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.

  • Network with top professionals
  • Get advice from experienced landlords
  • Learn how the Landlord and Tenant Board works
  • Meet our recommended partners
  • Take part in landlord activities, social events.
  • A chance to "get involved!"

Regina Rooming House Bylaw – Where Do You Stand?

August 25, 2013

Regina bylaw rooming house

According to a report at ckom.com there is a big debate over changing the rooming house bylaw in Regina.

Population is on the rise in Regina and some say we even have a ‘housing crisis.’ It’s true more and more people are coming to find work.

The City of Regina offered 3 possible options to change a 21-year-old bylaw. This old bylaw saw landlords of rooming homes threatened with large fines and even jail time.

Almost 125 people attended a meeting at the Knox Metropolitan-United Church to share their views on how the altered bylaw should look.

Currently, rooming houses are defined as “a building that is the primary residence of the owner and in which rooming units are provided by the owner, for permanent occupancy and compensation, to persons not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner.”

Although enforcement of this bylaw has typically been low, in May, the City sent letters out to many rooming house landlords stating that they could face large fines or even jail time if they didn’t force out their tenants or move out themselves.

Shortly after, Mayor Michael Fougere announced that they would not be enforcing the bylaw pending a review conducted by the city.

But the debate on how the new bylaw should look has been hotly contested. On May 9th, the Whitmore Park Community Association held a meeting to discuss the bylaw. Many in attendance expressed frustration with rooming houses, claiming they eat up parking space, are unsafe and bring down property values due to excessive parties and garbage.

But for those on the other side of the issue, offering rental space helps to alleviate the housing crisis and allows for affordable housing for both the landlord and the tenants they rent to

 Deputy manager of community planning Jason Carlston and a team of city officials offered three basic options that could help to clarify the bylaw and hopefully ease tensions. Each was based on research done on how five other municipalities—Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, London and Ottawa—handle the rooming houses.

#1  Less regulation

#2  Limit the number of boarders allowed in a rooming house which would also call for a   required amount of parking stalls

#3  Stricter regulations

It’s a passionate subject and the debate hasn’t let us know.  Let’s see how this works out. It’s great that a real debate is going on in our province over these types of issues. In other provinces like Ontario there’s little debate and only constant attacks on residential landlords.

Good News For Landlords: Saskatchewan Sets Employment Record

July 5, 2013

Saskatchewan landlords rents good news

Good News For Landlords Because Tenants With Jobs Are Tenants Who Pay The Rent On Time

According to a report in the Saskatoon Homepage the jobs picture in our province is looking good.

Saskatchewan had the strongest employment growth and lowest unemployment rate in Canada in June. That from the government after the latest numbers were released from Statistics Canada.

This is another reason why we wrote Investors across Canada and Around the World are Looking at Rental Property in Saskatchewan earlier this year.

The provincial news release indicates 568,200 people were working in Saskatchewan in June which breaks the record set one month earlier.

There were 19,300 more people working on a year over year basis.

That’s a 3.5 per cent increase – the biggest increase in working residents among the provinces.

The government says over 90 per cent of the new jobs created in the past year were full-time.

There were 12,000 more women working in Saskatchewan than a year ago which accounts for over 60 per cent of the employment growth.

The biggest employment gains in the past year were in the areas of agriculture, trade, professional, scientific and technical, and construction.

Jobs means tenants with money. It’s great news for landlords because it means rent can be paid on time. While some provinces are going backwards more and more hard-working people coming to Saskatchewan to find jobs and build a future.

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

Make June Month You Check The Smoke Alarms In Your Rentals

June 1st, 2013

 Saskatoon landlord smoke detector

Saskatoon landlord fined over non-functioning smoke alarms

According to a report on CBC news a Saskatoon landlord has been fined for not having working smoke alarms in parts of a property where there was a fire.

Landlord Jack Grover was in court at the start of the month where he pleaded guilty to failing to maintain two smoke alarms on one side of a duplex.

Alarms on the other side of the building were working when a fire broke out in 2012.

A 60-year-old man died in the fire.

Grover was fined a total of $1,000 for the two violations.

Cindy Yelland, a lawyer for the City of Saskatoon, stated: “It shows the importance of fire safety and fire prevention and that maintaining smoke alarms is an important thing,”

Grover was also before the courts in 2005 following a fire in a rental property he owned at the time.

He was found guilty of an obstruction of justice charge for falsifying records relating to smoke detector maintenance.

Two children died in the 2005 fire.

We all know the benefits of investing in income properties in Saskatchewan. Landlords and investors all need to make sure you know your responsibilities.

We’ve had some devestating fires here and there have been other examples such as in British Columbia and in Ontario.

Keeping your tenants and your property safe needs to be on the top of your list.

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

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.

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