Saskatchewan Landlords Association


Welcome to the SKLA for Small Business Landlords

The Saskatchewan Landlords Association (SKLA) and its sister organization The Canada Landlords Association (CLA) are leading provincial and national organizations for private small residential landlords. We provide a unified voice for private landlords and promote and protect landlord interests to national and local government.

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Thinking of Becoming a Landlord? Saskatchewan Boom Not Ending Soon (Part 2)

 May 5th, 2013

Saskatchewan landlord

Want to be a landlord? As we saw in Part 1 Saskatchewan is a great place to invest. Let’s continue the discussion!

Part one was directed at potential landlords and income property investors in the rest of Canada and the rest of the world.

Whether you are a new investor, an experienced investor from Toronto who has had enough of the up and dawn laws for Ontario landlords, or someone overseas looking for an investment that brings you cash flow and appreciation, take a look at our province.

Despite a recent slow down, Potash is still at a very high level in the area. Oil is also enjoying a particularly good time, which is helping to keep many people in the workforce. In short, the boom is currently very strong and it doesn’t show any time of faltering any time soon.

McLellan doesn’t believe there will be a bust. He believes that Saskatchewan is going through a period where people are starting to realize what the area can actually bring to the world, including machinery and food, and starting to buy it.

Many of the businesses in the province are going through the same boom, and they are starting to face new challenges which they haven’t encountered before. McLellan points out that one of the main challenges encountered so far is that there is not enough people around to carry out the work that is needed. This is an issue which is expected to stretch out over the next few decades, which of course means there will be more migration into the province. Many of these people will be renters.

Success for the province is closely related to the production of grain products, such as wheat and barley. It is believed that both of these will play an even greater role in 2013 due to agriculture going through a boom.

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues go to the free Saskatchewan Landlord Forum

Thinking Of Investing In Rental Properties In Saskatchewan? The Boom Is Not Ending Soon (Part 1)

April 2nd, 2013

Saskatchewan landlords economic growth boom in 2013

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Investors Across Canada and Around the World are Looking at Rental Property in Saskatchewan

We have received a lot of emails asking us about the benefits of investing in Saskatchewan. These emails are from people from as close as Ontario and as far as Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.

While there are certain problems with the way rental properties are overseen in Saskatchewan, we still say “yes” it’s a good place to invest.

We hope the government realizes that the SKLA is the place international and other province investors come to regarding investing in our province.

For property developer Pacesetter Homes, 2012 was one of the busiest building years that they had ever experienced. Curt Keil, sales and marketing coordinator for the company said that they had exceeded their goals considerably. That doesn’t mean its over for the company however, in fact, they are gearing up for a 2013 which promises to be even busier.

At the moment, Pacesetter Homes have around 25 homes under construction. However, in the near future Curt Keil estimates that this number is going to go up to somewhere between 30 and 40 homes under construction at the same time, which is an absolutely huge amount for the company.

Pacesetter Homes, one of the newest entrants to Regina is not alone. Keil, working in the home building industry for the last thirty years cannot recall a time that has been as busy for home building. In fact, in 2012 the amount of construction permits issued broke an all time record for the area, and it is expected that 2013 will be as good, if not, much better.

It seems that every single day new housing projects get  under way in the area, which is fantastic for the residents as it helps to keep the economy booming. Even better news for residents is that Steve McLellan, CEO if the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce doesn’t see this boom ending any time soon. Landlords all over Canada and around the world are watching carefully.

For landlords and tenants in Saskatchewan and around the world, discuss this and other issues at the free Saskatchewan Landlord Forum where you can network not only with landlords across our province, but across Canada and the world.

Regina Tenants Get a 77% Rent Increase ………….. Then They Don’t

March 12th, 2013

 Saskatchewan landlords tenants rent hike

 

Earlier this month, tenants living in a rental property in Regina were facing rent increases of up to 77%. These tenants went to the media and complained to the government saying they felt like ‘faceless people.’

Upset tenants included senior Pat Colpits who has lived there for nine year and pays $674/month. She said she was shocked to receive the news her rent would increase to $1,195/month on September 1st.

This isn’t the first time landlords and tenants have faced off against rent prices. Colpits added would have to move and believes other tenants would also be forced out because they simply couldn’t afford the new prices.

Colpits and a group of other tenants went to the Saskatchewan legislature to ask for help.

According to a CBC news report, today the tenants received news the rent increases would be stopped.

Landlords are shocked at this result but it’s important to look at what happened.

As explained above, after receiving the rent increase,the tenants began their campaign against it. It became political after the NDP began calling for rent control and the government shot it down.

The new owners of the building were contacted by a quasi-government landlord association. Afterwards, it was stated the property management company that had been hired to manage the building, and who sent out the notices, no longer has that contract. The owners then rescinded the rent increases. They say they will ‘work with’ the buildings tenants on future increases.

We are happy this has worked out and with the owners of the building and the tenants successfully hash out a way that works for all of them.

However some questions do arise out of this.

-Was the property management company made the scapegoat for the rent increases? We wait for their comments.

-Why did the new owners change course so suddenly?

-What did the landlords association say to the building owners?

-How will future increases be implemented as the owners work with the tenants?

Again, we are glad this worked out for the tenants. However, it looks like the issue of rent control is becoming very political. This is something all current landlords and future investors need to keep our eyes on.

To discuss this and other issues facing Saskatchewan landlords and tenants go to the Saskatchewan landlord forum.

Saskatoon Landlords Have Questions On Recycling Plan

 March 6th, 2013

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Saskatoon landlords have concerns now that Saskatoon City is starting a recycling program for about 36,400 apartments, condominiums, and houses. The said program will be managed by Cosmopolitan Industries.

According to Ken Gryschuk, Cosmopolitan Industries’ community relations manager, the program is varied depending on the type of unit, as in more complicated recycling programs are prepared for more complex units.

The program seems to be all set for 2014, as its target year to have it up and running.

However, the landlords of the respective units are still confused with the process. Different queries regarding the recycling process and even the program itself are aired out by people.

Paula Simon is just one of the many who voiced out their confusion with the process. She is a representative of Saskatchewan Rental Housing Industry Association. Being in a rental housing industry, some of the questions Paula Simon aired out were

1. How to teach the tenants to recycle

2. How to segregate the recyclable from the ones that can’t be recycled

3. What to do if and when the possibilities of having the recycled bins mixed with garbage

4. What to do when recyclable items in the recycle bins are being thrown out by dumpster divers trying to find something

It’s not always easy to deal with tenants who don’t want to do extra work at their rental property. It can at times get downright nasty.

Cosmopolitan Industries, however, assured the people that they will be going around the city with public consultation to educate people with the city-wide program. Although the program is a bit raw yet, Cosmopolitan Industries offered to show the people as much information they can.

Two large bins will be placed outside of each house building. Also, smaller bins will be placed in every unit inside the building. Aside from this, other plans are not finalized yet, especially for the more complex buildings.

The association will have a luncheon with the Cosmopolitan Industries, and in this event, Simon is hoping that many unanswered questions and concerns will be addressed.

Saskatoon and other Saskatchewan landlords can discuss this and other issues at the Saskatchewan Landlord Forum.

Saskatchewan Landlords Question – How Much Can I Raise the Rent in 2013?

January 6th, 2013

 SLA Happy New Year

Saskatchewan Landlords Want to Know The Rules For Raising the Rent in 2013

We have received many inquiries from landlords all over Saskatchewan with the common theme being confusion over “how much can I raise the rent in 2013?”

The questions about raising the rent in 2013 include people asking:

1. Do the new changes in the rules mean I can’t raise the rent?

2. Do the new changes in the rules mean I can raise the rent as much as I want?

3. Do I need the government to approve a rent increase?

4. If the tenants object, is there a change I will have to decrease the rent?

5. Do I have to join some group to raise the rent, and if they don’t accept me I can’t raise the rent?

The Saskatchewan system is different than provinces like Ontario where the rent increase guideline is capped at 2.5% for 2013 and British Columbia where the rent increase guideline is 3.8 in 2013.

The government has a good website page explaining things for landlords: Rent Increases

The following information is from that site.

If You Have a Fixed Term Lease With Your Tenants

No increases are allowed during a fixed-term lease unless the landlord and the tenant agree to the amount of the increase and time when an increase is to come into effect at the time they enter into the fixed term tenancy.

Fixed term leases in excess of three months duration must be in writing.

Advance Notice to Your Tenants

Landlords are required to inform the tenant at least 2 months in advance of the end of the tenancy, whether or not they are willing to renew the lease. If a landlord is willing to renew a term lease, the notice must include the terms of renewal, including any rent increase. See Form 15.

Periodic Tenancies – Six Months Notice

Periodic tenancies are week-to-week, month-to-month or any other term that will continue until terminated by proper notice or by agreement.

Give Proper Notice Using the Proper Forms

Any notice of rent increase must be given in writing using Form 5 – Notice of Rent Increase OR Form 5a Notice of Rent Increase for SRHIA members.

The Rules are Different if You Join a “government approved group” Or If You Don’t.

The following chart is a comparison of the requirements for notices of rent increase by non-members and by SRHIA members, respectively.

 

Time Required

Requirement

Non-members

Members of SRHIA
Notice of rent increase One year Six months
Time between rent increases One year Six months
New tenancies – No notice of rent increase during the first … Six months Six months
New tenancies – Earliest possible rent increase … Eighteen months One year

A notice of rent increase delivered during the first six months of a new tenancy will be deemed to be delivered at the end of the six months.

What if you make a mistake giving proper notice?

If insufficient notice is given, the tenant is entitled to a refund of any increase in rent paid without proper notice and to deduct the overpayment from future rent payments, if not refunded.

What If I’m Not Happy Joining that Particular Group?

We agree. The government has good intentions but giving special treatment for those who get admitted to a particular ‘association’ isn’t fair and needs to be changed.

What about SLA members?

We are reaching a huge audience across the province. Especially landlords who may not live in the big cities and don’t happen to own hundreds or thousands of rental units…they are busy enough with 1 or 2!

The SLA also helps Saskatchewan landlords by charging a low one-time only fee for good leases and credit checks from Equifax to help our members make sure they rent to good tenants.

Hopefully the well-intentioned current government will see the big picture as our province grows fast and becomes a leader in Canada and admired throughout the world. The SLA is reaching a big audience of really good people who also happen to be landlords who provide high quality affordable housing to thousands of tenants across our province. Our sister sites in BC and Ontario play a key role in helping the government create rental policy. Let’s hope our government also listens to the “little gals and guys” who work hard to provide high quality, affordable rents in Saskatchewan!

Legal Changes for Saskatchewan Landlords

December 27, 2012

Saskatchewan landlords new legal rules

 

We would like to thank representatives from the provincial government emailing in and helping clarify the confusing changes to the way landlords do business here nowadays.

Here are the corrections to our story on how things have changed for landlords from a government representative (again, thanks!)

Here we go:

On the home page of SLA: http://saskatchewanlandlords.ca/ there is a paragraph “So  What Will Happen?  Except for #2 the changes already happened on November 15, 2012.   The article misleads readers, as the changes are in effect now.

The paragraph states:

#1Beginning in April, 2013 landlords must inform their tenants if there will be a rent increase 3 months prior to a fixed term lease ending. The renters will have 1 month to reply to it.

#2 Also starting in April, 2013, the Office of Residential Tenancies will cover rent disputes for seniors in independent living facilities.

#3 The government has decided landlords who want to increase rent with only 6 months notice must become a member of an a particular landlord association (one which caters to large landlords).

If you are not a member, you have to give 1 years notice for a rent increase.

All changes came into effect on November 15, 2012, with the exception of the application of RTA to independent living facilities  Only that change takes effect on April 1, 2013  

As some of your descriptions of the changes risk misleading readers, you may wish to refer readers to the page on our website that explains all changes:  http://www.justice.gov.sk.ca/ORT-LRA

That’s good and we appreciate the clarification.

Overall, we have a very good government in Saskatchewan. Smart and good people. But no one is perfect and the changes for landlords are already leading to a lot of complaints.

For a start, let’s start talking about how undemocratic it is to make landlords become members of a specific group to receive special legal benefits. Is that democratic? Aren’t we all equal under the law. And can we see who runs that group? Do they have elections?

Sounds like some more changes are going to be needed to be made in 2013 in order to continue a great rental market that encourages small landlords to invest and provide quality affordable housing for tenants. Let’s not create rules that put a damper on investment like other provinces do.

Saskatchewan Landlords Face New Government Limits on Rent Increases (and more!)

December 1st, 2012

The government has introduced new rules for landlords. Did You Even Hear About It?

What’s Going On?

The government has changed the rules for landlords and tenants in Saskatchewan.

Why the Changes?

According to Gordon Wyant, the Minister of Justice, the rental market in Saskatchewan is tight with vacancy rates very low. His government believes the changes will protect tenants from big rent increases that occur within a short period of time.

What is the Vacancy Rate?

According to CMCH it’s less than 1% in Regina. However, CMCH doesn’t include unregistered private rental housing in their statistics. This means the vacancy rate is actually no where near less than 1%, it’s much higher.

So  What Will Happen?

#1Beginning in April, 2013 landlords must inform their tenants if there will be a rent increase 3 months prior to a fixed term lease ending. The renters will have 1 month to reply to it.

#2 Also starting in April, 2013, the Office of Residential Tenancies will cover rent disputes for seniors in independent living facilities.

#3 The government has decided landlords who want to increase rent with only 6 months notice must become a member of an a particular landlord association (one which caters to large landlords).

If you are not a member, you have to give 1 years notice for a rent increase.

What’s Been the Reaction to the Changes?

Unsurprisingly, the NDP has called the changes a ‘Band-Aid solution’.  Of course, the NDP would like to ban private landlords and only have government run housing.

What About the Reaction From Landlords?

We think the changes made by the government are generally acceptable. Far better than the NDP’s knee-jerk proposals to creating punishing rules for landlords which would decrease investment and force ‘good landlords’ to leave the market. The more the government interferes with the free market, fewer investment dollars will enter the market.

Is There Anything Really Bad With These Changes.

The government has made a mistake with forcing landlords to have to join a particular landlord association in order to raise rents in 6 months rather than a year. This is simply the creation of a new super bureaucracy. It won’t work and it’s undemocratic.

Is There Anything the Government Missed?

Yes. We are hearing more and more stories about bad tenants trashing houses and owing rent. There are bad tenants out there, just like in other provinces. We are not immune. The government has ignored this. Landlords need to screen their tenants very carefully and if you aren’t up to being a professional landlord you should hire someone who is.

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Saskatchewan landlords have witnessed even a pro-growth government take rights away from landlords with little input or feed-back from us. What’s next? Protect yourself with proper tenant screening and Equifax Credit Checks because the government is not on your side!

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Discuss this and other landlord issues at the Saskatchewan Landlords Forum.

Saskatchewan Government Increasing Per-Diem Rates for Emergency Shelters

November 12th, 2012

The Focus Is To Develop Relationships With Private Landlords for Safe and Affordable Housing

According to a report in the Leader Post, the provincial government is going to increase the per-diem rates Saskatchewan emergency shelters receive.

Who Does the Funding System Work?

Accommodations and meals are paid for on a per-diem basis to shelters for people requiring temporary emergency shelter. The per diem for families has been increased by providing $28 per child, up to a maximum of five children.

Before this increase, social services provided per diems of $47 for single adults, $62.50 for families and childless couples and $20 per person for meals.

What Do Those On the Front Line Say?

The head of the Regina YWCA said the new funding was appreciated. However, shelters in Regina are still always filled and people in need are turned away nightly.

And there is a need for more affordable housing.

The YWCA director said she want to start assisting her clients to get into private rental housing.

Howver even with all the good landlords out there, there simply isn’t enough rental housing available.

What Does She Recommend?

The director, Elias-Henry, wants to develop good relationships with private landlords.  The goal is to find safe and affordable housing for her clients to get them out of the shelter.

Sounds Like A Good Plan!

Elias-Henry wants to reach out to private landlords so her clients can avoid being homeless and have some stability in their housing needs.

What’s the Problem?

She says nearly half the women in her downtown Regina shelter don’t have permanent housing when they leave.  

Why is That?

It’s impossible to say exactly. Landlords all over do not want to have to act as ‘social workers’ and always worry about getting a Tenant From Hell.

Taking on a tenant with a history of non-payment or mental illness may lead the landlord to lose rent and have a bad situation where they are looking for help for themselves.

It’s an issue that all stake-holders need to discuss and work out a plan that understand the concerns of everyone involved.

Higher Rents Pose Some Challenges For Newcomers to Saskatchewan

October 21st, 2012

 Is the Rent Really “Too Damn High” in Prince Albert?

Todd Osborne and his family have lived in Hamilton, Ontario since 2006.

He held a job in a warehouse and wants to return to Prince Albert.  The problem is rents are high there.

Years before, he said he rented a place for only around $600 per month. Now rents rents are over $1600 per month!  He might even want rent control.

Hamilton, Ontario tenant Osborne things that wages have not increased compared to the high rents.

What Does the Government Say?

The chair of the P.A. Housing Authority is named Fred Payton.  Mr. Payton said the munipal housing committee was working on ideas to create more affordable housing.

Payton said the government has created a reasonable secondary suite policy for they city and has tried to put funds into social housing.

What Does the Mayor Say?

The Mayor is Jim Scarrow.

Mayor Scarrow explains that it’s not only his city which is struggling with affordable housing.  Thanks to Saskatchewan’s boom there is a lot of immigration to the province.

If Todd Osborne Things the Rent is Too High Here, Then Why Even Come Here?

That’s a good question.

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In areas where there is an economic boom, housing prices also increase.  If Osborne wants low rental prices he should go back to economically depressed Hamilton.  No jobs, but lots of rotten places run by bad landlords, and cheap rent.

Homelessness Awareness Week in Regina

September 5th, 2012

Homelessness Awareness Week in Regina

What is Homelessness Awareness Week?
In August, Soul’s Harbor in Regina hopes to raise awareness of homelessness.

Souls Harbor Executive Director Joe Miller is hoping to raise some awareness this week.

He’ll be living on the roof of Souls Harbor until Friday. His goal is to raise enough money to pay for 2000 nights of shelter.

With the Saskatchewan economy booming, Miller said more people are coming to Regina looking for work.

What Does Miller Think about Regina?

“Our economy is strong, really strong, but the cost of living has gone up,” said Miller.

According to CMHC, an average one-bedroom apartment was $770 in 2011. In 2012 the average cost is $817.

What Does Miller Want?

Miller thinks more affordable housing is needed.

“We need landlords, we need the Saskatchewan government, we need private enterprise to come up and say: it’s okay to charge less than market value,” he said.

The Saskatchewan government currently offers a rental supplement for low-income earners, but only after they’ve found a place to live. The city’s vacancy rate is at a nation-low 0.6 per cent.

 “It’s okay to be profitable for a little less. We need to help out the people that are around us. The homeless people are our invisible neighbors’.” said Miller. 

In 2010, almost 1500 people stayed in one of Regina’s shelters, staying for an average of about 56 days. Over 80 per cent of people left the shelter they were staying at without having anywhere else to go.

Joey Reynolds and Homelessness

Joey Reynolds isn’t homeless right now, but he has been before.

“When you’re a street person, you’re poor. You’re always on that verge of homelessness,” said Reynolds. 

Right now he has a place, but his landlord is selling the building soon. Reynolds isn’t sure what he’s going to do. He said he has considered moving away.

“I like to live in Regina, but the housing here is just horrible. And we need affordable housing,” said Reynolds.`

Why Not Lobby to Encourage More Private Landlords to Invest?

That’s our recommendation.  The government can increase the supply of affordable housing by creating incentives for more people to invest.  More supply equals more choices for tenants.

The worst path to go is what they are doing in Ontario where landlords are punished for providing affordable housing.

We think Joe Miller’s goals are admirable.  However, his ideas on how to achieve his goals are not the way to best move forward.  If he wants more affordable housing in Regina, the answer is to get more Regina landlords investing.

 

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