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Poll Archives

6
E-Bikes, E-Scooters

Fire departments are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential fire risks associated with lithium-ion battery-powered e-bikes and e-scooters, considering the significant rise in the usage of these and similar devices, as well as the occurrence of over 200 fires caused by these batteries in New York City last year.

Do you allow tenants to store their e-bikes and e-scooters and similar devices inside your buildings?

The poll has expired!

11
Pet Policy

In response to the HRM local state of an emergency evacuation order, online chat groups have been exerting pressure on rental housing providers in HRM to relax their "no pet" policy temporarily. The aim is to accommodate dogs that have been displaced due to the evacuation order.

Has your "no pet" policy been temporarily relaxed to allow dogs in your buildings?

The poll has expired!

23
Holding Deposits

This week, news reports emerged regarding rental housing providers asking for holding deposits from applicants. These deposits would require applicants to provide a cheque or e-transfer worth half a month's rent before their application could be assessed. If the rental application was rejected, the cheque would be returned, or the e-transfer would be cancelled.

Do you request applicants to provide a holding deposit before reviewing an application?

The poll has expired!

12
Rent Renewals

The amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act permits Rental Housing Providers to raise the rent once every twelve months rather than on a traditional lease anniversary date, which means that for periodic leases that have not yet been issued, rent renewal renewals could be deferred until January 1, 2023, after the current 2% rent cap expires.

Are you planning to defer yet-to-be-delivered periodic rent renewal notices until January 1, 2023?

The poll has expired!

12
HRM Landlord Registry

The second reading of HRM bylaw R400 Respecting Registration of Residential Rental Properties and Amendments to bylaw M200 Respecting Standards for Residential Occupancies is scheduled for April 4th. Once passed, proactive bylaw property inspections can begin in June 2023. All rental housing providers in HRM must be registered on the Landlord Registry by April 2024. Noncompliant rental housing providers could face penalties of up to $10,000.

Will you register your rental properties on HRM’s Landlord Registry by April 2024?

The poll has expired!

52
Rent Cap Extension

INSight Snap Polls allows subscribers to provide IPOANS with insight into industry trends.

The Rent Cap in Nova Scotia will be prolonged for an additional two years after its current expiry on December 31, 2023, as per the government's announcement. Starting from January 1, 2024, the cap on rent renewals will be increased to 5%, which is higher than the existing 2%.

Here is this week's INSight Snap Poll question.

Does the 5% cap encourage you to continue owning rental properties, or would it prompt you to sell or contemplate selling them?

The poll has expired!

18
Lease Signings

Reviewing the rental agreement with tenants during a lease signing is an important opportunity to ensure they understand all the crucial details. Best practices for lease signing to strengthen tenants' understanding of the rental agreement include explaining the lease in simple language, requesting that they initial key points, thoroughly reviewing each page and highlighting important sections, such as whether the lease is a 12-month periodic lease or a fixed-term lease, and providing sufficient time for the tenant to read through the entire lease and ask any questions before signing.

Do you follow best lease signing practices?

The poll has expired!

30
Annual Fire Inspections

The proposed amendments to Bylaw M200 by HRM would require residential housing structures with fewer than three units to undergo annual fire inspections.

Do you endorse annual fire inspections for residential housing structures with fewer than three units? 

The poll has expired!

28
Investing in Nova Scotia

Reports received by IPOANS indicate investment property owners are no longer investing in rental property projects in Nova Scotia and are instead directing their investments in jurisdictions, both within and outside of Canada, where housing policies incentivize rental housing development and property management companies.

Have you ceased investing in rental housing projects and redirecting your capital to other jurisdictions?

 

The poll has expired!

47
Fixed Term Leases

Fix-term leases play a crucial role in providing tenancy for tenants that would not usually qualify for tenancy due to insufficient rental or credit history or other red flags showing up during the tenant screening process. 

How crucial do you consider fix-term leases in your decision to provide tenancy for tenants who may not typically qualify due to inadequate rental or credit history or other issues that arise during the tenant screening process?

 

The poll has expired!

35
Rent Renewal Incentives

A recent change to the RTA took away Rental Housing Provider’s ability to offer tenants a rental incentive to sign a 12-month renewal.

Were you offering tenants a rental incentive for signing a 12-month renewal?

 

Poll 1

20
The Resident Tenancies Branch of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services recently updated the Residential Tenancies Act with the following modifications:

Landlords can now raise the rent on a date other than the anniversary of a lease being signed. They cannot raise the rent more than once in a 12-month period and must continue to give at least four months’ notice before rent can be raised.

Please rate the RTA changes where a 5-five rating is excellent, a 4-star is very good, a 3-star is good, a 2-star is fair, and a 1-star rating is poor. Each change has been recorded in separate polls 1 through 4.

The poll has expired!

Poll 2

11
The Resident Tenancies Branch of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services recently updated the Residential Tenancies Act with the following modifications:

Landlords cannot charge tenants different amounts for different rental terms; for example, they can’t charge different amounts for a year-to-year, month-to-month or fixed-term lease.

Please rate the RTA changes where a 5-five rating is excellent, a 4-star is very good, a 3-star is good, a 2-star is fair, and a 1-star rating is poor. Each change has been recorded in separate polls 1 through 4.

The poll has expired!

Poll 3

11
The Resident Tenancies Branch of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services recently updated the Residential Tenancies Act with the following modifications:

Landlords can terminate a lease if a tenant sublets a unit without the landlord’s permission.

Please rate the RTA changes where a 5-five rating is excellent, a 4-star is very good, a 3-star is good, a 2-star is fair, and a 1-star rating is poor. Each change has been recorded in separate polls 1 through 4.

The poll has expired!

Poll 4

11
The Resident Tenancies Branch of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services recently updated the Residential Tenancies Act with the following modifications:

Landlords are now required to give a tenant a full 24 hours' notice before entering the unit, even if the tenant has given the notice to end the lease. Landlords can only enter a unit without notice if there is an emergency.

Please rate the RTA changes where a 5-five rating is excellent, a 4-star is very good, a 3-star is good, a 2-star is fair, and a 1-star rating is poor. Each change has been recorded in separate polls 1 through 4.

The poll has expired!

12
Illegal Subletting

IPOANS has received reports about tenants subletting their units illegally with no plan to return and charging subtenants rents $300 to $400 higher than what the leaseholder is being charged.

Have you encountered instances of illegal subletting where the subtenants are paying higher rents than what the leaseholder is charged?

The poll has expired!

23
HRM Mandatory Landlord Registry

HRM's proposed mandatory landlord registry passed its first reading with a 15-1 vote this week. However, IPOANS believes that the proposed registry will not address the housing crisis and may instead lead to rental housing providers selling their property.

If the proposed mandatory Landlord Registry bylaw by HRM Council is passed, would it result in you selling your property?

The poll has expired!

23
Tenant Screening Process

Research has demonstrated that a thorough tenant screening process can significantly improve the likelihood of selecting a qualified tenant. Incorporating credit checks as a key component of the screening process is essential for its effectiveness.

Do you use credit checks as part of your tenant screening process?

The poll has expired!

19
Property Assessments

Since Property Valuation Services Corporation (PVSC) sent out property assessments this week, IPOANS has been receiving calls and emails indicating that there has been a steep climb in property assessments. 

This week we would like to know the property increases members have received. Please select the percentage category of your increase, then click on VOTE.

The poll has expired!

35
Expectations for 2023

In 2022, Nova Scotia rental housing providers faced numerous challenges, including the continuation of the 2% rent cap, rising mortgage rates, increased insurance premiums, and rising energy and an increase in property taxes.

Vote on your expectations for 2023 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “Much Better” and 5 “Much Worse.”

The poll has expired!

14
Recording Residential Tenancy Hearings

British Columbia records Residential Tenancy hearings and then distributes the recording at no charge to both parties, satisfying renters and rental housing providers who felt the process was biased and unfair. Research revealed that Nova Scotia renters and rental housing providers believe Nova Scotia’s Residential Tenancies process has a deep-rooted bias that results in unfair decisions.

Would recording and providing the recordings to renters and rental housing providers of the Nova Scotia Residential Tenancy hearings at no charge bring more fairness, transparency, and accountability to the Residential Tenancies process?

The poll has expired!

16
Residential Tenancies Dashboard

Police publicly report monthly crime statistics, and the Fire Department publicly reports monthly fire statistics. To increase transparency Residential Tenancies should publicly report hearing wait times, filing, and hearing outcome statistics.

To increase transparency for rental housing providers and tenants, is it time for Residential Tenancies to implement an online dashboard portal reporting KPI statistics for hearing wait times, the number of filings by filer type, and hearing outcomes by statutory or landlord rules breaches?

The poll has expired!

13
Residential Tenancies
British Columbia's Residential Tenancy Branch shares outcomes of RTOs decisions online as a resource for other rental housing providers and renters without publishing names or any other identifying information of the parties involved.

Should Nova Scotia's Residential Tenancies Program create an online registry of RTOs decisions without publishing names or any other identifying information as a resource for Nova Scotia's rental housing providers and renters?

 

The poll has expired!

30
Residential Tenancies

Last week the Ontario government announced an additional $1.4 million investment into the Landlord and Tenant Board to hire over 35 additional operation staff. The funding builds on a $4.5 million investment announced earlier this year over three years to recruit more adjudicators and address backlog issues.

Is it time for the Nova Scotia government to invest more capital resources into its Residential Tenancies program to hire more staff to reduce backlogs and enhance client experience? 

The poll has expired!

21
Pets

Last week the P.E.I. government voted not to give tenants the legal right to have pets in their rental units.

Should the Nova Scotia government continue providing landlords with the discretion of whether or not to allow pets in their rentals?

The poll has expired!

27
Mortgage Rates

The Bank of Canada increased interest rates six times since January 2022 in an attempt to tame inflation.  The consensus is that another rate increase will occur in December and possibly into 2023.

Do you have mortgages renewing in the next twelve months?

The poll has expired!

29
Expense Growth is Outstripping Rent Growth

With rent control in Nova Scotia moving into its third year, the impact on rental housing providers is clear, expense growth is outstripping rent growth. All input costs are rising, with heating fuel, insurance premiums, and property taxes experiencing double and triple-digit increases. Returning to normality is not imminent, and there are no guarantees that normality will return if the rent cap is removed on December 31, 2023. 

Given the current hostile operating environment, are you considering selling properties?

The poll has expired!

27
Professional Tenant

A Professional Tenant is described as a renter whose deliberate intention is to take advantage of the weaknesses in the Residential Tenancies and Small Claims Court processes to extend their tenancy for months without paying rent, often causing extensive property damages, and disrupting the lives of other tenants.

Have you ever rented to a Professional Tenant?

The poll has expired!

10
Last week, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister John Lohr

introduced amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter that will give the minister the legislative authority to nullify an HRM bylaw or part of a bylaw to allow and encourage faster housing construction.

Are you in agreement with the provincial government’s decision to intrude on HRM’s planning process to fast-track multi-unit residential development?

The poll has expired!

20
New York City has over 20,000 empty rental units due to operating in a rent control market where keeping units empty makes more sense than operating occupied units. 

With Nova Scotia’s rent cap entering its third year and now spiking heating costs entering the winter heating season, are you considering keeping units empty until it makes economically feasible to operate occupied units?

The poll has expired!