Archive for the ‘Calgary landlords’ Category

Calgary Landlord Regains Control Over Her Rental Property At Last

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

September 25th, 2013

Bad tenants tenant screening freemen

Landlord said “I can’t handle it, I just can’t. I just want him to leave, get out. That’s all I want.

It appears landlord Rebekah Caverhill’s nightmare is finally over. We’ve seen written about bad tenants before but nothing like this case.

According to a report on CTV News, Freemen-on-the-landlord tenant Andrea Pirelli has been order to get out of his duplex apartment by this coming Saturday.

Pirelli was not in court to hear the judgment but he did have a representative there who refused to provide his name or approach the bench.

CTV News tried yet again to get input from Pirelli and a reporter went to the rental home for the second time in two days to talk to him.

Pirelli came to the window and took our photos but refused to speak.

He calls himself a member of the “Freemen on the Land” movement and believes Canada’s laws don’t apply to him. It’s news that reached landlords all over the country.

Background Story

Rebekah Caverhill rented out half of her Calgary duplex to a man who was recommended as a tenant by a friend. He moved in during November of 2011, but only paid her half of the rent they agreed on. And that’s not the worst part.

The tenant claims to be a ‘Freeman-on-the-Land,’ saying the home is an ‘embassy’ and no longer belongs to Caverhill. He went as far as to change the locks, and do renovations which he then charged Caverhill for…resulting in a lien against her home.

More Details

The tenant told her his name is Andreas Pirelli—which is believed to be an alias. There is a video of him on YouTube under the name Mario Antonacci, where he gives a lesson on what a ‘Sovran Unity Nations Embassy’ is.

Freeman-on-the-Land is a growing movement, that could number as many as 30,000 in Canada. It is also in the United States, where the FBI considers the group a domestic terror threat. ‘Freeman,’ or ‘Sovereign Citizens’ believe that law only governs them if they consent to be governed, and believe they live under ‘natural laws.’ This leads them to avoid taxes, mortgages and utility bills among things.

Caverhill says she’s tried to convict Pirelli to no avail, and police referred her to civil courts, saying it was a landlord-tenant dispute. Police are now talking to Crown to determine if any charges can be laid.

“It may have started out as civil, but this is criminal now,” Caverhill complains. “I have a fraudster, someone trying to take my home.”

Service Alberta is now involved in the case, but Caverhill has been told she needs to get a court order to try and force Pirelli out.

Alberta Landlords and Tenant Screening

This is just another example of why landlords in Calgary and all over Alberta need to make sure you screen your renters carefully.

The days of a simple handshake are over.

Calgary Vacancy Rate

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

August 1st, 2013

 Calgary landlord tenant flood low vacancy

The Flood and University Students Returning May Lead to Higher Rents

According to report in the Calgary Herald the residential property vacancy rate is so low landlords have stopped aggressively advertising because even a small ad brings in a flood of potential tenants.

The competition between tenants looking for a nice rental unit could become even more competitive soon:

1. Many buildings remain unlivable after the flood

2. University students are returning soon to start classes and they need off-campus housing

One landlord husband and wife team said the number of applicants they are receiving is overwhelming.

Tammy Panchuk and her husband own forty rentals in Calgary.

While other areas across the country such as Barrie, Ontario have landlords desperately seeking qualified tenants things are very different in Calgary.

With no vacancies and so much demand they now only put an ad up on one website instead of many.

Panchuk is also a Calgary real estate agent and said the Calgary landlords and investors she deals with are all full with few vacancies. She says if there is an opening it gets filled fast.

Many universities such as Mount Royal and the University of Calgary and SAIT believe the housing crunch is going to have a serious effect on students looking for off-campus housing.

The Vice-president of the Mount Royal University student union, Tristan Smyth, believes the flood will lead to higher rents and less vacancies.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi also expects a worsening rental market in September, and even predicted this week that the rental vacancy rate could come close to zero because of last month’s big flood.

To Discuss This And Other Landlord and Tenant Issues Go to the Free Alberta Landlord Forum

Calgary Flood Recovery, Tight Rental Market For Tenants, And The Opportunity For More Secondary Suites

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

July 2nd, 2013

Alberta Calgary Rental Market

What Do The Floods Mean For Calgary Landlords and Tenants?

Calgarians are doing a great job coming together to clean up properties damaged in the flood.

According to the Calgary Herald there’s concern the flood will shrink our city’s rental housing market which is already very tight in 2013.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported last week that Calgary’s vacancy rate fell to 1.2 per cent in April which is down from 2.5 per cent in April 2012.

The CMHC says monthly rent for an average two-bedroom apartment in Calgary is currently $1,202.

We wrote about this before.

A University of Calgary paper published in 2011 revealed the city lost 7,500 apartment units to condo conversions from 2001 to 2009, while at the same time an average of 12,000 new people were coming to the city each year.

With the city’s residential vacancy rate sitting at just above one per cent, Tim Richter of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness said increased competition for rental accommodations could stymie efforts to find permanent housing for our poorer citizens.

Says Richter: “You have a potential reduction of residential (housing) stock in the short term, you have more people with damage to their homes pushed into the rental market in the short term and you have more skilled labour coming to Calgary to help in the reconstruction

Creating More Safe and Legal Secondary Suites

Nenshi has strongly advocated for more high quality and affordable rental units. Unlike politicians in Ontario who want to punish landlords and prevent landlords from having the tools to run successful rental businesses, Nenshi wants easing restrictions on secondary suites as one way of increasing the amount of affordable housing in the city.

So far city council has so far failed to approve any substantial changes.

The mayor has also said reform would also improve safety and legal protection for tens of thousands of Calgarians living in illegal suites.

“One of the things I’ve allowed myself to worry about in the reconstruction phase of this as we’re dealing with the emergency is ‘What is going to happen to those people?’ ” Nenshi said.

“I don’t want to be politically opportunistic about this, but if we continue in a world where we have a whole bunch of illegal secondary suites that we haven’t inspected, what if there’s mould? What if there are other issues? We have to fix that.”

Great Mayor. Great Ideas. Let’s Make It Happen!

To discuss this and other issues go to the Alberta Landlords forum

Gov’t Approved Tenant Destroys Calgary Rental Suite!

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

May 1st, 2013

 Alberta landlord tenant drywall damages

Calgary Landlord Kius Pahlavan describes his experience as ‘filthy, damaging and mortifying’ while cleaning a government approved teenage tenant’s mess in his rental suite

According to a report on CTV News in Calgary Pahlavan approved of renting his suite to the teenager through the government. When the tenant relentlessly damaged and trashed the suite, the government ignored this information and his request for help.

Pahlavan revealed that “the damage they did is like a horror movie.” The one bedroom suite looks appalling with holes on the drywall, a sharp knife stuck on the bedroom wall and vomit all over the sink.

Three months earlier, Pahlavan had an open house for the spotless suite, when a staff from social services persuaded him to rent the suite to an 18-year-old tenant. While our Mayor is pushing for more legal suites in Calgary, this government worker wasn’t on the landlords’ side and serves as a warning for Calgary landlords.

“He really kind of convinced me that most probably there will be no trouble,” Pahlavan said.

Although the social worker assured Pahlavan that he’d check on the kid on a regular basis and made a deposit of $775 in cash for damages, he did not sign the lease or leave any credentials to which agency he belonged.  Pahlavan said “The phone number, a cell phone number, that’s the only thing we’ve got.”

Pahlavan mentioned that the dilemma begun promptly as soon as the teenager moved in.  The tenant had social gatherings that include use of illegal drugs and fist fights.

The social worker paid the tenant’s rent continuously in cash, but the teenager’s rowdy behavior was unrelenting and the landlord finally evicted the tenant in March. 

Pahlavan requested the social worker to lend a hand in fixing the damages and the agency sent over a truck to haul the trash but did not agree to do the extra cleanups or repairs.

“That was the surprising part of the whole deal, that suddenly the unknown social agency said, sorry, we are gone, you go and deal with it,” Pahlvan said.

Out of frustration Pahlavan got in touch with Lea Williams-Doherty, a reporter for  CTV Calgary’s “Consumer Watch”.

The reporter figured that the social worker was from Hull Services, a Calgary agency that handles troubled young adults from ages 16 to 22 to support their transition to self-sufficiency, and was appointed by the provincial agency known as the Child & Family Services Authority.

Williams-Doherty  made contact with the Child & Family Services Authority to inquire if they would pay for the damages to Pahlavan’s one bedroom suite.

The agency’s spokesperson said the government wasn’t responsible since the damages were made by the tenant. The reporter put emphasis on the lease that was never signed by the social worker and the fact the landlord made the arrangement with the social worker alone but not with the 18-year-old tenant.

This lack of government accountability has been seen before, especially in provinces such as Ontario.

The spokesperson from the Child & Family Services Authority then referred Williams-Doherty to the Hull Services who took the task of fixing the damages in the suite.

 Alberta landlords knife in the drywall

John Dahl, the program director of Hull Services said “I’ve seen the apartment there last week and I’ve spoken to the landlord and we’re looking at covering the damages that were done to the apartment.”

Dahl explained that the “Youth Transitioning to Adulthood Program” of Hull Services was set to facilitate teenagers or young adults in pursuing their studies, get a job, find a suitable place to live and have a personal bank account.

The role of a social worker is to facilitate their clients and in some difficult cases, they may need to take a greater part of the task as the” kid takes full accountability along the way.”

In this incident, although it was the social worker who took the rental it should have been under the teenager’s name and not the government, consequently there was no documentation.

This led CTV to question the province and Hull Services “If this kid couldn’t do these things for himself, was he ready for you to go out and solicit private landlords on his behalf?” 

This is a wake-up call and a warning for Calgary landlords. Sometimes doing what you think is the right thing to do can come back to bite you.

To discuss this and other Calgary landlord and tenant issues go to the free Alberta Landlord Form

Calgary Landlords – Higher Rents, Lower Vacancies, New Demand From Buyers

Friday, February 8th, 2013

February 7th, 2013

Bull + A Rising Stock Chart

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) things are looking good for Calgary landlords. The rental market in the city is tightening up. Rents are increasing and vacancies are declining.

This is great news for landlords who have faced lots of challenges recently with so many bad tenants out there.

Richard Cho is with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He is a senior market analyst and has been researching the Alberta rental market.
According to Cho, the decline in the vacancy rate and raising rents is going to create a dramatic trend. Renters have strong incentive to become home-owners.
Vacancy rates in Calgary and her suburbs dropped to only 1.3% in October, 2012. This is a significant decline compared to the 1.9% vacancy rate in 2012.
Rents have also gone up in Calgary.
Cho said not only will this lead some current tenants to buy. It will also lead them to seek out rental properties in “secondary markets” such as condominium buildings that investors decide to rent out. The demand for high quality condos as rentals is also occurring in markets such as Toronto.

Cho also predicts there will be more construction of rental property accommodation in 2013. This is a great opportunity for investors to purchase new, attractive, high quality properties.

The Calgary market is growing fast and a great opportunity for landlords and investors. Edmonton and other Alberta cities are also seeing amazing growth and improving conditions.

Vacancies are low and rents are rising. Alberta also has the most fair rules for landlords and tenants in Canada.

With new rental stock being built investors should seriously consider getting into our growing market.

To discuss this and other landlord and tenant issues, go to the largest landlord and tenant forum in Canada and network with thousands of other like-minded landlords and investors! Go to the Alberta Landlords Forum.

Landlord Helps New Calgary Couple Living Without Belongings

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

August 1st, 2012

 

Moving Company Screws Up, Landlords Step Up!

What Happened to Their Belongings?

Dan Marchand and Margaret Beresztan packed up and left Ontario for a better life in Calgary.

Unfortunately their movers didn’t send all their personal belongings to Alberta.  They sent them to British Columbia!

How Long Have They Been Without Their Belongings?

It’s now been several weeks since their movers made the big mistake.

Terrible, How are They Coping?

Dan and Margaret are hanging in there!  They are using plastic spoons, forks and knives from a dollar store.  They also have some folding chairs and pots you would normally use for camping to help them get by.

When is this Going to be Fixed?

Margaret says shes facing a confusing and frustrating situation.  Every time she calls the moving company she receives a different story.

What’s Does the Moving Company Say?

The moving company has tried to explain it away.  They say the couple’s belongings was loaded on to a truck headed for  a warehouse in British Columbia.  To add more pain to this story, the moving company’s manager ways he doesn’t have any trucks to move their belongings to Calgary!

Why Is That?

The moving company manager says it’s because it is “high season” and all the company trucks are full.

Sounds like a Big Load of B.S. to Me…

Fortunately, the couples landlords have helped out.

How Have They Helped?

Meresztan said her they didn’t even have an mattresses….they were in British Columbia!  They were forced to sleep on air mattresses which soon broke.

Fortunately their landlords helped out and lent mattresses to these tenants.

Finally, Landlords Are Held in a Good Light!

The mainstream media likes to constantly demonize landlords.  This is just one example of how many great landlords are out there!

It’s time the media start reporting more stories of how many great landlords are out there!

Renters Are in Competition to Find Rentals In Calgary

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

July 7th, 2012

 

Is the Calgary Rental Market Continuing to Heat Up?

Yes.  As demand for good rentals continues to rise, it’s becoming increasingly competitive for renters to find a place.

If a potential renter finds a nice rental property, they should expect lots of competition for it as other renters will also be applying.

How Stiff is the Competition?

For a one bedroom beltline rental apartment, one hundred and one applicants came to view it.  Of those, more than fifty people filled out rental applications and submitted them to the landlord.  There were then two interviews and a very strict screening process.

Who Got the Place?

The winner was Nicolas Gonzalez.  Gonzalez compared the process to playing the lottery.  He said that in the past he would simply show up for an advertised place, hand over money for the rent and deposit and be given the key.  Things have changed fast.

How Can Tenants Gain an Edge?

According to the c0-owner of a company which helps tenants get into rental units, advertised places aren’t lasting long on the market.

Darren Paddock says the market is hotter than ever before and landlords receive a large number of people applying in a very short period of time.

What Does He Think is the Reason for the Hot Market?

Paddock believes there are two main reasons.  First, more people are coming to Alberta to work.  Second, the Harper government has tightened mortgage rules making it more difficult for people to invest in new rentals and more difficult for people to buy their own homes.

Calgary Landlord Finds Dynamite in His Vacated Rental Property?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

June 22, 2012

Being a Landlord Can Be Dyn-o-mite!

Police are lauding a Calgary landlord who called 911 after he found what looked to be a bucket full of…dynamite.

What’s the story behind this?

The landlord was cleaning the vacant Penbrooke home.  He saw a pail which was filled with what the landlord thought were several sticks of dynamite.

What happened?

As soon as they received his call, Calgary police cleared the area and sent in their tactical unit and bomb technicians to deal with what could have been a very dangerous situation.

Neighbour Ted Vizlai said because of the police block off, it was difficult for his son to get home.  According to Vizlai:

“My son came home and says there’s something going on – the neighbourhood was blocked off.”

It’s good the police took this potential danger seriously!

The Calgary police were diliegent and took no chances.  Officers informed residents of nearby properties to go to their basements for shelter.

Taking no chances, officers told the residents of ten nearby homes to take shelter in their basements while they investigated.

Did the police diffuse the dynamite?

Fortunately, what was in the pail turned out to only be road flares.  The incident was resolved in less than an hour.  It was a very nice job done by our City police force.

 

Calgary landlords: “We Are Fed Up With Bad Tenants!”

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

June 7th, 2012

What’s going on these days with Calgary landlords?

Landlords in Calgary say they are absolutely fed up with a landlord and tenant system they believe is biased for tenants and against landlords.  In Alberta we have a dispute resolution system to deal with landlord and tenant matters.

So what’s the problem?

It’s obvious to landlords in Calgary and all over Alberta this dispute resolution system simply isn’t fair and is actually stacked against landlords and in favour of tenants, even bad tenants!

I thought Albert was landlord-friendly?

Think again.  One Calgary landlord feels she’s been totally cheated by the system in Alberta.  A judge in Calgary even agrees with her!

Please go on…

Landlord Gita Gopal is owed money by tenants and now has to collect it.  It’s clear it won’t be easy.

According to Gopal, her tenants were a single mom with four children.  Gopal wanted to be a ‘good’ landlord and showed true compassion to these tenants.

Uh oh, I think I can guess what happened

Her compassion for her tenants led to Gopal being owed over $8,000 dollars in lost rent and property damages!

Yikes.  Alberta looks to becoming another Ontario

The Calgary Residential Rental Association’s Gerry Baxter believes Alberta landlords are simply too ‘trusting’ and some tenants can take advantage of this trust.

Baxter stays there are many tenants out there who are sophisticated, know the law, and know how to delay an eviction.

What does the Alberta government have to say about this?

The government minister in charge of landlord and tenant matters is name Manmeet Bhullar.  Bhullar has stated he thinks the system “works” but needs to be watched.

Bhullar believes in the foundation of the system.  He also wants to make it work better.

How does that help landlord Gita Gopal?

She says she is working hard to collect the money she is owed.  Gopal is so upset she is even thinking of setting up a website to help other Calgary landlords.

What are some of the problems Alberta landlords have with the system?

Landlords are upset with many aspects of the current system.  For example, evicted tenants have 30 days to take their belongings which may have been left behind in their former rental home.

The landlord is responsible for not only moving it, but storing it.  This causes a delay and distraction for the landlord who wants to re-rent the place as soon as possible!

Compared to Ontario, this still seems kind of tame

Maybe.  Except the direction the government has set is not a good one for landlords in Alberta.  If this keeps up, good landlords will leave the business.  This means less units on the market, higher rents, and less good landlords.  It’s a path that is also going on in British Columbia.

Landlords are putting their money, their time, and taking a risk to create high quality housing.  It’s time for the government to appreciate small business landlords instead of creating a system which abuses them!