Archive for the ‘Regina landlords’ Category
March 12th, 2013
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 The owners then rescinded the rent increases.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.
September 5th, 2012
Homelessness Awareness Week in Regina
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.
July 6th, 2012
What’s the Latest Regarding the Canadian Rental Situation?
The CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) recently released their ‘Spring Rental Survey reporting on vacancy rates across Canada.
What’s the News for Saskatchewan Landlords?
The Spring Rental Survey reported the lowest vacancy rates in the nation are found in Regina.
Regina Has the Lowest Vacancy Rates?
Yes. the vacancy rate in the Regina Census Metropolitan Area was 0.6% in April, 2012. This is down from 0.7% in April, 2011.
In Regina rents have also increased faster than the rate of inflation.
What’s the Reason for the Low Rates?
According to the CMCH, it’s due to powerful gains in employment, increasing wages and a very low rate of unemployment. This has caused a lot of migration to the area.
Furthermore, new and real home prices have increased. This has led some people to delay purchasing their own home and deciding to rent instead.
What about Saskatoon?
The vacancy rate in Saskatoon also decreased. In April, 2012 it was 3.1%. In April, 2011 it was 3.4%.
What about in other cities?
The vacancy rate declined dramatically in Swift Current. It was only 2.8% in April, 2012 compared to 9.6% in April, 2012. This is largely due to increased energy exploration and drilling and the strength of the agricultural industry.
Because of a strong economy vacancies fell in Estevan from 2.5% in April 2011 to only 1%.
Surprisingly, Estevan also had the highest per average rents in Saskatchewan. An average 2 bedroom apartment rents for approximately $1000 per month.
The rate fell in Yorkton as well. There was a large drop from 4.9% in 2011 to only 1.4% in 2012.
Which Cities Have the Highest Vacancy Rates?
The highest is North Battleford at 5.3%. Its followed by Prince Albert at 3.9%
What About the Price of Rents?
Rents in Regina rose by 5.5% compared to 2011. Rents in Saskatoon rose 2.9%.
According to the CMHC, in Regina the average 2 bedroom apartment rents for $948. In Saskatoon, it would be $976.
In Regina, rents for all types of suites rose by 5.5 per cent over the last year, compared with 2.9 per cent in Saskatoon.
The largest increase in rent was at Yorkton. Rents there are up 8.4%.
July 5th, 2012
So who are the people looking for places to rent in Regina?
The rental vacancy rate is siting at 0.6 per cent after a year below the mark of zero. Meanwhile the average price per month of a one bedroom apartment is $948. The city has provided some incentives to add affordable rental units, but there are several people out there who just can’t afford to wait for builders to catch up.
Sharee Lejoure has an 18-month-old son but so far she and her boyfriend still don’t have a place for him to truly call home.
They have been looking for a place to live for about a year. Since then she said they have lived with her boyfriend’s parents on the reserve but now they are living with his cousin.
Her boyfriend works as a heavy machine operator in the city. At this point she said they will take almost anything to become independent because their current situation is too cramped with two families.
Lejoure describes the hunt for a place to live as very frustrating because sometimes she will get close only to be told by the renter that it’s too small for three or they don’t accept kids at all.
“How do you know if it’s too small,” she asked. “We can’t stay in a room living with somebody forever.”She hopes that someday there will be more low income rental units available for people who have young families and are having a hard time looking for a place.
With a booming population and people moving in to the city to fill the labour shortage this story is one of many. There are families of all sizes and incomes looking.
We searched through online wanted ads to find out more.
Some have families or pets and are looking for houses or apartments to in specific areas near schools or daycares.
One woman on facebook said she has been looking so long they’ve almost given up hope of finding an affordable place in the city to live with her families.
Victoria Bresette has been looking for a decent place to live for over two months.
So far Brisette says the pickings are very slim.
“We’ve basically found shotty places, places that are sketchy, bad neighbourhoods, border-line slum landlords,” she commented.
She has an apartment on 13th Avenue but worries that the building is not secure.
“None of the windows had locks on them you could pull the windows open from the outside, water leaks you know just old building problems,” she explained.
Brisette explains that she just can’t live in her current tiny apartment any more.
“We are entertaining the idea of buying a camper for the summer because there is nowhere to live we’re going to buy a camper and camp all summer,” she said.
Travis has been looking for somewhere to live since Februrary. He is staying in a basement suite right now but he says he needs to get out soon.
“I’m coming home my TV’s on my microwave’s open stuff like that so I know somebody’s there when I’m not there,” he explained.
At this point he says the rental market in Regina is ridiculous.
“You could have a 500 square foot bachelor suite and it could be going for $1500 a month easy,” Travis said.
He came from Manitoba and there they have regulations in place when it comes to rentals. In Regina he says the biggest problem he’s run into is price.
Most ads on sites like UsedRegina and Kijiji asking for rental apartments are looking for a price range of $900 to $1500 a month but the listings certainly don’t match up with them. The ads listing apartments are closer to the range of $1400 to $2200 a month.
If you have a story about trying to rent a place in Regina let us know on Facebook.