have not been able to work for long periods of time due to significant injuries. It also helped elderly tenants who could not continue living on their own to find a more accommodating place to live, while also providing assistance with the move. By working with tenants, Skyline Living is often able to find solutions that educate its tenants about the public resources available without having to resort to relying on the Tenant Relief Fund – but the fund is there when needed. “When launching this initiative, it was heartwarming to hear the response across all levels of our company,” said Ashdown. “We received an outpour of support from our board of directors, investors and staff all applauding us for making a company decision not based on the bottom line, but simply because it is the right thing to do. With our people backing us we knew it was already a success and a step in the right direction for both our tenants and our company culture.”

Doing good is part of doing business Skyline Living has ingrained community building into its business philosophy. Its founders have made charitable giving and giving back to the community central to the company’s existence. It operates a community outreach that includes staff volunteer days, food drives and a university scholarship program while also promoting field staff to

22 | June 2019

implement their own initiatives to strengthen their communities across Canada. Skyline Living places importance on the corporate and community service provider relationships they have fostered over the years in business. The company has invested in partnerships with many community nonprofits that echo its message of building strong communities. In partnering with organizations such as Shelldale Family Gateway, The Children’s Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters, Skyline Living has formed alliances that work to break the cycle of poverty in the community, with many community groups directly benefitting Skyline Living’s tenants. When private, public, government and community groups work together, more can get accomplished with fewer resources needed. “Making a difference in each Skyline Living community is very important to us,” said Ashdown. “As we continue to give back to our key charities, we also proactively search for even more exciting ways to strengthen the dozens of Skyline Living communities across Canada.”

Industry recognition Skyline Living has been consistently recognized for its accomplishments within the rental housing industry. Since 2012, it has received numerous M.A.C. (Marketing, Achievement & Construction) Awards from the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO), including Property Manager of the Year, Environmental Excellence, Rental Development of the Year, Community Award of Excellence, and others. The Skyline Group of Companies, Skyline Living’s parent company, was named as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for excellence in business performance from 2015 to 2019. In 2017, it was selected as an Aon Best Employer—Canada 2017, Gold Level for the second year in a row.


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Deveraux Group of Companies Making a difference in its communities Just over 10 years ago, Deveraux Homes was a small custom home builder.

Today, the company develops and manages multi-family rental properties in three provinces, provides affordable housing, and contributes to numerous local and regional charities. This dedication to being the best in its field, as well as supporting its tenants and its communities, has led to being recognized as Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Getting to know Deveraux Deveraux Homes originally launched in 2008, and started off by building custom homes in Regina. After purchasing an established apartment community, its owners recognized a need for more rental housing in the city, as Saskatchewan was experiencing an economic boom. There was also a lot of aging rental stock and a lack of new multi-family buildings. The company began building its own rental properties, which included a host of amenities and services that were designed to better meet tenants’ needs.

Deveraux Homes is now part of the Deveraux Group of Companies, which designs and develops multi-family properties (Deveraux Developments), owns and manages high quality rental buildings (Deveraux Apartment Communities), and runs a private equity firm that sources, owns and operates multi-family real estate developments (Deveraux Asset Management). It has also grown outside the province, building and managing rental properties in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary. Beyond its increased involvement in the rental housing industry, the company is having a positive impact on its tenants and the community.

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“We believe that our success is due to more than the efforts of one person, or even a few people on the management team,” said Denis Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s the result of the efforts of the entire group of people in the organization. We have an innovative and capable group, and that is what has made us so successful.”

Making a difference The Deveraux Group of Companies follows three tenets in running its business, building properties and dealing with clients, which are collectively referred to as the “Deveraux Difference.” These tenets include quality craftsmanship, masterful design and superior customer service. The company focuses on providing a high level of service and amenities, which includes on-site clubhouses that are staffed with a leasing and maintenance team. Its commitment to customer service extends through the tenant’s entire life cycle with the organization. “We make sure that the initial site visit is as pleasurable as possible so that there is no pressure on the tenant when they arrive,” said Jones. “We try to provide suites that are most convenient for meeting the tenants’ needs. For example, we will put tenants with specific physical needs in units that are closer to entrances and amenities, and families with children on ground floor units if desired. We also help with moveins, and ensure that maintenance visits are as seamless as possible.”

Earning industry recognition This year, the Deveraux Group of Companies was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. It is just the 19th company based in Saskatchewan that has received the award over the 26-year history of the program. This award goes to best-in-class Canadian owned and managed companies with revenues exceeding $15 million and that demonstrate strategy, capability and commitment to achieve sustainable growth. Program sponsors include Deloitte Private, CIBC, Canadian Business, Smith School of Business and TMX Group.

26 | June 2019

Denis Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer

An independent judging panel that includes representatives from program sponsors, as well as special guest judges, evaluate applicants to Canada’s Best Managed Companies. This year’s Best Managed companies share commonalities that include a clear strategy and vision, investment in capability and commitment to talent. “To be recognized with an award of this magnitude and to be honoured amongst such an esteemed group of businesses and business leaders, is both exciting and humbling,” said Jones. “We owe this success to our employees, clients and industry partners.” The Deveraux Group of Companies has received a number of industry awards over its relatively short history. In 2018, it was named Home Builder of the Year from the Regina and Region Home Builders Association (RRHBA). In 2017, the Regina Chamber of Commerce gave the company the Paragon Award for Community Involvement, and it won the Growth and Expansion Award at the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards. In 2016, the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA) jointly awarded Deveraux Developments and Deveraux Apartment Communities the Rental Development of the Year award.



Commitment to providing affordable housing The Deveraux Group of Companies has always been committed to making rental housing more affordable for tenants. It takes innovative approaches to building multi-family rental properties more quickly and more economically than the average. Understanding that some tenants need financial assistance to cover their rents, the company looked into ways that it could help to make this happen. In 2014, Deveraux Asset Management collaborated with the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) to develop and introduce the Capital Rent Subsidy (CRS) program, which funds the construction of purpose-built affordable rental units. In exchange for a grant through the program, developers can provide low-income tenants with rental housing at a substantial discount. Through the program, Deveraux Developments was able to provide 60 affordable rental housing units in Regina. It also used a similar program to create another 14 affordable rental housing units in the city. Through the CRS program, rents are set at 30 per cent below market rates, and they are kept at these rates for 10 years. SHC can renew the program to allow the Deveraux Group of Companies, as well as other developers of multi-family rental housing, to continue offering affordable rental units. Prospective tenants have to meet certain criteria, such as a maximum income level, established by SHC to qualify for the lower rents. The company has expanded its commitment to providing tenants with more affordable rents into other provinces. “We worked with Manitoba Housing under a similar program to create and manage 96 affordable housing units in the province,” said Jones. “Over the last five years, we’ve been able to develop more than 150 affordable housing units.”

Charitable and community involvement The Deveraux Group of Companies has shown great commitment to support its tenants, as well as the communities in which its employees live and work. It provides donations and fundraising to various charities and organizations, engages in service mentorship and leadership, and actively volunteers to assist community-based organizations.

28 | June 2019

In 2018, the company launched the Deveraux Cares Employee Volunteer Program, which supports community-based organizations and aligns employees’ interests and passions with people in the community who need support and assistance. The program started with the Deveraux Cares Clothing Drive, which raised more than 10,000 pieces of clothing, including gently used professional, casual and outerwear clothing, for local non-profit organizations throughout Regina. Examples of its involvement with local, regional and national charities include: • Contributing funds for every home it has built over the last five years to Ronald McDonald House Saskatchewan, which provides accommodation for families of sick children traveling to Saskatoon to receive medical treatment • Partnering with Street Culture Project, a Reginabased non-profit charitable organization that works to empower vulnerable youth within the community, by setting up programs to help street youth to enter the workforce • Providing free renovations for the facilities of the North Central Community Association soup kitchen, which provides people with warm meals • Donating funding, resources and ageappropriate Christmas gifts to My Aunt’s Place, a permanent facility operated by YWCA Regina that provides housing to homeless single women and women with children • Working with the Regina Open Door Society, a non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services to refugees and immigrants in Regina • Supporting Hope’s Home, which provides necessary care for children with complex medical needs, their siblings and typically developing children from the community; this includes daycare services, early learning and development programming, respite services, supportive living as well as transition care “We don’t do this for recognition, but to reinforce our obligation to pay it forward,” said Jones. “We encourage our partners in the industry to do the same.”


rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 29


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CFAA-RHC 2019 – What should I expect? The CFAA Rental Housing Conference (RHC) is at the forefront of current and future issues in Canada’s rental housing industry. The conference brings together rental executives, regional managers, property managers, landlords, apartment association leaders, rental housing suppliers, and many others involved in the rental housing industry. The Conference provides networking opportunities, discussions on key topics, and insights into new techniques and technologies. CFAA-RHC 2019 takes place May 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Toronto. Choose among 25 sessions with more than 60 speakers, as well as the Suppliers Council Showcase, Building Innovations Tour, Networking Reception and CFAA Awards Dinner. What should YOU attend to get the most out of your conference experience?

EDUCATION DAY 1 For all attendees The morning keynote speech from Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist of CIBC World Markets, is filled with insight and humour. He provides on update on the World and North American economies and how they will impact rental housing in Canada, with information on the likely path of interest rates, rental demand, the housing market and the job market. The Executive Round Table brings together executives from Canada’s leading rental housing providers. Kris Boyce of Greenwin Inc, Todd Cook of Northview REIT, Alfred Hendry of Homestead Land Holdings Limited and Tyler Seaman of Oxford Properties Group will address questions such as: What are the current challenges to buying or selling apartment assets from the perspective of a REIT, institution or private company? What advantages are there to buying new or developing?

32 | June 2019

What challenges and opportunities face the rental industry? After lunch, identify your role in the political landscape at “Influencing Government.” Learn how to help your local, provincial and/or federal governments make decisions that help rental housing providers.

For small or medium-sized rental housing providers As a small or medium-sized rental housing provider (fewer than 1,500 units), you wear multiple hats. If you run the operations, check out the Operations Round Table and “Rental market reporting in Canada.” “Energy and Building Retrofits” will teach you about issues to consider in retrofitting your buildings. “Improving the public perception of landlords” will help you learn how to change how people view landlords, and how to make that change work for you.

For property managers Consider “Tornado: One company’s response,” a discussion about the actions that one company took in the wake of a disaster. You may also be interested in “Artificial Intelligence,” “Energy and Building Retrofits” and the Operations Round Table.

For rental housing executives Rental executives may benefit from attending “Artificial Intelligence,” “Improving the public perception of landlords,” “Rental market reporting in Canada” and “Corporate Social Responsibility by rental housing providers.”

EDUCATION DAY 2 For all attendees Steve Clark, Ontario Minister of Housing, will provide an update on the Ontario Housing Action Supply Plan. Attendees will benefit from the knowledge he will bring from his department, and


the government at large, about their positions on rental housing. Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis, co-authors of the Haider-Moranis bulletin, are keynote speakers. Don’t miss their session “The economics and politics of rental housing development.” Keynote speaker (and NHL commentator) Greg Millen will take the stage to close out the conference with “Leadership through Courage and Teamwork.”

For small or medium-sized rental housing providers Check out the breakout sessions “Serving the tenants of today,” “Digital Marketing Trends and Analytics” and “CMHC support for Affordable Rental Housing.”

For property managers To help you learn more about your employees, and your own career trajectory, check out the breakout sessions on “Employment law update” and “Steps to Success,” which features rental housing executives who have worked their way up in the industry. To learn more about selecting the right tenants, and helping existing tenants thrive, check out “Modern Tenant Screening Practices” and “Building communities of people within rental communities.”

For rental housing executives Learn more about new construction of rental housing, and the financing available, in sessions such as “Benefits of new purpose-built rentals,” “Planning --- to get rental housing built” and “CMHC support for affordable rental housing.” Other sessions that will interest rental executives are “Developing a Strong Corporate Identity” and “The Internet of Things.”

Conclusion Whatever role you play in the rental housing industry, CFAA-RHC 2019 has great information to offer. You can’t take it all in, but you can maximize your learning experience by choosing sessions that apply most to you. The networking opportunities and Suppliers Council Showcase are also of great value because of the people you can meet and the opportunities to grow your network. CFAA-RHC 2020 takes place next May in Halifax. CFAA will present new topics of interest to rental executives, regional managers, property managers, key rental employees and hands-on landlords. Plan to learn a lot, attend the CFAA Awards Dinner and have a great time!

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JUNE 2019

A modest income tax improvement By John Dickie, CFAA President While the federal government has long been reluctant to improve the tax position of rental housing, the government recently made a small improvement for some investors who acquire property after November 20, 2018. That is an accelerated Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) for depreciable capital property, including rental buildings. Instead of being able to claim 2 per cent CCA in the first year, a new owner can claim 6 per cent in certain circumstances. However, many owners cannot claim the full CCA in the first few years of owning a property because CCA cannot be used to create or increase a loss. In other words, while a property is losing money, CCA cannot be claimed at all. CFAA has long sought an increase in the CCA rate for rental buildings. Besides seeking a higher CCA rate, CFAA has also sought other measures which would make the CCA more useful, such as the ability to pool assets so that CCA on one property can apply against income from another property, or the elimination of the rule preventing CCA from creating or increasing a loss. In addition, we want to expand and clarify the ability to claim expensive building improvement work as repairs (rather than capital improvements), even though the work provides a better item for the building than the item that was replaced (e.g. replacing mid-efficiency boilers with high efficiency boilers). We received a positive reaction from the Department of Finance officials we met to make that pitch, and have acquired support from the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and the Minister of Natural Resources. The meetings were organized by Robert McCreight of the Capital Hill Group,

who is CFAA’s new lead external government relations person. We met the officials with Robert and with Len Farber, a consultant on tax policy, who was the General Director, Tax Policy Branch, at the Department of Finance from 1973 to 2005. Len’s unique insight has helped to hone our tax reform message, focusing on what stands the best chance of success. All CFAA’s proposals should benefit many landlords or developers directly, and benefit all landlords and developers indirectly by making rental housing a more attractive investment. All the proposals are pitched as ways of increasing housing supply in order to improve affordability. In doing so, CFAA is showing the government that by working with the rental industry through those measures, they will also be advancing their goals to address climate change, and to improve housing affordability conditions in Toronto, Vancouver and everywhere in Canada. With a Federal election set to occur in October 2019, now is the best time to influence the parties’ election platforms. If the on-going CFAA direct membership drive continues to raise the necessary funding, CFAA will continue with Robert’s work throughout this summer and into the future, to solidify and advance CFAA’s total lobbying efforts. JOIN CFAA as a direct member TODAY! Your support will help ensure our industry can achieve a better tax and regulatory environment, increase in professionalism, and continue to grow for years to come. Visit www.CFAA-FCAPI.org, or e-mail admin@cfaa-fcapi.org

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NATIONAL OUTLOOK Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan – a possible model By John Dickie

On May 2, Ontario Housing Minister Steve Clark released the Housing Supply Action Plan, More Homes, More Choice, and introduced legislation to enact it. Many of the changes involve the planning process for new development of single family homes, rental buildings and the “missing middle” (such as townhouses, stacked units, mid-rise condos or apartment buildings). The systems of land use control and development approval vary across Canada. They tend to be more onerous in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver, but there is considerable variation unrelated to city size. In January 2018, RHB Magazine wrote about the features of municipal planning and how planning and development charges can get in the way of much needed rental development. The Ontario reforms address three key areas which were identified in that article. Planning approvals The time limits for municipal decisions are being shortened. For example, for zoning changes, the current time limit of 150 days is to be cut to 90 days. Changes will be introduced to allow the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal to make decisions based on the best planning outcome, resurrecting the province’s power to overrule municipal decisions rejecting new development.

application, guaranteeing they will not increase as a project works its way through the planning approval process. Currently, DCs are payable when the building permit is issued. Under the Action Plan, DCs for purpose-built rentals and non-profit housing will be deferred until occupancy begins, and then be payable over five years. Section 37 impositions Section 37 of the Planning Act allows a municipality to authorize increases in height or density in exchange for the payment of a community benefit charge by the developer. Such charges apply in Greater Vancouver as well. In most municipalities, projects are subject to individual negotiations, creating a great uncertainty about what the municipality will demand, and unrealistic demands can kill a project. To developers, the negotiations often feel like extortion, as the city points to the value of gaining the extra density, and tries to extract a substantial piece of that value. The Action Plan will roll together s.37 impositions, parkland requirements and soft service DCs into one community benefit charge. A “community benefits authority” will be established to set a cap on the amount that each municipality can charge for those services, which will be a percentage of the value of each property. Some housing types will be exempt through regulation. Some or all purpose-built rental development could potentially be exempt from those charges entirely.

In the Action Plan, the government is creating a distinction between development charges (“DCs’) for hard services (like roads) and soft services (like new libraries).

The proposed system will also give the cities incentive to zone all properties at higher height and density limits. Higher pre-zoning can really enable redevelopment because the property owner can know that a certain height or density is available as of right, eliminating the need for a lengthy, costly and risky rezoning application.

DCs for hard services will continue to be set largely in the way they are now, with two major improvements. DC rates will be locked in at the earliest of the date of sub-division approval, zoning application or site plan

All of those are very helpful reforms to address Ontario’s housing crisis by expanding the supply of relatively affordable housing from the private sector. For more details, see page 49.

Development Charges

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH NATIONAL OUTLOOK? Sign-up for CFAA’s National Outlook e-newsletter to receive up-to-date news on what is happening across Canada, as well as industry insights and insider information on CFAA happenings. Email communication@cfaa-fcapi.org to start receiving National Outlook today!

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 37


JUNE 2019

Rental Housing Awards Finalists On Tuesday, May 14, CFAA will recognize the winners of its fourth annual Rental Housing Awards Program at the CFAA Awards Dinner 2019 in downtown Toronto. The winners will include leading rental housing providers, rental employees, and rental housing suppliers. All the finalists are great examples of excellence. Here are the finalists in the various categories.

New Product of the Year • The Snaile Automated Parcel & Smart Lockers by Snaile Canada automate the receiving and pickup of all inbound deliveries, allowing for autonomous 24/7 self-service. • SuiteSpot by SuiteSpot Technology is a software platform for operations and maintenance management for the multifamily real-estate industry, allowing users access to all necessary data, and providing them with dashboards and robust reporting capababilities. • The Sumpie Sump Pump Sensor by Alert Labs is an easy-to-install, commercial-grade sensor that monitors sump pit water levels and sends alerts in real-time, even in the event of a power outage.

New Service of the Year • My Portal by Payquad Solutions is resident-facing tenant portal which allows tenants access to many property services at their fingertips, while at the same time, management can control every aspect from their own manager portal. • Rental Inspection Service by Canadian Tenant Inspection Services Ltd. ensures that the owner’s investment is protected, and the owner’s insurance policy is validated, while alerting the investor to potential risks, deficiencies and misuse, and deterring criminal activity. • Rental Parking Management with iStall Pro by iStall.ca is a combination of three systems: world class visitor management system, an automated mapbased point-and-click reserved parking stall management, and a graduated white glove enforcement model which always puts the needs of the tenant first.

38 | June 2019


NATIONAL OUTLOOK Rental Housing Provider of the Year • Hollyburn Properties Limited Hollyburn was nominated for their partnership with Covenant House, Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER), and their financial contributions to local hospitals and schools. As part of their partnership with Covenant House and SAFER, Hollyburn has dedicated ten rental units to youth and senior housing (in Vancouver and Toronto). For Covenant House, youth participants are given a dramatically subsidized rent for one full year. At the end of the year, they are eligible to keep all the furniture in the unit, and to a refund of all of the rent they paid. Hollyburn’s financial donations have totaled over six million dollars.

• Sifton Properties Limited Sifton is celebrating the Sifton Family Foundation 30th anniversary, and their commitment to “netzero” housing. Sifton has cultivated an office ethos that encourages employee volunteering and charitable donation. In 2018, Sifton employees exceeded their goal of 950 hours by providing 2,440 hours of volunteering! Two Sifton projects are on track to achieving a “netzero” effect on their local environment. “West 5”, the first net-zero community in Ontario, generated 601,300 KWh of solar energy. “Helio” will produce as much energy as it uses – a first for Canada’s high-rises.

• Skyline Living To help address Canada’s housing crisis, Skyline has developed a Tenant Relief Committee, which will assist tenants who have fallen on hard times and are at risk of losing their homes. The team at Skyline connects tenants with community and government resources, and offers financial assistance through their Tenant Relief Fund. The Tenant Relief Fund is $200,000 annually to help tenants who have exhausted all other options. These human and financial resources are Skyline’s way of supporting tenants who have, for 20 years, supported Skyline. See page 16 for more details.

CFAA Suppliers Council Member of the Year

Marketing Program Excellence of the Year Lease-Up • Carrington Ridge – Skyline Living • Cinque – Drewlo Holdings • The Livmore – Vertica Resident Services

Social Media • Selfie to End Youth Violence – Greenwin Inc. • Sifton Properties Limited • #WhyWeRent – Hollyburn Properties Limited

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 39


JUNE 2019

Rental Development of the Year High-Rise • The Alexander – 5121 Bishop Street, Halifax by Killam Apartment REIT • The Livmore – 55 Gerrard Street West, Toronto by Vertica Resident Services • Vision at Pay Bayly Square – 73 Bayly Street West, Ajax by Medallion

The Alexander

The Livmore

Vision

Low-Rise • Carrington Ridge – 3615, 3625, 3635 Carrington Road, West Kelowna by Skyline Living • Cinque – 660-700 Garibaldi Avenue, London by Drewlo Holdings • Parkplace Towns – 5401 Beacon Drive, Regina by North Prairie Developments Ltd.

Carrington Ridge

Cinque

Parkplace Towns

Renovation of the Year Building Makeover • 411 Duplex Avenue, Toronto by CAPREIT • Lougheed Village – 9500 & 9502 Erickson Drive & 9303 & 9304 Salish Court, Burnaby by Starlight Investments • Malibu Apartments – 1979 Pandosy Street, Kelowna by Skyline Living Common Area • The Berkshire Club – 500 Berkshire Drive, London by Sifton Properties Limited • Minto High Park Village – 111 Pacific Avenue, Toronto by Minto Apartments • 77 Parkwoods Village Drive, Toronto by Starlight Investments Suite Renovation • 30 Clark Avenue, Thornhill by Starlight Investments • 450 Dallas Road, Victoria by Starlight Investments • 2160 Lakeshore Road, Burlington by Vertica Resident Services

40 | June 2019


NATIONAL OUTLOOK Property Manager of the Year • Micheline AbouZeid, Property Manager at Skyline Living (Guelph) • Jennifer Bateman-Hatch, Senior Operations Manager at CAPREIT (Halifax) • Ashly Chamberlain, Property Manager at Greenwin Inc. (Toronto)

On-Site Employee of the Year • Elizabeth Ball, Resident Services Supervisor at Shiplake Properties (Toronto) • Line Poulin, Community Leader at Skyline Living (Gatineau) • Dwayne Whitford & Marshal De Souza, CoResident Apartment Superintendents at M&R Property Management (Toronto)

Off-Site Employee of the Year

• Jonathan Bursey, Maintenance Supervisor at Hollyburn Properties Limited (Toronto) • Danielle Cannon, Customer Service Coordinator at Skyline Living (Guelph) • Chris Jacobson, Maintenance Manager at Sifton Properties Limited (Guelph)

Conclusion

CFAA thanks the many applicants, and judges, who made the CFAA Awards Program possible. Check out the next issue of RHB Magazine, or visit www.cfaafcapi.org to find out the winners! For more information about CFAA or its Awards Program, contact Jeremy Newman at 613-235-0101 or at awards@cfaa-fcapi.org.

CFAA Rental Housing Compensation Survey 2019-2020 The only Canadian survey of rental housing employee compensation and benefits. Find out market compensation for all key positions in the sector, at the city or provincial level. Participate to receive discounted rates to purchase the survey. Email admin@cfaafcapi.org. Visit www.cfaa-fcapi.org for more information.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 41


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RHB’s forum for rental housing associations to share news, events and industry information

Hot Topics: WRAMA discusses the recent amalgamation consultation by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, as well as WRAMA’s recent events and meetings. pg.45 EOLO explains the recent changes to development charges and development approvals announced by the Ontario government in the Housing Supply Action Plan. pg. 49 HDAA provides tips on how to effectively market your rental property. pg. 53 LPMA describes the risks that landlords face when renting to seniors, and what steps can be taken to minimize those risks. pg. 57

The Member Associations


44 | March 2019


WRAMA Signature Event May 8, 2019 The Tannery Event Centre, Kitchener Master of Ceremonies Brian Bourke Kitchener Today - 570 NEWS Featuring Scott Higgins President, HIP Developments “Building More Than Just Real Estate” Keynote Speaker Tony Irwin President & CEO, Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario “No Vacancy: Tackling Ontario’s Rental Housing Supply Crisis”

President’s message Amalgamation Consultation - People Make Communities - DEADLINE MAY 21, 2019 The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has launched its Consultation: Regional government review “...to ensure that...municipalities are providing the vital services that residents and local businesses depend on.” The review seeks input on eight regional governments (Durham, Halton, Muskoka District, Niagara, Oxford County, Peel, Waterloo, York), Simcoe County and their lower-tier municipalities. A total of 82 municipalities are included in the review. The impact of this review on rental housing provision in Waterloo Region is extremely important. Waterloo Region is the upper tier government covering the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener, and

Cambridge and the townships of Wellesley, Woolwich, North Dumfries and Wilmot. Of all those seven lower tier municipalities, only the City of Waterloo licenses landlords. Licensing landlords goes against federal, provincial and regional policy, which seeks to encourage the provision of rental housing. If licensing was an upper tier responsibility, there is a good chance that licensing would not be applied anywhere in Waterloo Region. The Landlord and Tenant Board, a provincial tribunal, calls licensing costs an “extraordinary increase in municipal taxes and charges” with this decision being upheld by the Superior Court of Justice in a ruling on December 7, 2017. It is a tax. The licensing requirement for a police record check violates The Police Record Checks Reform Act, passed in December 2015 by a vote of 93-0 at Queen’s Park, and became law on November 1, 2018, fundamentally changing the rules around what police can tell prospective employers, volunteer agencies and foreign governments about Ontarians. The police check reform legislation was prompted by The Toronto Star’s Presumed Guilty investigation that revealed tens of thousands of Canadians have records in police databases despite never having been convicted of a crime. Disclosure of those records has undermined careers and educations, crushed ambitions and limited international travel, the investigation showed. In many cases, it ruined lives. Considering the way licensing has unfolded in the City of Waterloo, most people think landlords would be better off if the cities and townships in the Region of Waterloo were amalgamated into an upper tier city, or at least licensing power in the City of Waterloo were moved to the upper tier. Rental licensing would not stand the test at a regional government level. It is in the best interest of rental housing providers to complete the consultation by May 21, 2019 by following this link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/consultationregional-government-review#section-3. Even after the closing date, people can contact their local MPP.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 45


WRAMA Trade Fair The annual WRAMA Trade Fair took place on April 10, 2019 at Bingemans Event Centre in Kitchener. With vendors and partners supporting best practices in rental housing provision, the event provided an opportunity for those attending to learn about the latest products and services that can help their business. Trade Fair Chairperson Darlene Rehman and WRAMA Administrator Sandy Knapp worked tirelessly with former Chairperson Veronika Mithchell to make the event a success for everyone!

ARC Apartment Resident Concierge

Best Value Appliances

YARDI

Region of Waterloo

The Cleaning House

Darlene Rehman, Chairperson, WRAMA Trade Fair

WRAMA thanks City of Cambridge Fire Prevention and Richardson Fire Systems Sincere thanks to Richardson Fire Systems’ Jean Howitt, Owner & CEO, and Laney Marshall, VP Operations, for sharing their expertise and experience at the WRAMA event on March 13, 2019. Complementing the presentation by City of Cambridge Fire Prevention Officer Ralph Schmidt, the evening was informative and very helpful in supporting best practices in keeping people and property safe from fire. Prizes donated from Richardson Fire Systems were a fantastic addition to the night!

(l-r) Ralph Schmidt, Andrew Macallum, Jean Howitt and Laney Marshall

WRAMA at Region of Waterloo On March 19, 2019, WRAMA thanked the Region of Waterloo Administration and Finance Committee for recommending that staff review the taxation of multi-residential properties and report back with recommendations to the committee in the fall of 2019. The intention of the review is to assess the present property tax class ratio for residential set at 1.0 vs. new multi-residential set at 1.0 vs. multi-residential set at 1.95.

46 | June 2019


WRAMA meets with Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife

WRAMA at Hamilton District Apartment Association

WRAMA is grateful for time spent with Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife on March 29, 2019. President Andrew Macallum presented a letter to MPP Fife, which was copied to the Waterloo MPP Catherine Fife and WRAMA Mayor and Counsellors president Andrew Macallum at the City of Waterloo, highlighting the significance of small rental housing providers being part of the solution to the housing issues that Ontarians are facing today. The full text of the letter can be found posted at WRAMA’s Facebook page. MPP Fife was particularly interested in a requirement by the City of Waterloo’s rental license application for a police check and its reconciliation with Bill 113, Police Record Checks Reform Act, 2015, a bill she was involved with during its creation, debate and Royal Assent at Queen’s Park. WRAMA thanks MPP Fife for welcoming and engaging in this timely conversation.

WRAMA president Andrew Macallum was included on a speaker panel at HDAA’s afternoon event on April 16, 2019 called Rental Housing: Supply vs Demand. Together with the presidents of LPMA & HDAA, WRAMA spoke about the struggles and successes each municipality is facing and what policies are important for associations to help make a positive change for all housing providers.

(l-r) Guest Moderator Danny Roth; LPMA President Lisa Smith; WRAMA President Andrew Macallum; HDAA President Arun Pathak; FRPO President Tony Irwin

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Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan is welcome news By John Dickie, Chair, Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization On May 2, Ontario Housing Minister, Steve Clark, released the Housing Supply Action Plan, More Homes, More Choice, and introduced legislation to enact it. The plan adopts several key recommendations that EOLO and the Federation of Rental Housing-providers of Ontario (FRPO) made in our respective submissions to the government in January. The plan acknowledges that the waiting times at the Landlord and Tenant Board are far too long, and promises to hire more adjudicators to reduce the delays. (We understand that further reforms to the LTB system will be addressed in the next few months.) Many of the changes have to do with the planning process for new development of single family homes, rental buildings and the “missing middle” (such as townhouses, stacked units, mid-rise condos or apartment buildings). The government is reforming several significant aspects of the system of land use control and development approval. There are welcome reforms to development charges, planning appeals and timelines, and even to the protection of endangered species, but this is not a root and branch reform. Reasonable environmentalists should not be upset, as the government is not touching the Greenbelt, which restricts development immediately around Toronto.

Planning approvals In our submissions in the consultation that led up to the Action Plan, EOLO called for the Province to: • Establish higher levels of development as of right in many more areas and locations, especially in areas well served by existing or planned transit lines. • Require municipalities to deal with applications for approval within prompt time lines. FRPO called for the Province to: • Restore certainty and familiar procedure to

planning appeals. End the “two-step” appeals process. • Ensure the OMB/LPAT is appropriately resourced. Time lines The time limits for municipal decisions are being amended as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Time limits for municipal decisions Decision

Current time limit

Action Plan time limit

Official plans

210 days

120 days

Zoning by-laws

150 days

90 days

Plans of sub-division

180 days

120 days

Local Planning Appeals Tribunal Changes will be introduced to allow the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) to make decisions based on the best planning outcome. That in effect resurrects the Province’s power to overrule municipal decisions against new development. Such municipal decisions are often based on NIMBYism, when residents say they are OK with development, but ‘Not in My Back Yard’. In addition, the number of LPAT adjudicators will be increased and case management powers introduced to address the backlog of approvals, many of which date from the days of the Ontario Municipal Board. Those moves are all extremely welcome. EOLO hopes the increase in resources and the restored powers work out well in practice.

Development charges With respect to development charges (DCs), EOLO called for the Province to mandate modest and declining maximums for DCs, with charges that vary with unit size. Recognizing how important the DCs are to the municipalities, FRPO called for the Province to reduce DCs for infill projects. In the Action Plan, the government is creating a

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distinction between DCs for hard services (like roads to serve a development) and soft services (like new libraries to serve the added population brought by a new development). Development charges for hard services will continue to be set largely in the way they are now, with two major improvements. In most circumstances, DC rates will be locked in at the earliest of the date of sub-division approval, zoning application or site plan application. That provides for certainty that the DCs will not increase as a project works its way through the planning approval process. In addition, under the current law, DCs are payable when the building permit is issued, which creates a demand for cash early in the construction process before any revenue is being received. Under the Action Plan reforms, DCs for purpose-built rental projects and non-profit housing will be deferred until occupancy, and then be payable over five years. The municipalities may be able to charge interest on the deferred DCs. Those are positive changes which will reduce uncertainty, and moderate future increases in the DCs for hard services. The deferral will help with the developer’s cash flow. Provided the interest rate is reasonable, the deferral will also help manage overall costs for the development, helping to make housing more affordable.

Section 37 impositions Section 37 of the Planning Act allows a municipality to authorize increases in height or density in exchange for the payment of a community benefit charge by the developer. In most municipalities, each project is subject to an individual negotiation, so that there is great uncertainty about what the municipality will demand, and unrealistic demands can kill a project. To developers, the negotiations often feel like extortion, as the city points to the value of gaining the extra density, and tries to extract a substantial piece of that value. With respect to s.37, EOLO called for the Province to: • Eliminate s.37 of the Planning Act, and all similar municipal demands on developers. • Ensure owners can re-develop existing rental properties without undue impediments. FRPO called for the Province to: • Ensure local zoning is up to date to avoid the misuse of Section 37 of the Planning Act. The Action Plan makes significant reforms. The Action Plan will roll together s.37 impositions, parkland requirements and soft services DCs into one charge to be known as a community benefits charge. A “community benefits authority” will be established to set a cap on the amount that each municipality can charge for all those services. The cap will be specified as a percentage of the value of each property. That will almost certainly be the value of the property before the increase in height or density. Some housing types will be exempt through regulation. Some or all purpose-built rental development could potentially be exempt from those charges entirely. The new system may have a beneficial side effect. Under the current system, there is an incentive

50 | June 2019


for the city to keep the zoning limits low, so that the increase had the most value and the city could extract the higher s.37 imposition. Under the proposed system, the city will have incentive to zone all properties at highest height and density limits because that will raise the amount they can charge as a community benefit (since it will be set as a percentage of the value of the property under the existing zoning). Higher pre-zoning can really enable redevelopment because the property owner can know that a certain height or density is available as of right, without needing a lengthy, costly and risky re-zoning application.

Density/NIMBYism

EOLO and FRPO both called for already developed areas to be zoned for increased density, and for the government to take steps to stop NIMBYism from blocking development. As noted above, changes will be introduced to allow the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) to make decisions based on the best planning outcome. That in effect takes back the Province’s power to overrule municipal decisions against new development. In addition, under the Action Plan, the Province is giving itself more power to fast-track and intensify new housing around

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major transit stations and in some employment lands. As well, the municipalities will be required to allow secondary suites in homes. That reform will work with the exemption from rent control for those rental units as announced in November. All of those are very helpful reforms for expanding the supply of relatively affordable housing from the private sector, thus addressing Ontario’s housing crisis.

Conclusion

FRPO issued a statement applauding the vision, and the courage, of the government in taking bold action to address the housing supply shortfall, and making more purpose-built rental housing available for Ontarians who need it. EOLO agrees that the proposed changes are significant steps in the right direction, and joins FRPO is praising the government’s Housing Supply Action Plan. We will eagerly await reforms to the Landlord and Tenant Board processes to go along with the additional adjudicators promised to help speed up decision making at that Board.

We Make Buildings Work

KINGSTON

t: 519.472.7640 • e: info@callidus.ca • w: www.callidus.ca • 1385 North Routledge Park, Unit 9 London, ON N6H 5N5

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President’s message Do you know how to help your tenants? Many times, housing providers are the ones at ground zero when tenants have issues with mental health, drug abuse, income instability and senior isolation. Knowing where to direct them for help is the best way to avoid a long-term issue and quickly solve problems to avoid housing loss. Every housing provider should have a list of contacts to call or provide for your tenants. Here are a few that work in the HDAA area: Hamilton Housing Help Centre: They provide a small short-term interest-free loan for moving expenses, appliance and house repairs, landlord court fees and last month or a utility bill. They also have a housing stability program that assists with arrears and bed bug prevention. Your tenants can also apply for assistance on utilities through LEAP (low-income energy assistance program). OW recipients can apply through their OW case manager. ODSP recipients and people on low income can apply directly to the Hamilton Housing Help Centre. Call 905-526-8100 or visit www.housinghelpcentre.ca. COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team): COAST is a multidisciplinary team consisting of child and youth crisis workers, mental health workers, nurses, social workers and plainclothes police officers. This group can help when your tenant is having mental health issues; they have specialists to help kids, adults and seniors. Call 905-972-8338 or visit www.coasthamilton.ca. Catholic Family Services Gatekeepers program: This program supports individuals in Hamilton and Halton who are at risk of eviction or homelessness due to extreme personal and domestic neglect, which is also known as Diogenes Syndrome. Call 905-527-3823 x 279 or visit www.cfshw.com/ gatekeepers.

The Health Line: This is a great resource for lists of local service providers like food banks, senior care, in-home help, mental health, disabilities and addiction. Visit www. hnhbhealthline.ca. - Arun Pathak, President

Recent Events April 16 Trade Show & Keynote Speaker Event

left to right: Danny Roth (Brandon Communications), Tony Irwin (FRPO), Lisa Smith (LPMA), Anrew Macallum (WRAMA) and Arun Pathak (HDAA)

It was another successful show this year! We had over 60 vendors showcasing Housing Providers attending the Keynote presentation their products, giving out information and of course SWAG. This year the door prizes were given out to those who participated in the PLINKO game, which was a huge success. We were proud to have the presidents of FRPO, WRMA, LPMA and HDAA discuss the industry during the keynote speaker portion of the trade show. They talked about working together to help improve the industry and

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shared some insights into where they thought changes needed to be made. April 17 Spring Hope Food Drive Over 60 vendors showcased their The PLINKO game was a fun way to give We had another products at the Trade Show this year! away prizes! successful Spring Hope Food Drive this year. We even collected food from our vendors who participated in our Trade Show. We want to thank everyone who contributed and all the tenants and staff who volunteered their time to collect the food. We especially want to thank the food banks for doing such a great job of picking up the food in a timely manner. There are Bernie Parent and Robin Bailey from a lot of buildings The Burlington Food Bank with a that participate portion of the food collected from Thanks to our Vendors each year and all HDAA members! who also contributed to the Spring Hope Food the pickups are Drive during the trade done by volunteers. show (Bryce Cheeseman

Upcoming Events

from Garland Canada Inc. pictured here)

June 18 Golf Tournament Our annual Golf Tournament is just around the corner! We are having it at Century Pines Golf Course again this year, with an 11 AM check-in & lunch. Dinner and tournament prizes are at 5 PM. 2019 Rates: • Platinum ($2,500): green fees, lunch, electric cart, dinner for 4, hole sponsorship, signs at registration, company name on carts, logo on PowerPoint at dinner • Gold ($1,000): green fees, lunch, electric cart, dinner for 4 people, hole sponsorship with sign on hole • Foursome ($750): green fees, lunch, use of electric cart, dinner for 4 people • Single Foursome ($750): green fees, lunch, electric cart, dinner for 1 person • Hole Sponsor ($300): hole sponsorship, sign on hole

Where to begin to market your rental? Marketing your rental is one of the most important aspects of being a real estate investor. The rents you get determine your monthly cash flow, your ability to refinance, and your ability to buy more rental properties. Learning how to market your rental properties can be the difference between a successful and failed investment. These five tips make marketing your properties a breeze.

54 | June 2019


1 – Post your rental on every online listing marketplace for maximum exposure. You can do this manually, or use a third-party service. 2 – Take photos with blinds open on a sunny day. A well-lit apartment looks larger, and is more appealing to prospective tenants. 3 – Take a lot of photos, and make sure you highlight open spaces or unique features that make your rental stand out. 4 – Let potential tenants schedule showings online or through text to increase the likelihood of showings. 5 – Many markets have a prime leasing season in the summer when most students are looking for new housing. Showings Once your property is listed, it’s time for showings. Before a showing, turn on all of the lights and open the windows so the home feels bright. It’s very important that you have an appealing front yard, as it’s the first thing a potential tenant will see. You don’t need to have an expensive or complicated yard; it just needs to be clean and well kept. A nicely trimmed yard is more appealing than an overgrown garden. In our properties we aim for nice grass and a couple of plants that require minimal watering and maintenance. When your potential tenant arrives, be sure to smile, and seem excited to show them the apartment. Make sure you talk up the best features of the apartment and try to learn a bit about their needs so you can

focus on how your apartment is a perfect place for them to live. In hot markets you can schedule multiple showings at the same time to create demand from other tenants. Understanding tenant needs and the market In my experience, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that allow dogs rent the fastest. A fenced in backyard and off-street parking are a must for some tenants, and having both will get your units rented much faster. The best way to understand the appeal of your apartment is to show your unit yourself for the first couple of showings. Hearing what potential tenants like and dislike about your unit will give you a good idea of whether it’s priced correctly, and how you can improve in the future. Sometimes a tenant will offer to sign a lease provided that you make some repairs or additions to the property. While this might be a good way to get your apartment leased quickly, you end up renting to a tenant who has excessive expectations or unreasonable demands. It’s better to wait for a good tenant than to rent to the first warm body who can pay the rent. Remember that tenants who are busy with work or travel usually put less wear on your properties. Maria Rekrut, President and Founder, Niagara Landlords Association

Hamilton and District Landlords Since 1960, the Hamilton and District Apartment Association has grown significantly. Our members manage over of 30,000 units throughout Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Guelph, Mississauga, Oakville, St. Catharines and into the Niagara Peninsula. The association is a highly respected organization, sought out regularly by government, industry, media and the public.

Interested? Call us or join online! Ph: 289-208-5445 Web: www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca Mailing address: PO Box 33522 Dundurn Road, Hamilton ON L8P 4X4

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Comfy living for tenants. Comfy energy bills for you. We’ll cover up to 50% of the cost when you upgrade to high-efficiency equipment The Affordable Housing Conservation Program provides financial incentives for high-efficiency space and water heating equipment, heat recovery, building automation systems and more.

Visit uniongas.com/affordablehousing to learn more.


President’s message Looking back As my two-year term as president comes to an end, I’ve begun to reflect on LPMA’s accomplishments. These include the changes that LPMA made to the standard lease and the creation of the terms and conditions, as well as the formation of a printable and electronic version of the rental application and lease. Our members have access to the best forms, and associations throughout Ontario have purchased them as well. On the topic of cannabis, we wondered how legalization in October 2018 was going to affect our members and tenants. The consensus indicates that nothing has happened and the fear of the unknown has simply gone up in smoke. It has been an honour to chair LPMA. I would like to thank the board of directors, members and the industry for their support. In May we welcome Shannon Kiekens as the new president and we wish her all the best. - Lisa Smith, President

Balancing risks when renting to seniors Dealing with elderly residents who are having trouble looking after themselves is often a matter of balancing risks: risk to those tenants and their neighbours in the event of a fire, as well as risk to landlords who may breach their residents’ right to privacy in an effort to find them the help they need. However, those potential conflicts are outweighed by the consequences of doing nothing, experts say. “At the end of the day, when you’re balancing risk to the individual themselves in the unit and risk to the tenants around the unit, the landlord is obliged to exercise a standard of care, which is to take measures to have it addressed,” says London lawyer Joe Hoffer. With improved health care, seniors are living longer and it’s relatively easy for them to remain almost indefinitely in their apartments. Residential

buildings are designed for easy movement, and accessibility standards dictate that landlords retrofit their buildings to include such features as automatic door openers and hazardfree corridors. “Accessibility, convenience and ease Joe Hoffer of access and egress are all factors that allow a senior person to stay independently in an apartment longer than they would if they had a single-family home,” Hoffer notes. Landlords often discover there’s a problem with an elderly tenant when a neighbour expresses concern about the individual due to careless smoking or food being left to cook unattended. Alternatively, the building manager could discover a problem while performing an annual inspection and, “it’s pretty evident from the condition of the unit that this person is incapable of maintaining their household,” Hoffer says. Sometimes family members ask landlords to enter an apartment because they haven’t been able to reach the individual. Hoffer cautions landlords with senior tenants against acceding to the request. “If they go in and say everything’s fine and it turns out that it isn’t, then the landlord gets sued. It’s better to have that emergency contact person go in and do it themselves.” Landlords can avoid potential problems by ensuring that prospective tenants name an emergency contact when they complete a rental application. They should also ask residents to update that information, usually with the annual notice of rent increase, Hoffer says. Landlords could direct them to the employee to whom they should submit the information or give them a form that is easy to fill out. That approach gives the landlord quick access to an emergency contact when it appears there’s a problem.

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“There are privacy concerns around that, but I think the risk of doing nothing, both in terms of the individual in the unit and their neighbours in the building, is greater than the risk that there’s going to be some privacy outrage as a result of the landlord having to contact an emergency contact person,” Hoffer says. If seniors can’t look after themselves, it can be a challenge to persuade the emergency contact to move the resident into more appropriate housing. “In my experience, a lot of family members don’t want to do anything unless and until there’s a risk that the person is going to lose their housing,” Hoffer explains. “They just say, ‘That’s the landlord’s problem, the landlord has to deal with it, you have to accommodate them.’” Tracy Norman, regional manager of Minto Properties, says leasing staff at Cherryhill Village in London obtain an emergency contact for incoming residents, regardless of their age; they also ask residents for updated contact information annually. In the event of a serious issue, the property manager calls the emergency contact, Norman says. If there is no emergency contact, or if that person doesn’t follow up on the call, the property manager contacts the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) for further support. “All correspondence and calls are logged into the residents’ account detail so we have an ongoing history of interactions,” Norman says. When residents are left on their own to live independently, but need additional care, staff offer information to them about social service agencies, such as the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), which operates from Cherryhill Village Mall. Although the community is designed for independent living, “we do what we can to help ensure that residents are safe in their homes,” Norman says. Situations have occasionally arisen in which residents have become a danger to themselves or others, and staff haven’t been able to locate an emergency contact or family member, Norman notes. “If the process seems as though it’s unresolvable, and eviction becomes the only option, we would alert the CCAC. Our experience has been that they will assist the resident to ensure they are supported through the transition,” she says. If staff at Cherryhill receive calls from family or friends who are concerned about a resident, they ask the caller to contact police on their non-emergency telephone line to request a welfare check. A staff member then accompanies the police officer to the apartment and provides access at the officer’s request, if the resident doesn’t answer the door. Minto has also partnered with the VON in a program where resident volunteers walk the corridors daily. Tenants who have registered leave a bag on their door handles and if the bags are not removed by 10 a.m. the following morning, the volunteers knock on the door and then call the individuals. In the absence of a responsive emergency contact, Hoffer says landlords may need to ask residents

58 | June 2019


directly if they have any issue with their landlords calling an agency that provides assistance with daily living. “But getting that consent, getting a person to acknowledge that they need help, can be a challenge,” Hoffer adds. Landlords could build a provision into their standard consent form, which would authorize them to disclose personal information about the tenant to a third-party agency. “It could be done, but it’s not something that’s typically done other than in special kinds of tenancies, such as care homes,” he says. If the emergency contact won’t help, property managers should ensure that their company has the contact information of the social service agencies that could assist their resident. “At least you can go to a social service agency and try to use those services to look after the tenant. If the situation is to the point where the tenant clearly is posing a risk to other people, then you would start a termination process,” Hoffer says. “If you have no success with family, with the emergency contact or with social service agencies, then you go to the Landlord and Tenant Board and ask for termination.” Landlords should collect evidence before the situation reaches that point, Hoffer says. They should document the times and dates of conversations with the tenant and take photos of the unit, if hoarding or unsafe conditions are a concern. “You need to have evidence and it needs to be pretty good evidence,” Hoffer says. “It requires careful documentation of the efforts made to try to find assistance for that individual and the fact

you’ve made these efforts and none of them have come to fruition. Those are all things the Board member would want to see before making a decision.” If landlords have the evidence and present it in a way that indicates they have been balancing risk, and that the needs of the neighbours outweigh those of the individual, the Board members tend to respond well. But the situation usually doesn’t go that far. “What often happens is that you don’t wind up in front of a Board member because, with the imminence of termination at a hearing, somebody does get involved finally because they don’t want to see their aunt or their mother out on the street and then you mediate a resolution,” Hoffer says. Mediation would typically provide the tenant with more time to move into the appropriate housing, such as a care home or subsidized seniors housing, once the family has made the arrangements. In the case of small landlords, Hoffer suggests they ensure their emergency contact information is current. They might also want to speak directly to the tenant about whatever the individual is struggling with and whether a move to more suitable housing might be best. “You always have to be careful in having that conversation, but I would say the greater percentage of people are willing to have that conversation with their landlord,” Hoffer says. “At the end of the day, we’re all human beings and I think individuals can assess how well they’re coping in their environment. When someone offers to lend a helping hand, most people are willing at least to consider that.”

London Property Management Association (LPMA) is a non-profit organization, located in London, Ontario, Canada, that provides information and education to landlords. LPMA represents the interests of both large and small property owners. The association has more than 400 landlord members representing approximately 35,000 rental units. Membership is open to landlords and property management professionals who own or manage one or more residential rental units.

Sign up online or call Rebecca David. Ph: 519-672-6999 Web: www.LPMA.ca

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SUITE COUNT

Brought to you by:

RHB SIDEBAR Capital Markets & National Investment Snapshot

National Apartment Group

Halifax Multifamily 2019

CHRIS CARTER, Vice President, National Investment Team, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Demand for multifamily investments in Halifax has remained consistent through the first half of 2019. Attractive fundamentals including historically low vacancy continue to attract investors to the HRM. Despite strong demand, investment volume has moderated compared with previous years, as local and national investors search for opportunities within the region. Notwithstanding the lower trade volume overall, pricing increased to just shy of $200,000 per unit as of year-end 2018; the increase is largely attributed to new construction sales, which continues to capture the spotlight in Halifax. 2018 proved to be the strongest year on record for Halifax, recording 1.6% vacancy overall and 1.1% in the urban core, pushing the average two-bedroom rent up 4.2% to $1,156. Fueling this demand is population growth (attributed to migration and immigration), downsizers and strong economic fundamentals being experienced in Halifax, including the shipyard, the Port expansion and continued private construction activity. Developers capitalized on tightening fundamentals on the peninsula and completed 1,557 new purposebuilt rental units last year. Purpose-built rental continues to outweigh the relatively limited condo product in the pipeline. Developers have also shifted their focus from the suburbs, which has fueled the building boom taking place in the urban core. There is still suburban product being constructed but it has been overshadowed by the major new projects underway downtown. Trends to watch moving forward include an increasing amount of new construction on the peninsula, higher rents for new product, and continued positive impact of Increased immigration and population growth.

60 | June 2019


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