RHB Magazine March/April 2022

Page 1

Vol. 15 No. 1 March/April 2022

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

The official publication of:

What’s new at the CMHC? Romy Bowers is the president and CEO of CMHC, and MLI Select is its newest mortgage loan insurance product

Will $19 million for Ontario’s LTB help or hinder rental property owners?

Faster adjudications and online hearings may help to clear the backlog but they might also be creating new problems.

What’s going on with RHB Newsreel?

It now includes a video component and input from members of the rental housing industry.

FRPO forms new publishing partnership with RHB Magazine

The largest provincial association representing members of the rental housing industry comes on board.


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EDITOR’S NOTES Did you check out the budget? If you’re involved in the rental housing industry at all, then you’re probably aware of the housing-related incentives and initiatives in Federal Liberal government’s Budget 2022. One thing that stood out was the government’s intent to reform the Rental Construction Financing Initiative (RCFI) by increasing the affordability requirements that must be met to receive the reduced-rate financing offered by the program. However, these new requirements might be too onerous for developers and could cut major projects. That would be unfortunate since Canada needs more rental supply at all price points. This feature article in this month’s issue of RHB Magazine examines what’s new at the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). It includes an introduction to its newest president and CEO, Romy Bowers, and the launch of MLI Select, CMHC’s new mortgage loan insurance product for multi-unit residential properties (including existing buildings) that incentivizes affordability, energy saving, and accessibility. The second article discusses the Ontario government’s recent investment of $19 million over three years into the Ontario Land Tribunal and the Landlord and Tenant Board. These funds will go toward hiring more adjudicators and reducing the backlog, although there may be repercussions for smaller, less tech-savvy rental property owners and managers. The third article is an interview with Kerry Chandler, anchor/producer of RHB Newsreel, about some of the latest developments with our one-stop shop on industry news and trends. Make sure to read CFAA’s newsletter, National Outlook, as well as the Regional Association Voice. Yardi Canada wrote about how to prepare for leasing season with a complete digital marketing strategy. We also have a new section in the magazine with the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO), which strengthens the magazine’s connection to the industry. We support two-way communication with our readers. If you have any comments or questions, please send them to david@ rentalhousingbusiness.ca. I look forward to hearing from you.

Co-founder, Publisher

Marc Côté marc@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Associate Publisher Nishant Rai

Editorial

David Gargaro david@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Contributing Editor

John Dickie, President CFAA jdickie@rentalhousingbusiness.ca

Creative Director / Designer Scott Clark

Photography by Revi Riabinski

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

Enjoy the issue! David Gargaro Senior Editor

4 | March/April 2022

Produced in Canada All contents copyright © RHB Inc. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 42652516


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CONTENTS

VOL.15 NO.1 2022

30

What’s going on with RHB Newsreel?

It now includes a video component and input from members of the rental housing industry.

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

What’s new at the CMHC? Hot Topics: EOLO reports on the new City of Ottawa vacant unit tax, and on how rental housing providers can best implement organic recycling, which will be required soon in multi-residential buildings. pg. 49 WRAMA provides an update on Waterloo Region’s steps to create an affordable housing plan, CMHC’s latest rental market reports, and opportunities for WRAMA members to contribute. pg. 53

The two most relevant changes at CMHC are the appointment of Romy Bowers as president and CEO and the launch of MLI Select, a new mortgage loan insurance product.

LPMA eports in detail on the latest CMHC Rental Market Report for London, and on key issues in buying and carrying smaller rental investment properties. pg 57 HDAA provides an update on the phased rollout of landlord licensing, Hamilton’s new vacant home tax, and opinions on single-family homes being bought for rental use. pg. 61

The Member Associations

47

Regional Association Voice

RAV features the latest industry news from four member associations.

Will $19 million for Ontario’s LTB help or hinder rental property owners? Faster adjudications and online hearings may help to clear the backlog but they might also be creating new problems.

6 | March/April 2022

64

Final Take Away

Prepare for leasing season with a complete digital marketing strategy This includes using corporate websites, ILS, resident screening, and online portals.


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PRESIDENT’S CORNER This month’s issue of National Outlook reports on the housing promises in federal Budget 2022, and on a new and helpful realization by the federal government. See page 35. At the top of the government’s priority list for concrete action is a new $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund to support municipalities in approving development applications in a more timely manner. The second priority seems to the supporting expanded home purchases through help to first-time homebuyers, and rent to own programs. Likely to be third in time sequence is work to decide whether to use the tax system to rein in “renovictions” and “excessive profit” due to rent increases on turnover. That project will take CMHC a lot of time since it requires information from the provinces and liaison with the provinces, and is not part of CMHC’s usual responsibilities. CFAA will be seeking to show the government that they have misunderstood the causes of recent rent increases, and they should not proceed with such tax changes. The concern about an interest deductibility limitation has receded dramatically, although the proposed draft legislation will create an onerous accounting burden for some rental corporations which earn income abroad. See page 38. CFAA is hosting CFAA Rental Housing Conference from May 9 to 11, 2022, on an in-person basis. We are meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Toronto, for a building tour, two days of education and networking, and the annual CFAA Awards Dinner. Benjamin Tal has agreed to give his popular and entertaining Economic Update. For more information, see page 40. Plan to attend CFAA-RHC 2023 in Halifax in June 2023!

8 | March/April 2022

Anyone being pushed to provide organic recycling at multi-res buildings could benefit from reading the report from the Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization, found at page 50. The Home Depot remains a CFAA Strategic Partner. By registering your membership in CFAA (either directly or through one of CFAA’s 12 member associations) with Home Depot Pro, you benefit yourself and CFAA. This partnership benefits every rental housing provider reading this magazine. Yardi Systems is another a long-standing, CFAA Strategic Partner. We look forward to working with Yardi to bring you informative panels, and the latest and best information on technology and marketing for rental housing providers, at CFAA RHC 2022. Finally, CFAA wants to thank the many rental housing providers and association leaders who support CFAA and advance the rental housing industry.

John Dickie, CFAA President John Dickie, CFAA President


rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 9


In this issue of... NATIONAL OUTLOOK CFAA Member Associations 35. Find out the best thing for rental housing providers in Federal Budget 2022. It may not be what you think!

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

38. F ind out where the Finance Department now stands on the proposed Interest Deductibility Limitation, now know as “Excessive interest and financing expenses limitation” (EIFEL, just like the tower in Paris)

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

40. W hat is CFAA covering at CFAA Rental Housing Conference 2022? Where is CFAA meeting for CFAA RHC 2023

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 12 apartment associations and direct landlord memberships across Canada. CFAA is the sole national organization representing the interests of Canada’s $600 billion rental housing industry. For more information about CFAA itself, see www.cfaa-fcapi.org or telephone 613-235-0101.

10 | March/April 2022

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 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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What’s new at the CMHC?

There’s a lot of news coming out of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Two of the more recent updates include the appointment of Romy Bowers as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO) and the launch of MLI Select, CMHC’s new mortgage loan insurance product for multi-unit residential properties that incentivizes affordability, energy saving, and accessibility. It represents a major commitment from CMHC to ensuring everyone in Canada has a home they can afford and that meets their needs. 14 | March/April 2022


By David Gargaro

Romy Bowers, new president and CEO Last year at this time, CMHC appointed Romy Bowers as its president and CEO. She took over from Evan Siddall, who had been CMHC’s chief executive since 2014. She plans to lead CMHC in achieving its singular goal: by 2030, everyone in Canada will have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. Bowers believes CMHC can help to solve housing affordability issues in Canada, as well as lead the way in building a more equitable housing system. Background Bowers was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Canadian father, and moved to Canada when she was eight years old. She earned a Bachelor of Arts & Science from McMaster University, a Master of Arts (MA) from McGill University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Toronto. Although she was raised and educated in Canada, Bowers was greatly inspired by Japanese culture and history. Her background also influenced her take on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “I experienced some discrimination as a mixed-race child in Japan, and then when I moved to Canada, I was viewed as an immigrant,” said Bowers. “My personal obstacles of developing a sense of belonging are not that significant relative to the hardship others have experienced due to discrimination. However, these personal challenges have helped me be empathetic to those excluded by mainstream society, and to realize in a personal way the importance of inclusion as a Canadian value. Housing is important because it underpins a just and equitable society where everyone belongs.” Most of Bowers’ career was spent in financial services. She initially worked in insurance, dealing primarily with Japanese multinational clients thanks to her background and language skills.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 15


She later moved into head office finance and risk management positions with the Bank of Montreal, where she worked for 11 years. During the 2008 financial crisis, she worked in the bank’s treasury department, where she learned a lot about the role of financial institutions and the government during a period of economic shock. “I also witnessed first-hand the partnership between government and the private sector in responding to a national economic crisis,” said Bowers. After working in a risk management capacity in the financial industry, Bowers joined CMHC in 2015 as its Chief Risk Officer (CRO). CMHC had just come under the regulatory supervision of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and needed a risk leader to effect transformational change. “I was initially hesitant to make the move to a government agency but, in retrospect, it was one of the best career decisions I have ever made,” said Bowers. Bowers later served as CMHC’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). She was then promoted to the role of Senior Vice-President of Client Solutions, which involved leading a team to combine the expertise of CMHC’s commercial and assisted housing businesses to understand Canadians’ housing needs and develop new products and services to meet those needs.

Becoming CEO of CMHC Bowers was an executive at CMHC for six years prior to becoming CEO. This gave her the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of different aspects of CMHC’s business and operations. She learned about its risk management practices as CRO, the commercial mortgage insurance and securitization businesses as CCO, and the delivery of NHS housing programs as Senior Vice President, Client Solutions. She was encouraged to apply for, and was appointed to, the role of CEO in April 2021. “I have a passion for housing and belief in CMHC as a great Canadian institution, as it has served Canadians well in the past with great potential for more great things in the future,” said Bowers. “I also have experience leading organizational and cultural change. Government organizations need to be agile and adaptable to remain relevant in a world that is changing fast and becoming increasingly complex.” Bowers believes that, as CEO of CMHC, she requires an understanding of public policy and

16 | March/April 2022

private sector activities and the intersections between them. The diversity of actors in the housing space means there must be careful and consistent client focus. As CEO, she also has to understand the motivation of employees who come to work each day inspired by CMHC’s mission to ensure that all Canadians can have a home that is affordable and meets their needs. Now in April 2022, Bowers’ immediate priority is to continue to deliver on the current government’s ambitious housing agenda, in particular the development and roll-out of new programs in the 2022 Budget (e.g., Housing Accelerator Fund, Rentto-own pilots, Co-op housing program). She also believes it is important to run CMHC’s commercial mortgage insurance businesses effectively, and ensure that CMHC uses all the tools at its disposal to support housing affordability and the stability of the housing market. “Longer term, I want to focus on building the organizational capabilities that will allow CMHC to serve Canadians and contribute to a more stable, equitable housing market,” said Bowers. “Some important areas of focus for me include enhancing our housing data and analytics capabilities, leading the climate change file as it relates to housing through adaptation and mitigation, and addressing inequities in the housing system for equity-seeking groups.”

MLI Select: A new mortgage loan insurance product According to Statistics Canada, approximately 30 per cent of Canadians rely on rental properties to meet their housing needs. To help create more rental stock and maintain existing rental properties, CMHC offers funding opportunities and mortgage loan insurance products that support the construction, purchase, and refinancing of multi-unit rental properties. MLI Select is a new multi-unit mortgage loan insurance product that focuses on affordability, accessibility, and climate compatibility. It provides rental property owners and developers with access to reduced premiums and longer amortization periods based on their level of commitment to affordability, accessibility, and climate compatibility. The program uses a point system to provide insurance incentives, which are available for new construction and existing properties. Incentives increase based on the commitment to social and environmental outcomes and may result in higher loan-tovalue ratios, increased amortizations, lower debt coverage ratios, and reduced premiums. continued on page 20


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Building more affordable housing By David Gargaro

The Federal Liberal government recently released Budget 2022, which included funding and initiatives to increase the construction of more affordable housing. The budget included a new Housing Accelerator Fund consisting of $4 billion over five years, starting in 2022-23. It will provide support to cities and communities through annual per-door incentives or upfront funding for investments in municipal housing planning and delivery processes to speed up housing development. The Rapid Housing Initiative will receive an additional $1.5 billion over two years, starting in 2022-23, to extend the Rapid Housing Initiative. This funding is expected to create at least 6,000 new affordable housing units, with at least 25 per cent of funding going toward women-focused housing projects. Budget 2022 is also advancing $2.9 billion in funding, on a cash basis, under the National Housing Co-Investment Fund. This will support the development of up to 4,300 new units and the repair of up to 17,800 units. CMHC announced a number of developments involving the use of these funds: • The Birchmount Green project in Toronto will include 220 new homes in Toronto.

Amenities include outdoor greenery and barbecues, an accessible rooftop garden, a library with computers, a children’s play area, bicycle and scooter storage, a nurse’s station, and two offices for support service organizations.

• The Avenir de femmes housing project in Laval will consist of a 23-unit building for

low-income single mothers.

• A seniors’ building in Powassan, Ontario will consist of 25 affordable bachelor

apartments. Units will include accessibility features (e.g., walk-in showers with built-in seats), as well as air conditioning and a full kitchen with appliances.

• Two vacant lots in Currie (Calgary) are being purchased to develop a 72-unit

residential building, with 20 units prioritized for women and children.

• A five-storey building in Squamish, BC will provide 232 new affordable rental units for

low-income seniors. It features one-bedroom and one-bedroom plus den units, some of which are wheelchair accessible, with amenities including a fitness area, multipurpose common areas, and storage space for personal items.

18 | March/April 2022


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continued from page 16

Program details Eligible properties include new and existing affordable, energy-efficient, and accessible housing projects (e.g., standard rental housing, single room occupancy (SRO), supportive housing, retirement homes). Student housing projects only qualify under energy efficiency and accessibility. The minimum project size of five units except for retirement homes, which require a minimum of 50 units/beds. The non-residential component of the project is not to exceed 30 per cent of gross floor area nor 30 per cent of the total lending value. The loan relating to the non-residential component must not exceed 75 per cent of the lending value of the non-residential component. For more information, visit https://www.cmhcschl.gc.ca/en/professionals/project-funding-and-

mortgage-financing/mortgage-loan-insurance/ multi-unit-insurance/mliselect.

Criteria Borrowers can commit to any combination of affordability, energy efficiency, and accessibility, but they must achieve a minimum of 50 points to qualify for MLI Select. Assessment of the affordability outcome is based on the percentage of the project’s units with rents equal to or below the established threshold for the subject market. The borrower must commit to maintaining affordability for at least 10 years from the date of first occupancy. If they commit to 20 or more years of affordability, the borrower will receive an additional 30 points

New construction: • Level 1 (50 points) – Min. 10% of units at max. 30% of median renter income • Level 2 (70 points) – Min. 15% of units at max. 30% of median renter income • Level 3 (100 points) – Min. 25% of units at max. 30% of median renter income

Existing properties: • Level 1 (50 points) – Min. 40% of units at max. 30% of median renter income • Level 2 (70 points) – Min. 60% of units at max. 30% of median renter income • Level 3 (100 points) – Min. 80% of units at max. 30% of median renter income Assessment of the energy efficiency outcome is based on improved performance over the baseline.

New construction: • Level 1 (30 points) – Min. 20% better than NECB/NBC • Level 2 (50 points) – Min. 25% better than NECB/NBC • Level 3 (100 points) – Min. 40% better than NECB/NBC

Existing properties: • Level 1 (30 points) – Min. 15% decrease over current baseline levels • Level 2 (50 points) – Min. 25% decrease over current baseline levels • Level 3 (100 points) – Min. 40% decrease over current baseline levels Assessment of the accessibility outcome is based on the level of accessibility and adaptable building design.

Level 1 (20 points) - at least 1 of these criteria: • Min. 15% of the units are considered accessible in accordance with the CSA standard B651-18 • Min. 15% of units are universal design • The building receives Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (60%-79% score)

Level 2 (30 points) - at least 1 of these criteria: • Min. 15% of units are considered accessible in accordance with the CSA standard B651-18 and min. 85% of units are universal design • 100% of units are universal design • 100% of units are accessible in accordance with the CSA standard B651-18 • The building receives Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification “Gold” (score of 80% or better)

20 | March/April 2022



Product flexibilities Applications for loan insurance can benefit from the following flexibilities.

New construction Total points

Max LTC/LTV

Max amortization*

Rental achievement holdback

Recourse

Replacement reserve

50+ points

95%

40 years

Waived

Full

Discretionary

70+ points

95%

45 years

Waived

Full

Discretionary

100+ points

95%

50 years

Waived

Limited

Discretionary

Existing properties 50+ points

85%

40 years

May apply

Full

Discretionary

70+ points

95%

45 years

May apply

Full

Discretionary

100+ points

95%

50 years

May apply

Limited

Discretionary

* The maximum amortization period is the stated number of years or remaining economic life, whichever is less.

Borrower eligibility

Maximum loan-to-value ratio

The borrower must show that they are competent and experienced enough for the size and type of property they are seeking mortgage loan insurance. They (or their company) must have at least five years of relevant management experience in operating and managing similar multi-unit residential properties. They can also contract with a third-party property management firm to handle these duties.

• New construction: Residential component up to 95 per cent loan-to-cost; non-residential component up to 75 per cent loan-to-cost

The borrower must have a minimum net worth of at least 25 per cent of the loan amount with a minimum of $100,000. CMHC may allow some flexibility in net worth if the insurance applications scores 100 points or more.

22 | March/April 2022

• Existing properties: Residential component up to 95 per cent loan-to-value; non-residential component up to 75 per cent loan-to-value

Loan advancing New construction: Loan may be advanced up to 95 per cent of costs during construction Existing properties: Loan may be advanced up to 95 per cent of value; full loan is available once construction/improvement is complete


45


Will $19 million for Ontario’s LTB help or hinder rental property owners? By David Gargaro

According to a recent announcement, the Ontario government is investing more than $19 million over three years in the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) and the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to help reduce the backlog of cases and speed up decisions. It is part of a new housing bill and legislation from the Ontario Progressive Conservative government that is geared toward streamlining approval processes and boosting the housing supply in Ontario. However, members of the rental housing industry are not completely on board with how or where the money is being spent. While some parties agree the funding will help with getting faster adjudications and clearing the LTB’s backlog, others believe that faster adjudications are creating more complex issues for smaller rental property owners.

Where is the money going? The $19 million investment follows a recommendation in the Report of the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force to increase the Ontario Land Tribunal’s resources for the purpose of ramping up home construction. It is also part of More Homes for Everyone, which is the next phase in the provincial government’s plan to build all types of homes faster. “Ontarians deserve the opportunity to find the right home for them, and government bureaucracy should never stand in the way,” says Attorney General Doug Downey. “We are making even more investments in the Ontario Land Tribunal and the Landlord and Tenant Board to help clear longstanding backlogs and drive faster decisions so we can get more shovels in the ground.” Most of the funding will go toward appointing more impartial adjudicators at the OLT and LTB. The investment will support faster case resolution by increasing the number of full-time adjudicators and case processing staff. It will fund the appointment of more part-time adjudicators,

24 | March/April 2022

which will provide more flexibility in addressing caseload trends. It will help to more than double the capacity for using expert land use planning mediators, which will support settling disputes earlier and narrow issues for faster adjudication. Investments in technology will aim to improve IT platforms to provide better access to online services. Funding will also go toward increasing staffing at the LTB, enabling it to resolve existing backlogs sooner than would be possible without the additional resources. “We recognize the important role the Ontario Land Tribunal plays in the province’s housing supply, and we remain committed to the principled and timely resolutions of the matters before us,” said Greg Bishop, Alternate Chair for the Ontario Land Tribunal. “This investment will allow the Tribunal to schedule hearing events and issue decisions quicker and more efficiently than before, and we appreciate the support of the Ontario government to allow us to provide an even higher quality of service to Ontarians.”


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Focus on more digital adjudications One of the key complaints about the LTB has been the length of time required for case resolution. Serious backlogs have been an issue for some time. This situation worsened in spring 2020, when the LTB shut down for five months during the pandemic. The LTB has yet to clear the backlog and some cases have been drawn out for months or even years. The Tribunals Ontario website recommends waiting at least two months to check on the status of applications. “The delays at the Landlord Tenant Board are certainly frustrating for rental property owners and tenants alike,” said Kristin A. Ley, Partner, Cohen Highley LLP. “Many of my clients have seen delays of over one year in the adjudication of their matters.” Before the pandemic, the LTB received about 80,000 applications per year, most of them from rental property owners. During the pandemic, this dropped to about 48,000 applications. However, most of these applications came in when the LTB was closed. This situation contributed to the backlog and delay of applications and hearings.

brought before the LTB. The parties can connect remotely without physically attending the LTB office to have their matter heard. If there is an adjournment, or the matter is unable to proceed, then renal property owners will waste less time and expense. The digital platform also provides tenants with more timely access to free legal advice on the day of their hearing through the tenant duty counsel program. Previously, tenants would have lengthy wait times to speak with duty counsel, as only one counsellor was assigned to a hearing block. This slowed the hearing process because the LTB did not proceed with hearings until tenants could obtain summary legal advice. “While duty counsel is still restricted to their geographical boundaries, there is often more than one duty counsel from a particular catchment area joining one Zoom hearing so that multiple tenants may consult with duty counsel at the same time,” said Paul Cappa, Paralegal, Cohen Highley LLP. “This in turn allows matters to proceed on the date scheduled, thus eliminating delays.”

Faster is not always better

The LTB moved to hold online hearings via videoconference during the pandemic. Some rental property owners and tenants did not have the technical resources or know-how to properly participate in the process. The LTB is holding some in-person hearings again. However, it is also supporting online hearings to help reduce the backlog. The technology issues have improved, as have the processes. Some participants believe the online hearing process is closer to the inperson experience and offers several benefits to all parties.

One contributing factor to the backlog has been the lack of adjudicators. In 2018, the number of adjudicators dropped from 62 to 43. The number of adjudicators rose to 82 in 2020-2021. In theory, more adjudicators means the LTB can hear more cases, which should help with the backlog. However, the majority of the new hires were part-time hires (31 part-time vs. 2 full-time). As of March 2022, the LTB employs 39 full-time and 49 part-time adjudicators. While there might be more adjudicators, a part-time adjudicator is not the same as a full-time one.

Recently, the LTB also created a Tribunals Ontario Portal as the method by which landlords and tenants need to submit certain applications. While the Portal will likely be more efficient in the long run, there are still numerous technical issues to be worked out.

The LTB has fewer full-time staff, many of whom are cross-appointed to other tribunals. Prior to the pandemic, adjudicators used to hear applications

“From my perspective, the online adjudication system has come a long way from where it began in 2020 on the Teams platform,” said Ley. “Its current form is closer to what the inperson experience was like, with several dispute resolution officers and duty counsel available to assist the parties. In my experience, the Board and the moderators who manage the sign-in process are very clear in their instructions and direction to parties about what they can expect in the hearing and what resources are available outside of the formal hearing process.” The move to digital adjudications should streamline the process for resolving applications

26 | March/April 2022


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on a regional basis. This gave them experience with more types of applications and a better understanding of the issues to help them make more informed decisions. Since they are doing more digital hearings, they are also becoming less familiar with local contexts and issues affecting rental property owners. “There has been chronic underfunding of the Landlord and Tenant Board, relative to the growth in its mandate over time,” said Cappa. “Additional resources are required throughout the Board from administrative and technical support, mediators, and adjudicative staff. Perhaps the best bang for their buck would be to hire additional mediators and dispute resolution officers. Most matters before the Board could be resolved in a timely fashion through the case management and mediation service. Furthermore, there are a number of retirements looming amongst the existing complement of dispute resolution officers, which could lead to shortages in the near future.” How hearings are scheduled, and how adjudicators address matters, is affecting the digital system. Now that they are seeing more cases using the digital system, adjudicators are dealing with hearings by application type. Hearing blocks get filled up, and matters affecting the same rental property owner are not addressed at the same time. This means more cases get heard on the same day but they take longer to resolve. There’s more emphasis on efficiency rather than ensuring all parties get to participate fairly and achieve just findings. “In an effort to move through the backlog, I think the Board is scheduling a few too many matters for a single hearing block or hearing day, which often leads to further adjournments of matters,” said Ley. “Where parties are able to reach a resolution on their own or with the assistance of a dispute resolution officer, they seem better off as they will then be able to conclude their matter on the date scheduled.” As stated earlier, some of the funding is going toward improving the technology and the digital experience. More people are used to working in a

28 | March/April 2022

digital environment and having online meetings than they have before. And the technology is smoother than it has been. However, many small rental property owners do not have the technology or the skills to function effectively in a digital environment. Technology can help to create a more balanced and efficient system. But this is only true when everyone has the same access and capabilities. Large companies with the budget to implement modern technology can manage quite well during a hearing. For example, they might have highspeed Internet access and multiple monitors to make the hearing process go smoothly. However, a small rental property owner might have to use their smartphone or an iPad to participate in a complicated hearing, where multiple parties and issues are involved. This can make the process confusing and frustrating, especially if you’re not good with this type of technology. And the technology is still not perfect, which creates its own problems. “The new Portal has introduced some needed transparency into the processing of applications, but there are still applications that were filed under the former system that seem to have disappeared,” said Ley. “The Board is unable to provide updates on files for which they have processed payments, which creates administrative headaches for operators as well.”

Conclusion Investing in the LTB is a great step toward clearing the backlog and making the process more efficient. But it will take more than a large sum of money to address all rental property owners’ issues with the LTB. Rental property owners want their cases heard more quickly, they want adjournments and resolutions to be provided sooner, and they want fair treatment. Small owners also need better support to participate in the new online environment and a better system for in-person hearings. Focusing investments on the right issues at the LTB will go further toward improving the adjudication process for rental property owners.


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What’s going on with

RHB Newsreel?

By David Gargaro

RHB Magazine recently spoke with Kerry Chandler, anchor/producer of RHBTV and RHB Newsreel, about some new developments with the industry’s one-stop solution for the latest news, market developments, transactions, and trends. RHB: I hear that some things are changing with RHB Newsreel. What can you tell our readers about this new direction? Kerry: For more than a decade, we’ve repurposed industry news from other news outlets. To be honest, those views might not always have been friendly to our industry or, more importantly, its people and companies. Due to copyright rules, we were not allowed to edit content for accuracy or even change how it was written. We also couldn’t add comments, include supporting links to other material or counter the content unless we wrote something on our own. As a result, we have had to rely on members of our industry to write and send us their views and opinions for publication and rebuttal. This has proven difficult, aside from getting valued contributions from some association leaders. What makes this version of RHB Newsreel new is that it now has a video component. This allows us to take content and ideas from current headlines, add our own commentary and insights, and reach out to industry professionals, such as association executives, owners, managers, and other industry experts, to get their views on what is being reported.

RHB: How is this new or different from what already exists on the site? Kerry: For one, the new version of RHB Newsreel

is timelier since the news we’re reporting or using has taken place during the previous week, as opposed to using stories that have been in the news for a month or more. We then add our comments at the beginning of the following week. That is the key differentiator. We’ve also changed RHBTV to accommodate our new approach.

30 | March/April 2022

Rather than having two interview segments and one news segment, we’ve removed the news segment to provide our viewers with solid content in a tighter package. And now that we’re adding comments from our viewers and readers, the shows will be that much more relevant and interesting to our audience. It’s already a popular feature on our site, so we expect it to get even more positive feedback.


RHB: How is the new version of Newsreel beneficial to your audience and the industry? Kerry: For years, readers would send their

comments on articles and content that we posted to RHB Newsreel, and it wasn’t always positive, especially when the articles were biased against or provided negative views about our industry. We would ask the people who commented to write their own articles or editorials to retort. However, very few would have the time to write an entire article. They don’t have the bandwidth to do so and they’re not professional writers. But most people would take the time to send a few comments, as it was quicker and easier to do. By creating the video component, we now can highlight articles, the source, and direction, and then have someone from the industry provide a response to either counter a viewpoint or offer context on our version or direction. In other words, we now have the ability or opportunity to take articles that may not be positive for our industry and counter and cheerlead to give our side of the story. Our audience can provide their views on what has been said or written, as well as state the truth of what’s really happening in the field. It’s another way to amplify industry members’ voices on issues that affect them.

RHB: How do you take feedback from a viewer or reader and use it for the site? Kerry: We’re more proactive in the sense that we’re not posting other articles and waiting for someone to comment. The RHB team reads and sources web-based articles from across Canada all week long. On Sunday, we decide which ones we will use on the Newsreel. On Monday, we reach out to industry professionals for comments on the articles we’re posting. Once they send their comments and input, we incorporate them into the script for the online video segment.

RHB: Is there anything else you want readers or viewers to know about the Newsreel? Kerry: I’d like to invite all our readers and

viewers to email me, kerry@rhbtv.ca, with ideas, comments, thoughts, and anything that could further and improve the new RHB Newsreel. This only works when we get input from members of the industry. We want to report their side or opinion on the news and stories about the rental housing industry. RHB is the voice of this industry, and the best way to do that is to hear from the people who work in the industry.

RHB: Thanks again for your time.

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MARCH/APRIL 2022

Federal Budget 2022 Recognizes Supply as the Problem By John Dickie, CFAA President

The Federal Government made housing initiatives a centerpiece of Budget 2022. Most commitments seek to address the rising prices of single-family homes, and make them more affordable to first-time homebuyers. While not a central focus, amongst 17 pages of housing commitments, the Budget included several measures that could impact rental housing, including one major item helpful to rental housing providers.

Recognition of the supply issue For the first time, the federal government recognized that the main problem with the housing system in Canada is a lack of supply of housing. The budget clearly said, “The biggest issue that is making housing more expensive is supply.” Not financialization, not greedy developers, not greedy landlords! LACK OF HOUSING SUPPLY!

In Chapter 1, the Budget said: There are a number of factors that are making housing more expensive, but the biggest issue is supply. Put simply, Canada is facing a housing shortage—we have a lower number of homes per person than many OECD countries. Increasing our housing supply will be key to making housing more affordable for everyone. To fill the gap that already exists—and to keep up with our growing population over the next decade—Finance Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation estimate that Canada will need to build at least 3.5 million new homes by 2031. To reach that number, significant steps have to be taken today. Neither the federal government nor developers can solve this issue alone—provincial, territorial, and municipal governments also have a significant role to play.

Gaining more planning approvals The government’s main solution to the lack is supply is the new $4 billion Housing Accelerator Fund to incentivize municipalities to approve more market housing and more dense market housing, more quickly. Better technology, better project management and better staffing should help the municipalities to provide development approvals for all housing in a more timely manner. So would more efficient planning processes, and a reduction in the power held by people who oppose development and greater density. CMHC and the federal government are aware that some municipalities do not want more housing built, and certainly do not want denser new housing built. Consideration is being given to the best way to deliver rewards and incentives for extra housing approvals, and even to reduction in federal funding for transit

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 35


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NATIONAL OUTLOOK and other projects for which municipalities want money if sufficient housing approvals are not given. However, that is a tricky issue. The details of the measures are still being worked out. Inclusionary Zoning (“IZ”) is another tricky issue. Promoting IZ was part of the Liberal promise to create the Accelerator Fund. Under IZ, a certain percentage of new housing units need to be sold or rented at a reduced price. The public tends to think that developers make lots of money; and so, they can afford to sell or rent some of their new units at a discount. Unfortunately, the facts are the opposite, especially for rental housing projects. It is clear to everyone who considers them that rental housing projects are often on the edge of financial viability. Economists largely agree that unless IZ requirements provide offsets for the lost revenue, IZ policies tend to reduce the supply of new housing, and make availability and affordability worse rather than better. On several occasions, CFAA has made it clear to CMHC and the government that support for IZ policies needs to ensure that offsets (such as greater density, waivers of development charges and the like) are included as part of the IZ policies, or IZ works against more housing supply. Approving and building more housing more quickly is critical to meeting the housing needs of Canada’s growing population. For the full Budget text on housing visit: https://budget.gc.ca/2022/report-rapport/chap1-en.html#m22

Other housing supply issues Unfortunately, the federal government’s epiphany on housing supply has not yet worked its way to the point of reducing the taxes charged on housing. As well, other levels of government and competing goals are also working at cross purposes with getting more housing supply. Just after the federal Budget was brought down, the City of Toronto announced a 49 per cent increase in development charges. The week after that, the City of Ottawa announced new high performance building standards which are estimated to increase construction costs by 10%. Within government, the right hand giveth and the left hand taketh away, and housing gets more costly every year, and even every month. To be fair, other issues in producing housing include shortages of skilled trades, construction equipment and sometimes construction materials. Governments are usually not directly responsible for those issues, although governments can be responsible for the conditions that lead to higher costs and disrupted supply chains.

In section 1.3, the Budget stated: Housing should be for Canadians to use as homes. However, in recent years, the significant increase in housing prices has led to large investors acquiring a larger portfolio of residential housing. There is a concern that this concentration of ownership in residential housing can drive up rents and house prices, and undercut the important role that small, independent landlords play. Many believe that this trend has also led to a rise in “renovictions”, when a landlord pressures and persuades their tenants to leave, or is formally permitted to evict them to make extensive renovations in order to raise rents. To address these concerns: • Budget 2022 announces a federal review of housing as an asset class, in order to better understand the role of large corporate players in the market and the impact on Canadian renters and homeowners. This will include the examination of a number of options and tools, including potential changes to the tax treatment of large corporate players that invest in residential real estate. Further details on the review will be released later this year, with potential early actions to be announced before the end of the year.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 37


MARCH/APRIL 2022

Prior to the Budget, CFAA had addressed the allegation of excess rent increases on turnover or renovations. Addressing the mandate letter given to the Minister of Housing n January, we wrote to him as follows: “The federal government is considering the idea of amending the Income Tax Act to require landlords to disclose in their tax filings the rent they receive before and after renovations and turnover, and to pay a proportional surtax if the increase in rent is excessive. That is proposed as a solution to the problems supposedly created by the “financialization of housing”. “CFAA believes such a requirement would not be fair, warranted or sensible. Much of the purposebuilt rental stock was built in the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, that is, between 50 and 70 years ago. Many units or buildings are in need of major repairs and renovation. Besides major repairs, there is also the issue of building improvements such as carbon emission reduction initiatives, and other investments to improve renters’ safety and comfort. “While every industry experiences some instances of individual bad actors, and outlying situations can exist, evidence and statistics tell a clear story when it comes to renovation costs and rent increases in Canada. The correlation between rent-increases (which are largely modest and transparently justifiable) and renovation costs (which are generally not fully recouped through modest rent increases for well over a decade) are too often mischaracterized. “It is critical that federal policy-making be evidence based; and CFAA is in frequent communication with the government to provide statistics and evidence behind the rental industry’s positive assertions.” The Liberal Government’s 2022 Budget responded to CFAA’s advocacy that it should not act quickly on this issue, but rather address it carefully, based on expert feedback and evidence from all sides. Budget 2022 announced that the Federal Government will launch a review of housing as an asset class, in order to better understand the role of large corporate players in the market and the impact on renters and homeowners. CFAA will be heavily involved in this review, ensuring that the perspectives of our members and objective evidence are carefully considered by the government before proceeding with any changes.

Interest Deductibility – problem largely solved Two years ago, the federal government announced that it was bringing in a limitation on the interest that corporations and trusts could deduct in computing their taxable income. Because rental housing is a capital-intensive business, that could have hit the rental sector hard. CFAA pointed out that problem, as did others. The Finance officials have largely solved that problem for rental housing and for other capitalintensive businesses. According to the draft legislation, which has been tabled for public consultation, the overall limitation is to be 60 per cent of adjusted taxable income, which should affect only a very small number of entities. Another threshold is a 30 per cent test. Smaller Canadian -controlled private corporations are to be exempt. Most important, entities with no foreign income are to be effectively exempt from the 30 per cent test. They can deduct interest up to the 60 per cent level. For entities with foreign income who now deduct more than 30 per cent of income before taxes, CCA and interest, the test will be this. Effectively, such an entity can deduct as much interest expense as it incurs, provided the same level of interest is attributed to its foreign income. Proving compliance with that rule will be a major accounting burden because the relative interest burden will change from year to year with different economic performance and exchange rates, and the different dates at which debt is renewed, since that results in different interest rates being payable. Interest which is disallowed in any year can be carried back three years and carried forward for 20 years. The outcome should be acceptable, but the accounting for any disallowed interest will be onerous. Rental housing providers will probably also have to be alert to their sources of finance. As currently written, more onerous reporting will be required if any interest is paid to limited dividend corporations, non-profit housing corporations, pension funds or life insurance companies, or other tax-exempt entities. Corporations and trusts should check with their tax advisors or accounting professionals.

38 | March/April 2022


NATIONAL OUTLOOK CFAA’s Building Innovations Tour – May 9 Lillian Park by Shiplake

Novus by BentallGreenOak

Lillian Park, Shiplake’s flagship purpose-built rental, includes elevated amenities, innovative services, and exceptional architecture and interior design by gh3* Architects. Open in 2019, Lillian Park is two towers totalling 560 suites, from bachelor to three bedroom layouts. Lillian Park’s amenities have been designed specifically to appeal to residents looking for daily inspiration and everyday conveniences. Unlike other builds that offer standard amenities that often go unused, Lillian Park features amenities that promote an appreciation of the arts and outdoor spaces, connecting residents to nature and the greater community in a meaningful way. Shiplake encourages a rich sense of community through amenities like a manicured public space with benches, an outdoor theatre, a public daycare, and a park-like setting featuring artwork by contemporary artists Larry Bell and Lawrence Weiner. Along with these community amenities, Lillian Park also offers resort-style amenities for resident and guest use. These include an indoor lap pool, recreation pool and hot tub, steam rooms and sauna, a large fitness centre with both free weights and machines, as well as a yoga studio that can be used for small group sessions. Entertaining, working, and socialising are all made easy with large party rooms, rooftop BBQs and patio, a 110-inch screen movie theatre, a billiards room, and co-working space that resembles WeWork’s concept. Plus an on-site dog park and grooming room are available for the pet owners. To help make our residents’ lives more comfortable, Lillian Park features well-thought-out floor plans that maximize living space, premium finishes, stainless steel kitchen appliances, including a dishwasher, in suite laundry, and 3 piece baths. Additionally, each of the two towers has 24-hour security and concierge, parcel service, underground parking, bike and personal storage areas, an oversized laundry room, and guest suites. It is also important to us that our residents feel supported and engaged, so we regularly hold community-building events and programming.

Novus is a brand-new addition to the vibrant Liberty Village neighbourhood, located in Toronto’s west end. Novus is an amenity-rich, premium twotower community comprising of 579 suites, 25,000 sf of amenity space and 95,000 sf of lifestyleenhancing retail partners. Close to the intersection of King Street West and Strachan Avenue, Novus is minutes to the city’s waterfront as well as an abundance of shopping, dining, parks and trails. Whether walking to the downtown core or exploring a trendy Toronto neighbourhood, Novus offers a central accessibility point. Residents across both towers have access to over 20 unique amenity spaces including, cowork space, café, fitness and games room, screening room and sky lounge with unparalleled views/outdoor space. Novus offers 90 unique floorplans, and in particular, can accommodate the need for larger homes to live and work. The view and natural light cannot be rivaled, and as an added extension to every suite, is a balcony. Open concept layouts maximize space and a gleaming kitchen island is at the heart of every home. Space for a home office was also considered. Smart technology is integrated throughout, offering ultimate convenience: building and suite entry, engagement with management, amenity space booking, maintenance requests, event invites, rent payment, to name a few. Novus is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. The Novus Art Collection supports and profiles 15 local Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) artists and their more than 25 pieces of art, each displayed throughout the amenity spaces. Above all else, Novus stands out as an elevated community, offering exceptional service, suites and amenities. Novus brought much-needed purposebuilt rental to a neighbourhood that has numerous market condos.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 39


MARCH/APRIL 2022

CFAA RHC 2022 – What’s in it for you?

The CFAA Rental Housing Conference (RHC) has always been at the forefront of what is happening – as well as what the future holds – in Canada’s rental housing industry. This annual event brings together rental executives, regional managers, property managers, key rental employees, hands-on landlords, apartment association leaders, rental housing suppliers and others involved in rental housing. The conference enables attendees to network with their colleagues, listen to great speakers, discuss important issues, and learn about new and useful techniques and technologies. CFAA RHC 2022 takes place from May 9 to 11 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Toronto. With so many great sessions and speakers, plus the Suppliers Council Showcase, networking reception and awards dinner, there’s a lot to see, hear and do. So what should YOU attend to get the most out of your conference experience?

ON TUESDAY, MAY 10 Do you wonder where is the economy is going? What does that mean for rental markets in Canada? For interest rates? For income taxes? Is lack of rental supply the real issue? Listen to BENJAMIN TAL, the rental housing industry’s favorite economist. What are leading rental housing Executives worried about? Working on? Looking forward to? What do they consider the leading challenges and opportunities for rental housing this year and going forward? Take in the EXECUTIVE ROUNDTABLE. What have rental housing suppliers got to offer you to help make your life easier or your business more successful? Find out at the SUPPLIERS COUNCIL SHOWCASE. If you care about the environment (and your bottom line), attend sessions on “Issues in anticipated climate change requirements for building heating”, “Building heating: options: case studies from partial GHG reductions to full reductions” and Benjamin Tal, “Electric Vehicle Charging”. Deputy Chief Economist, If you need to hire and keep employees, take in “Hiring and Retaining Employees CIBC World Markets in today’s labour market”, and “Training needs: what will we keep in new training tools”. And come back on Wednesday for more topics on getting ahead and helping other employees get ahead. If you need to market or lease units, watch and ask questions at sessions on “Technology for effective marketing”, “Marketing and operating rental housing for students or other niche markets”, and “Organization options for leasing”. If you care about the bottom line, all the sessions on both days will help you raise revenue, reduce costs, improve tenant service or improve the morale and motivation of the people who report to you, giving you a better bottom line. After the education sessions are over, enjoy the Awards Reception. With an All-inclusive pass, or a separate Dinner ticket enjoy the Awards Dinner. Find out the winners of the CFAA Housing Awards 2022 in __ categories including rental housing providers, employees, developments and renovations and rental housing suppliers.

ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 11 What does CMHC’s new president want to achieve? How does she see rental housing providers of all sizes? What are CMHC’s goals? What does she foresee for mortgage insurance rules? For incentives to address affordability? Energy and GHG efficiency? Accessibility? Equity, diversity & inclusion? Hear ROMY BOWERS. What have rental housing suppliers got to offer you to help make your life easier or your business more successful? Find out at the SUPPLIERS COUNCIL SHOWCASE. If you are concerned about keeping the ability to increase rents on turnover, listen to “FINANCIALIZATION OF HOUSING: what is it, and how can the rental housing

40 | March/April 2022

Romy Bowers, President and CEO, CMHC


NATIONAL OUTLOOK industry respond to the issues?” “Major rental markets in Western Canada, and ”Social Sustainability: a positive impact on reputation and ROI”. If you are responsible for building operations, take in “THE OPERATIONS ROUNDTABLE”, “Technology for buildings operations: (aka Enterprise IOT)”, and “Employment Law update”, which will cover Ontario’s new right to disconnect law. If you care about environmental and social sustainability, attend “ESG reporting on energy: the basics and new developments”, “Talking trash: waste management and ESG reporting”, and “Rental housing for refugees”. If you care about getting ahead and helping others get ahead, take in “Equity Diversity and Inclusion in property management”, “Steps to success”, and “CMHC’s new MLI Select: supporting affordability and the bottom line” or Employment Law update, including Ontario’s new right to disconnect law.

Conclusion Whoever you are, and whatever you do, in the rental housing industry, CFAA RHC has a lot to offer you. Enjoy this year’s conference! Plan to attend CFAA RHC 2023 in Halifax!

THANK YOU! CFAA thanks the following groups of people, who are essential for the success of the Conference: • Speakers and moderators • Rental housing providers and other volunteers • Sponsors • Member apartment associations for promotion • Delegates and support • CFAA’s own team of dedicated employees The next issue of RHB Magazine will include a more detailed thank you, naming the speakers, moderators and sponsors, but for now, know that CFAA appreciates your support more than we can say. Whether they attend or not, rental housing providers across Canada should appreciate your critical contributions to making CFAA-RHC 2022 a success, and strengthening the rental housing industry.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 41


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TONY IRWIN

President & CEO FRPO

New publishing partnership with RHB Magazine We are expanding our digital footprint for better communication with our members We are delighted to announce an exciting new chapter for FRPO and FE Magazine. We’ve made the decision to partner with RHB Magazine to manage the content development and publication of FE Magazine, Our Annual Report and Membership Directory. If one good thing has come from the pandemic, it was the opportunity to pause and reflect on business processes and how to move forward in a world that has changed in some fundamental ways. This brought us to an important realization that in order to communicate with our members more effectively and frequently, it was necessary to cut back on print advertising and expand our digital footprint which has been working great for us! FRPO has had a positive relationship with RHB for many years. Taking this next step in our journey together will streamline and enhance our publications so we can continue providing timely and relevant digital content to our membership. Our Membership Directory, which was published in print format on an annual basis, will also be moving online. This will allow us to update the publication more frequently and provide members with new advertising opportunities. We will be circulating a media card in the coming weeks with more information on how to make the most out of your advertising dollars! We continue to prioritize FRPO’s focus on providing current and new members with valuable educational content. We always encourage our members to reach out and submit articles for consideration. FRPO will be extending our reach through our new partnership with RHB Magazine. In addition to making editorial contributions to the magazine, we will be offering enhanced advertising opportunities to current and new FRPO members. We’re excited to work with RHB Magazine and continue growing our relationship. They have a great reputation for producing solid content within the rental housing industry, and we are certain that our members will benefit from this partnership as much as FRPO will. We’ve enjoyed hosting interactive webinars over the last two years, as they have been effective in educating our membership while keeping everyone safe during the pandemic. Going forward we’re looking forward to welcoming our members back at some in-person meetings and events. We will continue to keep our members’ health and safety top of mind as we ease into hosting events like our Spring Social, Golf Tournament and more! Stay current by checking out the magazine and website for information on what’s to come! Feel free to reach out to me or any FRPO staff member at any time, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing you in person. Until next time, take care and stay safe.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 43


units

units 400000

Primary

Primary

300000 200000

Quebec City St. John’s

Secondary

0

20000

40000

60000

80000

Secondary

Montréal St. John’s

100000

100000 0

765,550

143,935

FRPO is establishing a new small landlord committee TOTAL RENTAL

Rate Type

Oct '19

Oct '20

YOY

Bach

1BR

2BR

66%

3BR+

34%

HOUSEHOLDS

The Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Largest Market 3 in Central $837 $874(FRPO) 4.4% $607 is $778the $899 largest $1,067 Ontario provincial association Canada Primary *% Chg 1.9% 2.8% 0.9% 3.2% people 3.2% 2.7% 3.0% that represents and organizations that Avg Rent Secondary own, manage, build, and finance residential rental properties. Its goal is to serve as the voice Market of Ontario’s rental housing universe industry and as an of rental units advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO has always worked diligentlyPrimary to support all of its Gatineau Secondary members, including those who manage one rental St. John’s property or own a single rental unit. In support 44,355small of these efforts, FRPO is establishing a new 57% TOTAL RENTAL landlord Rate Oct Oct committee. 43% YOY Bach 1BR 2BR 3BR+ Vacancy Rates

2.4%

2.7%

3.0%

0.3%

3.3%

2.3%

2.8%

rd

Average Rents

0

Type

'19

HOUSEHOLDS

'20

1.5%

1.6%

3.4%

0.1%

2.2%

1.4%

1.0%

State of of the the Industry Industry State

th

Average Rents

31.8%

4.5%

-3.7%

7.2%

5.4%

5.2%

Secondary Secondary

2.5%

1.5%

UNIVERSE OF BUILDINGS IN THE PRIMARY MARKETS BY NUMBER OF UNITS

Oct '20

YOY

2.7%

1.2%

Bach

4.8%

1BR

2BR

3.1%

3BR+

2.1%

st

Toronto St. John’s

St. John’s St. John’s

Rate Type

Oct '19

Vacancy 1.5% Rates

Oct '20

YOY

Bach

1BR

2BR

3.4%

1.9%

5.5%

4.0%

2.7%

Secondary

100000

*% Chg 6.5% Avg Rent

4.7%

-1.8%

4.4%

4.7%

4.5%

**

Largest Market in Central Canada

Secondary

50000 50000 40000 40000 30000 30000 20000 20000 10000 10000 0 0

Primary Primary Secondary Secondary

theANNUAL – 17

86,860 86,860 Rate Rate Type Type Vacancy

Oct Oct Oct Oct '19 '20 '19 '20 3.9% 3.5% Vacancy Rates 3.9% 3.5% Rates Average $1,133 $1,208 Average Rents $1,133 $1,208 Rents *% Chg 5.3% 5.4% *% AvgChg Rent 5.3% 5.4% Avg Rent

YOY YOY

Bach Bach

-0.4% 5.3% -0.4% 5.3%

1BR 1BR 3.4% 3.4%

2BR 2BR 3.2% 3.2%

3BR+ 3BR+

$898 $1,096 $1,291 $1,511 $898 $1,096 $1,291 $1,511

0.1% 0.1%

4.9% 4.9%

5.4% 5.4%

5.0% 5.0%

51% 51%

5.7% 5.7%

6.6% 6.6%

3.5% 3.5%

49% 49%

10000 10000

5th 5th

74,275 74,275

th th

Largest Market Largest Market in Central in Central Canada Canada

40000 40000 30000 30000 20000 20000 10000 10000 0 0

Primary Primary Secondary Secondary

St.K-C-W John’s St.K-C-W John’s

0 0

TOTAL RENTAL TOTAL RENTAL HOUSEHOLDS HOUSEHOLDS

Primary Primary Secondary Secondary

Market Market universe universe of rental of rental units units

20000 20000

TOTAL RENTAL 35% As aOct group, these small landlords35% canTOTAL be aRENTAL big Oct YOY Bach 1BR 2BR 3BR+ Oct Oct 65% '19 '20 HOUSEHOLDS YOY Bach 1BR 2BR 3BR+ 65% '19 '20 HOUSEHOLDS voice for the rental housing industry in Ontario. 1.8% 3.4% 1.6% 4.7% 3.5% 3.1% 4.9% theANNUAL – 9 Vacancy Rates Largest Market 1.8% 3.4% 1.6% 4.7% 3.5% 3.1% 4.9% 6 Largest Rates Market Central And$1,024 they merit the opportunity to speak up and be Average 6 inin $1,118 9.2% $774 $1,001 $1,207 $1,379 Central Canada Average Rents $1,024 $1,118 9.2% $774 $1,001 $1,207 $1,379 Canada Primary Rents heard. That’s where FRPO comes in. As the largest *% Chg Primary 5.0% 7.0% 2.0% 8.5% 7.5% 6.8% 4.5% *% AvgChg Rent 5.0% Secondary 7.0% 2.0% 8.5% 7.5% 6.8% 4.5% Avg Rent provincial association for theSecondary rental housing

44 | March/April 2022

Primary

Market Market universe universe of rental of rental units units

Hamilton St. John’s Hamilton St. John’s

TOTAL RENTAL HOUSEHOLDS 2nd

* Estimate of Percentage Change of Average Rent for units reported in both 2019 and 2020. ** Indicates data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data not statistically reliable.

30000 30000

Rate Rate Type Type Vacancy

18 – theANNUAL 18 – theANNUAL

50000

55%

64,350 64,350

*In State of the Industry, the rent and vacancy figures stated reflect apartments within the Primary Rental Market.

usual

150000

2.2%

Average $1,459 $1,528 4.7% $1,204 $1,421 $1,635 $1,848 Rents

40000 40000

200+ Units 5%

200000

3BR+

50000 50000

50-199 Units 9%

250000

Primary

715,545

20-49 Units 17% Primary Primary Secondary Secondary

350000 300000

45%

6-19 Units 26% London London

400000

0

3-5 Units 42% Market Market universe universe of rental of rental units units

TOTAL RENTAL HOUSEHOLDS

73%

2.6%

Market universe of rental units

70000 70000 50000 50000 30000 30000 10000 100000 0

th th

*% AvgChg Rent 8.2% Avg Rent

Oct '19

industry, FRPO is endeavouring to supportLargest theMarket 1 in Central Average $841 5.9% landlords $703 $810 $903 $1,112 needs of $891 small across the province Canada Rents Primary *% Chg 3.6% the 4.2% 0.6% 5.4% 4.6% of 3.6% the 2.4% new small landlord through creation Avg Rent Secondary committee. Vacancy Rates

5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000

According to statistics from the 2021 edition of Largest Market 9 in Central $847 $906 7.0% $631 $791 $950 $1,035 Canadacent of theAnnual, small landlords make up 54 per 4,474,530 TOTALPrimary RENTAL *% Chg 4.5% 2.4% -2.1% 2.4% 2.5% 2.2% 2.2% the Avg Rent rental housing market across Secondary Canada. Just less households in Canada in 2016 than half (42 per cent) of rental properties within Market 16 – theANNUAL OF CANADIAN households RENT the primary rental market in Canada have only Market universe universe of rental of rental three to Market five units. If you look at Toronto (Ontario’s Primary units 46% units Secondary Market 54% Primary largest city and the second-largest rental market Primary Secondary Ottawa in central Ottawa Canada), there Secondary are more than 715,000 St. John’s CANADA’S PRIMARY MARKET RENTAL STATISTICS St. John’s rental households, with 55 per cent (over 390,000) Canada’s Primary Market Rental Statistics Bach 2BR 3BR 128,285Total of them owned and managed1BRby small landlords. 128,2852,096,157 Number of Private Apartment Units 138,496 728,466 1,044,403 184,792 52% There are also more2BRthan 153,000 more rental TOTAL RENTAL Rate Oct Oct 52% YOY Bach 3BR+ 48% Vacancy Rates1BR 4.6% 3.5% 2.8% TOTAL 2.6% RENTAL 3.2% Rate Oct Oct TypePrivate '19 Apartment '20 HOUSEHOLDS YOY Bach 1BR 2BR 3BR+ 48% Type '19 '20 HOUSEHOLDS households owned and operated by small Vacancy 1.8% 3.9% Average 2.1% 3.1% ** Private Apartment Rents3.9% 3.7% $865 $1,046 $1,125 $1,206 $1,087 Vacancy Rates Largest Market 1.8% 3.9% 2.1% 3.1% 3.9% 3.7% ** 4 Largest Rates Market in Central landlords in Ottawa, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Average 4 3.9% 4.5% 3.9% 3.5% Private Apartment of Percentage $1,281 $1,358 Estimate 6.0% $1,000 $1,244 $1,517 $1,851 in Central 3.7% Canada Average Rents $1,281 Change of $1,358 Average6.0% Rent $1,000 $1,244 $1,517 $1,851 Canada Primary Rents and Hamilton. *% Chg Primary 8.2% 4.5% -3.7% 7.2% 5.4% 5.2% 2.5% Vacancy Rates

Rate Type

27%

Rate Rate Type Type Vacancy

Oct Oct Oct Oct '19 '20 '19 '20 2.1% 2.1% Vacancy Rates 2.1% 2.1% Rates Average $1,163 $1,221 Average Rents $1,163 $1,221 Rents *% Chg 5.0% 3.9% *% AvgChg Rent 5.0% 3.9% Avg Rent

YOY YOY 5.0% 5.0%

Bach Bach 3.1% 3.1%

1BR 1BR 1.9% 1.9%

2BR 2BR 2.1% 2.1%

3BR+ 3BR+ 3.0% 3.0%

$863 $1,076 $1,295 $1,435 $863 $1,076 $1,295 $1,435

-1.1% 5.1% -1.1% 5.1%

3.9% 3.9%

4.0% 4.0%

2.8% 2.8%

* Estimate of Percentage Change of Average Rent for units reported in both 2019 and 2020. Indicates suppressed to protect confidentiality or data not statistically reliable. *** Estimate of data Percentage Change of Average Rent for units reported in both 2019 and 2020. ** Indicates data suppressed to protect confidentiality or data not statistically reliable.

56% 56%

44% 44%

TOTAL RENTAL TOTAL RENTAL HOUSEHOLDS HOUSEHOLDS 7th 7th

Primary Primary Secondary Secondary

Largest Market Largest Market in Central in Central Canada Canada

theANNUAL – 19 theANNUAL – 19


N

d the usual

industry.

4,474,530 TOTAL RENTAL households in Canada in 2016

31.8%

OF CANADIAN households

RENT 46%

Primary Market Secondary Market

54%

CANADA’S PRIMARY MARKET RENTAL STATISTICS Canada’s Primary Market Rental Statistics Bach

1BR

2BR

3BR

Total

Number of Private Apartment Units

728,466

1,044,403

184,792

2,096,157

138,496

Private Apartment Vacancy Rates

4.6%

3.5%

2.8%

2.6%

3.2%

Private Apartment Average Rents

$865

$1,046

$1,125

$1,206

$1,087

Private Apartment Estimate of Percentage Change of Average Rent

4.5%

3.9%

3.5%

3.9%

3.7%

UNIVERSE OF BUILDINGS IN THEof PRIMARY BY NUMBER OF UNITS David Gargaro, editor RHB MARKETS Magazine, sat down with Tony Irwin, President and CEO of FRPO, to discuss their new initiative.

3-5 Units 42% 6-19 Units 26%

David: Why are you establishing a new small landlord committee under FRPO? What is your goal?

20-49 Units 17% 50-199 Units 9%

200+ Units Tony: Small landlords play an5% essential role in *In State of the Industry, the rent and vacancy figures stated reflect apartments within the Primary Rental Market. providing rental housing right across Ontario, so their voice and perspective are extremely theANNUAL – 9 important as we evaluate and prioritize FRPO’s advocacy efforts on an ongoing basis. FRPO’s strategic plan highlights the importance of supporting regional landlord associations, and in my view, this committee is an extension of that important work. The purpose of the committee is to share information, provide input into proposed legislation and regulation, and articulate views and concerns on behalf of our small landlord members.

Over 2,200 professionals who own or manage more than 350,000 rental homes in every part of Ontario are members of FRPO, as are our industry partners, including service providers, suppliers, and industry consultants. Whether you manage one small building or a single rental unit, or are part of the province’s largest property management firms, FRPO will help you. Owners and investors recognize that belonging to FRPO is one of the smartest investments they can make for their business. In addition to advocating on behalf of the industry, we offer our members many valuable programs to save on your bottom line, keep you informed and assist in your daily operations. Some of these programs include free legal information, credit check discounts, forms and leases, natural gas and electricity programs, educational sessions and networking events, and much more! David: What should small landlords know about FRPO and this initiative? What do they need to do?

David: Why should a small landlord join FRPO? How does it benefit them?

Tony: Election day in Ontario is June 2, which will bring changes to Queen’s Park regardless of the outcome. Once the dust settles and we know who will be in key positions including the Minister of Housing and Attorney General, FRPO will resume our efforts to advocate for changes to the Residential Tenancies Act and for reforms at the Landlord and Tenant Board that will benefit all rental housing operators. A new government is a time of hope and optimism, so I encourage anyone that is interested in participating on the small landlord committee to get in touch with us!

Tony: FRPO is the largest association in Ontario representing those who own, manage, build, and finance residential rental properties and their industry partners. FRPO works on behalf of our members to promote a balanced and healthy housing market with a vital rental housing

If you’re a rental property owner or manager in Ontario and want to get more involved with FRPO through the small landlord committee, or you’d like more information about FRPO, please visit www.frpo.org.

David: Thanks for your time!

Ontario’s leading advocate for quality rental housing FRPO is the largest association in Ontario representing those who own, manage, build and finance residential rental properties. For membership inquiries please contact Lynzi Michal, Director, Membership & Marketing Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario 20 Upjohn Road, Suite 105 Toronto M3B 2V9 416-385-1100 x 22 lmichal@frpo.org www.frpo.org

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 45


Yes, we can! Since MetCap Living established itself as a leader in property management, we have routinely been asked one, simple question; “Can you help us run our property more effectively?” And, for well over thirty years, the answer has remained — Yes, we can! Our managers are seasoned professionals, experienced in every detail of the day to day operations and maintenance of multi-unit rental properties. From marketing, leasing, finance and accounting, to actual physical, on-site management, we oversee everything. Guaranteed vacancy reduction, revenue growth and net profitability — when you’re ready to discuss a better option; we’ll be there. You can count on it. Kazi Shahnewaz Director, Business Development Office: 416.340.1600 x504 C. 647.887.5676 k.m.shahnewaz@metcap.com

www.metcap.com


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

Hot Topics: EOLO reports on the new City of Ottawa vacant unit tax, and on how rental housing providers can best implement organic recycling, which will be required soon in multi-residential buildings. pg. 49 WRAMA provides an update on Waterloo Region’s steps to create an affordable housing plan, CMHC’s latest rental market reports, and opportunities for WRAMA members to contribute. pg. 53 LPMA eports in detail on the latest CMHC Rental Market Report for London, and on key issues in buying and carrying smaller rental investment properties. pg 57 HDAA provides an update on the phased rollout of landlord licensing, Hamilton’s new vacant home tax, and opinions on single-family homes being bought for rental use. pg. 61

The Member Associations


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Montreal | Ottawa | Toronto | Edmonton | Calgary | Vancouver | Victoria

66 Leek Crescent, Richmond Hill, ON, L4B 1H1 info@solidgc.ca (905) 470-0707 solidgc.ca


Chair’s message This report explains two issues Ottawa rental housing providers need to address now. Below is an update on the working of the new vacant unit tax, which will impose an extra property tax of 1 per cent on units vacant for six months or more in buildings up to six units in size. On the next two pages, you will see an update on increasing recycling in multi-res buildings, and how one major EOLO member has managed the new need to provide organic recycling. - John Dickie, EOLO Chair

New City tax to apply on vacancies during 2022 Ottawa City Council has approved the proposed vacant unit tax (VUT) at 1 per cent of assessed value. The tax only applies to residential properties of six or fewer units. The City’s goals are to gain more rental housing supply, and to pressure owners to keep old properties in a better state of repair. The City intends to begin to levy the vacant unit tax in 2023, based on the vacancy/occupancy status of properties in 2022. Therefore, property owners may have to take action NOW to avoid a surprize property tax bill in 2023. Key provisions include: • The standard test for a vacant unit will be vacancy for six months or more during a calendar year, which need not be consecutive (triggering the VUT for the next year). • Units within two- to six-unit buildings will be assessed individually.

final tax bill for 2023, issued in May. That will also happen if no declaration is filed. Here are the exemptions: • Principal residences (including homes with “granny suites”) • Rural residences with a short-term rental permit • Seasonal property • Owner in a care home • The year of the owner’s death and the next year • A court order in a lawsuit that is blocking use or occupancy (unless the order is due to the owner’s negligence) • The year of purchase • Construction or renovations under a building permit

• Owners (or their property managers) will need to fill a declaration early in each year, stating the occupancy status of their properties during the previous calendar year, and claiming any applicable exemption. (All homeowners will need to file the declaration too.)

Property owners will be able to combine exemptions. For example, if a vacant property is purchased early in the year, vacancy for the rest of the year will not trigger the tax. If a building permit is sought reasonably promptly and obtained by May or June of the next year, and construction begins promptly, that will mean the vacancy in the next year will not trigger the tax either.

As an example, in January or February 2023, property owners will need to declare the vacancy status of their properties in 2022, and claim any exemption they are entitled to. Absent an exemption, if a property is vacant for six months or more in 2022, the VUT will be added to the

EOLO finds it ironic and annoying that much of the vacancy during re-developments occurs due to delays in the City’s approval processes, and in the necessary applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board, and yet the City is putting pressure on developers to minimize vacancies.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 49


Organic recycling in multi-residential buildings Ottawa City Council has decided that, from 2025, organic recycling will be required in all multiresidential buildings that receive municipal garbage collection. City staff and the EOLO Board recognize that implementing organic recycling will be challenging, but there is really no other good choice, and it can be done. EOLO addressed the issue at our Spring 2022 Education Event. What follows are the key points from that meeting.

Why is organic recycling needed? Ontario’s existing landfill capacity is expected to be exhausted by between 2034 to 2037. The City of Ottawa’s landfill on Trail Road is also expected to reach its capacity by that time unless more waste is diverted. Other waste disposal approaches are more expensive than landfills, and come with a continued need to divert what waste can be diverted. While only about 18 per cent of the solid waste collected by the City comes from the multi-residential sector, the multi-res diversion rate is only 16 per cent, whereas the rate is 52 per cent in the residential sector. One in four multi-res owners have begun organic diversion voluntarily. Experience shows organic diversion can usually be done in multires buildings. Environmentalists, the public and City Councilors are demanding that it be done. In addition, the Province says it will ban organics in landfills soon, so that contracting for private garbage collection will not offer an easy alternate solution.

EOLO’s position EOLO cannot succeed in stopping mandatory organic recycling for almost all multi-res buildings. Instead of fighting a losing battle, which would damage our environmental credibility, and aggravate the Councilors and the Solid Waste staff, the EOLO Board decided that EOLO’s lobbying goals should be the following: • Obtain a new requirement and process that works, while adding the least possible work, expense, and hassle for rental housing providers in implementing the new requirement • Engage the City to maximize its help in active measures to overcome and/or manage tenant reluctance to recycle • Communicate to EOLO’s members and all rental housing providers what is needed to implement organic diversion in multi-res buildings with the least work, expense, and hassle The rest of this article will be a start on the third goal, but there will likely be more information and help over the next few years.

How to succeed at organic recycling At least two major rental housing providers in Ottawa have successfully implemented organic recycling. One of those providers is Ferguslea Properties. David Boushey is Ferguslea’s Director of Maintenance Operations, who initiated and oversaw the implementation. He was assisted by Natalia Snajdr, a sustainability consultant with S & S Sustainability, who also assisted the other major rental housing provider with their earlier implementation. At EOLO’s Spring 2022 Education Event, David and Natalia presented their detailed action plan for implementing organic recycling at Accora Village, which is a rental community consisting of 2,466 rental units with almost 1,500 apartments in high-rise buildings.

Key points for success Ferguslea’s key points for success were: • Develop communications for residents & staff

50 | March/April 2022


• Ensure ease of use for residents  Location, location, location; if the bins are difficult for residents to access, they are less likely to participate in regular waste diversion  Cubbies/enclosures help with sanitation and avoiding pests • Create a structured training program for site staff • Green bin maintenance needs to be regular and thorough, especially in warmer seasons  Make sure staff are comfortable with the process; establish clear process, steps, tasks, messaging, and rational solutions to potential issues  Recognize & celebrate their significant contribution • Outreach to residents • Proper signage to help residents locate the green bins and properly divert their waste • Track success/failures to identify areas that need improving  Metrics, in-house progress report cards, etc.

Tips on infrastructure implementation Ferguslea split their implementation into two phases. Pre-launch, when green bins were not yet installed, started with a resident engagement period. Then property staff set up bin locations, signage, and other infrastructure without making the bins available. This was followed by resident engagement (including registration and follow up), and check-ins with property staff before the program rolled out. The Launch phase is when the green bins were installed. The site staff made daily checks to ensure no messes were present and lids were closed. On collection days, the site staff tracked and reported the diversion statistics. The bins were cleaned and re-installed to ensure residents remained confident in the program.

Tips on reporting and ongoing program maintenance Ferguslea reported the diversion metrics to site

staff and residents. This helps show the positive impact of the program, and rewards and reenforces the desired behavior. Rental housing providers should get feedback from their property staff and adjust their process accordingly. Any issues that appear need to be addressed immediately. This ensures bad habits and poor patterns are stopped early. Keep in mind the size of the bin (80L or 240L), weight constraints, the path to haul it out, etc. Weekend coverage is necessary, and be sure to keep seasonal and accessibility issues in mind when rolling out the program.

Help available from the City Help is available from the City Solid Waste Department by calling 311. More help may well be arranged, but as of now, the City will help with: • Identification of the best locations and sizing for green bins • Free green bins and countertop containers • Free education material for tenants • Additional support with promotion and education can be obtained free by contacting PWESOutreach@ottawa.ca

For more information For more particularized assistance (at a cost), rental housing providers are invited to reach out to: • Natalia Snajdr, of S & S Sustainability, at nsnajdr@gmail.com • Other consultants If your company uses a consultant, EOLO would like to hear their name and contact information, and your comments on how helpful they have been. For more information about organic recycling from EOLO, Ferguslea, and S & S Sustainability, email admin@eolo.ca to ask for the slide decks from March 23. All rental housing providers are welcome to that information. (EOLO members can also request EOLO’s political updates.)

BECOME AN EOLO MEMBER NOW! EOLO invites Ottawa area landlords to join the organization. Have your interests and concerns heard, and benefit from EOLO’s support. As an EOLO member, you will be able to: • Receive

prompt emails of relevant City rule changes

Attend two networking receptions a year

Attend two free education events a year

Receive all 6 annual issues of RHB Magazine with current developments, City and provincial funding programs, and landlord-tenant laws.

To apply for membership, go to www.eolo.ca, download the membership application form and send it to us at the contact info on that website.

rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 51


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

What’s new at the CMHC?

Romy Bowers is the president and CEO of CMHC, and MLI Select is its newest


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Welcome to Spring 2022! As we move through spring and into summer, one thing remains on the minds of industry associations across the province: affordable housing. I was on a recent call led by FRPO, which is looking to take a leadership role in how we as housing providers can be part of the solution. Many ideas have been put forth; however, there are a few that stand out as the main issues impacting affordability. Creating more supply through a number of measures as well as fixing the Landlord and Tenant Board are certainly at the top of the list. Locally, we continue to see municipalities looking at new programs and incentives to help create more affordable housing. Waterloo recently launched a review of its Affordable Housing Strategy. There are six goals and 30 action items contained in the discussion paper that could guide the development of a blueprint moving forward. Public consultation is now requested and this is your chance to help shape policy moving forward on this very important issue. As for the Region of Waterloo, they are also in the midst of creating new programs to help increase affordable housing in the Region. They have stated they have a goal of creating 2,500 new affordable units (either by new creation or by placing new units in existing buildings throughout the Region). This is a very ambitious goal and will no doubt require having a number of new tools to help reach it. You may have seen an email we sent in early April requesting your feedback from the Region. As part of the goal of creating 2,500 new units, the Region wants to know more about what works and what doesn’t, as well as any new ideas that can help reach this target. I hope you had the chance to voice your opinion on this topic as well. Lastly, we continue to see the market for multi-residential properties continue to soar. Rental rates continue to push higher as the availability of quality units remains scarce. The same can be said about properties trading hands. With very little product available, the pricing has continued to edge upward as demand outpaces supply. Interest rates have shot up since our last update, which to this point has not affected pricing.

James Craig

As we push closer to the summer, we will be talking more about the upcoming election and how it will impact our industry. We know affordable housing will be a hot topic and we should be well informed on the right path forward.

- James Craig, WRAMA President president@wrama.com

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March 2022 event In March, we welcomed David Carruthers, Senior Analyst of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). As an analyst with CMHC’s Market Insights team, David is responsible for monitoring the local housing market in the KCW region and is responsible for producing CMHC’s Rental Market Report for KCW. Market Insights at CMHC has the responsibility to David Carruthers monitor and report on the state of local housing markets across Canada. As a part of their work, they also have the opportunity to conduct research as they try to better understand the drivers of housing markets. CMHC’s aspiration as an organization is that by 2030, everyone in Canada will have a home that they can afford and that meets their needs. The Market Insights team produces the Rental Market Report, which summarizes and analyzes movements in local rental markets across Canada, including the Kitchener-WaterlooCambridge area. This builds on the work of others at CMHC who conduct the Rental Market Survey, which provides some of the most relevant and focused information on Canadian rental markets, especially purpose-built rental units. The most recent Rental Market Report, published in February 2022, is available on the CMHC website at www.cmhc.ca.

We’re looking for Board members Are you a local resident of the Waterloo Region with knowledge and expertise in the rental housing business? WRAMA is looking to recruit additional Board members and we’d like to hear from you. If you’re interested, please send an email to president@wrama.com.

Not yet a WRAMA member? The Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association is the result of demand for Landlord advocacy in the Waterloo Region. We advocate for our members, provide networking and presentation opportunities, provide up-to-date and important industry information, and connect our members with leasers in the rental housing business.

Opportunities to grow We provide regular events and networking opportunities to our members and are committed to ensuring members receive quality digital and in-person networking events. We endeavour to keep our events relevant, engaging, and informative.

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Opportunities to contribute Do you think your knowledge or expertise in the industry is of value to our membership? Your contributions to the rental housing industry and your involvement contribute directly to our success. We are always welcoming new members, speakers and presenters, and associate members.

Regular communication to guide you Our emailed communications are sent each month and are here to lend you support in your professional practice. We believe in bringing relevant and important communication directly to your inbox so you can keep up to date with industry changes.

To become a WRAMA member, visit www.wrama.com.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Adding value to memberships is a priority for LPMA As we return to nicer weather and fewer restrictions, LPMA is busy behind the scenes. Here are a few updates. The website member portal has gone live and we’re working to make it available to all members. To start, they will be able to update their account, see and pay outstanding invoices, purchase forms and educational seminars, and register for events. Future updates will expand the website’s functionality. The food drive was a great success. Thank you to everyone who contributed. LPMA’s open forum sessions have been well received by our membership. Public open forum sessions are offered occasionally, so be sure to watch out for them if you aren’t a member. These sessions will be held throughout the summer.

Shane Haskell

Mark your calendars to include two important dates: the virtual AGM date on May 17 and our golf tournament on September 12. Until next time, be safe.

- Shane Haskell, President, LPMA R E N T S A R E ‘ R E L AT I V E LY L O W A N D A F F O R D A B L E ’ I N T H E L O N D O N R E G I O N : C M H C A small increase in the supply of rental housing units, which fell to 2.5 per cent, the lowest on in the London region has kept rents from rising record, from 4.7 per cent in 2020. Students significantly, but not enough to ease affordability most commonly rent bachelor units due to their concerns for the lowest-income tenants. affordability, Muhtaj said. The vacancy rate for twobedroom units dropped to 1.7 per cent, down from The ability of those renters to find a unit in their 3.1 per cent. price range was further complicated by a dramatic fall in the vacancy rate, according to the latest Despite the strong demand, landlords haven’t Rental Market Report from the Canada Mortgage raised rents substantially due to increased and Housing Corporation (CMHC). competition facilitated by 888 new units that were added to the rental housing supply in 2021, up The vacancy rate for from 746 new units in 2020. The average rent for purpose-built units all bedroom types increased by just 3 per cent in in the London census 2021, down from 7 per cent in 2020. The average metropolitan area rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,275 a plummeted to 1.9 per cent month, an increase of 2.9 per cent, but down from in October 2021 from 3.4 6.8 per cent in 2020. The same-sized unit rents for per cent one year earlier. less in London than it does in Kitchener-Waterloo, Musawer Muhtaj, senior Ottawa, and Hamilton. analyst, economics, CMHC, attributed the Even so, affordability concerns continue to deepen Musawer Muhtaj lower vacancy rate to for the lowest-income tenants. Only 2 per cent new supply growing of the rental market is affordable to the lowest more slowly than demand, a healthier local income quintile with an annual income of less economy in 2021, and demand from immigrants. than $25,000 a year. A minimal amount of privateIncreased numbers of students also played a role market rental housing available at both ends of as Western University and Fanshawe College held the spectrum causes tenants in the lowest quintile in-person classes. The largest declines in vacancy to look for housing in unaffordable rent ranges, rates were in the neighbourhoods surrounding while households in the highest quintile seek both institutions.The vacancy rate decreased for accommodation in lower rent ranges than they can all bedroom types, but most notably for bachelor afford.

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Success in renting a unit depends on who can afford more, Muhtaj said. “The market remains tight. There are some available units, but it wouldn’t be enough to bring a lot more options to people,” he noted, adding that more options lead to greater affordability. “It’s important to spread that supply out to accommodate everyone overall.” A new metric introduced by CMHC assessed how many hours renters need to work to pay their rent. That amount is higher in London than in many other cities in Ontario. For example, an average household needed to work 154 hours a month in London to keep rent for a two-bedroom apartment at an affordable level (30 per cent of their gross income), up from 139 hours in 2020. Immigration was a factor in demand as the number of permanent resident admissions exceeded that of previous years. According to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the total number was 86 per cent higher by the end of the third quarter of 2021 than the total number of admissions for all of 2020. More people also arrived in London from other larger cities, Muhtaj said. Some sold their homes in the GTA and rented units in London while some tenants who work remotely relocated to London due to the lower cost of living, including rental housing. “People move to London because the rents are relatively low and affordable,” Muhtaj said. C A S H F L O W C A N B E A C A S U A LT Y O F B U Y I N G H I G H - P R I C E D R E N TA L P R O P E R T I E S As the value of real estate escalates, many professionals are investing in rental housing as a sideline that will provide them with additional income. However, those who pay high prices often fail to consider how they will finance their daily operations once they are landlords, particularly when their units are empty or when tenants stop paying the rent. Sean McNally, a landlord with a full-time career, says real estate is a big investment. “If people are getting into being a landlord, they need to know what they’re getting into. It’s not a giant cash cow or a magical money tree. It’s a lot of work.” McNally says many buyers are banking on the value of a property increasing over time. But if landlords hold their real estate for the long term, they might not realize that return until decades later. In the meantime, they could struggle to maintain a sufficient cash flow. Sean McNally “There are all kinds of expenses that creep up. Maintenance can be deferred but only for so long,” he says. “You really have to plan for where you’re going to spend your money.” Andrew Macallum, a sales representative with Royal LePage Commercial in Kitchener, says that investors in the last decade have viewed real estate as a tangible and predictable investment. Real estate offers them more control over the return it yields compared to other types of investments in which the investor is distanced from both the investment and its management. The appeal of real estate has grown even greater in the last few years, says Macallum, who is also a landlord. Investors are particularly interested in purpose-built triplexes and sixplexes but there is stiff competition to buy them because so few owners are selling them. Buyers are placing bids on all properties with limited or no conditions, including financing. “In entry-level properties, we’re seeing multiple bids and tons and tons of interest. There are a lot

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of investors who can see value in real estate,” Macallum says. “All cash with firm offers seem to be more common.” Buyers should pay particular attention to the condition and age of components that would be costly to replace, such as Andrew Macallum roofs and windows. They should also have a fund so they can replace aging infrastructure and pay unexpected bills. “Do your research when you tour the property, put together the most competitive bid you can, and then be prepared when you have the keys in hand for the next steps,” Macallum says. If a prospective buyer includes financing as a condition on the purchase of a property, it could lead to disappointment, Macallum says. For example, a bank might value a property priced at $1 million as being worth only $600,000. The bank will finance only 80 per cent of $600,000 and the investor could potentially need to provide a down payment of at least $520,000. Macallum says smaller investors who buy a property for an optimum price and get a mortgage on it can expect a very tight cash flow or even a negative cash flow if the rent isn’t sufficient after the costs to operate the property are accounted for. They also need a plan to increase income or decrease expenses, or both, to make the investment stronger. That can be accomplished by renovating units to improve them, adding units to the building or managing the property on their own. If investors decide they lack the time or skills to manage the property, they should evaluate property management companies on more than their fees alone. Trying to pay the least amount of money could undermine the investment “instead of pushing it to perform at its best,” Macallum says. Buyers need to determine whether they will own

the property in the short or long term, how much value they want to derive from it, and what their exit strategy will be. Capital gains on a property, as well as the fees involved in purchasing and closing a property, must also be considered. “Planning is key,” Macallum says. McNally says although it’s critical for landlords to research prospective renters’ credit and reference history, problems can still develop. One of his tenants, who had previously been reliable, didn’t pay rent for nearly a year, didn’t meet the payment plan schedule, and then ignored it entirely. McNally says there’s little he can do to remedy the situation since a backlog at the Landlord and Tenant Board is resulting in landlords having to wait up to a year to have their cases heard. Even so, it’s important for landlords to adhere to their regimen for evicting non-paying tenants. “You need to make sure that you have a process in place. Don’t worry what the excuses are. Stick to your process,” McNally says. He recommends that novice landlords join a professional organization such as LPMA where they can connect with more experienced members, and network with paralegals and property managers. “It’s really valuable to be part of an organization just to have that information. The government doesn’t make it easy to navigate the forms and the rules, so it’s really valuable,” McNally stresses.

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 Tina Potter. Ph: 519-672-6999 Web: www.LPMA.ca

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Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations Canada’s voice for the rental housing industry at the federal level.

Join Canada’s leading rental housing providers, suppliers and industry associations. Become a direct member of CFAA today!

Your support will help ensure our industry

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Find out more about the benefits and costs of a CFAA membership. www.CFAA-FCAPI.org | admin@cfaa-fcapi.org


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE There is a lot of excitement in the air as we have finally come to a place where most COVID-19 restrictions, including masks, have gone and we anticipate being able to get back to things in a more normal capacity. The HDAA was finally able to host our first in-person dinner in over two years and we were happy our members were as excited by the great turnout. We look forward to continuing in-person events, including dinner meetings, a golf tournament, and a tradeshow later in the year. It has not been easy for the rental housing industry but we have persevered through the worst. I think we have come out the other side stronger and are ready for whatever battles come next. -

Arun Pathak, President, HDAA

Licensing rollout In our last update on licensing, we were discouraged and disappointed with the Planning Committee’s decision to move forward with the licensing regime in Hamilton. Although the staff report recommended the delay of licensing to Q1 of 2023, citing issues with supply, pandemicrelated problems, concerns with increased rents, and lack of affordable housing, the committee decided to proceed. There was also the addition of secondary dwelling legislation and a revamped property standards bylaw that could address many issues brought up by tenant advocacy groups that will not have enough time to be fully seen before licensing comes into effect. The HDAA and Joe Hoffer from Cohen Highley, retained by HDAA, spoke at the September 21 meeting that discussed licensing and its implementation, but our thoughts, concerns, and recommendations were largely ignored. The HDAA is disappointed with the Committee’s lack of understanding and knowledge of the effects a licensing regime will have in the city. We hope the pilot project will be unsuccessful and the matter will die there. There will be many consequences for landlords and tenants. Housing supply and affordability will suffer and we worry about what our rental housing market will look like in the next few years. The regime will involve a two-year licensing pilot project, contained to a few wards, mostly those that encompass the Mohawk College and McMaster University regions. The City of Hamilton has begun rolling out the licensing regime in phases, requiring landlords to obtain a license to continue providing rental housing. We

will keep an eye on how the pilot project rolls out and how it affects the rental housing market and will continue to provide updates.

Vacant home tax The City of Hamilton had been reviewing the feasibility of imposing a tax on vacant residential properties to add more supply to the market. The idea is investors are holding onto properties for speculative purposes instead of adding to the supply by renting these properties. A survey was conducted to get the opinions of residents and stakeholders the feedback was reviewed and recommendations were provided to the council in February 2022. Council voted in favour of asking the provincial government for permission to implement a vacant home tax in Hamilton, effectively holding off launching the 1 per cent tax until the province provides the green light. Council hopes to hear the province’s decision before committing resources to the issue from the 2022 budget. The anticipated cost of implementing the tax is approximately $2.6 million with the majority being allocated to operating costs, including 16 full-time positions. Lou Piriano, president of the Realtor’s Association of Hamilton-Burlington, appeared before the council to argue against the vacant home tax, saying “Any such tax does not guarantee more supply, but may simply go down as an extra cost of doing business in Hamilton, therefore discouraging economic investment,” adding that it involves a lot of money for very little return.

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Ownership housing being used as rental housing Last year we saw a wave of outrage over the news a developer (Core Development Group) was planning to buy and rent out thousands of single-family homes. They were taken aback by the negative sentiments in the news as they were convinced they were answering a need by creating more affordable rental homes in places where people wanted to live. They focused mostly on mid-sized cities like London and Waterloo, where prices were increasing, as they were viable markets for converting properties to rental housing. These cities were also in-demand as affordability was becoming an issue, but the desire to live there was still strong. This brings to light one potential reason for the lack of housing supply in the market: homes intended for end users are being purchased by investors and turned into rental housing. These developers saw a need and an opportunity for a viable business venture. Housing prices in many areas have nearly doubled within the past couple of years, making them unaffordable for many interested buyers. But that does not take away the buyers’ desire to live in certain neighbourhoods. This leaves a few options for buyers: they can either move further away from their desired areas until they find a location they can afford or they can rent a home in the neighbourhood of their choice and save for homeownership in the future. An additional aggravating factor is the push toward densification. The province wants more housing supply created while using less land. The best solution is through condominium buildings and perhaps townhomes, not single-family detached homes. The old-fashioned home is becoming less of a reality for many and will continue to become more challenging as fewer single-family detached homes are built while the demand continues to increase along with prices. The demand for housing is there but it has also significantly increased for rental properties. This has created an environment where organizations like Core Development Group see an opportunity to buy properties that were intended to be enduser homes and turn them into rental housing. They are buying unaffordable homes and providing a more affordable product through rental housing. The rental housing market is strong as well. According to 2016 census data, nearly 30 per cent of Canadians, or 4.4 million households, rent their home; statistics from the Canadian government show they’re under increasing pressure. This is a large segment of the population that may increase over the coming years as homeownership becomes more challenging. This is exacerbated by the lack of purpose-built rental housing. If the lack of rental housing was not an issue, then there would be a lot more homes available for end users and the housing supply issues would decrease. The Bank of Canada says one in five people buying a house do so as an investment, meaning there is a lot of interest to turn these houses into rental properties. If there had been a consistent and continual supply of purpose-built rental housing over the last few decades, we would have a lot more end-user homes available, as there would be less interest in turning these properties into rentals. We need to shift some focus to building purpose-built rentals to cater to the demand. Hamilton is a prime example of how the lack of purpose-built housing, or in this case purpose-built student housing, has affected the community. Around McMaster University, there are many single-family detached properties that have been converted to student housing. If more purpose-built student housing was provided, there would be no need to provide this type of housing for students and these homes would go to end users.

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It might not solve the whole issue but making sure there is enough purpose-built rental housing might help to see more end-user housing being used. Even our single-family detached homes are seen as opportunities to become duplexes to provide much-needed housing. These types of strategies would not be as popular if the demand was not as strong and people rented out properties that were built for rental purposes.

Upcoming events May 18, 2022 – Dinner Meeting The HDAA is looking forward to hosting our second in-person dinner meeting on May 18. Tony Irwin from FRPO will be discussing updates on initiatives with the LTB and other topics as we get closer to the provincial election.

Previous events March 9, 2022 – Dinner Meeting The HDAA was excited to hold our first inperson dinner in over two years! We had a great turnout and it was wonderful to see our members in person again. Arun Pathak, President of the HDAA, provided an update on what the HDAA has been up to in the last two years, introduced our new board members, and provided a summary of the CMHC Rental Market Report. Some points of interest included the overall vacancy rate decreasing to 2.8 per cent even with the largest supply increase in over 30 years. This demand stemmed from fewer renters transitioning into homeownership, improved employment conditions, and stronger in-migration of student renters, immigrants, and renters from Toronto. Asking rents on vacant units were also up to 20 per cent and were more expensive than rents paid by current tenants due to scarce options and a rent freeze on most occupied units.

The HDAA was also excited to be joined by Marvin Ryder, Associate Professor, Marketing and Entrepreneurship at McMaster University, who spoke on the national, provincial, and local economic outlook for 2022. He shared valuable information and provided some great insights. He discussed the growth of the economy, which grew approximately 4.8 per cent last year, as well as a decrease in unemployment rates; we have more people working now than we did before the pandemic. There will likely be interest rate increase announcements throughout the year but the stress test should limit the impacts of those increases. He discussed inflation and how we should be focusing on core inflation, which does not include highly variable commodities should as gas, and gives a better picture of true inflation. With regard to the general housing market, the banks and government are looking for house prices to freeze for several years but whether this happens is to be seen. House prices are becoming unsustainable, which leads to a potentially precarious bubble environment. He provided an interesting mentality shift in our younger generations with regard to using debt to gain equity and using that equity to pay off debt versus paying down mortgage debt completely, which with the growth in housing prices is understandable. He discussed the time value of money and how it relates to the substantial new debt the federal government added during the pandemic, saying there will likely be no intention to pay off the debt but carry it until the debt is not as significant. For example, a $5,000 mortgage decades ago might have been quite substantial whereas now this may be a credit card bill for some people.

Hamilton & District Apartment Association Since 1960, the Hamilton & District Apartment Association has grown significantly. Our members manage over 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: 905-616-2058 Web: www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca

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Final Take Away

Brought to you by Yardi Canada Ltd

Prepare for leasing season with a complete digital marketing strategy By Peter Altobelli, Vice President, Yardi Canada Ltd.

As Canadians look forward to spring and a chance to practice their social skills, all signs point to a solid year ahead for the apartment market. The Yardi Canadian Multifamily report reveals as of December 2021, the national average in-place rent was $1,326, a 2.2 per cent increase from 2020. Demand for rental units was boosted by steady job growth, rising immigration and an aging population. For example, Generation Z, the largest generation ever, is now entering the rental market. This is welcome news, but the leasing landscape is not quite the same as it was pre-pandemic. Let’s look at the ways you can prepare for a busy leasing season, with an emphasis on the importance of minimizing disruption with a marketing strategy powered by an integrated technology stack including corporate websites, Internet Listing Service (ILS), applicant screening and resident portals.

Websites & ILS Without a modern web presence integrated with ILS marketing, you’re left to your own devices to list your properties, update each unit description individually, replace photos as necessary, etc. Even if you have a website, your property information won’t necessarily syndicate across ILS sites. That means you have to update every property description twice, once on your website and at least once on the ILS. Multi-ILS management is not just time-consuming, it’s also expensive. Fortunately, there are digital platforms that offer a free lead-to-lease service. When your website and ILS seamlessly talk to each other, you only have to make updates to your property photos, descriptions, etc. one time, in one place. The edits will automatically push out across all syndication sites associated with your account. To further maximize efficiency, this service should be built into your property management software. Having it connected with the rest of your property management operations, such as accounting and reporting, is a gamechanger. Property managers who take advantage of a fully integrated technology stack can expect to see a significant increase in leads and leases year-over-year. That means more profit for less effort.

Resident screening In a time when face-to-face interactions are still limited, it is crucial to ensure your renters are who they say they are and you are bringing only wellqualified residents into your community. Fraud prevention remains one of the most important parts of a property manager’s job, and if you’re using software with integrated resident screening,

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you gain near-instant access to their credit history, criminal record and more. Running thorough background checks gives you and your entire community peace of mind. With an automated and integrated approach to resident screening, the process is programmed into your leasing workflow, so before any prospect can complete the application process, they must go through virtual screening.

Online portals Self-service resident portals focus on removing communication barriers between staff and residents. With online portals, residents can pay rent and submit maintenance requests from anywhere, at any time. Portals also increase transparency, allowing residents and owners to log in and securely view information that’s important to them. With easy mobile access to view account details and do more online, residents and owners won’t have to call the office nearly as often (a feature coveted by Gen Z). As a result, these portals also give staff more bandwidth to focus on higher-value tasks.

Property management software is key Connectivity has become a vital part of our lives. The easiest way to integrate corporate websites and ILS syndication, resident screening and online portals into your digital marketing strategy is to invest in the right property management software. Don’t miss out on quality renters who are looking for easy online access and services that your competitors might already offer. Real estate professionals who prioritize addressing customer pain points will achieve stronger returns in 2022. To learn more about your tech options, visit yardibreeze.ca.


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