Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Condo is a single family community housed in a community; NOT an AirBnb

A Condo Building is a combination of many Single Family residences.
NOT a hotel or Bed and Breakfast. It is not a Bnb
Its Not an AirBnb. It is a single family residence
In a recent case, Louiseize v. PCC No. 103, a condominium owner who knowingly breached the “private single-family residence” restriction in the condominium declaration for almost 14 years, was given 9 months to bring his units into compliance with the declaration.
From the time that he bought his units (which were purchased in 2001, 2003 and 2004) they were leased to multiple unrelated tenants and the owner failed to provide the condominium corporation with the names of the persons occupying the units, as required by section 83 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”). Although the condominium corporation sent the owner the occasional notice reminding him of the restriction and requesting the names of those occupying the units, the corporation did not take any steps to enforce the declaration until 2013.
This case was originally heard by an arbitrator. After noting that the unit owner had knowingly breached the declaration and that the condominium corporation had for years breached its statutory duty under section 17(3) of the Act to enforce the declaration, the arbitrator gave the unit owner 9 months to bring the units into compliance. The arbitrator found that the the existing tenancies could be terminated with 60 days’ notice and that the units could be readily rented in compliance with the declaration, although this would result in a decreased rent of about $600 per unit per month.
The unit owner appealed the arbitrator’s decision and sought to have the order varied so that he would be allowed 75 months to bring two units into compliance and 55 months to do so for the other unit. The Superior Court of Justice found that the arbitrator had not made any errors in law and that the 9-month time period given by the arbitrator was reasonable. The unit owner did not provide any evidence as to why he needed a period of approximately 5 years to wind down his existing leasing arrangements. In addition, the unit owner had benefited financially by the corporation’s failure to promptly enforce the declaration.
The declaration also contained a non-waiver clause that stated that “the failure to take action to enforce any provision contained in the Act, this declaration . . . irrespective of the number of violations or breaches . . . shall not constitute waiver of the right to do so thereafter, nor be deemed to abrogate or waive such provision.” The unit owner unsuccessfully claimed that this non-waiver clause was contrary to section 17(3) of the Act as it was unreasonable for the corporation to enforce the declaration after acquiescing to the breach for so many years.
While the condominium corporation was ultimately successful in this case, it would have been in a stronger position had there not been such a long delay before it took steps to enforce compliance. When condominium boards become aware of any non-compliance with the condominium documents or the Act they should be taking steps to enforce compliance sooner rather than later.
When you moved in you agreed to abide by the Rules and Regulations of a condominium community. Once Rules are enforced you will also pay the legal fees to comply.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Let's all go topless in the Condo Pool

Sure ...  you're alone. No problem

What if there are other people around.   What if there are kids; its a family pool and It is your condo.

The Criminal Code continues to forbid nudity without a lawful excuse on public property or on private property that is exposed to public view. Historically, municipalities have relied on this clause to prohibit female toplessness. Over the past few decades however Ontarians have successfully contested such rules on the basis of discrimination, since such prohibition only applies to females.
Perhaps the most famous case is the 1996 Jacob’s case, which once and for all, ruled that women in Ontario have the right to bear their breast in public. In this case, a Guelph woman was charged with committing an indecent act. The Court of Appeal applied the community standard of tolerance test and concluded that the act was not done for sexual gratification and did not harm the community. From this point forward, female public toplessness was understood to be authorized in Ontario.
Since the Jacob’s case, a number of Ontario municipal policies have been successfully challenged or modified on the basis of this precedent. In 1997, the city of Cambridge eliminated its toplessness policy after two women were charged with trespassing for swimming topless in protest of the city’s ban. In 2015, the city of Guelph changed its policy after an eight-year-old girl was told by city staff to cover up while she was in a wading pool wearing only a swim bottom. In 2015, there was a similar challenge out of Kitchener, after three sisters were asked to put their shirt back on while riding bikes.

Condominium corporations cannot, in my view, adopt a policy or a rule which is discriminatory.  Any dress code would need to be reasonable, grounded in a bona fide requirement and equally applied to all.
For instance, a rule prohibiting fully-dressed swimming may be found to be reasonable on the basis that fully-clothed swimming may not be hygienic and may actually present a safety risk.  But such dress code restriction would have to be applied to all, without discrimination of age or gender. You could also demand that pool users wear a swim cap.
On the other end of the spectrum, while swimmers cannot commit an indecent act or swim in the nude, both male and female are likely allowed to swim topless at the condo pool. While some may find this conclusion to go against their values or the social norm in Canada, courts have already rejected the argument that female breasts are somehow the object of sexual attraction and desire more than the male chest.  In the Brantford case, her Honour concluded that  “the manner in which the human torso, whether male or female, is perceived from a sexual standpoint is not gender specific. It is entirely dependant on the individuals involved at the relevant time”. … indeed, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.  http://condoadviser.ca/2017/08/condo-pool-dress-code-the-debate-over-whats-too-much-and-whats-not-enough/condo-law-blog-Ontario
What do you think is fair?


Can you throw out a bad tenant ?

It's like they are deliberately trying to dis incentivise small landlords from investing in Condo Properties?    Then who will?  Landlords are trapped by these changes.  

 The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) was recently amended by the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 to address loopholes or abuses by some “small” landlords under the current RTA. Most of the amendments will take effect on proclamation by Ontario's lieutenant-governor within the next few months. Lawyers who advise small landlords on the operation, purchase or sale of small residential rental properties should ensure their clients are aware of the legislative changes.
Owners of rental units who want to increase the value of their property will seek to raise rental income, as that will greatly enhance the value of the building for sale or financing purposes. However, the RTA prohibits substantial rent increases and termination of tenancies to allow re-rental of apartments at higher rents.
A strategy engaged in by some owners and vendors of small rental properties, including individually rented condominium units, has been to seek termination of tenancy on the grounds that the landlord intends to reside in the rental unit, thereby freeing the unit from rent control so that it can be re-rented at a higher market rent. Other landlords have used the strategy to simply get rid of an unwanted tenant.
The RTA permits termination for “landlord’s own use,” as long as it is a bona fide request and the tenancy itself is not subject to a fixed term. It is the lack of bona fides by some landlords in deploying these strategies that has prompted the legislative amendments. The RTA amendment (to s. 48) states that a minimum of one year’s residential occupancy is required for a landlord (or member of a landlord’s family) who seeks to terminate a tenancy based on use by the landlord or member of the landlord’s family; furthermore, the landlord must pay the vacating tenant compensation of one month's rent.
If, within one year of the tenant vacating the unit, the landlord advertises the unit for rent; advertises the rental unit or the building it is in for sale; enters into a lease with someone other than the former tenant; demolishes the rental unit or the building it is in; or takes any step to convert the use of the rental building or unit it is in, it will be presumed that the landlord gave the notice in bad faith, thus exposing the landlord to fines of up to $50,000 and a payment of compensation to the tenant who vacated. The amendment also prohibits a corporate landlord from giving a “landlord’s own use” notice of termination.
The RTA amendment (to s. 47) requires a landlord to use a written “prescribed” form of lease that must be signed by the landlord and the tenant. Failure to use the prescribed lease and provide a copy of the signed lease to the tenant will entitle the tenant to demand a copy of same within 21 days, failing which the tenant is entitled to withhold a maximum of one month's rent until such time as the prescribed form of lease is provided and presented for signature.
If the landlord fails to provide the prescribed lease within 30 days of the tenant withholding a month's rent, the tenant is not required to repay the sum to the landlord. Upon presentation of the prescribed lease following the demand, it is open to the tenant to reject the lease, regardless of its proposed term, and to give 60 days' notice to terminate the tenancy prior to the end of a rental period.
Another RTA amendment (to s. 134) prohibits a landlord from collecting or attempting to collect from a former tenant of a rental unit any amount of money "purporting to be rent" with respect to any period after the tenancy has terminated and the tenant has vacated the rental unit. In situations where a tenant wishes to “break” a fixed-term lease, a usual tactic is deliberate non-payment of rent or to hold a "lease-breaking party," in order to receive an eviction notice from the landlord. The eviction notice requires the tenant to vacate the unit within a matter of weeks, and if the tenant does so, the tenancy is terminated.
Prior to the RTA amendments, it was common for landlords to demand or formally claim any lost rent pending re-rental of the unit as “damages” for the tenant’s deliberate breach of contract. Now, such a claim is prohibited, and where a landlord makes demand for same, the landlord is also exposed to substantial fines.
The amendments referred to above are three components of the full range of amendments found in the Rental Fairness Act, 2017. However, they are changes that can directly affect the operations of small landlords in particular. The amendments to ss. 47 and 48 are not yet in force, but the s. 134 amendment is currently in force and will affect demands for recovery of damages made after May 30, 2017, or those outstanding in any proceeding after that date.
Joe Hoffer is a partner with Cohen Highley LLP who specializes in residential tenancies law. https://www.thelawyersdaily.ca/articles/4204/advising-landlords-on-traps-in-ontario-s-new-rental-fairness-act

Are you interested to buy or NOW sell off your rental properties?

David Pylyp


Friday, July 28, 2017

New Canadian Mortgage Stress Test

New rules aimed at making it harder to get a mortgage take effect today, a move that is bound to have an impact on demand for homes in Canada.  Earlier this month, Ottawa announced the moves, which boil down to a stress test for all mortgage applications WHERE buyer putting down less than 20 per cent.


It consists of testing to determine if a borrower could afford to pay back a loan if interest rates go higher, so they judge the borrower against the five-year posted rate rate of 5% for a five-year loan — even though many lenders are currently offering mortgages at far less than that. (currently below 3%)  The Responses are;
  • ·         45% would Buy less house
  • ·         45% said Buy in different community/ city
  • ·         39% would delay their purchase
  • ·         5% would do something else
  • ·         7% didn't know what to do

The new mortgage rules are to reduce debt loads, which will likely to cool prices, too. By making it harder to get a mortgage, demand for housing becomes limited as buyers are sidelined, which will cause prices to drop further.

I think the new rules will have a big impact on certain segments of the market, especially first-time buyers with small down payments. Second and third time sellers will not have qualified buyers to buy their houses delaying their move. It will be a significant adjustment: were looking at 20 to 30 per cent reduction in the mortgage value that people take on.

If you are selling to retire and exit it doesn't really matter.

If you are buying; its a better time with lower price than competing for homes

Call me at 647 218 2414 Let's talk 



Sunday, July 16, 2017

What causes Builders NOT to build Rental Housing

ONTARIO CANADA

Tenants may think the government is looking out for tenant interests, but if that was true there would be no pandemic housing shortage, multiple offers, outrageous selling prices, extremely low vacancy rates, high rental tenant property taxes and eight-year affordable housing wait lists.

Ontario’s recent “Rent Fairness Act” continues the brutal, gratuitous, dystopian, anti-landlord legislation meted out by short-sighted, vote-pandering politicians who have literally (not metaphorically) persecuted landlords for decades; all of it resulting in the national pandemic critical housing shortage. Examples:
  • Of 46 offenses in the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), 34 solely benefit tenants, 10 reciprocate with landlords, one benefits the landlord and one prevents landlords from kicking vote-canvassing politicians off their property.
  • RTA and the Human Rights Code (HRC) have unintended discriminatory consequences, including:
    1. The broken Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) and RTA make all people with no credit, work or rental history (single moms, foreign students and refugees) extremely high-risk tenants for landlords.
    2. Hoarders’ rights override the rights of all other tenants. Vermin, fire hazards and more ruin the lifestyle of neighbours and significantly negatively impact property value. Firefighters can refuse to enter a burning unit if they cannot turn 360 degrees with full respirator gear on. Landlords must accommodate challenged tenants to the point of a landlord’s undue hardship, which is not defined in legislation.
    3. The tenant qualification process of public agencies is not aligned with the needs of the landlord.
  • Landlords submit 91 per cent of LTB applications. Seventy-five per cent are for tenants not paying their rent. The average LTB eviction is five months (versus 25 days in some other provinces), costing an average $5,200 that is rarely collected. LTB offers free, taxpayer-funded duty counsel service to tenants but offers nothing to landlords.
  • A tenant can pay the sheriff full rent arrears on the day of their eviction and start the whole process again.
  • Ontario spent billions on solar power programs. Result: average $217.33/kWhr in Ontario versus $67.89/kWhr in Quebec. Government then punished landlords by preventing landlords from passing on utility costs to the actual consumers (tenants) of that energy.
  • The LTB won’t evict tenants who sign and then breach a no-smoking clause in their rental agreement. The whole health industry pushed for this change and the provincial government still denied it. Eleven per cent of Canadians smoke daily and 64 per cent don’t smoke.
  • The HRC denies requests to teach landlords about landlord responsibilities but hosts free full-day seminars for tenants.
  • The RTA and municipal bylaws require landlords to remediate mould caused by a tenant’s actions, even though it’s not caused by the building’s envelope.
  • The rent of a tenant switching from a single bulk meter to an individual meter must be reduced by the cost of energy consumed over the previous 12 months. Therefore, the most energy-abusive tenants receive the greatest rent decreases while energy-conscious tenants are penalized.
  • The RTA sets the practical limit on building repairs and maintenance: three per cent of property income for three years. The 270,000 Ontario social housing units have a $1.2 billion capital shortfall. Toronto faces $2.6 billion in building repairs and will close 400 homes in 2017 and 1,000 by 2018.
  • Some municipalities charge tenants up to 2.5 times the property tax rate of condo and single- family homeowners.
  • Rent control doesn’t benefit low-income tenants. Tenants who can afford to pay market rents receive the benefit of lower rents and successfully beat low-income tenants competing for tenancies in the government-created housing shortage.  Shrinking housing inventory forces buyers to stay in rental housing longer. There are 171,360 Ontario families waiting for affordable housing (2015), some for as long as eight years.
  • The federal budget gave a $209.4 million bailout for social housing repairs but nothing to the private sector faced with the same issues.
  • A tenant’s unpaid utility bill is added to the property owner’s property tax bill, even if the landlord proves that their tenant signed an agreement to pay their own utilities. This is like holding police responsible for all the crimes committed by the criminals they didn’t catch.
  • Municipal bedbug and garbage bylaws hold landlords responsible for cost of cleanup even if the tenant caused the infestation or doesn’t sort their garbage.
  • Housing shortages lead some tenants to illegally rent out a rental unit or portion at a higher rent.
  • The LTB won’t hear cases where tenants who damaged a property moved out. Small Claims Court won’t hear any case involving a landlord-tenant dispute.
Society can’t exist without housing. Private sector landlords built homes for more than nine million Canadians, and relatively affordable housing to a subset of more than three million. Canada’s total social housing sector accommodates about 1.5 million Canadians.
Private sector landlords willingly accept extraordinary financial and legal risks to provide safe and healthy housing. Landlords are not social workers, financiers or otherwise an extension of government social housing programs, policies and other political agendas.
About 39,000 rental units were built in 1972 alone versus a net of about 22,500 units in the 25 years following. Look at the success of the housing programs of the 1960s and early 1970s and replicate that success.
Footnote: An anagram of “LandlordTenantBoard” is ‘Abandon Rent, Add Troll’.
Chris Seepe   Chris Seepe is a published writer and author, ‘landlording’ course instructor, president of the Landlords Association of Durham, and a commercial real estate broker of record at Aztech Realty in Toronto, specializing in income-generating and multi-residential investment properties. Call (416) 525-1558, send him an email, or visit his website.

This was published in a REM article July 2017 
I was disappointed to see such a litany of Landlord Rights Abuses I just published this in its entirety.

Peel and Toronto are both considering $1,000 annual licensing fees for Landlords.

Why do we keep the Living the dream of being debt free in our retirement?
http://www.BuyingInToronto.ca
http://AgentLocatorToronto.com

Its time to talk

NEW Fair Rent Increases?

For Whom?

Previously, when a suite became vacant, a LANDLORD could reset the market rent.  Then Came the Rental Fairness Act 



Lawful rent for new tenant
113 Subject to section 111, the lawful rent for the first rental period for a new tenant under a new tenancy agreement is,
(a) any amount that is equal to or less than the last lawful rent charged or that ought to have been charged to the previous tenant if the rental unit was previously rented in the last 12 months;
(b) with respect to a rental unit that has not been rented in the last 12 months, an amount that is equal to or less than the sum of,
(i) the last lawful rent charged or that ought to have been charged to the previous tenant,
(ii) all increases to the rent that the landlord would have been permitted to make under this Act if the rental unit had been occupied, and
(iii) all decreases to the rent that the landlord would have been required to make under this Act if the rental unit had been occupied; or  
(c) the rent first charged to the tenant if the rental unit was not previously rented.
6 Section 113 of the Act 

Now you will not be able to pass along excessive Hydro increases, or increases for property taxes or Maintenance fee increases.

Now rent increases will be the published annual increase from the Ontario Housing Tribunal, ( SJOC Social Justice Tribunals Ontario)  

Rent Control Changes to the Residential Tenancies ActOntario has passed the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 which modifies the Residential Tenancies Act. Rent control now applies to all private rental units, including those first occupied on or after November 1, 1991. Any notices of rent increase given for these units on or after April 20, 2017, must be capped at the rent increase guideline. Notices given before April 20, 2017 are not affected by the changes.

Given that we have **   Number of Rental Units in Toronto 2016  *cmhc source

Row Housing        4,442
Condos               92,658
Apartments      257, 431     

Will units for rent increase or decrease?
Do these measures deter you from becoming a landlord? 

Retail Prices on condos increased about 10% in 2017; Is that enough return? 

Will you be selling your rental inventory?
http://BuyinginToronto.ca   


http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet&BillID=4959



Thursday, June 22, 2017

AirBnb Rules Toronto

If you are a tenant you must have permission from your landlord.

New By Laws Toronto

The City of Toronto is proposing to implement measures that will restrict the short-term rental market. The measures proposed by City staff include:
§ allowing short-term rentals only in a homeowner’s primary residence, with a limit of three rooms per dwelling unit;
§ mandatory registration of all hosts renting their homes on a short-term basis and payment of a registration fee between $40 and $150 per home;
§ mandatory licensing of short-term rental companies such as Airbnb and VRBO, and payment of a license fee between $5000 and $20,000, plus an additional fee per night booked; and
§ implementation of a hotel tax and a short-term rental tax, if the necessary provincial legislative approvals can be obtained.
This means that hosts would be allowed to rent their properties on a short-term basis only if they are renting extra bedrooms in their primary homes or if they are renting their entire primary residence while away. These proposed measures would not stop individual condominium corporations from banning short-term rentals altogether.
The proposed recommendations follow a report released in October of 2016, by the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards and the City’s Chief Planner outlining a number of concerns about short-term rentals. That report indicated that:
§ Short-term rentals that occur in non-primary residences, where the property owner is not present, pose the greatest risk of nuisance issues, such as noise, and safety concerns for neighbours in the community;
§ Short-term rentals are impacting the affordability and availability of housing units for long-term residents, causing a reduction in the supply of units available for long-term rental;
§ Short-term rental hosts pay property taxes at the lower residential rate, even though they may be renting their properties on a full-time commercial basis;
Short-term rentals have resulted in an uneven playing field for commercial tourism operators such as hotels and motels, who pay taxes at a higher rate and whose properties are subject to more onerous fire, safety and other regulations.
That report was followed by public consultations with and written submissions from various stakeholders including short-term rental platforms, neighbourhood associations, condominium industry associations, tenant advocates, hotel and hospitality representatives, and various provincial government ministries.
After the proposed measures are discussed by the Mayor’s Executive Committee, City staff will submit final recommendations in the fall of 2017 for approval by City Council.
These proposed measures will no doubt be well-received by many condominium corporations, particularly those corporations that do not have any restrictions on short-term rentals in their declaration or rules.