Vol. 14 No. 4 October 2021
Canada’s #1 most widely read publication for Apartment Owners, Managers and Association Executives
The official publication of:
A closer look at the imbalance between provincial rent increases and inflation
A look back at the 2021 federal election
While the government remains the same, the numbers behind the election tell an interesting story.
Changes in BC’s processes for additional rent increases and end of tenancy for renovations The new processes will affect both landlords and tenants.
Real estate associations look ahead
Topics include challenges, technology affecting the industry, and what’s ahead for 2022.
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EDITOR’S NOTES Giving thanks We’re several weeks past Thanksgiving, but we should always take the time to give thanks for what we have and what has gone well, especially given the difficult year we’ve had. I’d like to give thanks for my family, who I’ve been able to spend a lot more time with than usual. I’d like to give thanks for the opportunities to make a living doing what I enjoy. I’d like to give thanks for my health, and being able to spend another birthday enjoying life. And I’d like to give thanks for the ability to enjoy the little pleasures in life. What are you thankful for? The October issue of RHB Magazine features an article on the imbalance between provincial rent increases and inflation. We researched changes in average and median incomes across the country, as well as the overall increase in the Consumer Price Index for water, fuel, and electricity, comparing them to provincial rent increases. We also looked at rent increases on a province by province basis. The second article takes a look back at the 2021 federal election. While the Liberals retained power in a minority government, there were some interesting numbers behind the election, as well as new investments promised in the Liberal platform with respect to the housing industry. The third article describes the changes in BC’s processes for additional rent increases and the end of tenancy for renovations. Check out CFAA’s newsletter, National Outlook, as well as the Regional Association Voice. Yardi Canada writes about what real estate associations are looking forward to with respect to relevant issues and technologies. Multi-Unit Review examines the strength of the multifamily market going into the fourth quarter of 2021. We support two-way communication, so send your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and take care!
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One year $49.99 Cdn Two years $79.99 Cdn Single copy sales $9.99 Cdn Opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the CFAA Board or management. CFAA and RHB Inc. accept no liability for information contained herein. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without the written permission from the publisher. P.O. Box 696, Maple, ON L6A 1S7 416-236-7473 Produced in Canada
Enjoy the issue! David Gargaro Senior Editor
4 | October 2021
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VOL.14 NO.4 2021
Changes in BC’s processes for additional rent increases and end of tenancy for renovations The new processes will affect both landlords and tenants.
RHB’s forum for rental housing associations to share news, events and industry information
Free Market for Thee but not for Me
Hot Topics: EOLO addresses the new area MPs elected in September, both of whom had strong ties with EOLO in their former roles as City Councillor and provincial cabinet minister, respectively. EOLO also addresses the City of Ottawa’s plans to promote, incent, and if need be require energy retrofits for rental housing providers to switch from heating with natural gas. pg. 45 WRAMA provides a history of recent guideline rent increases for Ontario, how members can access WRAMA’s past meeting records, and information about recent speakers at WRAMA events. pg. 49
A closer look at the imbalance between provincial rent increases and inflation.
HDAA reports on the status of landlord licensing and the Hamilton urban boundary expansion, as well as the appointment of a new Hamilton Councillor to replace the Councillor who was elected as a Liberal MP, and also on the other MPs elected from Hamilton ridings in the September 20 general election. pg. 53 LPMA welcomes a new Administrator, and discusses issues in renting to the Afghan refugees, many of whom worked with the Canadian Armed Forces during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. LPMA also reports on the return of international students to the London rental market, and CMHC’s views on the need for more rental supply at all price points. pg. 57
The Member Associations
Regional Association Voice RAV features the latest industry news from four member associations.
A look back at the 2021 federal election While the government remains the same, the numbers behind the election tell an interesting story.
6 | October 2021
Final Take Away Real estate associations discuss challenges, new technologies, and what’s ahead for 2022.
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PRESIDENT’S CORNER This issue provides insight on Canada’s federal general election. What is the regional breakdown of the parties’ support? What is the breakdown between urban and rural areas? What are wedge politics? What promises were made about housing? Those topics and more are addressed in articles starting on pages 24 and 35. There are also election reports from the cities of Hamilton and Ottawa, in Regional Association Voice at pages 45 and 57. In the short and long terms, a key political issue is climate change policy. Page 38 of the last issue of National Outlook, in the July/ August issue of RHB Magazine, provided an explanation of where many governments in Canada are headed on measures to fight climate change, and what impact some key steps would have on renters and on rental housing providers of all sizes. At page 46 of this issue, EOLO reports on moves by the City of Ottawa on climate change. Ottawa is following Toronto (and Calgary and Edmonton), and in turn other Ontario cities may follow them too.
exhibitors are offering to make your business more successful, or your life easier! Go to www.CFAA-FCAPI.org, and click on Events & Awards. CFAA does not provide your contact information to the exhibitors without your consent. There is a contact form in the top right-hand corner of each booth for you to use if you wish. The Home Depot remains a key CFAA Strategic Partner. By registering your membership in CFAA (either directly or through one of our 12 member associations) with Home Depot Pro, you benefit yourself and CFAA. The support of The Home Depot has helped CFAA weather the pandemic. We look forward to a continued partnership benefitting every rental housing provider reading this magazine.
CFAA looks forward to hosting CFAA Rental Housing Conference from May 9 to 11, 2022, on an in-person basis. We will be 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 well liked Economic Update. We hope to see you there! Plan also to join colleagues in Halifax for CFAA- RHC 2023, in June, 20 months from now. Until December 15, 2021, CFAA invites you to visit the virtual Tradeshow booths of the Tradeshow exhibitors from 2021, at no charge, and any time, 24/7. Find out what the
8 | October 2021
John Dickie, CFAA President John Dickie, CFAA President
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 9
In this issue of... NATIONAL OUTLOOK 35. What was the regional breakdown of the parties’ support in Election 2021? What is the breakdown between urban and rural areas across Canada? What are the opportunities and risks for rental housing providers from the renewed federal Liberal government?
CFAA Member Associations
39. When will Canada’s rental housing industry meet for CFAA Rental Housing Conference 2022? Where? Who will be the keynote speaker? And what about the month and location for 2023?
Greater Toronto Apartment Association (GTAA) www.gtaaonline.com P: 416-385-3435
40. W hat categories will be available in the CFAA Rental Housing Awards in 2022? Who can apply? When can they apply? When and where will the winners be recognized?
41. W hy buy the CFAA Rental Housing Employees Compensation & Benefit Survey? What job categories are covered? What regional breakdowns are available? How can you find out how a person can use the report to make better compensation decisions?
To subscribe to CFAA’s e-Newsletter, please send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations represents the owners and managers of close to one million residential rental suites in Canada, through 11 apartment associations and direct landlord memberships across Canada. CFAA is the sole national organization representing the interests of Canada’s $525 billion rental housing industry. For more information about CFAA itself, see www.cfaa-fcapi.org or telephone 613-235-0101.
10 | October 2021
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
Hamilton & District Apartment Association (HDAA) www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca P: 905-632-4435 Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS) www.ipoans.ns.ca P: 902-425-3572 LandlordBC www.landlordbc.ca P: 1-604-733-9440 Vancouver Office P: 604-733-9440 Victoria Office P: 250-382-6324 London Property Management Association (LPMA) www.lpma.ca P: 519-672-6999 Manufactured Home Park Owners Alliance of British Columbia (MHPOA) www.mhpo.com P: 1-877-222-4560 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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A closer look at the imbalance between provincial rent increases and inflation By David Gargaro
A rental property owner’s ability to increase rents typically depends on whether the province or territory has rent control. If there is rent control, the government sets the rent increase guideline, which is a percentage limit on the rent increase that can be charged absent special circumstances. If there is no rent control, the rental property owner can increase the rent by the amount they deem appropriate. In some cases, they’ll use inflation and increases in operating expenses to guide their decision-making on rent levels. Average income levels and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) have increased over the last few years. However, rent increases in rent-controlled provinces have not kept pace. As a result, rental property owners are not charging market rates and are earning less than they should be.
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 15
Comparing rent increases to income and CPI First, let’s look at how incomes have changed from 2016 to 2019 on a province-by-province basis. This is the most recently available data collected from Statistics Canada. Table 1 shows the average (and median) total income levels by province from 2016 to 2019. Table 1: Provincial total incomes (average and median), 2016-2019
Average (median) Average (median) income, 2016 income, 2019
Percentage change in average (median) income, 2016-2019
Newfoundland and Labrador
Over the four-year period, all but two provinces experienced increases in both their average and median incomes. The average income increased from 0.9 per cent to 10.5 per cent, while the median income increased from 2.2 per cent to 10.5 per cent. Therefore, the argument that most tenants cannot afford market-rate increases in rent is patently false, as their incomes generally increased over time. Holding the line on rent increases (i.e., freezing rents) is unnecessary and a burden on rental property owners. Table 2: Provincial CPI, water, fuel, and electricity, August 2020 and August 2021
Percentage change in CPI from August 2020 to August 2021
Newfoundland and Labrador
16 | October 2021
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Delivered to you by Low-income people improved their position due to the pandemic and the related relief programs By John Dickie, CFAA President During the COVID-19 pandemic, many housing advocates have said that the pandemic has hurt lowincome earners more than mid- and high-income earners, because service industry jobs have borne the brunt of reduced hours or employment. Do the figures support that notion? Statistics Canada has produced what they call experimental earnings and income data to try to produce the data on a more timely basis. Here are their results on a Canada-wide basis. The results suggest that the pandemic relief benefits programs offset a surge of low earned income during the pandemic for a large portion of families in Canada. While median weekly family earnings (wages, salaries, and selfemployment income) fell significantly from February 2020 (pre-pandemic) to April 2020, median weekly family income, which includes income from CERB and other pandemic relief programs, was relatively unchanged. To see how many families rose or fell in relative incomes, Statistics Canada created low-income thresholds based on the percentage of families falling above or below 50 per cent of the respective provincial median income observed in 2019 (pre-pandemic), adjusted for family size. See Chart 1.
Similar to the results on average weekly earnings and income, a surge in the proportion of persons having low weekly family earnings was offset by increases in government transfers. As a result, there was no surge of the percentage of people with low weekly family incomes, but rather a decline in that percentage. That means more low-income people became better off than became worse off. Specifically, the share of persons in families with family earnings below the low-income threshold rose from 28.4 per cent in February to 39.3 per cent in April (an increase of 10.9 percentage points). With the addition of EI, CERB, and other relief benefits, the share of persons in families with family income below the low-income threshold actually fell from February to April 2020, from 23.3 to 19.8 per cent, reflecting the impact of the pandemic relief programs. The experimental low-weekly income rate increased slightly during the second half of 2020 as the CERB program was replaced by a combination of CRB and a revamped EI program, but the low-income rate remained below its pre-pandemic level to 17.2 per cent in March 2021 (down from 23.3 per cent). Let’s say that again: the proportion of low-income recipients decreased with the pandemic because of the generous relief programs. As a group, low-income people did not see a decline in their relative income position, rather they saw an improvement!
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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the average change in prices over time that consumers pay for a basket of goods and services (e.g., transportation, electricity, medical care). Water, fuel, and electricity make up a significant portion of a rental property owner’s costs to operate their buildings, especially when tenants are not directly responsible for paying these expenses. Table 2 shows the provincial breakdown of CPI for water, fuel, and electricity, comparing August 2020 and 2021 (source: Statistics Canada). Except for Saskatchewan, every province had a one-year increase in the CPI for water, fuel, and electricity, ranging from 4.0 to 25.4 per cent. These increases are much higher than the average rent increase for provinces with rent control. Rental property owners have not been able to recoup these increased operational costs through rent increases. As a result, their revenue fell behind their key operating costs during this period. Note that Table 2 only shows the CPI for water, fuel, and electricity. It does not display increases in the costs of property maintenance and repairs, human resources, cleaning, and other expenses related to running a rental property. Considering that all of these costs (particularly cleaning) have increased, it is easy to see that revenues from rent have not kept up with expenses.
Province-by-province breakdown of rent increases Let’s take a quick look at rent increases on a province-by-province basis for 2021.
British Columbia British Columbia has rent control. However, the BC government has imposed a rent increase freeze until December 31, 2021. Rent increase notices cannot be sent to be effective between March 30, 2020 and January 1, 2022. If a rental property owner collects a rent increase within this period, the tenant can deduct the difference from future rent payments. Effective January 1, 2022, the maximum allowable rent increase will be 1.5 per cent. Rental property owners must use a government-approved Notice of Rent Increase form to provide tenants with three months’ notice of a rent increase.
Alberta Alberta does not have rent control, other than on the timing of rent increases. Rental property owners can only increase the rent if they have not increased the rent within the previous 12 months or since the beginning of the tenancy (whichever is later). The rental property owners must provide advance written notice. The amount of notice depends on the term of the tenancy. The rental property owner must give 12 full weeks’ notice for weekly tenancies, three full tenancy months for monthly tenancies, and 90 days for all other tenancies.
Saskatchewan Saskatchewan does not have rent control, other than on the timing of rent increases. Rental
20 | October 2021
property owners cannot increase the rent during a fixed-term lease unless both the tenant and rental property owner agree to the amount of increase and the time of increase when the tenant signs the fixed lease. Also, the rental property owners cannot provide notice of a rent increase within six months of the start of tenancy or the date of the previous rent increase (whichever is later).
Manitoba Manitoba has rent control. The rent increase guideline for 2021 was 1.6 per cent. However, the provincial government amended the Residential Tenancies Act to set a 0 per cent annual rent increase guideline for 2022 and 2023, to pass through reductions to the education property tax across rental housing. The province sets the rent increase guideline annually, which takes effect on January 1. Rental property owners can apply for a larger increase in rent if they show that the guideline amount will not cover cost increases. Rental property owners can increase the rent once a year, and must provide tenants with written notice of the rent increase at least three months in advance.
Ontario Ontario has rent control. The provincial government imposed a rent freeze for 2021, so rental property owners cannot increase rents above 2020 levels. The rent freeze ends on December 31, 2021, so rental property owners can
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provide tenants with 90 days’ notice before setting a rent increase at any appropriate time during 2022. Effective January 1, 2022, the maximum allowable rent increase will be 1.2 per cent. Rental property owners may only increase the rent once every 12 months and must provide tenants with 90 days’ written notice. Rental property owners can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guideline. They can also come to an agreement with tenants on rent increases in exchange for an additional service or facility (e.g., parking, air conditioning).
Quebec In Quebec, there is no province-wide maximum on rent increases. Rental property owners can increase rent over the period of the lease for leases longer than 12 months. If the lease lasts less than 12 months, they cannot increase the rent during this period. When rental property owners give notice of rent increase, tenants can challenge the amount of the rent increase. Then the Regie Du Logement will apply percentage increases or decreases in relevant expenditures (e.g., electricity, gas, heating, maintenance and service costs) to calculate the allowable rent increase, which is often in the range of 1 to 2 per cent.
New Brunswick New Brunswick does not have rent control. Rental property owners must provide tenants with advance written notice before increasing the rent. The amount of notice depends on the term of the tenancy. The rental property owner must give two full months’ notice for weekly or monthly tenancies and three full months’ notice for annual tenancies. If the tenant is on a fixed term tenancy, and the province has approved a rent increase during the year, then the rental property owners may increase the rent with three months’ notice. Otherwise, they must wait one year before increasing the rent.
Nova Scotia Until the pandemic, Nova Scotia did not have rent control for most rental properties. The annual allowable rent increase for manufactured homes (i.e., mobile homes) and land-lease communities (i.e., mobile home parks) is 1.9 per cent for 2021 and 1.0 per cent for 2022. Rental property owners can only raise the rent once every 12 months.
22 | October 2021
They must provide tenants with two months’ notice for weekly tenancies and four months’ written notice dating to the anniversary date of the tenancy for monthly and yearly leases. However, on November 25, 2020, the provincial government imposed certain restrictions under the Emergency Measures Act, which will stay in place until the state of emergency is lifted or February 1, 2022. Under this mandate, rental property owners cannot increase the rent by more than 2 per cent per year, and cannot obtain an eviction order for renovations.
Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland and Labrador does not have rent control. Rental property owners can increase the rent by any desired amount, or can reduce the services or amenities provided at the same level of rent provided. The rental property owner must provide tenants with three months’ written notice of a rent increase. They may not increase rent during a fixed-term agreement, more than once within a 12-month period, or during the first 12 months of a weekly or monthly rental agreement.
Prince Edward Island Prince Edward Island has rent control. The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission sets the annual allowable percentage rent increase, which is 1.0 per cent for 2021 and 2022. Rental property owners must provide tenants with three months’ notice before the date of the rent increase. They can only increase the rent once per year or when a fixed-term lease expires.
Conclusion Rental property owners consistently face challenges in running their businesses profitably. Average rent increases have not kept pace with the CPI, so rental revenues have fallen behind operational expenses. At the same time, average and median incomes have risen over time, providing most tenants with the ability to afford rent increases that keep pace with the market. While rental property owners in provinces without rent control can increase rents to keep pace with rising costs, the same cannot be said for rental property owners in the other provinces. It’s time to create an even playing field and let the market decide rents across the country.
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A look back at the 2021 federal election By David Gargaro
Canada just went through a federal election and, on the surface, it appears that nothing has changed. Justin Trudeau remains the Prime Minister in a minority government, and every major political party either gained or lost no more than three seats. However, the numbers tell an interesting story, while some interesting and significant things happened along the way.
Looking at the numbers Table 1: Federal election results, 2021
Change in Seats
Table 1 shows there was very little change from the 2019 federal election in the number of seats each party won. The Liberal Party and NDP had slight gains, while the Conservatives and Green Party lost seats. The Conservative Party received a slightly higher percentage of the popular vote than the Liberal Party, but 41 fewer seats. The NDP received a much higher percentage of the popular vote than the Bloc Québécois but won seven fewer seats. While the People’s Party of Canada (PPC) received more than double the popular vote compared to the Green Party, the PPC won no seats. This election had among the lowest turnouts in history, with only 62.5 per cent of eligible Canadians voting. About one in six Canadians cast a ballot for the Liberals, who form the government. Due to the pandemic, it was also the most expensive election, costing $612 million, or about $38.25 per voter.
24 | October 2021
Post-election survey According to a recent online Leger survey of 1,537 Canadians, only 10 per cent of participants said they are happy with the election results. However, 24 per cent of respondents said they were comfortable with the results, 24 per cent were unhappy but “life goes on,” nine per cent preferred a minority government, 12 per cent were angry with the results, six per cent were uncomfortable, and 14 per cent were indifferent. Following an election, there are sometimes calls to remove the leaders of the parties that did not win. The poll showed O’Toole has much less support than Singh to remain as the leader of their respective parties. Among Conservative voters, only 49 per cent want him to stay in charge of the party, while 22 per cent want him to go and 29 per cent did not know whether he should stay or go. Conversely, 82 per cent of NDP respondents want Singh to continue leading the party.
Most voters were decided on who they would vote for prior to the leaders’ debates. In fact, 83 per cent say they voted for their original choice, while 17 per cent say they changed which party they supported over the course of the campaign. On election day, 73 per cent voted for the party they preferred the most, while 27 per cent said they voted strategically to stop another party. Only six per cent of voters say they changed their minds due to the debates, while 39 per cent said the debates confirmed their choice. Nearly half (49 per cent) of survey respondents say they had decided on who to vote for prior to the start of the campaign, with another 18 per cent made their decision in the first two weeks of the campaign, nine per cent in the final weekend, and eight per cent on election day.
New campaign tactic The NDP took many people by surprise by announcing their platform on August 12, before the Liberal Party formally announced the snap election on August 15. This went against the normal practice from past federal elections, where the parties would release individual parts of their platforms in daily announcements during the campaign. They would then package their entire platform about 10 days before election day, releasing it in a fully detailed platform document at that time. The NDP took the initiative with the early release of their platform, following up with costing on September 11. The Conservatives also released their full platform early in the campaign, on August 16, with full costing on September 8, preceding the first leaders’ debate. The Liberals released their housing platform, “A Home. For Everyone” on August 24, following up with their full, costed platform on September 1.
The rise of wedge politics Wedge politics is a technique in which political parties attempt to split the electorate into two clearly defined sides on a topic. Politicians will simplify complex issues into basic black and white arguments, and then state they are on one side (i.e., the “correct” one) and place their opponents on the other side. There is no middle ground. This approach motivates a party’s supporters, and fosters fear or doubt in voters considering their opponents. Wedge politics eliminates the potential for thoughtful debate. The goal is to get opponents to speak out loudly on the “wrong” side of the debate, which will draw attention to the wedge, creating fuel for added simplification and political spin. However, if the opponent does not speak up, the attempted wedge will often fail.
Wedge issues in this campaign included vaccinations, private health care, and a potential tax on capital gains on principal residences. Politicians targeted large, wealthy businesses (e.g., banks, tech) in wedge campaign tactics, painting them as greedy capitalists who gouge consumers at every turn or fail to pay their share of taxes. They did the same on housing, targeting large corporations, foreign investors, and speculators as the villains, and taking the side of renters and first-time home buyers. Again, they simplified the issues to black and white positions without providing any part of the opposite side of issues. For example, during an English-language debate, O’Toole claimed the Liberal government would tax the sale of primary residences. During the segment on affordability, O’Toole said, “Mr. Trudeau, Canadians are worried you’re going to be taxing their primary home sales…Your advisers have said it … it’s on page 14 of its policy book.” However, page 14 of the Liberal platform refers to the establishment of “an anti-flipping tax, requiring properties to be held for at least 12 months.” At present, capital gains tax applies to profits made from the sale of secondary residences (such as cottages or investment properties), not principal residences. The proposed anti-flipping tax is designed to curb the abuse of the exemption of principal residences, as it will require property owners to hold a home for at least 12 months before selling it with the exemption. Other examples were Liberal and NDP knocks on large rental housing providers. Rental housing industry association executives could have spoken out more during the election to clarify the mischaracterization of our industry and rental housing issues in some party platforms. Given that it was a highly political campaign, such advocacy could easily have had backfired and led to our members being misrepresented more. “There was very little chance that thoughtful advocacy would be fairly represented, or serve to change public discourse,” said John Dickie, President, CFAA. “However, the leaders of CFAA and other industry associations are confident that, now that the election is over, we are wellpositioned to provide strong, effective advocacy at the political and bureaucratic levels to ensure that government policy does not unfairly target rental housing businesses.”
continued on page 28
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 25
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Liberal platform and housing Table 2 shows the breakdown of some new investments promised in the Liberal platform with respect to housing. Table 2: New investments
New investments ($millions)
2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26
Tax-free First Home Savings Account
Doubling First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit
First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive
Accelerating housing construction
Affordable housing and office conversion
Urban, Rural, and Northern Indigenous housing
The Liberal platform reiterated what the federal government has done since 2015, which included creating the National Housing Strategy, signing the Canada Housing Benefit agreements with the provinces and territories, introducing the FirstTime Home Buyers’ Incentive, imposing a national tax on vacant property owned by non-resident non-Canadians, and launching the Rapid Housing Initiative. The Liberal platform announced a plan to create a new rent-to-own program, which will make it easier for renters to get into home ownership. The principles of this program include getting landlords to commit to charging lower-thanmarket rent to help tenants save up for a down payment on a home, having the landlord commit to ownership within five years, and setting safeguards to protect the future homeowner. “CFAA’s members generally hold and manage rental properties as investments,” said Dickie. “In rent-to-own, the asset is sold off, which is the opposite of our members’ business plan. Some people who develop single family homes may find rent-to-own attractive, but program take-up will depend on the incentives to make up for the lowerthan-market rent requirement.” The Liberal platform also targeted the financialization of housing, focusing on how REITs are collecting large portfolios of Canadian rental housing, which is “making your rent more expensive.” The government plans to review the tax treatment for those businesses, and to review the down payment requirements for investment properties. They will also put in place “policies to curve excessive profits … while protecting small independent landlords.” “REIT investors already pay taxes at their personal marginal tax rate, which is usually very high,”
28 | October 2021
said Dickie. “To keep their trust status, REITs are obliged to pay out a high percentage of the earnings. CFAA believes that any fair-minded review of the REIT tax situation will find that no changes are needed.” The Liberal Party promised to invest $4 billion in a new Housing Accelerator Fund to help increase the annual housing supply in the largest cities across Canada, with a target of 100,000 new middle-class homes by 2024-25. The fund will provide money to help the municipalities streamline their planning and permitting processes, and the federal government will work with cities to make better use of vacant or underused properties. The Liberal platform included the investment of more which is usually in the National Housing CoInvestment Fund, doubling its initial allocation, to help affordable housing providers purchase land and buildings to develop and preserve more units. The platform also promises to provide financial support to convert empty office and retail space into market-based housing, as well as support for Indigenous housing.
Conclusion While it might seem like the federal government spent more than $600 million to get the exact same results we had before the election, a lot of things happened along the way. There were some interesting post-election views, a different approach to the timing of the release of the election platforms, and continued use of wedge politics directed at business, as well as other issues. The Liberals made some significant promises and policy decisions related to housing and the rental housing industry.
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Multi-Unit Review Market Analysis and Investment Trends
Kyle Church, Broker
The multifamily market continued to show its strength and resiliency as we enter the final quarter of 2021. Leading up to Q4, we observed a significant increase in the number of transactions as well as higher per unit prices and compressed capitalization rates across the country. While valuations appear to have stabilized in recent months, there remains an imbalance between supply and demand, with very few properties coming to market, while many buyers sit on the sideline waiting for the right opportunity. The velocity of gains observed in the market over the previous months of the year has led to increased optimism amongst potential sellers as they consider putting their property on the market. This has resulted in some sellers coming to market with unrealistic expectations and not obtaining multiple offers, which is commonly seen when properties are priced reasonably or unpriced. These sellers are then faced with the decision of accepting an offer below their anticipated sale price or taking their property off the market. The largest challenge buyers are facing in the market right now is financing limitations. Not only does it take a very long time to obtain commitment from lenders and their insurers, but the amount of debt being offered on properties has not kept pace with market valuations; therefore, buyers are needing to put significantly more cash down to close deals. For this reason, the most competitive buyers in the marketplace right now are the established apartment owners and operators who are able to act quickly and provide firm offers or short conditional periods. New investors entering the market continue to have a difficult time competing with experienced investors, as they are not able to react quickly and comprehend current valuations. With capitalization rates compressed to record lows, most buyers are taking a long-term view on their investments. Housing affordability continues to be an issue across the country – and with no short-term solutions available to make a significant impact with this issue – landlords
30 | October 2021
expect to see rents continue to rise for the foreseeable future. With the Fall season upon us, we expect to see more properties coming to market as owners look for closing dates in early 2022. During this time, we anticipate valuations to remain fairly stable, and trending slightly higher for exceptional opportunities. Buyers and sellers will continue to keep a close eye on interest rates and how they could impact the market and the availability of properties for sale. Existing owners should continue to focus on improving their properties’ income on tenant turnover, while also closely monitoring expenses as we see inflation continue to rise and become a growing concern.
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Changes in BC’s processes for additional rent increases and end of tenancy for renovations By David Gargaro
The BC government’s Residential Tenancy Branch released two new processes affecting landlords and tenants. The changes are a result of LandlordBC’s advocacy efforts and recommendations made by the 2018 Rental Housing Task Force. The new processes will help to address the increasing costs of necessary capital expenditures to rental properties and the lack of clarity around ending tenancy for repairs and renovations. Additional rent increase process In September 2018, the BC government announced the annual rent increase (ARI) formula would be changing, removing the additional two per cent added to inflation. It promised to address landlords’ costs for necessary capital expenditures with a transparent, easy-to-use ARI process. “LandlordBC led much of the conversation with the RTB with the aim to ensure the result would be a transparent and accessible process for both landlords and tenants,” said Hunter Boucher, Director of Operations, LandlordBC. The process, effective July 1, 2021 and open to applications through the RTB’s online portal, allows landlords to apply for an ARI to recoup the costs of necessary capital expenditures in the residential property. For a capital expenditure to be eligible, it must made for one of the following purposes: • Maintaining, repairing, or replacing a major system or component such as electrical, mechanical, or structural that is necessary • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions or energy use • Improving the security of the rental property Ineligible expenditures include repairs needed as a result of inadequate repair or maintenance by the landlord; expenditures expected to recur within five years; and expenditures where the landlord has recouped the cost from another source.
32 | October 2021
Landlords with eligible expenditures will be able to apply through the RTB’s online portal for this ARI, which will result in a Dispute Resolution hearing where the parties can discuss the matter with an arbitrator. When making the application, landlords may include all capital expenditures made over the previous 18 months (from the date of application) and must include all units the landlord intends to increase on one application. The expenditure is incurred when the invoice is paid; where a large-scale project has costs separated into multiple invoices, the 18-month clock begins from the date the last invoice is paid. Increases will be calculated by taking the total eligible expenditures divided by the number of dwelling units, which is then divided by 120 months. The increases will be capped at three per cent but may be spread out over three years to a maximum of nine per cent over the three-year period (plus normal annual increases). Landlords can use an RTB calculator to determine their potential increase before applying. The first increase must be given within a year of the decision. The RTB is developing a new Notice of Rent Increase form to ensure landlords and tenants are clear on how increases will be implemented. “Increases through this process are in addition to the normal annual increase but must be given with that increase so landlords considering applying should consider the timing of their standard rent increases,” said Boucher.
The cost to apply for an ARI is $300 + $10 per unit. Payment must be made at the time of application and will not be included as an eligible expenditure.
Ending tenancy for repairs or renovations One provision in the RTA addresses landlords ending tenancy for repairs or renovations. The lack of clarity on its appropriate use has caused animosity within the rental housing ecosystem, with “renovictions” being a concern raised to the Rental Housing Taskforce. To address this issue, Bill 7 – 2021: Tenancy Statutes Amendment Act, which was passed in BC’s Legislative Assembly in March 2021, amends how landlords end tenancies to conduct repairs or renovations. This change reverses the process of having a landlord serve a notice followed by the tenant disputing the notice, putting the application for dispute resolution at the beginning. Landlords needing to end a tenancy to conduct repairs or renovations will need to apply to have an arbitrator review the work to determine if they have met the criteria to end the tenancy. If successful, the landlord will be issued an Order of Possession effective four months from the date it is received by the tenant. The landlord must intend in good faith to renovate or repair the rental unit and have the necessary
permits and approvals required to carry them out. The renovations must require the unit to be vacant and be needed to prolong or sustain the use of the rental unit or building in which the unit is located. The only reasonable way to achieve the vacancy would be to end the tenancy agreement. The landlord must have all permits and approvals in place and a detailed plan of work to be done. The application requires the landlord to apply for all affected units at the same time, so they have the same end of tenancy effective date. This new process ensures tenancies do not unnecessarily come to an end while preserving the right of landlords to end tenancy when necessary. As this process is a Dispute Resolution Hearing, the landlord and tenants may be present on the call and may present evidence. The cost to apply is $100, regardless of the number of affected rental units. “These changes are the result of a significant amount of work by the RTB’s policy team in collaboration with LandlordBC and we welcome these new tools,” said Boucher. “LandlordBC would like to hear from our members that have utilized this process to ensure we are able to continue to provide timely and relevant feedback to the RTB.”
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Opportunities and risks from the renewed Liberal government By John Dickie, CFAA President
The September 20 federal election made hardly any change in the dynamics of governing Canada. As before the election, the natural “partners” are the Liberals and the NDP. As before the election, the Liberals can win a confidence vote if any one of the three main opposition parties votes with them, or even abstains. Table 1 shows the election result by region as reported at October 16. One or two seats might still change hands due to judicial recounts. Table 1: Seats won - 2021 Federal General Election Party Canada Atlantic Quebec Ontario Liberals Conservatives Bloc NDP Green Total
160 119 32 25 2 338
35 10 32 1 78
MB, SK & AB
BC & Territories.
5 1 121
14 1 45
Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/federal-election/2021results/ October 16, 2021 As is often noted in the media, the popularity of the parties varies substantially by region. The Liberals tend to win in Atlantic Canada, and Ontario, while they are in a three-way fight in Quebec and BC, and the Conservatives dominate in Saskatchewan and Alberta. In addition, there is a pronounced urban-rural split to party preferences. In Ontario, the Liberals won 46 out of 50 seats in the Greater Toronto Area, leaving the Conservatives with four suburban seats and the NDP with no seats at all. In Ontario outside the GTA, the Liberals and Conservatives were in a virtual tie with 33 seats for the Conservatives, and 32 seats for the Liberals (while the NDP won five, and the Greens one). Even then, the seats in the cities went heavily for the Liberals, who won all of the seats in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, seven out of eight seats in Ottawa, four out of five in Waterloo/Kitchener/Guelph, three out of five in Hamilton, two out of three in London, and the sole seat in Kingston. In the West as well, the Liberals won their seats in the cities, with four seats out of eight in Winnipeg, one seat in each of Edmonton and Calgary and 15 seats in Greater Vancouver and its surrounding areas. Their reliance on the urban seats is one reason why the federal Liberals often seek to match or go further than the NDP on tenant issues, even though most tenant issues fall under provincial jurisdiction. Despite the parties’ seat counts being virtually unchanged, the election means that the government can potentially continue for four more years rather than the two years the last Parliament still had to run before the election. In addition, the focus has changed on various issues, including housing, tax and energy measures that may impact on rental housing.
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 35
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NATIONAL OUTLOOK Home ownership issues Housing affordability was a major focus of the campaign, largely in the owner occupation space. The Liberals promised a long list of changes mostly aimed at helping first time home buyers. The Liberals’ promises included: • Programs to encourage rent-to-own arrangements. • Forcing CMHC to cut mortgage insurance rates for first time home buyers by 25% - saving the average homeowner $6,100 over their mortgage term. • A new First Home Savings Accounts for savings for a down-payment of up to $40,000 – tax free on deposit, withdrawal and on the future sale of the home. • Doubling the first-time homebuyers credit from $5,000 to $10,000. These measures would deliver additional tax and mortgage preferences to first time homeowners, when homeowners are already heavily favoured over renters. For fairness to renters, CFAA believes the money put into the First Home Savings Account should be taken into income when the first house is sold. The Liberals also promised an assortment of measures aimed at curbing speculation in housing. These include: • “an anti-flipping tax” on residential properties, requiring properties to be held for at least 12 months, apart from certain exceptions, such as needing to move to take a new job or a family breakdown; • banning “new foreign ownership of Canadian houses” for the next two years; and • expanding the upcoming tax on vacant housing owned by non-resident, non-Canadians “to include foreign-owned vacant land within large urban areas”. Since the NDP would support many of those measures, we can expect to see many of the Liberals’ promises implemented, possibly in stages, and with some tweaks.
Rental housing issues The Liberals also promised to spend $4B over five years to help major municipalities speed up planning approvals, and provide offsets for inclusionary zoning requirements. As well as being positive for rental housing development, this could reduce the excess pressure on the housing markets to some degree. CMHC’s Rental Construction Financing Initiative will likely continue, with the funding and rules as announced over the last few years. Social housing advocates are arguing that the RCFI is not well targeted because the rent level that counts as affordable is too high. From a policy perspective, CFAA is concerned that the rent qualifying as affordable is too low in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, while it is higher elsewhere, which is the opposite of what is needed to create mid-market rental housing in the major centres.
Immigration To catch up on the immigrants Canada did not receive because of the pandemic restrictions, immigration is likely to be increased to 400,000 to 425,000 people per year for three years. Lots of immigration makes for lots of rental demand, but it would be better if the three orders of government solved the issues of delays in housing development before increasing immigration.
The Liberals also promised to continue with the National Housing Strategy (NHS), which is set to assist with the renewal and construction of 150,000 affordable homes, split roughly 3/4 to renewal and 1/4 to new community housing construction. Money may also flow to enable non-profit housing entities to buy existing affordable housing in order to keep it affordable for renters.
Tax issues Both the Liberals and the NDP promised to waive all GST on the construction of new affordable housing units. However, it is not clear if that relief will extend beyond social, community or non-profit housing, to include any new private market rental housing. CFAA would like to see that tax reform apply to most or all new private market rental housing.
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 37
A year or two ago, the then Liberal Parliamentary Secretary for Housing Adam Vaughan raised the idea of taxing capital gains on principal residences as an issue, while saying he was opposed to it. He set off a political fire-storm by saying even that much. CMHC commissioned a Housing Solutions Lab to study that question. (The Lab is likely to recommend a federal property tax on the value of homes over $1M rather than a capital gains tax. That will avoid giving a free pass to people who bought before the recent run up of house prices.) CFAA will watch carefully for the recommendations of the Housing Solution Labs, and if applicable, advocate about what is done with them. The Liberals’ election platform speaks of reviewing the tax treatment of large corporate owners of residential properties such as REITs, “who are increasingly trying to amass large portfolios of Canadian rental housing, putting upward pressure on rents.” That presumably refers to the U.S REIT that wanted to buy up single family homes and rent them out. The Liberals also said they will bring in policies to curb excessive profits in this area, while protecting small independent landlords. The key point to note is that the promise is for a review. Promises for a review, or vague, unworkable promises that impinge on provincial jurisdiction are the kind of federal election promises which are often not implemented. REIT investors already pay taxes at their personal marginal tax rate, which can often be very high. As a result, a fair review should not lead to problematic changes in the tax rules for REITs.
Interest Deductibility Limitation The details of a new rule limiting the amount of interest payments which can be deducted by various businesses are still to be worked out. Details can be found at page 35 of the July/August 2021 issue of RHB Magazine. The main goal of the new rule is to prevent multi-national corporate groups from shifting profits to reduce the total taxes they pay. Hardly any rental providers operate in other countries, but rental providers could be side-swiped by a new rule. CFAA and REALPAC are coordinating our work in reaching out to the government to seek to avoid problems for the rental housing industry.
Energy issues Under the Paris Accord, Canada’s commitment is to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by 30% of 2005 levels by 2030. A recent international report has called for that to be increased to 45%. The Liberals’ campaign promise is to reduce emissions by 40 to 45%. As part of their plan to achieve that, the Liberals plan to increase the carbon tax from $40 per tonne to $170 per tonne by 2030, which will significantly raise the cost of natural gas and fuel oil. Through the National Research Council, the government is working on a new retrofit code, addressing retrofit requirements. The Liberals promise to have that code in place by 2025. The Liberals set 2030 as the goal for all new buildings to be “net-zero energy ready”. (In practical terms, that means all new low-rise buildings would need to be built with roofs strong enough to take solar panels, but some may not have the solar panels installed.) To achieve those major GHG emissions reductions in rental housing, what is needed is major building retrofits. To heat buildings with electricity (either through resistance heating or heat pumps), buildings need to be made much better insulated and much more airtight. That means mechanical ventilation must be added, along with insulation and air sealing. With current technology and electricity costs, the necessary retrofits are cost-prohibitive. The Liberals also promised to create a pan-Canadian electricity Grid Council, and clean electricity standard, to reach net-zero emission by 2035. That will be particularly onerous for Alberta and Saskatchewan, which currently burn coal to create electricity, and for Nova Scotia, which burns coal, coke and oil-based fuel. All of those fuels emit GHGs, whereas hydro power does not.
38 | October 2021
NATIONAL OUTLOOK The Liberals also promised to implement a border “carbon adjustment” on imports from export areas without a carbon price. CFAA agrees. If imports were recognized with regards to their carbon emissions impact they bring into Canada, that will show a more accurate picture of proportion of Canadian GHG emissions from the housing sector, and the rental housing sector. The rental housing industry needs better and cheaper retrofit and heat capture technology, cheaper (and sometimes cleaner) electricity, and/or substantial government incentives to pay part of the costs of the necessary retrofits. The cost will be massive. CFAA is aware of the problem, and is working with the federal government to address it.
Conclusion As this goes to print, Prime Minister Trudeau has not announced his new cabinet, except for stating that he will be leaving Chrystia Freeland in place as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister. To some degree, the government’s priorities on rental housing issues may change depending on the views of the new Minister responsible for Housing. Other ministers may also make life easier or more difficult for advocacy for rental housing providers. For updates on the new ministers, and other issues, watch CFAA’s website or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe to CFAA’s free e-Newsletter.
Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Chrystia Freeland Deputy Prime Minister / Minister of Finance of Canada
Save the dates for the CFAA Rental Housing Conference 2022 Registration will soon be open for CFAA-RHC 2022, which will take place from May 9 to 11 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 370 King Street in downtown Toronto, where CFAA held its conference in 2019. CFAA-RHC 2022 will feature two days of timely and relevant education sessions, Benjamin Tal’s informative and entertaining Economic Update, the Building Innovations Tour, CFAA’s 7th annual Rental Housing Awards Dinner, and more!
Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC World Markets
Don’t miss out on CFAA’s early bird pricing! For more information, or to register, visit www.CFAA-RHC.ca, or email email@example.com. Also plan to join CFAA in Halifax in June 2023!
WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH NATIONAL OUTLOOK? Sign-up for CFAA’s National Outlook e-newsletter to receive up-to-date news on what is happening across Canada, as well as industry insights and insider information on CFAA happenings. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start receiving CFAA’s e-Newsletter today!
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 39
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | |39 39 rentalhousingbusiness.ca
CFAA Awards Program 2022 – Get ready to apply
CFAA is pleased to announce that the 7th annual CFAA Rental Housing Awards Program will be open for applications early in 2022. The awards winners will be announced at the CFAA Awards Dinner on May 10, 2022, at CFAA-RHC in Toronto. Winners will also be acknowledged through CFAA’s communications, website and Twitter, and a trophy.
Awards CFAA is offering 10 awards categories in 2022. CFAA Suppliers Council members, direct landlord members and landlord affiliate members (landlord members of one of CFAA’s 12 member associations) are invited to apply for these awards: FOR RENTAL HOUSING PROVIDERS • CFAA Landlord Member of the Year • Property Manager of the Year • Off-Site Employee of the Year • On-Site Employee of the Year • Marketing Program Excellence of the Year • Renovation of the Year • Rental Development of the Year FOR RENTAL HOUSING SUPPLIERS • New Product or Service of the Year • CFAA Suppliers Council Member of the Year FOR MEMBER ASSOCIATIONS • Association Achievement of the Year As in past years, judging for a number of the awards categories will likely be split by company size, exact job, or other characteristics, so that CFAA can recognize more worthy rental housing providers and suppliers in the CFAA Awards. Please plan to enter the CFAA Awards, or consider volunteering your time, or sponsoring components of the awards program. Help CFAA celebrate excellence in the rental housing industry! For more information about membership, eligibility to apply for an award, or becoming a awards judge or sponsor, visit www.cfaa-fcapi.org or email email@example.com.
Rental Housing Employee Compensation Survey now available Find out how your wages, salaries and benefits compare with your competitors’. The CFAA Rental Housing Employee Compensation Survey reports for 2021 are now available for 6 regions or CMAs across Canada, namely Eastern Canada, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Ottawa, Ontario other than the GTA and Ottawa, Edmonton and the West other than Edmonton.
Prepared by Steven Osiel, a professional compensation consultant who has worked in rental housing for more than 15 years, the survey reports on the average and range of compensation for both building-based and head office positions. Most reports present actual city data for building superintendents (aka resident managers), cleaners, leasing agents, maintenance technicians, property administrators and property managers. Three other building-based positions, and 21 head office positions, are primarily addressed with Canadawide or region-wide data, and statistical estimates for each region or city. (A substantial amount of actual head office data is available for Ontario or Toronto, since so many head offices are located there.)
40 | October 2021
NATIONAL OUTLOOK In total, the survey reports on the earnings of almost 5,000 rental housing employees in 30 occupations, specific to rental housing. An optional survey component addresses HR and benefits information, including average turnover rates, benefits programs, hours of work, vacation and sick leave entitlements, COVID-19 related benefits and much more. Much of that data is split between large rental housing providers and mid-sized providers so that survey users can compare their programs with those of their peers.
Survey purchases include a one hour recorded presentation by Steven Osiel on how to use the survey to improve your company’s compensation and benefits decisions.
This is the one and only compensation survey specific to rental housing in Canada, using rental housing position descriptions, and reporting on rental housing employees, rather than a mix of employees including commercial office building operators. Even if you buy another survey, you should buy the CFAA survey to get the data on rental housing specifically. CFAA’s survey pricing is competitive, and all net proceeds go to fund CFAA’s government relations work to protect the rental housing industry. For more information and pricing, see the compensation survey section of the CFAA website at www.cfaafcapi.org. Order the CFAA Rental Housing Compensation Survey for your city or area now, and improve your compensation and benefits policies!
CFAA Rental Housing Compensation Survey 2021 Canada’s only compensation and benefits survey specific to rental housing is now available for purchase. For six regions or major cities covering Canada, find out the average and full range of compensation for nine building-based positions and 21 head office positions. Find out about changes the rental housing industry is making in working-from-home policies, and the plans for removing COVID-19 incentives.
Visit www.cfaa-fcapi.org for more information.
rentalhousingbusiness.ca | 41
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RHB’s forum for rental housing associations to share news, events and industry information
Hot Topics: EOLO addresses the new area MPs elected in September, both of whom had strong ties with EOLO in their former roles as City Councillor and provincial cabinet minister, respectively. EOLO also addresses the City of Ottawa’s plans to promote, incent, and if need be require energy retrofits for rental housing providers to switch from heating with natural gas. pg. 45 WRAMA provides a history of recent guideline rent increases for Ontario, how members can access WRAMA’s past meeting records, and information about recent speakers at WRAMA events. pg. 49 HDAA reports on the status of landlord licensing and the Hamilton urban boundary expansion, as well as the appointment of a new Hamilton Councillor to replace the Councillor who was elected as a Liberal MP, and also on the other MPs elected from Hamilton ridings in the September 20 general election. pg. 53 LPMA welcomes a new Administrator, and discusses issues in renting to the Afghan refugees, many of whom worked with the Canadian Armed Forces during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. LPMA also reports on the return of international students to the London rental market, and CMHC’s views on the need for more rental supply at all price points. pg. 57
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Chair’s message Over the last two years, rental housing providers and EOLO have had to deal with the everchanging requirements for keeping tenants safe under COVID-19, and getting ready to comply with the City of Ottawa’s new Rental Housing Property Management By-law, reported on at length in these pages. For the next few years, both EOLO and rental housing providers will have to deal with the City’s new Solid Waste plans, and the City’s steps to help and/or require rental owners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to comply with Canada’s climate change commitments. - John Dickie, EOLO Chair
EOLO welcomes two new MPs for Ottawa The renewed federal Liberal minority government presents risks and opportunities to rental housing providers across Canada. See page 35. The key results in Ottawa are shown here. On September 20, KanataCarleton saw the closest election race in the Ottawa area. Former Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon had stepped down, and Ottawa Councillor Jenna Sudds was nominated as the Liberal candidate. Jenna Sudds She faced off against MP, Kanata-Carleton Jennifer McAndrew for the Conservatives, and the other candidates listed in Table 1. On election night, the two leading candidates alternated in the lead, and made the election too close to call. However, the final vote count was as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Kanata-Carleton Candidate Jenna Sudds, elected Jennifer McAndrew Melissa Coenraad Scott Miller Jennifer Purdy
Vote Share Liberal 26,394 42% Conservative 24,373 39% NDP 8,822 14% PPC 1,858 3% Green 1,709 3%
Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/federalelection/2021-results/, October 17, 2021
In our work at the City of Ottawa, EOLO has always had an excellent relationship with Councillor Sudds. EOLO looks forward to helping CFAA build an excellent relationship, on federal issues, with Jenna Sudds, as a Member of Parliament.
In Ottawa Centre, former Liberal MP and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna had stepped down, and former MPP Yasir Naqvi was nominated as the Liberal candidate. He faced off against Angella MacEwan for the NDP, the other candidates listed in the table, and three others. The final vote count is shown in Table 2.
Yasir Naqvi MP, Ottawa Centre
EOLO always had an excellent relationship with Yasir Naqvi when he was the MPP for Ottawa Centre and a Provincial cabinet minister. EOLO looks forward to helping CFAA establish an excellent relationship with Yasir Naqvi on federal issues. Table 2: Ottawa Centre Candidate Yasir Naqvi, elected Angella MacEwan Carol Clemenhagen Angella Keller-Herzog Regina Watteel
Vote Share Liberal 33,836 45% NDP 24,544 33% Conservative 11,626 16% Green 2,184 3% PPC 1,616 2%
Returning MPs The other six MPs for the Ottawa area were re-elected. They are Pierre Poilievre, for the Conservatives, and David McGuinty, Chandra Arya, Anita Vandenbeld, Marie-France Lalonde, and Mona Fortier, for the Liberals. In all, the Liberals won seven of the eight Ottawa-area seats.
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City of Ottawa moves on energy retrofits On October 19, the Standing Committee on Environmental Protection, Water and Waste Management considered a staff report on advancing greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions in Ottawa to do the City’s share of meeting Canada’s commitments on climate change. The Province of Ontario has a Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) system, which currently applies to commercial, industrial, institution and, multiresidential buildings with over 50,000 square feet of gross floor area. For apartment buildings, that means roughly 60 rental units, depending on the average unit size. Reporting is on a portfolio-wide basis. In 2018, the proportion of regulated buildings that complied with the EWRB system was 51 per cent across Ontario and 49 per cent in Ottawa. In the City of Toronto, the compliance rate was 78 per cent. Ottawa City staff say the higher Toronto compliance rate is the result of a City-implemented education and outreach campaign, which staff recommend the City of Ottawa emulate. The cost for a building to comply with the EWRB requirement is estimated at $300 annually. In alignment with the requests of the City of Toronto, Ottawa City staff say the City of Ottawa should ask the Province to: • Expand its EWRB reporting requirements to cover buildings with over 20,000 square feet (or about 25 units), or, alternately, allow municipalities to mandate performance standards for those buildings • Amend the regulation to include energy, water, and greenhouse gas emissions disclosure at the address level • Implement a net zero retrofit code • Create grant and/or rebate programs to improve the business case for deep retrofits with longer paybacks for all building types • Demonstrate leadership through deep carbon retrofits in provincially-owned or leased buildings in Ottawa Ottawa City staff also recommend that the City work to have the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and Independent Electricity System Operator: • Implement rate structure changes that favour electrification and fuel switching away from natural gas • Fund electrical service upgrades that are required for GHG reduction purposes through the rate base • Develop utility mechanisms to help support and invest in deep emission retrofits • Continue retrofit cost reduction measures, such as performance-based rebates for improved energy and emission performance • Support the manufacturing and supply chains to increase availability of low embodied carbon materials for the building industry According to Ottawa City staff, the City should also request the Government of Canada to: • Release a model retrofit code that aligns with the targets set in the Paris Agreement • Set standards for low embodied carbon materials, including concrete, steel, and low global warming potential refrigerants • Continue its commitment to carbon pricing via the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act • Create or expand grant programs and tax incentives to improve the business case for deep retrofits with long payback periods
46 | October 2021
• Work with municipalities to ensure rebates and financing for deep emission retrofits include providing a loan backstop for municipal retrofit financing programs for private buildings • Continue the enhancement of deep retrofit financing in collaboration with municipalities through the Canadian Infrastructure Bank • Support the manufacturing and supply chains to increase availability of low embodied carbon materials for the building industry
The Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy The staff report also calls for the approval of the “Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy”. That strategy suggests regulations requiring building retrofits and energy conversions will need to be enacted well before mass adoption takes place on a voluntary basis. The strategy states “[emissions reduction] targets [for 2040] require a retrofit rate per year of almost 5% of buildings. To date, retrofit rates in Ottawa have been less than 1% per year. Furthermore, some of the retrofit measures required to achieve zero emissions do not have [positive] financial returns on investment. Therefore, significant market transformation will be needed to accelerate this shift.” “Market transformation techniques include removing barriers to new technologies, products, practices, and services that reduce emissions,
T: 416.250.7200 E: email@example.com
to accelerate widespread adoption. As uptake increases, costs per unit decrease, which accelerates adoption.” The staff report also says multi-family residential buildings (MURBs) require more financial and capacity support to achieve the GHG reductions targets, making MURBs a clear priority sector to target with incentives. Specific goals for 2030 include installing 45,000 heat pumps in Ottawa apartments, as well as the building retrofits needed to enable heat pumps to work in Ottawa’s climate. The goal for 2040 is 83,000 heat pumps in apartments. In both cases, the expected split is 72% air source and 28% ground source heat pumps. The Better Buildings Ottawa Strategy also sets out financial projections that energy savings will exceed retrofit and fuel switching costs by 2038. That is not in keeping with current costs and technology, but might be achievable if technology improves, electricity costs are reduced or substantial incentives are made available. See the article at page 38 of the July/August 2021 issue of RHB Magazine for a discussion of the roadblocks. EOLO expects to work with the City on the details of its education and outreach program, and its incentive programs, and to work with FRPO on the provincial issues.
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CFAA SUPPLIERS COUNCIL CFAA thanks the members of the CFAA Suppliers Council for their continued support. CFAA could not continue all of its current work for the rental housing industry without them. CFAA Suppliers Council Members receive recognition as supporters of the rental housing industry, exposure on the CFAA website and in RHB magazine, and priority in sponsoring CFAA events.
Silver Alert Labs
PAC Building Group
BG Real Estate
First OnSite Restoration
Canadian Tenant Inspection Services
National Efficiency Systems
Learn more about these companies, or sign up to join the CFAA Suppliers Council, at
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE September meeting Welcome back! We hope all our members enjoyed the summer and got a taste of life returning (somewhat) to normal. Our September meeting was a great success and we thank those members who attended and our speakers who presented. Our September Expert Panel included some familiar faces.
- James Craig, WRAMA President firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Nadon is a licensed paralegal with over 20 years’ experience in Landlord and Tenant Board Matters and Small Claims Court. She started Small Matters Paralegal in 1999. She taught paralegal studies at Conestoga College. Lisa also sat on Lisa Nadon, Paralegal, Small the Property Standards Matters Paralegal Committee of Woolwich and is an active member of WRAMA (Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association). She is passionate about educating landlords and real estate professionals about the “ins and outs” of the Landlord and Tenant Board with seminars and webinars. Ho Tek is one of two Partners at Domus Student Housing Inc. and has over 10 years’ experience managing in the student housing asset class. Founded in 2005, Domus is headquartered in Waterloo and specializes in the leasing and management of student assets. In 2012, Domus was selected as a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year award, in the Young Entrepreneurs category, and the Junior Achievements Ho Tek, Partner, Domus Entrepreneur of the Year Housing Award. Domus helped to pioneer the extremely popular “student investments condos” servicing investors of the Sage Condos, Ivy Towns and Solstice. It now manages a portfolio of over 4,000 rooms and $425 million in student assets across Canada with their furthest reaching site in Kelowna, British Columbia. With his experience in real estate management, Ho is also the President at
Silicon North Real Estate Corp, which specializes in developing, owning, and operating in the residential apartment building asset class. James Craig has been involved in organized real estate since 2001 where he started in real estate research, and within one year achieved his real estate license. He has worked in the Waterloo Region markets since that time, and is now the Vice President of CBRE Limited. During his tenure in real estate, he has over seven years of multi-family sales experience and has been directly involved in over $156 million in investment transactions, including the sale of over 700 multiresidential units in the last five years. He is also the President of the Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association (WRAMA). With the combined talents James Craig, Vice President, CBRE of his partners Martin Cote and Joe Benninger and the global platform of CBRE, James is able to offer clients a full range of student and multi-residential real estate services.
Interested in presenting at a WRAMA event? We want to hear from you! Do you have expert industry knowledge that you think is worth sharing with our members? We’re looking to fill spots for our 2021/2022 member meetings and would like to hear from you! As we move forward into our WRAMA events this calendar year, we’re interested in hearing from members with expert knowledge in the areas of property management, home renovations, and more.
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If you have something you believe would be beneficial for our membership, please get in touch with us. We will look at facilitating you and providing you with a platform to present at one of our events. Please send us an email to email@example.com.
Missed a member event? No problem! Members can always login to their account and access recordings of our past events. To access this info, you’ll need to know your WRAMA account login information. 1. Visit www.wrama.com and click on the “MEMBER LOGIN” button to login to your WRAMA account. 2. Login to your account using your email address that is linked with your WRAMA account and your password. If you require assistance logging in, please send an email to membership@wrama. com. 3. Hover your mouse over the “Members Only” section of the navigation and select “Past Meeting Records”. 4. You will be taken to the landing page where you will see the meeting records that are available to members.
January rent increases As a reminder, the Ontario Government’s freeze on rent increases has been lifted effective January 1, 2022. As such, if you have tenants eligible for a rent increase in January 2022, a notice of such must be delivered on or before October 2, 2021. The following information is taken directly from the LTB website: In most cases, the rent for a residential unit can be increased 12 months after either: • The last rent increase • The date the tenancy begins The landlord must give a tenant written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days before it takes effect. The proper forms for this notice are available from the Landlord and Tenant Board. In most cases, you must provide the tenant with a printed paper copy of the notice to increase the rent, delivered to the address of the rental unit.
Rent increase guideline The guideline is the maximum a landlord can increase most tenants’ rent during a year without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. For most tenants, the rent can’t go up by more than the rent increase guideline for every year. The guideline applies to most private residential rental units covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. This applies to most tenants, such as those living in: • Rented houses, apartments, basement apartments, and condos (see exceptions for newly occupied units) • Care homes • Mobile homes • Land lease communities The guideline does not apply to certain types of units including: • Vacant residential units • Community housing units • Long-term care homes • Commercial properties
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Social housing is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, but has different rules regarding rent control and rent increase notices.
Exceptions • In some cases, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guideline. • In care homes (such as retirement homes), the rent increase guideline only applies to the rent portion of the bill but does not apply to the cost of services like nursing, food or cleaning. • New buildings, additions to existing buildings, and most new basement apartments that are occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are exempt from rent control.
A landlord could lawfully increase the rent payment 12 months later, on June 1, 2022, up to $1,012.00 per month. Landlords would need to provide written notice at least 90 days before June 1, 2022.
Previous rent increase guidelines The following chart illustrates yearly rent increases, in Ontario, from 1991 to 2022. Year
How the Board calculates the guideline
The annual rent increase guideline is calculated using the Ontario Consumer Price Index, a Statistics Canada tool that measures inflation and economic conditions over a year. Data from June to May is used to determine the guideline for the following year.
A sample calculation of a rent increase The monthly rent is $1,000 when the tenant signs a lease on June 1, 2021. The guideline for 2022 is 1.2%. Therefore: • An increase of 1.2% on $1,000 = $12.00 • $1,000 + $12.00 = $1,012.00
Interested in receiving this type of info? Become a WRAMA member! At WRAMA, we routinely provide landlords and property management professionals with updated information and recommendations. Become a member today!
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Kristin Ley, Partner, Cohen Highley, has joined RHBTV News as an on air legal analyst. Kristin will be answering questions from YOU our viewers. Send your questions to email@example.com and Kristin will answer them on upcoming shows
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Turning Mother Nature’s curve ball into a double eagle It’s been an exciting few months since my last update. First, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new administrator, Tina Potter. Tina joins us with years of experience in customer service, accounting, and administration. Our annual golf tournament on September 13 was a great success. Even though Mother Nature sent us a few curve balls with the weather, everyone enjoyed getting together at Firerock Golf Club and raising money for the London Children’s Museum.
We held a highly informative webinar, Ask a Lawyer, in October and we plan to continue the event at least once a year. Our website revamp is progressing well and we’re expecting to launch the new website at the end of November. The education committee is also hard at work planning events for the next year. If you have ideas for topics, contact Tina. She is available by appointment only at the office, by phone or online. Until next time…
- Shane Haskell, President, LPMA
C R O S S C U LT U R A L L E A R N E R C E N T R E S T R U G G L E S T O F I N D H O M E S F O R AFGHAN REFUGEES London landlords faced many unknown factors when 2,400 Syrian refugees came to the city in 2015-2018. There was no way to verify credit history and landlords were concerned about the language and cultural differences. Even so, the experience was so positive that a past LPMA president hopes landlords will be willing to repeat it with 132 Afghan refugees who have arrived in London. They were part of the group that was airlifted out of Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August. Lisa Smith said she is optimistic that landlords’ previous experience will encourage them to rent to the Afghan refugees. “Back when the Syrians came over there was concern, but in the end there was no concern. I think that’s why London landlords will be completely open to bringing in refugees. Hopefully, we’ll have the inventory and we’ll be able to help,” Smith said, referring to the lack of affordable housing in the city. Smith recalled a need for education on both sides when the Syrians began renting. For example, there were complaints from tenants about newcomers’ children running in the halls at night.
The Cross Cultural Learner Centre (CCLC) — a non-profit refugee resettlement agency — sent a representative to speak at an LPMA members meeting. “The CCLC really educated a lot of the landlords and their staff on how to communicate and deal with some of the cultural differences,” Smith said. “It turned out to be so positive because we had the help from the CCLC.” Smith hadn’t heard of any refugees who hadn’t paid the rent. “You just have to take that leap of faith. That’s what we did back then and it seemed to work.” London lawyer Joe Hoffer said landlords should be aware they can’t refuse an application based on country of origin or religion. For example, they can’t decline an application if they suspect the new tenant would cause trouble for existing tenants based on country of origin.
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“If that’s the basis for refusal, it’s totally offside with the Human Rights Code and would warrant sanctions by the Human Rights Tribunal,” Hoffer said. Deciding to accept tenants without credit history is a matter of assessing risk. If refugees have financial resources — but no banking or credit history — and volunteer to prepay rent, landlords can accept the offer. Hoffer said landlords must document that the offer was voluntary and was at the applicant’s request. Alternatively, landlords can ask an applicant for a guarantor to cover the rent if the tenant defaults on it.
“Where there is no credit history, a landlord can ask for a guarantor,” Hoffer said. “If they can’t provide a guarantor, that doesn’t mean they should be dismissed outright. It just means that you have to assess the risk.” Valerian Marochko, executive director of CCLC, said finding permanent housing for Afghan newcomers is a priority, particularly as a few hundred more are expected in London in the next few years. Without credit history, it’s been challenging to find landlords who will rent to refugees, even though the federal government, which has committed to accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees, provides financial support for one year. The newcomers worked for the Canadian embassy, for non-governmental organizations, and as interpreters for the Canadian Armed Forces, Marochko said. At least one member of every family speaks English. “These are some of the people who were key in helping Canada’s mission in Afghanistan,” he said. CCLC gives refugees an orientation on tenants’ rights and responsibilities. When they move into rental housing, the agency provides a life skills support program and workers who speak their language. The workers explain the lease and provide sheet magnets with tips that outline the landlord-tenant relationship in English and their language. “It’s a complete walk-through of the (lease) agreement and the general landlord and tenant relationship,” Marochko said. He encourages landlords to keep an open mind about cultural differences. For example, a refugee mother was allowing her children to play in the parking lot of their apartment complex. When questioned, she said there were no landmines in parking lots, making them seem safer than grassy areas. Once the newcomers are settled, the agency is willing to send a representative to speak at an LPMA members meeting. “Landlords can also call for support whenever there’s an issue,” Marochko said. The agency can be reached at (519) 432-1133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. R E T U R N I N G I N T E R N AT I O N A L S T U D E N T S , N E W I M M I G R A N T S S T I M U L AT E D E M A N D F O R R E N TA L H O U S I N G Many landlords had trouble filling their units for much of last year as travel restrictions for international students prevented them from travelling to Canada.
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Canada’s foreign enrolment in 2020 fell nearly 17 per cent due to the pandemic, reported Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This represents the first decline in foreign enrolment in Canada in the last 20 years. The situation has been improving. International students began to return in October 2020 when travel restrictions changed. For the first seven months of 2021, more than 188,000 study permits were issued, compared to about 124,000 for the first seven months of 2020, according to IRCC. From March to October 2020, travel restrictions prevented international students from travelling to Canada, even if their study permit application was finalized and approved, Nancy Caron, media relations advisor, wrote in an email. Canada has committed to boosting immigration. In 2021, the country aims to welcome 401,000 permanent residents. In 2022, that number will rise to 411,000 and in 2023 to 421,000. London landlords Michelle and George De Vlugt noticed an upswing in interest from international students after Fanshawe College and Western University announced plans for in-person fall classes. The couple began receiving three to four inquiries a day in June for two of their four available units.
Michelle De Vlugt
“Most of them were international students,” recalled Michelle De Vlugt. “For some reason, June just took off. I had never experienced that before.” Valerian Marochko, executive director of the Cross Cultural Learner Centre, a non-profit refugee resettlement agency, is trying to find housing for 132 Afghan refugees. In a city with high rents, good units with low rent are a “very rare find,” Marochko said. Musawer Muhtaj, a senior analyst, economics, for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), said the return of international students and the arrival of more immigrants in London is leading to greater demand for rental housing. By the end of the second quarter of 2020, 1,100 permanent residents were admitted. In 2021, that number more than doubled to 2,260 during the same time period, according to IRCC data. “Demand is going up in London and the majority are looking into the rental market,” Muhtaj said. The purpose-built rental apartment vacancy rate, from fall 2019 to fall 2020, in the London census metropolitan area (CMA), rose to 3.4 per cent from 1.8 per cent in October 2019, according to CMHC’s
Fall 2020 Rental Market Report. An increase in rental supply was met with muted demand by fewer temporary international migrants, including students, who were studying in their home countries due to the pandemic. The Downtown North neighbourhood, which is closest to Western University, had the highest vacancy rate at 5.9 per cent. However, the overall vacancy rate reveals only part of London’s rental housing situation. Just 2.3 per cent of the area’s rental units have rents that are lower than $625, making them affordable to renters who earn less than $25,000. (Affordability is considered to be 30 per cent of household income.) Rents increased across all bedroom types, with bachelor units increasing the most at 8.5 per cent to $774 a month. Rents are increasing in London partly because there isn’t enough supply for renters of all income levels, Muhtaj said. For example, in households with the highest income, a monthly rent above $1,850 is considered affordable. Only a small number of units is available in this rent range, leading many higher income renters to find accommodation in lower rent ranges. This crowds out low-income earners and forces them to pay more for higher-priced units.
Increasing the supply of affordable housing is crucial, but building only affordable housing isn’t the answer as it could be occupied by renters who can afford to pay more. More supply is needed for every type of renter, Muhtaj said. Looking ahead, current migration trends point towards higher rental demand in 2021. “Any type of migration plays a big role in demand for any type of housing,” Muhtaj noted.
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O O ne n O e Vo ne M ic e e M s , ag sa az ge in , e! k in Th
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Vol. 14 No. 4 October 2021
e. su is xt ne e th in y! s is da e m to ri b ’ll e sc in ou az ub ty /s ag ha ca s.
Canada’s #1 most widely read publication for Apartment Owners, Managers and Association Executives
The official publication of:
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Summer seems to have passed as quickly as always and we look forward to what the last quarter of the year has to bring. We are very pleased that we seem to have avoided another lockdown due to COVID-19 and numbers seem to be on a good trend downward. Things are looking positive in Ontario and in Hamilton; with our high vaccination numbers (although Hamilton is lagging behind the provincial numbers), we hope that we will be in good shape going forward. Hamilton has seen some changes in the last few months, including new members of Parliament elected during the recent federal election and a major update to the Licensing issue. The pandemic has had a lot of negative effects but we are happy to see that things are picking up once again and we are on course to things returning to normal. - Tina Novak, President, HDAA
Hamilton election results The Canadian federal election saw a renewed Liberal minority government; our local results in Hamilton also favoured the Liberals. Hamilton had changes in a few ridings. Three of the five ridings in Hamilton voted in new MPs, as the incumbents did not run for re-election. These included Flamborough-Glanbrook, Hamilton Mountain, and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek. The new faces joining the Members of Parliament include Liberal Chad Collins for Hamilton East, Conservative Dan Muys for Flamborough-Glanbrook, and Liberal Lisa Hepfner for Hamilton Mountain. Flamborough-Glanbrook remained Conservative, Hamilton East remained Liberal, and Hamilton Mountain changed from NDP to Liberal. The results of the five ridings in Hamilton were as follows: Hamilton Centre
NDP LIB CON PPC GRN
Matthew Green Margaret Bennett Fabian Grenning Kevin Barber Avra Caroline Weinstein
20,139 11,010 6,317 2,704 1,129
48% 26% 15% 6% 3%
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
LIB CON NDP PPC GRN
Filomena Tassi Bert Laranjo Roberto Henriquez Dean Woods Dave Urquhart
26,029 17,362 11,694 2,527 974
44% 29% 20% 4% 2%
LIB CON NDP PPC GRN
Chad Collins Ned Kuruc Nick Milanovic Mario Ricci Larry Pattison
18,377 13,988 12,653 3,694 1,018
37% 28% 25% 7% 2%
CON LIB NDP PPC GRN
Dan Muys Vito Sgro Lorne Newick Bill Panchyshyn Thomas Hatch
24,031 21,350 9,409 3,685 1,403
40% 36% 16% 6% 2%
Hamilton Mountain PARTY
LIB NDP CON PPC GRN
Lisa Hepfner Malcolm Allen Al Miles Chelsey Taylor Dave Urquhart
16,547 15,712 11,838 3,097 974
34% 32% 24% 6% 2%
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New Hamilton councillor With the new MP appointment for Chad Collins, a spot is now vacant on City Council for Ward 5. Hamilton city councillors have voted in favour of appointing an experienced replacement instead of proceeding with a by-election. Councillors voted to go with the appointment process over a by-election after Mayor Fred Eisenberger stated that the timeline between a potential run to the polls in the new year and the close proximity of the next civic election in October 2022 didn’t justify such an effort.
The suggestion is to appoint a candidate with previous experience, particularly an individual who’s been in office. The appointment will be made at a special council meeting on November 12, with the new member taking the post November 24.
Hamilton boundary expansion There is currently an ongoing debate surrounding the proposed expansion of Hamilton’s urban boundary and whether it should be expanded to provide for more development or frozen. The City of Hamilton distributed a survey to all residents for their thoughts. The overwhelming response to the survey opposed the urban boundary expansion. Approximately 82 per cent of mail survey responses and 97 per cent of email survey responses opposed urban boundary expansion. With these results, the City is considering freezing expansion. The Ontario government does not seem pleased with this potential decision, suggesting such a move would bring a “shortage” of housing and not meet expected market demands for the next three decades. We are interested to see how the debate continues and what the final verdict will be on the urban boundary in Hamilton, as the final decision will have a profound impact on housing in the municipality.
Licensing update In our last update, we were very uncertain as to the direction of the licensing regime and the City’s plans. On August 10, the City’s Planning Committee discussed the licensing regime. Prior to the meeting, a Staff Report was circulated, indicating the recommendation was to delay the licensing matter to Q1 of 2023. One main argument for the delay was that “the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the pressure on the City’s rental market and the housing system in general. For tenants, rents for new units are increasing, vacancy rates are down especially for the most affordable units, and there is potential for high levels of displacement following the ending of the provincial moratorium on evictions. Introducing a rental housing licensing regime at this time could have a further destabilizing effect on the rental housing market.” Staff seemed cognizant of the issues and the current environment not being an ideal one to begin a licensing regime. The report also discussed two new initiatives the City had implemented on rental housing and supply. One is the secondary dwelling initiative, which will provide opportunities for more rental supply through the creation of secondary dwellings. The second is the review and amendment of the property standards by-law, which brings with it an expanded scope and addresses many concerns from tenants and tenant groups.
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The effects of these two initiatives would need some time to be felt and could well address most of the concerns from tenant groups. Unfortunately, the Planning Committee ignored the staff report and recommendations, instead voting to proceed with a two-year licensing pilot project. The City met again on September 21 to discuss licensing and its implementation. The HDAA retained Joe Hoffer from Cohen Highley to make and present our delegation. However, these delegations were largely ignored and the Planning Committee proceeded with licensing in the City. A recording of the meeting is available for viewing on the City of Hamilton’s Planning Committee website. This is quite unfortunate news and the HDAA is very disappointed with the lack of understanding and knowledge of the effects a licensing regime will have in the City, particularly during the pandemic. We hope that the pilot project will provide to be unsuccessful and the matter will die there. There will be many consequences for landlords and tenants. Housing supply and affordability in the City will suffer, and we worry what the rental housing market will look like in the next few years. We will continue to participate in the roll-out of the pilot project rolls out, and watch carefully how it affects the rental housing market. We will also continue to provide updates on it.
Board of Directors nominations The HDAA is preparing for our Board of Directors change over after the end of October. The Board consists of 10 volunteers who are each elected for a three-year term by the general membership to guide the association. The Board is responsible
for all association initiatives, events, education, and lobbying efforts. This year, five members are up for re-election. The deadline for nominations is October 31. If more than five people wish to run, we will be holding an election to determine the Board positions.
Past events September 29 – Waste Education Webinar The HDAA and the City of Hamilton hosted an information session on waste education in multiresidential properties. The webinar discussed the multi-residential system in the City of Hamilton, common recycling mistakes, and materials that can be provided to help residents. The session was followed by a Q&A period for our members to ask the City about waste concerns. Information was provided on common items that are disposed of improperly, upcoming City projects, and the best ways to communicate with residents about how to properly dispose of items.
Upcoming events October 20 – RTA & LTB Changes Webinar The HDAA is excited to host another free member-only webinar. Mark Melchers from Cohen Highley will be discussing the newest RTA and LTB changes that took effect on September 1, and will answer any questions about all Bill 184 changes.
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
Real estate associations look ahead By Peter Altobelli, Vice President, Yardi Canada Ltd.
What are the principal challenges facing Canadian property managers? How will technology facilitate the post-pandemic era? What’s ahead as 2021 winds down? Yardi sought insight into these and other issues from seven prominent real estate associations. Here’s a summary of their responses.
Which issues are foremost on your members’ minds? Cost and compliance issues are most crucial for these representatives of the rental housing industry. “Members are seeking ways to minimize costs that they can control, such as utilities,” reports the Investment Property Owners Association of Nova Scotia (IPOANS). Meanwhile, the Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization (EOLO) has recently “helped members understand the municipal requirements for information-handling and how property management software can assist them to comply with the City of Ottawa’s new Rental Housing Property Management bylaw.” The Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations (CFAA) echoes its fellow associations’ concerns regarding the public’s perception of rental housing providers. “Innovative technology is playing a larger role in providing quality housing at a fair price”, says the CFAA. Other respondents report increasing demand for digital resources, such as training courses, forms, and libraries, as a crucial issue for the members. “These resources will be coming soon,” promises the Calgary Residential Rental Association (CRRA).
How can technology help meet property management challenges? Tech will ultimately reduce operating costs by allowing landlords to “introduce reliable realtime data into their operational decision-making process,” IPOANS asserts. Not surprisingly, the pandemic was a catalyst for recent technology adoption in the industry. “Many of these changes are here to stay, such as virtual showings and contactless paperwork. For our members, the efficiency this has added to their rental operations has been fantastic, saving landlords time and money,” reports LandlordBC (LLBC). “We are seeing increased reliance on technology, fueled by the pandemic, to provide more convenient ways for landlords to conduct business, for tenants to communicate with property managers, and for marketing available units,” adds
60 | October 2021
the Hamilton & District Apartment Association (HDAA).
What’s next in real estate tech? Keeping pace with real estate consumers’ tech savviness will require enabling more cohesive virtual tours, along with online leasing and advertising. That means technology’s overall impact will become “even more profound. Its necessity will not be diminishing anytime soon,” says the CRRA. The Alberta Residential Landlord Association (ARLA) identifies internet service quality, tenant amenities, and building security as hot areas for advancement. Recent tech advances are providing “great opportunities to streamline processes and create more efficient ways to conduct business” and are “leading the way for future opportunities,” according to the HDAA. “We think the space is ripe for technological innovation. Collaborative intelligence will be the key to connecting everyone in the space, from prospective and existing tenants to landlords and their suppliers. Technology will improve client service and the efficiency of building operations,” CFAA adds.
What’s your focus going forward? The associations are virtually unanimous in eagerly anticipating the return to in-person events and meetings with landlords, suppliers, and others. IPOANS will continue delivering “best-in-class online and in-person education programs. We have tapped into a vast appetite for learning.” CFAA will direct its resources toward key advocacy on federal and national issues affecting the rental housing industry, including tax issue, housing policy, and climate change. The strength of the industry and the strength of the associations’ members fuel a positive outlook. “The rental housing industry is resilient. It has been great to see landlords and tenants working together as we move into a post-COVID-19 world and transition back to normal. Our industry has weathered this storm, and we are now moving ahead with renewed optimism as universities reopen this fall and international students return as well,” LLBC says. Reach out to your association for local, provincial or federal updates. Learn more about technology options at yardi.com.
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