VOLUME 15 / NUMBER 1 / MARCH 2018
WELL INTO THE FUTURE
BUILDING FOR LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY
PA R T O F T H E
INTERVAL DATA PM#40063056
P A R T
T H E
Yes, we can! Since MetCap Living established itself as a leader in property management, we have routinely been asked one, simple question; “Can you help us run our property more effectively?” And, for well over thirty years, the answer has remained — Yes, we can! Our managers are seasoned professionals, experienced in every detail of the day to day operations and maintenance of multi-unit rental properties. From marketing, leasing, finance and accounting, to actual physical, on-site management, we oversee everything. Guaranteed vacancy reduction, revenue growth and net profitability — when you’re ready to discuss a better option; we’ll be there. You can count on it. Kazi Shahnewaz Director, Business Development Office: 416.340.1600 x504 C. 647.887.5676 firstname.lastname@example.org
THE PURSUIT OF ZERO CARBON
/cammediaedge /cdnapartmentmag /mediaedgecam
It wasn’t too long ago that our annual energy issue focused on simple ways to boost a building’s green appeal. Tips centred on tenant-friendly measures to reduce waste, encourage recycling, conserve water, embrace paperless communication—and for those really progressive landlords, invest in submetering and LED lights. While all these initiatives are still well and good, by today’s standards they don’t nearly capture what it means to be green. Technology has progressed at such a rate, current sustainable strategies involve deep retrofits, building automation and the shift to high-efficiency systems that rely on low-carbon, renewable energy sources. Bit by bit, decades-old buildings are undergoing massive upgrades to ensure they remain viable—and profitable—in a carbon-free tomorrow. But can they ever compete with the buildings of new? Read our cover story on Page 18 for some interesting opinions from leading industry experts. With spring in the air, now’s the time to think about building upkeep; how to avoid water damage and prevent those unwanted critters from infesting outdoor waste areas. Our contributing writers offer all kinds of important advice for keeping common problems in check, while our regular columnists offer market advice, industry news updates, perspectives on legislation, and other tidbits to help landlords succeed at their jobs. We hope you enjoy the issue, and if you haven’t already, please be sure follow us on Twitter and the REMI Network for daily apartment news coverage.
aula Gasparro P Chaim Rivlin Andy Schwartze Greg Patterson Chris Seepe Alice Sinia, Ph.D
Sean Foley Melissa Valentini
Digital Media Director Steven Chester Circulation
Yeshdev Singh For sales information call (416) 512-8186
Canadian Apartment Magazine is published six times a year by:
5255 Yonge St., Suite 1000, Toronto, Ontario M2N 6P4 E-mail: email@example.com
President Kevin Brown Group Publisher Sean Foley Copyright 2018 Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40063056 ISSN 1712-140X Circulation 416-516-8186 ext. 234 firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscription Rates: Canada: 1 year, $50*, 2 years, $90*, US $75 International $100, Single Copy Sales: Canada: $12* * Plus applicable taxes Requests for permission to reprint any portion of this magazine should be sent to Erin Ruddy.
Erin Ruddy @CdnAptEditor
Authors: Canadian Apartment Magazine accepts unsolicited query letters and article suggestions. Manufacturers: Those wishing to have their products reviewed should contact the publisher or send information to the attention of the editor.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors of articles and do not necessarily reflect the views of Canadian Apartment Magazine. This information is general and is not a substitute for legal advice.
ACTION STEPS TO REDUCE GHG EMISSIONS IN LARGE BUILDINGS:
1. DEEP RETROFITS
Replace or upgrade major systems, equipment and building envelope
Switch out carbon-intensive equipment (i.e. boilers and furnaces) to low carbon sources
Sworn Statement of Circulation: Available from the publisher upon written request. Although Canadian Apartment Magazine makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information published, we cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions, however caused. Printed in Canada.
Improve equipment 4. ON-SITE maintenance, RENEWABLES adjust controls and upgrade lighting systems
Add solar, biomass, wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) or other renewable energy sources
STABILITY AND BALANCE
AT THE TOP!
As a sister company to ACE Painting, Cranfield General Contracting was formed in 2004 to further meet the remodeling demands of all our clients. Delivering superior quality and cutting edge solutions Cranfield provides major renovation services to include interior, exterior, in suite and common area upgrades.
UPGRADES | ELECTRICAL PLUMBING | MILLWORK
W W W. A C E G R O U P G TA . C A
GROUP OF COMPANIES
GROUP OF COMPANIES
VOLUME 15 / NUMBER 1 / MARCH 2018
FEATURES 16 Get Out from Under Water By Greg Patterson 26 Say Goodbye to Germs and Pests By Alice Sinia
COLUMNS 10 Transactions Canada’s Robust Commercial Real Estate Market By Erin Ruddy 12 CMHC Turning Down the Heat By Paula Gasparro 24 Marketing Energy Efficiency and the Modern Renter By Chaim Rivlin 28 Newsworthy Industry Hot Topics 30 Insurance Beyond the Cosmetic By Andy Schwartze 32 Perspective Ontario’s New Standard Lease By Chris Seepe
18 Moving Toward a Low-Carbon Economy How will Canada’s aging apartment stock fair into the future? By Erin Ruddy
ON THE COVER:
VOLUME 15 / NUMBER 1 / MARCH 2018
The Well in Toronto, a new mixed-property coming soon from RioCan Living
Editor’s Note WELL INTO THE FUTURE
34 Smart Ideas
BUILDING FOR LONG-TERM SUSTAINABILITY
PA R T O F T H E
PA R T O F T H E
P A R T
T H E
P A R T
T H E
2018-03-21 10:45 AM
SPECIALIZING IN ALL YOUR FINANCIAL NEEDS SINCE 1975 CYR FUNDING INC.™ is one of the leading independent Ontario mortgage broker firms. We provide competitive mortgage rates and reliable investment services. Whether you need a commercial, industrial or residential property loan.
Whatever your circumstances may be… CYR™ Funding can help. CYR_1_6_Sept._2017.indd 1
Connect with us on For more information contact
Office: (905) 731 1111 x229 Cell: (647) 838 5061 Fax: (905) 731 6860 email@example.com 2017-10-02 1:57 PM
Maximize Resident Satisfaction Revolutionary laundry technology for your residents. With SQ Insights, residents can check machine availability, pay using their smartphone and earn rewards all from the simple-to-use Speed QueenÂŽ app. Everyone has to do laundry. Help your residents make their laundry day easier, more convenient and stress-free.
From Speed QueenÂŽ, the proven performer in laundry. SpeedQueenCommercial.com
Measure by Measure Cutting costs and keeping property owners happy
Keeping tenants happy, buildings occupied, and property values high are top priorities for property management firms. In reality, that's easier said than done – especially in an era where “plugged-in” lifestyles, rising labour costs, and rental regulations are making it increasingly difficult for property stakeholders to find financial breathing room.
8 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
“The rental market is inundated with not just energy-related concerns, but also rent control, new building evaluations and regulations, and lower vacancy rates,” agrees George Hantzis, Large Commercial Energy Solutions Manager with Enbridge, adding, “all of those things intensify the challenges to keep tenants satisfied while continuing to grow a business.”
They also emphasize the need to partake in energy retrofits and smart cost-saving measures to lean out operating costs and free up money for their core business: delivering quality rental supply. “There's no one thing that will improve your bottom line. That's why, when people like us go into a facility to help property owners or managers find ways to save energy, we are always looking at the issue from a holistic approach,” says Dominic DiMuzio, Enbridge Multi-Residential Energy Solutions Consultant. Enbridge's team of technical experts collectively work with hundreds of multire s i d e n t i a l b u i l d i n g s a n n u a l l y t o h e l p stakeholders optimize their energy usage and save money. It's that hands-on experience that has equipped them with cost-saving insights and proven energy smart measures. Here are just a few:
Tweak your controls A few system tweaks can go a long way. Energy Consultants can play a big role in identifying energy-wasting procedures and make small – yet impactful – changes that will result in long-term savings. For example Carmine Faiella, Multi-Residential Energy Solutions Consultant offers this advice, “when you reduce your set point temperatures the savings are automatic. That said, you need to be careful and considerate of tenant comfort.” Get with the program A number of energy-saving consultation programs are available to property stakeholders at no cost. In some cases, such as Enbridge's Commercial Custom Retrofit Incentives programs, participants can receive
financial rewards for implementing energysaving measures. “We'll work with customers, free of charge, to identify energy efficiency opportunities that save natural gas and in return save them money. And if they implement any of our recommendations, we will cover up to 50 per cent of the project cost,” explains Hantzis. “These programs are available, and they've been proven to work – so there's no downside to trying them.” Adds DiMuzio Good tenants plus stable occupancy rates equal high property values (and happy owners). It's a simple formula that's becoming harder to apply. With some smart energy measures and assistance from those in the know, property managers can find a friendly balance.
Make smarter retrofits When it comes time to replace or upgrade critical building components, consider that an ideal opportunity to not only seek a more energy-efficient solution, but to upgrade connected systems. “When a customer is changing their boiler, for instance, that's an ideal time to also take a look at changing the way they pump those boilers or control them,” offers DiMuzio. As for what jobs to prioritize, Hantzis adds: “We’ve had a lot of success working with property managers on boiler efficiency upgrades, as well as installing Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) on ventilation systems. If those have not been done, I would recommend doing those first.” Do more with what you have There are several ways to optimize savings with existing equipment. For example, one is to introduce an advanced building automation system (BAS) that monitors, manages, and reduces energy usage on an interval level. Another is to install pipe insulation across all hot water systems. And pipe insulation typically delivers a quick return on investment.” “It's all about sustained savings,” says Chinmayee Rindani, Multi-Residential Energy Solutions Consultant. “When your building is monitored, you can track if there are any manual adjustments made on site that are pushing your energy costs up. Understanding your property’s energy consumption through monitoring can provide a roadmap to future opportunities and sustained energy savings.
For more information on Enbridge's efficiency programs, or to learn about how Enbridge’s Energy Solutions Consultants have helped multi-residential customers in the past, visit www.enbridgesmartsavings.com/business.
Canada’s Robust Commercial Real Estate Market Morguard Predicts Another Year of Healthy Investment Activity With high demand for quality assets across the country, Canada’s robust commercial real estate market shows no signs of slowing. Leading the way in 2017 was the multi-suite residential sector, which generated an attractive annual return of 8.7%, as reported in the MSCI Index.
n the first half of 2017, $2.6 billion in multi-suite rental property was sold with the largest contributions made by Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The total represented the highest firsthalf volume dating back to 2012. “Investors remain enthusiastic about the Canadian commercial real estate market after a record volume of transactions in 2017,” said Keith Reading, Director of Research at Morguard. “There is a high supply of capital ready to be invested and Canadian commercial real estate is a proven performer. We are predicting another very busy and competitive market environment across the country in the coming year.” The downtowns of Vancouver and Toronto are expected to remain the most coveted of markets for investment in 2018, but with a limited supply of properties available, investors will be forced to look for opportunities further afield. Suburban Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal are also expected to see strong activity levels in 2018 while Alberta, which had previously depressed country-wide statistics, is also showing signs of reanimation. “Intense bidding for a limited pool of downtown properties will force investors to look elsewhere for opportunity,” said Reading. “Class A properties in suburban markets, particularly those near transit nodes, will be in high demand. Edmonton and Calgary will also see increased activity as investors look for high-quality assets in a recovering market and economy.”
10 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
Rental demand surpassed supply Multi-suite residential rental demand outpaced supply during 2017 resulting in healthier overall market fundamentals. There were three main drivers affecting this demand: historically high levels of international migration; more young workers able to secure employment (and hence, rent); and more aging Canadians choosing to rent versus own. The combination of this healthy demand and more moderate supply additions resulted in tighter overall conditions.
Notable Transactions Q1 2018 Address
Sale Price (Millions)
1,3 Slessor Blvd
612 Dawes Rd
45 Forty Second St
35 Valley Woods Rd Townhomes
55, 56 Eccleston Dr
3015 rue Sherbrooke West
2, 4 Edith Crt
1285 Lakeshore Rd E
Move in connected and secure. Choose Rogers for your home. As your communications and home monitoring provider, we’ll make sure you get the cutting-edge services for your home that you’d expect from Rogers. Plus with Smart Home Monitoring,, you can keep your home safe and secure from anywhere with your smartphone.1 Ignite™ Internet
Smart Home Monitoring
Contact a Rogers Account Executive today at: 1 866 567-5778
Offers available for a limited time within Rogers cable service area in Ontario (where technology permits). Subject to change without notice. Taxes extra. Data usage subject to Rogers Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy. See www.rogers.com/terms for full details.1 Fixed cable or broadband internet connection required for Smart Home Monitoring. Rogers & Design, and Rogers Ignite are trademarks of or used under license from Rogers Communications Inc. or an affiliate used under license. © 2017
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 11
CMHC REPORT >>
Turning Down the Heat Using Interval Data to Optimize Building Heating System Performance by Paula Gasparro Multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) make up a large portion of Canada’s housing stock and have significant potential for energy savings. The availability of hourly and daily energy consumption data—termed “interval data” in recent years—has provided greater insight into the operation and performance of individual building systems.
n older gas-heated MURBs that do not have in-suite control valves or thermostats, heat output must be controlled by setting the temperature of the supply water leaving the boiler plant. Because of minimum system operating temperatures and limited control inputs, frequent overheating occurs, particularly during shoulder seasons and mild outdoor temperatures. The behaviour, training and information available to control technicians and building operators also play an important role in how heat output is regulated. Often there is a tendency to err on the side of overheating in order to avoid complaints and future service calls. Even where staff is motivated to conserve, adequate feedback on building temperatures and energy consumption is rarely available.
12 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
To help solve this problem, CMHC conducted a research study using the feedback from interval data to optimize building heating system performance of seven multi-unit residential buildings with central, natural gas-fired, space heating boiler systems. The study involved assessing the interval data from the natural gas meters; modifying and changing the boiler control strategy when necessary; and examining the climate normalized natural gas consumption before and after the retrofit. Fast facts An average 33% reduction in space heating was achieved at the seven study buildings using interval data optimization (IDO). This level of energy savings is on par, or greater, than that achieved by costly retrofit measures,
including: insulated claddings, replacement of single-pane windows or condensing boiler replacement. The availability of interval energy consumption data makes it possible to identify MURBs that would benefit from IDO and accurately project the potential savings. With an increasing number of utilities collecting interval consumption data, the cost of obtaining this information is decreasing and it is becoming increasingly economical to do bulk analysis of large groups of buildings. This allows the most overheated and poorly controlled buildings to be identified before any site investigation is done, maximizing the potential energy savings at minimal cost. It is estimated that 25% of Toronto MURBs would benefit significantly from IDO. If implemented throughout this group, IDO
Celebrating 30 Years. With you. Because of you. As we reflect back on 30 years in commercial real estate, we are proud of our accomplishments and excited about the future. We are proud of our leadership position as the largest commercial lender in Canada. We are proud of the entrepreneurial spirit that has kept our structure flat and our leaders engaged. We are proud of our strong balance sheet and the confidence it brings to our clients. But what makes us most proud are the relationships that we’ve formed, the businesses that we’ve helped to build and the impact that we have made – together with our clients – on commercial real estate in Canada. And that is what excites us about the future. Finding the high value opportunities. Providing the highest quality mortgages in response. Constantly innovating to move clients toward their business goals. So thank you for your faith, trust and loyalty for the past 30 years. We promise to continue to earn it and deserve it for the next 30 years and beyond.
1.800.465.0039 | www.firstnational.ca Russ Syme Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing Damir Jesic
Director, Commercial Financing Benoit Allaire
Director, Commercial Financing
Ontario Mortgage Brokerage License No.10514
CMHC REPORT >> could save 48.5 million cubic metres of gas annually, representing 1.4% of the City of Toronto’s overall 2020 greenhouse gas emission target. “Overhead energy” is defined as a fixed amount of energy that is consumed, independent of how much energy is required to satisfy the building load. The overhead represents the portion of the consumption that is unrelated to weather; the energy is consumed as soon as the heating system is switched on.
Overhead is primarily caused by the control issues, namely a minimum boiler inlet temperature and linear reset curve. The energy represented by the overhead is often several times the actual building space heating load at mild outdoor temperatures. While distribution losses through the piping network may contribute, the magnitude of the overhead consumption indicates significant overheating of the suites. Both issues can be addressed by reducing hot
ARE YOU CONTEMPLATING THE SALE OF YOUR APARTMENT PROPERTY? Consider the following: • Who will represent your best interest? • Who will give your property maximum exposure? • Who will deliver the highest value for your property? With over 25 years experience, tens of thousands of units sold, and hundreds of clients represented, we have consistently delivered superior results. Through our local and national coverage, we create maximum exposure, ensuring maximum value for your property.
$52,300,000 (180 Suites - $290,555 p/s) 2770 Aquitaine Avenue Mississauga, ON
$46,000,000 (152 Suites - $302,632 p/s) 111 Lawton Boulevard Toronto, ON
David Montressor* | Executive Vice President 416.815.2332 | firstname.lastname@example.org CBRE Limited, Real Estate Brokerage
$50,250,000 (264 Suites - $190,349 p/s) 1485 Williamsport Drive & 3480 Havenwood Drive, Mississauga, ON
$22,750,000 (105 Suites - $216,667 p/s) 5 Rittenhouse Road Kitchener, ON Please visit our website: www.cbre.ca/nag-toronto
* Sales Representative This disclaimer shall apply to CBRE Limited, Real Estate Brokerage, and to all other divisions of the Corporation; to include all employees and independent contractors (“CBRE”). The information set out herein, including, without limitation, any projections, images, opinions, assumptions and estimates obtained from third parties (the “Information”) has not been verified by CBRE, and CBRE does not represent, warrant or guarantee the accuracy, correctness and completeness of the Information. CBRE does not accept or assume any responsibility or liability, direct or consequential, for the Information or the recipient’s reliance upon the Information. The recipient of the Information should take such steps as the recipient may deem necessary to verify the Information prior to placing any reliance upon the Information. The Information may change and any property described in the Information may be withdrawn from the market at any time without notice or obligation to the recipient from CBRE. CBRE and the CBRE logo are the service marks of CBRE Limited and/or its affiliated or related companies in other countries. All other marks displayed on this document are the property of their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.
water supply temperatures at the point of heating system start-up. Key outcomes Using feedback provided by interval energy consumption data, a successful and economical retrofit strategy for MURBs was developed, frequently saving 25% to 40% of the space heating energy. The approach relied on a change in control strategy and in many cases minor modifications of the mechanical system layout in the boiler room. Because this process goes beyond traditional commissioning, it has been given a distinct designation: interval data optimization (IDO). To achieve optimized space heating performance, a fully programmable building automation system (BAS) was required. It is important that the BAS be remotely accessible, and that interval energy consumption data be collected from the main natural gas meter. A primary-secondary piping arrangement is also required, as it allows for more moderate heating system water temperatures without causing corrosion to the boilers. Once the necessary mechanical and control systems were in place, heat output from the boilers was fine-tuned to achieve the optimized performance. Residents may be accustomed to overheating, and building staff can play a critical role in addressing complaints by measuring suite temperatures and documenting and addressing open windows or obstructed radiators. Unlike the traditional approach of controls installation and commissioning, IDO is not a one-time process, but rather an ongoing solution to historically poor heating performance and control. The implementation of the IDO approach in the seven MURBs resulted in average space heating energy savings of 33%. The retrofit project provided simple payback periods between one and two years. Implications for the housing industry Given the costs and savings resulting from the seven projects, buildings that are identified as good candidates for IDO can be expected to achieve a simple payback period of less than two years. This makes investment in IDO at these buildings very attractive and no additional financial incentives should be required to promote uptake of the technology. Instead, a change in approach is needed, with an emphasis on measurement and continual optimization.
14 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network | vertical-magazine-ad-design - de changes v2.indd 1 Untitled-4 1
2/2/2016 10:38:00 AM 2016-02-08 9:04 AM
BETTER RENTING Seamless solutions for your business, all in one package.
Our online payment platform
Make better decisions, faster
Keep in touch with your
Give your tenants access
gives your tenants the ability to
when choosing the best renters
tenants through our
to exclusive MoolaPerks
pay their rent from anywhere,
with next generation tenant
offers and have them
with any payment method.
screening. Then, have them
system, messaging center,
earn rewards with their
sign their lease agreement
and document storage.
favorite credit card.
directly from their phone.
Get Out from Under Water Top Tips for Preventing Costly Water Damage by Greg Patterson In an average home, water damage from a ruptured pipe or discharged sprinkler system can be extremely costly. In an apartment building the costs of damage, including time and effort involved with the repair, can be financially devastating. Unknown leaks can result in skyrocketing water bills. With multiple units to take care of, prevention is key. Don’t let water damage get the best of you. Instead, follow these few tips to keep your building dry. Map the water sources Do you know all the potential sources of water in your building? Can you easily identify the location of all the water shut off valves? What if you were absent? Creating a water map helps to easily identify all the potential sources so that you can quickly shut them down in the case of a leak. Maintain your appliances Routine maintenance on the washing machines and dishwashers in each unit will help to prevent damage from worn or broken pipes or hoses. Keep track of the age of each appliance to stay on top of common wear and tear issues. For example, on average water hoses should be replaced every five years. Don’t rely on your residents to inform you, instead, schedule regular check ins so that you can stay on top of any potential problems. Educate your tenants As a property manager, it is impossible to be at all places, which is why it is critical to engage your tenants as part of your preventative team. At a bare minimum, every resident should know where each of the sprinkler heads are located and the importance of avoiding contact 16 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
with them. Accidental contact while moving furniture or activities indoors can set off a sprinkler head resulting in water discharge. When a sprinkler head is accidently activated, water is released at pressures as high as 170 psi and up to 75 gallons per minute. In a multi-unit building, this water will quickly impact the units below it, creating a devastating financial impact. Fast shut off is critical to prevent extensive damage to the unit, and the ones below it. Having a shut off tool on hand, like the Shutgun, will help shut off the accidentally discharged head quickly, while still protecting the home in the case of fire with its unique temperature controlled automatic release. Sprinkler heads aren’t the only potential source of water damage. Areas with heavy water use, such as bathrooms and kitchens, are at increased risk of leaks and mold. Have a conversation with your tenants about the importance of keeping the bathrooms and kitchen ventilated to avoid mold from occurring. To reach a broader audience, use your newsletter or bulletin board to provide simple reminders on how to keep each unit healthy and dry. This should include tips on how to recognize the signs of mold. Make yourself available to address any resident concerns, including: • Leaky faucets or toilets • Discoloration in walls or grout • Strange scents in units
Stop the leak Leaky taps and toilet valves quickly add up. In fact, a leak in just one toilet could result in up to 100 dollars a month in additional water bills. And if you have more than one in your building, this cost will escalate rapidly. Empowering your residents is one tool to help keep on top of these sometimes, unavoidable, leaks. The best way, however, is to use a water monitoring tool, like the Water Hero. Leaks aren’t the only issue: residents may improperly shut off taps resulting in a slight, continual drip throughout the day. When installed into a unit, a water monitoring tool will quickly advise you of an increase in water consumption. So, whether it’s a leaky toilet, dripping faucet or simply excess use, that information will be at your fingertips, enabling you to solve the problem and avoid costly water bills. Don’t spring a leak When monitoring for water issues, don’t neglect your outdoor sources. Freezing temperatures and heavy snow loads, could result in broken pipes and/or a damaged sprinkler system. But that’s not all, moles and voles can create a shift in the original piping line, resulting in bent, damaged or moved parts, while debris can clog a sprinkler head creating an inconsistent flow. Before turning on the system, make sure that the soil is fully thawed — this includes ensuring that the soil is frost free — for at least 12 inches. Failing to do so can damage the pipes. Open the valve slowly, as an accidental pressure surge can also damage the valves or even
burst the pipes. To ensure that the system is functioning at an optimal level, contact the local irrigation company for a spring check-up and install a water monitoring device to stay on top of any potential leaks in the future. Monitor your water use Despite your best routine maintenance and check-ups, leaks can still happen. One of the best prevention tools is a water monitoring system, like the Water Hero. This system continually monitors flows alerting you with a text or email if the water goes beyond a previously set data point. As an added benefit, the system will automatically shut your water off in circumstances where the problem cannot be addressed immediately. At a minimum, install the units in high risk areas, like laundry rooms and the outdoor sprinkler system. For best results, a water monitoring system should be installed in each unit. This will not only keep you on top of any potential leak, but provide you with valuable information, including consumption data, so that you may accurately charge the right amount per unit.
Greg Patterson is President of Technicraft Product Design Inc. For more information visit: www.technicraftdesign.com, or contact him at: email@example.com
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 17
COVER STORY >>
MOVING TOWAR CARBON ECONO With “Zero Carbon” Replacing “Energy Efficient” as the New Sustainable Benchmark, How Will Canada’s Existing Apartment Stock Fair into the Future? by Erin Ruddy
18 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
COVER STORY >>
RD A LOW OMY In a changing world where “Zero Carbon” is the ultimate goal in building design, Canada has been an eager adopter of new sustainable technologies and standards. Where energy efficiency used to be the measure of a building’s green standing, today it’s about shifting away from traditional fossil fuel-based infrastructure and embracing high-efficiency systems that rely on low carbon, renewable energy sources.
From commercial to institutional, from office to residential, no building type is out of the realm of zero carbon possibility. According to the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), zero carbon represents the next frontier for the building sector, allowing owners of all building types to prepare their portfolios for a rising cost on carbon, while ensuring they remain viable in a “fossil fuel-free” future. In
the shorter term, zero carbon buildings enjoy significantly lower operating costs without heavy (or any) reliance on purchased electricity. The CaGBC is confident that the Canadian building industry is ready to lead the global shift to a zero carbon economy. “The Canadian green building sector has always been active in finding ways to limit harmful impacts from the built environment,” says
Fin MacDonald, Manager of the CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Building Program. “In the past, many of these efforts were voluntary, but now governments and industry across the country are recognizing the building sector’s potential to fight climate change and are setting more ambitious targets.” One such target is COP21, a goal that aims to keep global average temperature increases
well below 2ºC. Green building organizations around the world have stepped up in support of this objective, pledging to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the operation of new buildings by 2030. Even more ambitious is their goal to eliminate GHG emissions from all buildings, new and old, by the year 2050. While new construction projects present the best
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 19
COVER STORY >>
opportunities for zero carbon performance as they are able to integrate renewable energy generation and new technologies from the onset, where does that leave our cities’ vast supply of aging building stock? “The truth is, it is more expensive to bring existing buildings to zero carbon standards than new buildings,” warns Albert Bicol, Principal at Albert Bicol Consultancy and an expert in sustainable master planning. “Having said that, property managers should retrofit their buildings based on current practises even knowing that these buildings will likely be replaced by 2050.” A daunting prediction for apartment owners to be sure. And while a recent CaBGC report estimates that a combination of deep retrofits, fuel-switching, recommissioning and on-site renewables can help large building owners reduce their emissions by 51 per cent, the question remains: is it worth it? “My advice for building operators today is to focus on demand reduction,” Bicol says. “Do what you can to improve
the building envelope, replace the windows and consider how natural ventilation can be implemented to offset increased usage. As occupants, we need to ask: can our strict comfort requirements be expanded to 19 to 26 degrees? This simple cultural shift would help save significant energy with essentially zero cost. Building owners can always upgrade lighting and other equipment to draw less energy, recommission building systems and controls. They can also apply renewable energy, which is the main cost barrier.” Capital restrictions and owners’ need for shortterm gains make multiresidential rental buildings the most challenging asset class to update, but such investment can deliver longterm savings with a carbon footprint. “Tackling this type of challenge requires a financial solution, something that will bridge the capital costs with the long-term savings between two different parties,” Bicol advises. “For instance, continually there are more and more utility
20 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
companies and thermal asset companies investing in the capital costs up front in order to recuperate that long-term investment. That’s one way to bridge the savings gap.” Improving energy performance on the road to carbon-free Andrew Pride, head of Toronto-based Andrew Pride Consulting, is a leading expert on the challenges and opportunities facing organizations today in the areas of environmental sustainability, climate change and energy conservation. From his hands-on perspective, improving energy performance is something apartment owners shouldn’t overlook. “The economy in Canada is moving toward a zero carbon benchmark, which for green buildings should mean ultra-high performance from an energy efficiency perspective,” says Pride. “But it is important not to lose sight of improving energy performance prior to seeking an alternative that simply promotes low or no-carbon. For instance, provincial grids
in Quebec, B.C., Manitoba and for the most part Ontario, are carbon-free or very lowcarbon. Simply switching from gas to electricity won’t work due to the high cost differential between gas and electricity. Furthermore, apartment owners need to take a closer look at nonenergy related operating costs. Heat pumps typically require a high maintenance cost over their lifetime compared to central boilers and chillers feeding fancoils. Ultimately, apartment owners should look at the larger picture prior to jumping on a single low-carbon technology solution.”
Pride recommends apartment owners employ a comprehensive natural resource strategy to address their carbon footprint. A plan that allows for quick payback measures first and deeper savings later should yield a favourable cash flow. “Using the returns from the quick-payback measures will help fund the slower and deeper solutions,” he says. “The carbon strategy should point to the ultimate solution for the owner, while creating a sharp focus on those areas that need attention. If you know you need to re-clad a building in five years, it may be
Deep Lake Water Cooling Comes to “The Well” Allied Properties REIT, Enwave Energy Corporation and RioCan REIT have joined forces to extend Enwave’s existing Deep Lake Water Cooling and hot water distribution networks by building a new energy storage facility at The Well. The Well is a mixed-use residential, commercial and retail development currently under construction in Toronto’s west end. This joint undertaking will enable westward expansion of Enwave’s system, providing both The Well and surrounding communities with access to sustainable cooling and heating solutions. The collaboration is the first of its kind in Canada. “This initiative is special in that three, forward-looking companies are collaborating and enabling pioneering ideas to be implemented at a scale greater than each company could achieve alone,” said Carlyle Coutinho, President & COO, Enwave Canada. “The development is a reflection of our joint commitment to build resilient, urban communities incorporating intelligent energy solutions and utilizing future-focused technologies.” The thermal energy storage facility consists of two 6-million-litre tanks underneath The Well. The tanks will store temperature-controlled water fed by Enwave’s existing Deep Lake Water Cooling system and a newly developed high-efficiency hot water network. It will expand the existing system’s capacity with the ability to serve over 20 million square feet of commercial, retail and residential space. As an anchor site, the installation will serve The Well community and neighbouring buildings—providing the first low-carbon, resilient cooling and heating option for the downtown west community. “This agreement enables the extension of Enwave’s system to The Well and allows our tenants as well as commercial, retail and residential sites in the downtown west and surrounding areas to conserve energy and reduce Toronto’s carbon emissions,” said Ed Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. “This is a growing focus for many Canadians and we are excited that The Well will support these objectives.” This project will provide long-term benefits for the City of Toronto and support its focus on resiliency and carbon emission reduction. By decentralizing energy supply and reducing the load on the electricity grid, particularly during periods of peak demand, it enables a more reliable and flexible source of energy. “This is a continuation of our ongoing community-building in King West,” said Michael Emory, Allied’s President & CEO. “The Well will now actively support two elements of a modern and progressive city: resilience and the need to decarbonize municipal energy supplies. As a mix of different occupancy types exerting their energy demands at different times of day, The Well is ideally suited to a system like Enwave. Also, in facilitating Enwave’s expansion, The Well will enable the greater King West community to tap into a low-carbon cooling and heating source.” The Well features 1.1 million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of retail and food service space, and 1,800 residential units. Construction on The Well commenced in 2017. | www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 21
COVER STORY >>
“Having an actionable natural resource strategy in place will allow an apartment owner to apply to the many low-carbon financing solutions that will soon be hitting the market.”
worthwhile to investigate higher insulation levels, which alone are very costly—however, when combined as an upgrade to existing work, make perfectly good sense. Having an actionable natural resource strategy in place will also allow an apartment owner to apply to the many low-carbon financing solutions that will soon be hitting the market. Being prepared now will provide early adopter apartment owners a financial advantage.” To help with that preparation, there is also the matter of the federal government’s plan to develop a model energy code for existing buildings. “Over the next four years, we will see it take shape in many
provinces and it will certainly give apartment owners a moment to consider the longevity of their buildings,” Pride says. “At some point the carbon costs and resiliency needs of buildings will render many apartments unviable, as cost to renovate will exceed the cost to re-build. In my estimation, this is beyond a mid-term vision—this is a very long-term play. Technology and systems are evolving rapidly, so go for any project that pays back in under 12 years and see where technology brings you next decade prior to looking to tear down and rebuild.”
ALL APARTMENT BUILDINGS MUST HAVE A TENANT NOTIFICATION BOARD IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE CITY OF TORONTO BY-LAW 448-2017 It is now law in Toronto that certain information be posted in the lobby and made readily available to tenants in one central location. For example planned and unplanned service disruptions, building cleaning plan, major capital projects, emergency contact information and much more! We offer bulk pricing and professional installation that include: Site visit to consult with management and establish proper location Delivery and installation by two technicians We also offer a large variety of stationary suitable for apartment buildings.
Shop online: www.vectorsupplies.com (905) 884-1666 firstname.lastname@example.org
“Passive House” and the future of building innovation In November 2017, Asia Standard Americas Ltd. and Landa Global Properties announced plans to develop a pair of high-rise residential towers in Vancouver’s west end. If approved, the twin towers will be the largest Passive House towers in the world. Passive House, a recognized standard for designing low-energy-use, livable buildings, emerged in Germany in the late 1980s and has been embraced by progressive developers ever since. Design elements include: airtight building envelopes, thick insulation, high performance doors and windows, and other sustainable features. According to the project proposal, the towers will achieve a minimum energy performance in excess of requirements for passive house design. In addition to “cutting-edge” environmental strategies, the 43- to 48-storey towers will feature what the developers describe as a “throwback to the Formalist style” of architecture. While Bicol acknowledges Vancouver as a progressive, forwardlooking city that embraces cuttingedge technology and design, he cautions that inspiration—and solutions—should come from other sources, as well. “In general, my approach to NetZero building design has always been to apply ancient technologies, such as natural ventilation, passive architecture and thermal mass,” Bicol says. “Yes, technology will help in the long run, but I don’t think it is the only solution. In my opinion, Mother Nature has all the answers we need.”
22 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network | VectorBuilding_CAM_March_2018.indd 1
2018-03-21 10:19 AM
Energy Efficiency and the Modern Renter What Features Matter Most to Today’s Green-Savvy Tenants? by Chaim Rivlin Finding the perfect apartment can be a challenge. No matter how much research, time and effort a prospective tenant puts into searching out their ideal home, there will always be surprises once they move in. And the same applies to landlords... Although energy efficiency doesn’t typically top the list of requisites renters today are seeking (location usually does that), more and more people are paying attention to energy consumption. Why? Because energy bills are costing substantially more than they used to, and renters are feeling the sting. Since Hydro One went public in November 24 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
of 2015, rates have gone up—far higher than the rate of inflation. Furthermore, the Financial Accountability Office stated that $1.8 Billion would have been saved had the government gone a different direction regarding the move. Recently, the provincial government had to turn-face and spend $1 Billion to provide ratepayers with an 8% tax
cut, effective at the start of the year. Controlling monthly bills to avoid surprises is just one of the reasons renters are increasingly inquiring about the heating system and energy efficiency of a building they are interested in. Aside from amenities and services, here’s what’s topping the list of rental-related inquires:
savings in mind—not outdated machines that only add to their financial strain. LEED certification Given much of Canada’s apartment stock is aging, LEED-certified apartment buildings are still hard to come by. That said, Canada’s commercial buildings and condominiums are making great strides to increase their greenness, and new purpose-built apartments are following suit. As development surges in our major cities and the rental sector expands to meet unprecedented demand, LEED and other measures of “green” will become commonplace. Green innovation One of the biggest challenges facing green initiatives in Canada is the weather. Solar panels have made huge improvements
in countries all over the world, but a combination of grey skies and cold temperatures make adopting the technology here more difficult. What technology can we turn to in order to reduce our reliance on the grid? The Home Energy Conservation program is an example of government incentives trying to encourage and promote energy efficiency in residential buildings. In conclusion… We use a tremendous amount of energy in Canada. With electricity bills at alltime highs and some of the coldest winters in the world, fluctuating weather patterns due to climate change will only further lead to complications down the road. Together landlords and tenants should seek out ways to reduce energy consumption and help battle climate change, one building at a time.
Chaim Rivlin is the President and CEO of RentSeeker.ca, an award-winning Canadian real estate marketing website.
Sub-metering Also referred to as ‘suite-metering’ by Toronto Hydro, sub-metering technology allows renters to only pay for the electricity they use. In the past, electric bills were based on the entire building’s total power consumption then divided equally among tenants. By giving control to the end-user, sub-meters offer accountability and help renters monitor their own usage through a detailed breakdown of consumption, even on a minute-by-minute basis. It wasn’t that long ago when electricity meters were manually checked every couple of months. Energy Star appliances Another way to reduce those monthly electrical bills is by equipping units with Energy Star products and appliances. Energy Star products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Cost-savvy tenants today expect modern stoves and refrigerators, laundry machines and dishwashers that are built with energy
Parking Structure Rehabilitation
© DAVROC & ASSOCIATES LTD.
Building Envelope Repairs
Roof Assessment & Replacement Window Upgrades Site Improvements Interior Upgrades New Amenities
Asset Transformation Consulting Engineers Project Managers Materials Testing & Inspection
DAVROC & ASSO C I ATE S L TD.
2051 Williams Parkway, Units 20 & 21 Brampton, Ontario L6S 5T4 t (905) 792-7792
DAVROC. CO M
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 25
Say Goodbye to Germs And Pests Prevent Unwanted Visitors with Proper Waste Management by Alice Sinia, Ph.D. When evaluating the best waste management practices for your property, itâ€™s important to keep pest control in mind. Apartment complexes offer everything that pests need to survive: food, water, warmth and shelter. One hot spot in particular is the large waste disposal zone where pests have the ideal environment to thrive if the proper measures arenâ€™t taken. Poor waste management (especially at multi-unit properties) creates ideal conditions for germ-carrying pests like flies and cockroaches, as well as stinging pests like wasps and bees. Unsanitary conditions could put your property at risk for an infestation of the following pests: Cockroaches are highly adaptable and thrive in dirty, moist conditions, such as in and around waste bins. They primarily feed on dead or decaying plant material and other organic matter. While cockroaches may congregate around the main exterior garbage area, they will soon try to find their way inside your buildings where they are not only unsightly but can easily spread germs, like coliform, staphylococcus and streptococcus. 26 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
Any cracks, crevices and voids in the walls or ceiling of compactor rooms could also provide harbourage for roaches, so pay special attention to maintenance in such rooms. Flies are considered a nuisance, but are often more tolerated than other pests. The reality is that flies are one of the filthiest pests, even more so than cockroaches. They can carry and transmit more than 100 pathogens, including Salmonella and E. coli. These
pathogens can cause disease in humans and animals. While a few flies may not be a cause for concern, fly populations can grow very quickly, especially if they are left to breed in dumpsters and other outdoor trashcans. Wasps are scavengers who eat meat, fish and sugary substances. Seeking food sources, they are attracted to garbage cans that are not properly covered and regularly emptied. While stinging pests donâ€™t become
FEATURE >> a major issue until later in the year, spring time is when prevention is critical because it’s when the queen wasp will start laying eggs. Those eggs will produce worker wasps making up a colony, which can contain thousands of insects at a time. Depending on the species, wasp nests can be built in wall voids, under eaves, in tree branches, on the ground or other concealed sites. This can become troublesome for residents and their pets during outdoor activities and make landscaping difficult. Fortunately, wasps rarely go out of their way to sting, but they will be aggressive if they perceive a threat. Unlike bees, each wasp is capable of multiple stings. Their stings aren’t pleasant, but are generally minor unless the person is allergic to wasp venom. As an added threat, the stinging pests will try to make their way inside as the weather continues to warm up. Rodents are one of the most common pests associated with poor waste management. They can harbor and transmit a number of serious diseases and can also be responsible for introducing disease-carrying parasites like fleas and ticks. Rats can get indoors through holes the size of a quarter, while mice can use gaps the size of a dime to come inside. Prevention is key With any of these pests, eliminating an infestation can be a serious challenge. Now is the time to check in on your pest management program before pest populations are in full swing. The best way to help prevent pest issues is to work with your pest management professional to make sure you, your staff and your residents are prepared. Consider getting residents on board by including educational, seasonal pest prevention tips in newsletters and e-blasts or by posting bulletins with your property’s pest sighting protocol so they know their role in pest management. Many pest management providers will also provide a complimentary, on-site staff training session upon request. These can be as specific as needed to be effective for your property. Invite leasing personnel and maintenance teams to educate them on how to spot a pest issue and properly report it so that the issue can be treated and resolved quickly. Talk with your pest management provider for a customized plan of action, but here are the basic steps you can take to keep waste collection and disposal from attracting pests.
• Keep trash chutes and outdoor trash cans closed and clean so pests are unable to feed on residues. Use detergent and hot water to clean containers often. • Provide residents with dumpsters that have latching lids and side doors. The CDC defines trash cans as rodent-proof only if there is less than ¼ inch between the container and the lid. • Ensure that the dumpster is sanitized by the contractor on a frequent basis. • Move dumpsters as far away from buildings and outdoor communal spaces as possible. • Inspect disposal zones daily and keep the area surrounding dumpsters free of trash and discarded food. • Talk to your pest management professional about potential odourneutralizing products to eliminate pestattracting odours at the source instead of masking or treating them temporarily. If
recommended, this can be used in trash chutes, garbage rooms and dumpsters. • Consider installing insect light traps and rodent monitoring stations in garbage rooms to monitor for and help prevent the spread of pests. Reducing pest activity with proper waste management is crucial, especially during warmer seasons when residents want to enjoy the outdoors. Even more importantly this will help prevent pests from gaining access indoors where their presence is not tolerated. Once introduced, pest problems in apartment buildings can be difficult to pinpoint and control because of shared walls and floors, allowing pests to spread rapidly from one unit to another. Integrating the tips above as part of a proactive, preventive pest management program and keeping your property well maintained will help you attract renters, not pests.
Alice Sinia, Ph.D. is Quality Assurance Manager – Regulatory/Lab Services for Orkin Canada focusing on government regulations pertaining to the pest control industry. For more information, email Alice Sinia at email@example.com or visit www.orkincanada.com.
Building Science & Restoration Consultants ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Garage & Balcony Restoration Building Envelope Assessment and Remediation Capital Planning Pre-Purchase / Due-Diligence Inspections Technical Audits Structural Engineering
Please contact: Philip Sarvinis | Bill Gladu | Michael Pond | Jeremy Horst | (416) 977-5335
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 27
Industry Hot Topics Hong Kong developer announces largest mixed-use project in Canada
Small tax perk for businesses investing in energy
he Canadian government announced it has extended a small tax perk for businesses investing in 19 specified types of equipment used in renewable energy generation, energy storage or energy conserving systems. The newly released 2018 budget confirms that business taxpayers can claim an accelerated deduction of the capital cost of such assets until 2025. Eligible claimants can initially deduct 50 per cent of the capital cost of qualifying equipment purchased on or after February 22, 2005 from their business income, and then 50 per cent of the declining balance each year into the future. A 30 per cent capital cost allowance is also available for older equipment, purchased between February 21, 1994 and February 21, 2005. The budget document estimates that about 900 businesses will see benefits from the fiveyear extension, and anticipates approximately $123 million in lost tax revenue for the 2020-2023 period. “This represents, on average, an additional $27,000 annually over the next five years that these companies will be able to use to invest in and grow their operations while reducing their carbon footprint,” it states. Qualifying equipment includes solar thermal and solar photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, heat recovery system, district energy systems and associated equipment. Electrical vehicle charging systems and electrical energy storage equipment acquired after March 21, 2016 are also eligible. 28 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
oyuan Property Group, a pioneer of mixed-use community developments in China and a proponent of healthy living, is redeveloping the 8.6 acre Newtonbrook Plaza site at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Founded in 1996, Aoyuan was the first developer in China to integrate residential real estate with sport and recreation amenities. Since then, it has expanded to six different business arms ranging from e-commerce to hospitality. Innovative projects include a mobile app that integrates e-commerce with property management and a large-scale chocolate theme park. “Aoyuan brings a unique approach to the way we think about the built environment and real estate. Building healthy lifestyle communities was part of their DNA from the beginning,” says Vince Santino, senior vice-president of development (Eastern Canada), Aoyuan Property Holdings (Canada) Ltd. “Aoyuan knows real estate is not only about giving people a two or threebedroom unit. They have a corporate intelligence about the way people live which gets baked into their master-plans.” This will be Aoyuan’s largest master-planned community in Canada. Plans include five residential towers, 180,000 square feet of office and retail, a daycare and community centre. The new community will be 100 metres from the Yonge and Finch subway and Finch Go Station. A portion of the lands, which is currently a parking lot, will be transformed into a new park and playground. Aoyuan has also embraced the City’s desire to encourage larger suites for families of all shapes and sizes.
Riocan launches new residential brand
n March 5th, RioCan officially launched RioCan Living, its new residential brand that intends to deliver “bestin-class” purpose-built rental units and condos along Canada’s most prominent transit corridors. “Over the last 25 years, we have accumulated a unique portfolio of income-producing properties with significant redevelopment potential, strategically situated on or near existing or approved transit lines,” says Ed Sonshine, Chief Executive Officer of RioCan. “During that same time, a large shortage of new purpose-built rental buildings has emerged in Canada’s urban centres.” Jonathan Gitlin, Senior Vice President, Investments & Residential, says RioCan is uniquely positioned to address the rental void by pursuing the highest and best use of its assets on behalf of unitholders. “It’s incumbent upon RioCan to figure out ways to make our properties better, more effective, and more valuable. At the same time, we are delivering best-in-class, professionally managed residential units at a significant scale to the cities and communities that need it most.” RioCan has identified 43 projects within its portfolio as potential mixed-use residential opportunities that will soon translate into 20,000 residences in Canada’s six major markets. All but a few of the projects are currently slated to house rental apartments.
Concert acquires Toronto mixed-use development site
oncert Real Estate Corporation announced it has strengthened its presence in the Toronto market by acquiring a residential mixeduse development site near the intersection of Sherbourne and Bloor Streets. “With this acquisition, we position the company for continued growth,” said Brian McCauley, President & Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to delivering an exceptional Toronto residential mixed-use project that meets Concert’s high standards for quality, service, value and sustainability.” Located steps from the Sherbourne subway station, the site is approved for a 50-storey residential mixed-use tower and seven three-storey townhouses, in addition to the existing six semidetached, fully-restored heritage homes. The well-connected site is at the intersection of some of Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, including Yorkville, Rosedale and Danforth. In 2001, B.C.-based Concert expanded all lines of its business into the Ontario marketplace, geographically diversifying its operation and establishing a national presence as an award-winning, diversified real estate enterprise. To date, it has undertaken developments in excess of $3.4 billion. The company has assembled a development pipeline containing a cumulative 7,600 homes and 500,000 square feet of commercial space across six master-plan communities across the Greater Toronto Area, Metro Vancouver and Victoria.
A premier real estate services company in Canada DMS Property Management is one of Canada’s leading apartment managers with a portfolio of over 20,000 units
| www.REMInetwork.com | March 2018 | 29 Midnorthern_wrongsize.indd 1
2017-07-26 2:53 PM
Beyond the Cosmetic Upgrading Infrastructure Isn’t Pretty, But It’s Worth It by Andy Schwartze
t’s a constant complaint that reverberates throughout the insurance world, and while it takes on many forms, generally speaking it goes something like this: “Why was the lobby all prettied up, but the roof looks like it’s about to fall off?” Not unlike public infrastructure decisions, in the private world of multiresidential real estate the magnetism of doing the cosmetic at the expense of the structural, can be attractive. We all know that nice packaging sells, something that became ever so obvious in the condominium conversion times that resulted in big costs for unsuspecting new owners in the short term. The world of insurance underwriting knows all-too well that it is what’s behind the walls that count, and we are seeing an increasing level of underwriting inquiries as to what has really been done to improve and upgrade a building. The bones may be good, but a lot of the protective infrastructure often needs some help. Since 2013, we have seen a huge spike in water claims, making it the number one claims problem today. Water is sneaky: it should be the foremost risk management concern of any building owner. We like to suggest to our clients that water can get into places air can’t, and when we are challenged we need only point to 30 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
seepage—water’s uncanny ability to work its way through many different kinds of materials and make a mess. The emergency cleanup folks have done quite a bit of research on the impact of water damage claims. One of things we just don’t give a lot of thought to is that moisture ultimately guarantees the formation of mould. Typically, in poorly ventilated spaces, a humidity level of about 65% or more will begin the process of producing mould spores. This can start as quickly as four hours after the moisture has reached that level, and within 24 hours, the space can be seriously infected. At this point, any materials that are porous will be on the verge of being totally destroyed, and harder surfaces, like concrete, will be in need of serious cleaning. Any insurance claims specialist will tell you that, if things don’t move fast, mould will drive the claim cost through the proverbial roof because the remediation costs are nasty. Most confusing to many insurance minds is the noticeable carelessness that is sometimes attached to roof condition. Here is the very part of the building that takes the significant brunt of weather’s impact, yet the unimportance that is
assigned to it by some owners, is tough to understand. Time and again roofs are left untouched until water begins to make its presence felt on ceilings. Even then, while it may be acknowledged that the roof needs attention, a patchwork process begins that never really properly addresses the fact that the roof is finished and needs replacing. Granted the cost is significant, but then so is replacing windows, another major exterior infrastructure reality and, even worse, basement troubles that can range from foundation cracks to destroyed underground piping. The condominium world seems to have done a commendable job at ensuring funds are available when needed to deal with the upgrade requirements of an aging property. The “reserve fund” study tries to predict what level of funding will be needed at future dates when parts begin to fail. While some multi-residential apartment building owners might be doing this, we are still seeing a lot of rental buildings that are flying on a wing and a prayer. The importance of keeping the external envelope in sound condition is all-too often quietly ignored. “Hoping for the best” is a bad strategy. Anticipating upgrades is not.
Andy Schwartze, BSc., MBA, CIP, is an insurance broker specializing in property management and real estate. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 5, 2018 Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building
Reduce Operating Costs Improve Building Efficiencies Retain Your Tenants Seminars 8:30 am - 12:00 pm Exhibit Floor 9:30 am - 2:00 pm Demonstrations 10:30 am - 1:30 pm Register Today for Free Admission springfesttoronto.com/reg To exhibit or sponsor, contact: Jeff Ingram 416-512-3811 email@example.com #SpringfestTO
Principal Sponsoring Association
Ontario’s New Standard Lease One Rental Property Owner Warns of Missing Clauses That Could Spell Trouble for Landlords by Chris Seepe
eginning April 30th, Ontario private residential landlords will be switching over to Ontario’s new Standard Lease Agreement (SLA), which will be mandatory for all tenancies in single and semi-detached houses, apartment buildings, rented condominiums and secondary units. Written in plain language, the new lease form is templated to capture basic information — including names and addresses, total rent, due date, and any rules or terms about the rental unit or building. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords, and explains what can (and cannot) be included in a lease. But is it enough? Although some landlords will appreciate the clarity and simplicity of a templated form, as a mid-sized landlord in the GTA, my opinion is that the SLA is fraught with potential perils. For starters, it includes a mandatory six-page Appendix A, filled with valuable legal advice for tenants, but only a few snippets aimed at landlords. And though it permits adding clauses that don’t conflict with the standard text, many important items are either missing, or misleading. For example: Point 6 states that a landlord must provide electricity usage details for the previous 12 months but privacy legislation prevents the landlord from obtaining that information if the previous tenant paid for their own electricity. The SLA should say: if a landlord acting reasonably can’t obtain this information then they don’t have to provide it. Point 10 states that a landlord must follow the Ontario HRC with respect to smokers, which suggests smokers might have some in-suite smoking right. Under HRC, housing providers have a duty to accommodate the Code-related 32 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
needs of tenants but smokers are not specifically identified as one of the fourteen protected grounds. Some smoking lobbyists are claiming that smoking is actually a disability because it’s addictive, and the category of people with mental disabilities have a disproportionately high number of smokers. Point O states that a landlord must give keys to the tenant if the locks are changed but it doesn’t say that a tenant must reciprocate. The proper explanation should be that a landlord doesn’t require the consent of the tenant to change the lock provided they give the tenant a replacement key, and tenants can’t change their rental unit locks without the consent of the landlord (which is an RTA breach). Point R states that a tenancy agreement can’t prohibit pets. The RTA contains a single sentence about pets: “A provision in a tenancy agreement prohibiting the presence of animals in or about the residential complex is void.” That doesn’t mean a landlord can’t deny an applicant because they own a pet, or that they can’t advertise a no-pets policy (excluding service animals). So what points are missing that a landlord should be aware of? Here is just a sampling. (Please visit www.drlandlord.ca for the complete list.) • Other occupants who aren’t lease signatories • Joint tenancy • Use of tenants’ personal information • Death of tenant • Apartment abandonment
• Utility accounts access permission • Permission to photograph • Last month interest versus top-off • Credit reporting permission • Guarantor obligations • Short-term sublet (e.g. AirBnB) • Tenant bankruptcy • Other tenants’ right of quiet enjoyment • Energy conservation • Unit alterations/decorating • Unit inspections • Parking lot rules • Laundry room rules • Garbage/recycling rules • Responsibilities for human/creature guests • Lockouts • Interest on LTB-awarded rent arrears • Satellites dishes, Internet routers • Rules surrounding tobacco/cannabis use In short, the number one hedge against professional tenants and bad tenant behaviour is a solid qualification process; number two is a robust lease agreement. While a landlord must be familiar with a confluence of Acts (Human Rights Code, Privacy Act, Residential Tenancies Act, PIPEDA, municipal by-laws, Fire Code, Building Code, Electrical Code, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Municipal Act, Rental Fairness Act, Condominium Act, and more) tenants who argue that they didn’t know the law may be supported by favourable LTB rulings. All tenants nevertheless know they’re responsible for anything they sign, and a robust lease weakens their “ignoranceof-the-law” argument.
Chris Seepe is a published writer, author, instructor, and president of the Landlords Association of Durham. He is also the commercial real estate broker of record at Aztech Realty in Toronto, specializing in income-generating and multi-residential investment properties. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.drlandlord.ca
Over 25 Years’ Experience in Renovating Apartments and Condominiums
COMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL • RESIDENTIAL • INSTITUTIONAL General Renovations
Cleaning of Units
Fire and Flood Restoration
Drywall and Crown Molding
* Use a Licenced Plumber and Licenced Electrician (ESA)
91 Pippin Road, Concord, ON L4K 4J9 Tel: 905-660-2353 / 905-669-8888 Toll Free: 1-888-660-2353 Fax: 905-660-8390 / 1-888-660-8390 email@example.com
Municipal Licence No. T85-4186258
TRENDS & PRODUCTS
TO HELP PROPERTY OWNERS SAVE Save on WATER Water-based tech company, Alert Labs, recently launched a new smart device that helps residents optimize water usage. The company’s easy-to-install, intelligent leak detection devices, Flowie and Floodie, use real-time monitoring to help building- and home-owners conserve water in the residential, industrial, and commercial sectors. Having recently partnered with the City of Guelph’s Civic Accelerator program, Guelph property owners can receive $100 rebates toward the purchase of the Flowie Water Sensor. The goal of the Residential Sub-Water Meter Program is to reduce average residential water use in a city already grappling with a limited groundwater supply. The company also partnered with the City of Welland last year, offering a similar incentive program. This concept is gaining momentum both locally and internationally as innovators develop new solutions to improve industrial, commercial and residential efficiencies. The City of Stratford, just 50 kilometres from the Alert Labs office in Waterloo, has recently gained recognition as a Smart City after partnering with local tech companies and adopting IoT solutions. For more information, visit: alertlabs.ca
Save on TIME Two big names in the Canadian rental industry are teaming up to help streamline resident services for apartment owners and tenants. Payquad, a leading online rent payment and resident portal platform, announced it has joined forces with Landlord Web Solutions (LWS), the nation’s leader in marketing for the property management industry. The partnership enables Payquad’s MyPortal to be connected directly and seamlessly to LWS-designed property management websites, allowing residents the convenience of an easy-to-use portal at their fingertips. At the same time, the tool strengthens the management company’s brand. The resident portal acts as a 24/7 resident concierge, offering payments, maintenance requests and more. “With our common interests and overlapping clientele, it made perfect sense to collaborate in order to elevate the resident experience,” said Jason Leonard, President LWS. “We are excited to continue offering our clients the effective and cost-saving resident portal products that the Payquad team offers.” For more information, visit: payquad.com 34 | Canadian Apartment | Part of the REMI Network |
COMFY LIVING FOR TENANTS. COMFY ENERGY BILLS FOR YOU. Weâ€™ll cover up to 50% of the cost when you upgrade to high efficiency equipment. The Affordable Housing Conservation Program provides incentive for insulation upgrades, heat recovery, building automation systems, building assessments and other custom measures.
Learn more at uniongas.com/affordablehousing.
Get Ready for Spring