Spring cleanup is key to improving curb appeal
Landlords appreciate the importance of curb appeal in cultivating a sense of pride in residents. And now that spring has arrived, there is no better way of neatening properties than by collecting litter from lawns and dispatching abandoned vehicles and unwanted furniture. Heather Chapman, manager of municipal law enforcement services for the City of London, Ontario, encourages homeowners and landlords alike to clean up their properties as soon as the snow begins to recede. “It just benefits everybody,” she says. In 2016, the City’s bylaw enforcement office received 3,358 yard and lot maintenance complaints from residents, which is the primary way the City's yard and lot maintenance bylaw is enforced, down from 3,876 complaints in 2015. An accumulation of garbage topped the list of complaints, followed by long grass and the presence of weeds. Derelict vehicles also create problems for many landlords because there are "very few, if any” towing companies in London that will do unsolicited towing, Chapman says.
“Because we understand the property owner is trying to be proactive, we will waive the administration and inspection fee that typically would go along with that,” Chapman says. “We understand that they're trying to keep their properties looking nice but their hands are a little bit tied.”
The regulations are less clear cut if the vehicle has been left sitting but is still drivable. If there is just one vehicle, the City can’t remove it. But if there is more than one unlicensed vehicle (without current valid licence plates) in the parking area of a residential complex, a clause in the bylaw allows the City to treat the vehicles as refuse. This allows contractors to remove all vehicles but one, regardless of the condition; one must remain due to a stipulation in the zoning bylaw.
She encourages landlords to contact the bylaw enforcement office to determine if the vehicle on their property can legally be removed. To be eligible, the vehicle must be in inoperative condition, meaning it must have flat tires or be missing glass or parts that prevent it from running. After the property owner has made the request in writing, the City can remove the vehicle although the towing fees charged by the City’s contractor will become the property owner's responsibility.
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According to the City’s website, www.london.ca, common bylaw violations include: • Grass and weeds over 20 cm (8 in.) in height • The presence of a refrigerator, freezer, stove or other appliances • Open garbage, kitchen waste, cardboard and indoor furniture • Grass clippings, tree cuttings, brush, leaves and garden refuse • An accumulation of water exceeding 30 cm (12 in.) without a temporary barrier • Unmaintained swimming pool water • Graffiti • Uncontained refuse and refuse containers without covers When the City receives a complaint, a work order is sent to the property owner outlining the nature of the infraction. The City generally gives owners two weeks to clean up the property. “We're hoping for voluntary compliance, that they take the necessary action prior to the compliance date,” Chapman says. After that date, an officer returns and if the problem has been rectified the complaint is closed. If the problem is still evident, then enforcement action is taken. The property is inspected and the City arranges for its contractors to complete the cleanup. The City bills the owner or applies the cost of the work to the property owner's municipal tax bill. The City can also charge owners $215 for failing to comply with the bylaw. “We very rarely fine. We move to cleanup action almost 100 per cent of the time because it resolves the problem right away,” Chapman observes. In the first case, when a work order is issued, it’s the property owner's responsibility to ensure the property is maintained for 12 months from the date of the order. If there are further problems, an officer places a notice in the form of a door hanger on the front door. It lists the complaints and states that the owner has 24 to 72 hours to rectify the problems. “We're hoping that if they have good tenants, at least the tenants will pay attention to it and if they can’t take care of it, they’ll call the property owner and say the City has contacted us and needs you to do something,” Chapman says.
Sean McNally, owner of MCI Properties, owns townhouses as well as apartments above commercial properties in London. He says he tries to be proactive by giving garbage and recycling information to new tenants. He also drives by his properties regularly after garbage day. When there are issues, he sends a written notice to tenants. But if a problem is confined to a specific tenant, he contacts that person directly “to see if there’s some sort of challenge as to why they’re doing it and we work together to come up with solutions that work for both of us.” McNally says residents value curb appeal. “Five years ago it was a different tenant than it is now and curb appeal has become that much more important. Curb appeal really shows your brand — what you’re proud of and what you focus on as a company. I think it comes down to being involved and the landlord in general has to address things as they happen and not let them fall through the cracks. Problems won't fix themselves.”
President’s message Happy spring! I would like to extend a warm invitation to members and associates to come out and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of LPMA at a party on May 9. The event, which will be held at the Greek Hellenic Centre from 5:30 to 8:30 PM, will honour the organization’s achievements. There will be cocktails and a buffet of hors d’oeuvres; please RSVP by April 27. We are particularly proud of the fact that LPMA demonstrates strength in numbers with its continued growth of 500-plus members. We held a Facebook contest in March to give away two floor seats to a London Lightning basketball game. Thank you to everyone who participated. We continue to offer education through our monthly meetings and seminars throughout the year. Our trade show and food drive, both held in April, boasted great turnouts. Please visit www.lpma.ca for full details.
Landlord licensing fee jumps dramatically in London
In 2016, the City cleaned up 696 properties at the owners’ expense, up from 410 in 2015. (The 2015 number was lower due to a 59-day labour stoppage by 750 inside workers at city hall.) Even so, Chapman says most owners take care of the work on their own.
Since January 1, fees for new residential licences in London, Ontario have tripled. But what makes the increase truly hard to bear is the way in which the fee change was introduced.
“The number of cleanups was 20 per cent of the complaints in 2016,” she adds.
The City of London increased its charges for a Residential Rental Unit Licence from $55 to $165 for new
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applications; the annual renewal fee still costs $55. The Residential Rental Units Licensing Bylaw was passed in 2009 and applies only to buildings with four or fewer rental units and converted dwellings. Rental units in apartment buildings and townhouses are exempt.
issues relevant to landlords. We have written to the mayor and members of council to request that the changes be repealed. So far, one councillor has replied. LPMA will continue to lobby council in the hopes of correcting these punitive and unfair measures.
According to media reports, the fee increase appears to be motivated by landlords who allegedly provided the City with inaccurate information in their application about their units, in particular the number of bedrooms, basement ceiling heights and the presence of windows.
By Emma Sims, Past President, LP
The Cityâ€™s website, www.london.ca, states that when applying for a new licence, property owners must now complete an application form for each rental property and a sketched floor plan that identifies the location of all rooms, windows, and entrances and exits. The fee increase covers the cost of having a property standards bylaw officer inspect the property to ensure the information on the application is accurate. An inspection will take place for licensing applications submitted to the City after January 1. What is troubling to LPMA is the way in which this proposed change came about. London City Council approved the new fee on December 19, but it wasnâ€™t until a reporter from The London Free Press contacted LPMA for a comment that we learned of the approved changes. A search of the Cityâ€™s website revealed an obscure notice posted on December 8 of a public participation meeting to be held on December 13 to discuss inspection protocols. This notice was also published in a community paper with limited circulation and not in a daily newspaper. Unfortunately, no LPMA members observed the notice. The meeting proceeded on December 13 with virtually no public participation. In addition, there was no consultation and no communication with LPMA with respect to the proposed changes despite the fact that City staff members, under the previous municipal leadership, notified us of
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Three big wins when you integrate resident screening Screening prospective residents is a crucial step in creating a safe and secure community and minimizing risk to your business. Background checks and credit reports help you reduce loss from collections, evictions and legal action. No matter which decision criteria you use to screen your residents, there’s a way you could save even more time while keeping your properties and profits secure. Using a resident screening solution that integrates with your property management platform allows you to make better rental decisions more quickly. In addition to being the smart choice in today’s fast-paced rental industry, integrated screening provides you with comprehensive reporting and analytics that let you know if your properties are on the right track. Save time & reduce errors Increase efficiency with just one system and one login that lets you get more done during the leasing process. Integrated screening software automatically populates information from the online leasing portal to the screening application, removing the need to enter applicant information on multiple forms and the risk of delays caused by inaccurate data. Did you know that decision criteria can be tailored for each of your properties to customize the screening of every applicant? Get accurate results and automated rental recommendations based on your pre-determined decision criteria. Approve only the renters that are right for you, instead of the ones who are just generically okay. Gain insight to improve processes An integrated resident screening system compares your screening process with the overall financial performance of your portfolio. You may have a number of properties in the same market in a certain neighbourhood – in some cases, directly across the street from each other – but with very different demographics. Integrated screening helps you drill into where the applicants are coming from at each of your properties. And it helps you select the highest quality residents for all of your properties.
Software collects the marketing source of each applicant that goes through the screening process. It then analyzes those sources to see which produced the highest and lowest quality residents. This insight lets you evaluate your marketing initiatives and determine if your screening process has any effect on your overall revenue. Integrated screening software also gives you the ability to conduct what-if scenarios that take market conditions and vacancy rate changes into consideration. This helps you adjust your scoring system to get the desired number of approvals. Appeal to the modern renter According to Informa Canada’s Canadian Multi-Res Tenant Rental Survey, the features residents desire most are high-speed Internet and online portals, indicating that they want landlords to be more tech savvy. Property managers should be thinking about increasing automation to engage with their prospective renters, and one way to do that is with a smoother transition from applicant to resident. Integrated screening caters to Millennials and other members of your target market by making sure their application experience is as effective as possible. When you offer one easy online application – without extra steps and paper waste – your property management business stands out from the crowd. Faster, smarter & more competitive In summary, integrated resident screening is a smart choice for your business because it speeds up leasing and gives you a detailed look into your screening process. You can use comprehensive reporting and scenario analysis to compare it with your property’s financial performance. This allows you to choose the best renters and quickly move on with your day. Being able to get more done with confidence? That’s a big win for any property manager! Peter Altobelli, HDAA Board Member & Vice President and General Manager, Yardi Canada Ltd.
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President’s message On Monday, March 20, 2017, The Hamilton Spectator published an article titled “Bill aims to plug rent increase loophole,” which described how New Democrat Peter Tabuns was introducing a Private Member’s Bill in the Legislature to eliminate the 1991 rent control exemption. Currently, annual rent increase caps only apply to residential buildings or units constructed before November 1991. This year the rent for those tenants could be increased by up to 1.5 per cent without the landlord applying to the Landlord and Tenant Board. Recent articles like the one in The Hamilton Spectator wrote about rent control are misleading. Calling the exemption a loophole is not the whole story. This slanted view ignores the fact that the government policy decision in 1991 actually worked as intended. By removing rent control on all new buildings, the hope was to spur more rental developments, which it did. New construction in Ontario (after a gap of about 30 years) is the result. Even though the majority of economists agree that rent control is not beneficial to tenants in the long run, the tenants and some policymakers are only looking at the shortterm impact of unexpected rent increases. Companies that are building today take a very long-term view of their investment because they are large enough to be able to absorb the initial losses. Rents in new buildings today are not enough to cover costs and the risks involved in development projects because the expenditures outweigh the income for many years during and after construction. The implementation of the exemption is the single most important driver for the development of new, badly needed purpose-built rental housing. Hamilton is expected to see a number of new buildings over the next few years, but only if this
exemption remains. This Bill, if passed, will stop the construction of thousands of units over the next few decades. Today's new housing may be expensive but it will be the affordable housing 30 to 50 years down the road. Affordability is a function of two things: the cost of the housing (which continues to go up as it ages) and incomes from rent (most of which are controlled by the government). Housing is expensive to build, which in part is due to high taxes from all levels of government. Ontario's housing stock is old and needs major upgrades, which must be recovered from rents; otherwise they won't happen. Municipalities in Ontario charge property taxes at two or three times the residential rate for multi-residential buildings even though the provincial government has set a guideline of 1 to 1.1 and put in place a mechanism for tax reductions to be passed onto tenants. Equalization of the tax rate would reduce rents in Hamilton for thousands of people by $100 or more a month. Anyone who is an advocate for tenants should put tax equalization and a guaranteed income for everyone at the top of the list. It is time for Ontario Works, ODSP and EI to be reworked so that every person in Ontario and across Canada has a guaranteed income that is sufficient to live on. Even though the Private Member’s Bill would have a negligible effect on members of the HDAA (because there are very few units in this category in Hamilton), it will have a huge impact on the landscape of the rental industry for years to come. If this Bill stops new construction today, when will the rental properties be built for our future generations of renters? Arun Pathak, President, HDAA
Hamilton and District Landlords Since 1960, the Hamilton and District Apartment Association has grown significantly. Our member landlords and property managers manage in excess of 30,000 units throughout Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Guelph, Mississauga, Oakville, St. Catharines and into the Niagara Peninsula. e association is a highly respected organization, sought out regularly by government, industry, media and the public. To join, submit the application form available at www.hamiltonapartmentassociation.ca, or contact HDAA at 289-208-5445. 50 | april 20 17
Recent Events Basic landlord forms We had a fabulous turnout for the second education seminar on March 8, 2017. The seminar walked people through the process of approving a tenant and exit strategies. Tina Novak gave some excellent tips to avoid problems down the road by doing it right from the rental application to the first missed rent payment. Don’t worry if you missed the seminar; we plan on doing it again!
Upcoming Events 2017 Selling a tenanted property It was standing room only at the REALTOR® CONNECTIONS Conference & Trade Show knowledge POD presentation. Lucie Brusse made a 20-minute presentation on why HDAA was a great association for realtors and their customers. She pointed out how important it was for new landlords to understand tenants’ rights and their responsibilities once a property has been purchased. It was such an important and informative presentation, the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) has asked us to do it again!
Spring Hope Food Drive
A Night at the Races
Dinner meeting: Landlord corporate structuring, succession, estate and tax planning
CFAA Rental Housing Conference, Toronto
Morning education seminar: Human Rights Code
Dinner meeting: TBA
Morning education seminar: Landlord Tenant Board
Dinner meeting: TBA
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EOLO addresses liability at education event At its Spring Networking event on March 9, EOLO adopted a different format for two of the education sessions. Instead of presentations, we gathered together two panels of experienced property managers and other experts. Theresa Pelletier (Minto), Kelly Kerrigan (District) and Bev Johnson (Osgoode) addressed operational issues, including compliance with government regulations (such as Ministry of Labour rules), the 28 day notices of termination for domestic abuse, and dealing with insurers and adjusters over water damage in a building.
As far as property claims are concerned, 43% are due to water damage and 40% to fires (see Chart 1). Within the water category, almost half of all claims are due to burst pipes, and another 30% are due to overflow. Among fire claims, the most common causes are cooking and appliance malfunctions, while smoking is in third place.
Chart 1: Property claims - Frequency by major categories
In the second panel, Julie Chapdelaine (Minto), John Loubser (Timbercreek) and James Malcolm (AP Reid) addressed risk management and reducing insurance costs. Julie led off presenting slides about the frequency and severity of claims by category. In real estate, 71% of liability claims are based on slip, trip and fall incidents. Julie also noted, that â€œin the past decade, there have been more large awards from courts for personal injury [and] lost employment incomeâ€Śdue to slip and fall related injury.â€?
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John spoke to the key ways to minimize those common claims. To mitigate slip, trip and fall claims, landlords should maintain records of snow clearing, salting and sanding. They should require their snow removal contractors to do likewise, and check that the work is being done and the records are being kept. As well, resident managers, property managers and hands-on landlords should make a point of looking for possible tripping hazards as they go around their properties. Burst pipes can be reduced by notices to tenants about the danger of frozen pipes when winter is approaching, and by checking for open windows, especially in the first few weeks of freezing temperatures. To minimize damage from fires, the key step is to inspect smoke detectors, and record those inspections. Besides annual or semi-annual checks, another good practice is for repair staff to check the smoke detectors whenever they are in the unit for any other reason.
owner is probably subject to having any claim reduced based on the principle of co-insurance, which applies in most property policies. Third, James pointed out that buildings which are well kept and have a record of no or few claims are often eligible for reduced insurance rates. The panels were very well received. EOLO thanks the panelists, and plans to include a panel in upcoming education sessions.
Mark your calendars now for EOLO’s Fall Education & Networking event, to take place on Thursday, September 28.
James contributed several warnings. First, he noted that an attitude of not caring about safety can put a person’s insurance coverage in jeopardy, or at least delay claim resolution. For example, in a slip and fall incident, if there is no evidence that the responsible person ever cleared or salted a pathway, insurance coverage could potentially be denied. Insurance is to cover an occasional error, not wanton ignoring of responsibilities. Second, in terms of coverage, James warned that if a building is underinsured, the insured
BECOME AN EOLO MEMBER NOW! EOLO invites Ottawa area landlords to join the organization. Have your interests and concerns heard, and benefit from EOLO’s support. As an EOLO member, you will: • Receive prompt email notification of relevant City rule changes • Be able to attend two networking receptions each year • Be able to attend two free education events each year 54 | april 20 17
• Receive EOLO’s newsletter with more information about new issues and developments at the City and in provincial funding programs and landlord-tenant laws. To apply for membership, go to www.eolo.ca, download the membership application form and send it to us at the contact info on that website.
Licensing status and issues In Ottawa, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), and other tenant advocates, are promoting landlord licensing. They have some traction among a few City Councillors, who are proposing pilot licensing projects in limited areas, such as Sandy Hill and around Algonquin College. As currently discussed, those pilot projects would be limited to landlords of small rental buildings.
In addition, Toronto has just passed a licensing bylaw, which will apply city-wide to larger buildings, namely those with 10 units or more, or more than three floors.
The Toronto bylaw requires • Names and contact information of all building owners • Names and contact information of the building operators • Specific information related to the building and related elements (e.g., materials used in construction, number of floors & units, accessibility features, availability of cooling spaces, heating & cooling systems, security features)
Tenant Board for orders or compensation for persistent maintenance or repair problems. • A licensing regime is not directed at the real problems (which exist in some few cases), but rather creates new requirements and offences. • The few landlords who ignore their obligations now are probably as likely to ignore licensing requirements, so that a licensing system will primarily impose new requirements and costs on people who are complying with the rules now. • Licensing regimes require landlords to file plans for maintenance and for garbage removal or for parking, when what is required is not a piece of paper in a City file cabinet, but rather the delivery of appropriate services. • It will require a bureaucracy to administer, when the City is trying to contain staffing and operating costs.
• Sub-metered electricity information including name of local distribution company/provider servicing
• It would raise the cost of rental housing, which will tend to make rental housing more expensive.
• Information relating to specific management and maintenance practices, and information requirements for the following defined areas:
• It would raise the hassle factor in operating rental housing, which will tend to reduce the supply, which will also tend to make rental housing more expensive.
Tenant service requests Tenant notifications Pest management Waste management plans and requirements Cleaning plan and requirements Licensed contractors for maintenance State of good repair capital plan Record keeping Not renting a unit to a new tenant where there is a property standards order related to the unit
Ottawa City Council considered exploring a broad licensing program in 2008 and rejected it by a vote of 23 to 1. EOLO and other opponents of landlord licensing make these points: • Landlords are heavily regulated now, with tenants able to call in City property standards officers to issue work orders, and tenants able to apply to the Landlord and
• In some cases it smacks of age discrimination because its driving force is often to try to keep student renters out of neighbourhoods. The proponents of licensing do not think through to the end point. The ultimate sanction in licensing is the cancellation of the license, but will that mean the landlord in question must stop renting the units in question. If that is not the case, what is the point? If that is the case, then the licensing regime will just have caused tenants to be evicted. The stated goal of more proponents is to get better maintenance. The way to achieve that is to make the property standards enforcement regime work, not to create another set of rules and another set of officials. EOLO opposes landlord licensing so that good landlords do not face more requirements and costs. We are in favour of effective enforcement of reasonable maintenance requirements by means other than licensing.
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February general meeting WRAMA held its second general meeting of the new year on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. In addition to two timely and informative guest speakers, President Andrew Macallum reminded members that they can stay informed about events and the latest in news impacting the rental industry by following WRAMA on Twitter @WRAMAprez. WRAMA welcomed two guest speakers: Erica McLerie, CMHC Senior Market Analyst, Office of the VP, Housing Markets and Indicators, and James Craig, President of the Kitchener Waterloo Association of Realtors & Senior Sales Associate, CBRE Capital Markets. Mr. Craig spoke to strong demand in the local market. Complementing his presentation to WRAMA members, the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of Realtors’ press release for January Home Sales stated, “President Craig points out that Waterloo region is in high demand. Getting into the housing market at the moment is not easy, and buyers need all the help they can get. It is more important than ever that you avail yourself of the professional knowledge of a local REALTOR® to guide you through these unique market conditions.”
Ms. McLerie provide detailed insight into the 2016 CMHC Rental Market Report Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo CMA. The report can be found at https://www.cmhcschl.gc.ca/odpub/esub/64399/64399_2016_A01.pdf?fr=148 6604290006.
After thanking property owners and managers for their participation in the CMHC report, Ms. McLerie acknowledged that the rental market is all about supply and demand. Factors that have influenced analysis results include a changing of boundaries by Wilmot township, impacting the CMA zones that are reflected in the report. With regard to vacancy rate, the market has been relatively flat over the past couple of years, with the overall vacancy rate remaining unchanged at 2.2%. With the lowest vacancy rates in Guelph and Peterborough and highest in Thunder Bay and Sudbury, Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo have maintained a middle ground in the province. Ms. McLerie attributed other influencing factors to there being fewer first-time buyers, with less people moving out of the rental market. Prices are also rising at a fast rate, so households who want to buy are having to stay in the rental market longer with hopes of saving for a down payment – not surprising given the gap between renting and owning is about $900 per month based on a three-bedroom unit. She cited other factors impacting demand, such as an increase in smaller households and downsizing, newcomers to Canada who typically rent when first landing, and a decrease in full-time employment, particularly between 15 and 24 year olds. On the supply side of things, Ms. McLerie suggested that the largest competing part of housing completions have been student rentals, including true rentals and rental through condo ownership, having an impact on the market. Waterloo is especially aware of this given the number of new, purpose-built student housing that has flooded the market over the past 10 years. From not having enough student housing in the mid-2000s to a substantial increase today, students have more choice and are making their lodging decisions based on amenities, proximity to campus, number of bedrooms per unit and affordability. In addition to Ms. McLerie’s presentation, an article published by the KitchenerWaterloo Record recently cited a report from CMHC that found “...between 2010 and 2015, enrolment surged by
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3200 students at Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. Student housing surged by 8500 beds over this same period, with a further 3200 beds recently completed or under construction.” (KW Record, February 4, 2017) Market survey results suggested that demand in the region was so strong that the vacancy rate actually declined slightly. The intricacies of the data reflect various factors that impact either an increase or decrease in vacancy rate. The following table captures a few of the points Ms. McLerie spoke to.
Increase in vacancy rate
March gen WRAMA held its third general meeting of 2017 on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. With changes to the Region of Waterloo residential garbage and recycling curbside pick-up schedule starting on March 6 and with wet spring weather just around the corner, our three guest speakers were relevant, timely and informative. vacancy rate
David Moss, owner/operator of Just Junk Grand River, provided the audience with firsthand Buildings built before 1975 Buildings built between 1975 & 1989 accounts and pictures of situations where tenants have left Towers Mid-sized buildings (3-5 units) furniture, refuse and other unwanted items in apartments Rent range of approx. $1100/month Lower rent range that have been vacated. The connection between having to Townhomes clear these items out of a unit to begin cleaning and preparation for prospective tenants The forecast for 2017 sees an increase in vacancy rates was not lost on landlords and property managers. Mr. with more units planned for construction. The average Moss spoke from his experience as a rental property owner rent will increase and the movement to home ownership and emphasized the fast, local and professional support his will decrease. This will be balanced with a move by company provides to landlords as well as tenants. immigrants, young adults, students and seniors who are downsizing to push against a vacancy increase. New mortgage rules were not reflected in this report but will be included in 2017. Bachelor & 1-bedroom apartments
2 & 3-bedroom apartments
For more information, please contact Erica McLerie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 218-3318. Photo Courtesy of CMHC Photo Courtesy of Just Junk
Discover the benefits of being a member of our association: e mission of the Waterloo Regional Apartment Management Association is to actively and positively develop and sustain the integrity of its members’ business – the provision of private residential rental accommodation – in Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph and surrounding areas. To view the full range of valuable property management resources we oﬀer our members, or to apply online go to http://wrama.com/, or contact WRAMA at 519-748-0703. 58 | april 20 17
eral meeting Photo Courtesy of Region of Waterloo
Attic Inspection Photo Courtesy of Green Trust Services
Kevin Green, registered home inspector and owner/operator of Green Trust Services, spoke to his experience as a home/building inspector and the importance of addressing seemingly small issues immediately before they grow into large and expensive problems. Perhaps the most common issue that he has seen is water related, primarily relating to roof integrity and then to interior plumbing issues. He suggested that old shingles look two to three times worse when looking down on them as opposed to looking from the ground.
Inspecting the roof of a structure annually by using binoculars will provide the information needed to plan replacement and repair. Mr. Green passed infrared cameras and moisture metres through the audience, allowing members to experience some of the science
Thermal Imaging Photo Courtesy of Green Trust Services
Thermal Imaging Photo Courtesy of Green Trust Services
that he uses in providing inspection data to owners and prospective owners. He emphasized that “...infrared imaging can detect water and moisture not seen with the naked eye, can show what’s going on, but cannot see through something.” Mr. Green spoke to “overfusing,” another common issue he sees in rental apartments with fuse boxes. To prevent blowing a fuse, tenants will sometimes install a fuse that is too large in the fuse box. This can lead to wires overheating and pose a possible fire hazard. One remedy could be to replace the fuse box with a modern breaker panel. Another might be to install a mini-breaker, which is more common in older, larger buildings. Always consult a certified electrician for advice and guidance with electrical issues. Megan Shackell and Jason Wilcox from Waste Solutions Canada closed the evening, introducing the audience to WSC, a third party provider and single point of contact that will review a current waste removal contract, look for savings and develop a proposal that is 100% independent and results based. Mr. Wilcox spoke to WSC offering a sustainability report, drawing a comparison between current costs and possible savings. With one in four waste invoices reviewed by Mr. Wilcox having errors, it might be prudent for landlords and property managers to be vigilant about the cost of waste removal. With offices in Calgary and Ontario, Waste Solutions Canada services clients across the country. By Andrew Macallum
Photo Courtesy of the Kitchener Record
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