Toronto Income Property Newsletter: November 2015

The Toronto real estate market tends to slow up in November as we approach the holiday season. Sales in September and October were brisk as many buyers continued to take advantage of low borrowing rates. Houses in the central core still have been attracting multiple bids and have been selling for upwards of six figures or more. Experts expect this trend to carry into 2016.

Congrats to our Blue Jays for an exciting playoff run. I won’t mention TFC or the Maples Leafs’ season start. We are a real estate town folks, clearly not a sports town. Or at least not a very successful one.

Also congrats to the Liberal Party for not even making it close. I live in Jack Layton’s old riding and was quite surprised to see the orange tide finally turn. Let’s hope Trudeau the younger does an effective job as our new leader.

- P.A.

Rental Property Heating Guidelines

As the cold weather approaches, many of us are turning on our furnaces for the first time since last winter. As the owner of an income property you have a certain obligation to provide heat for your tenants. A landlord is responsible for providing heat to a residential dwelling at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius between September 15 and June 1 of each year. A landlord can adjust the heating and cooling of the building to meet the minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius.

If your landlord does not maintain the specified temperature, a complaint can be filed with the Municipal Licensing & Standards office that is responsible for your district. If the heating and ventilation system is out of service and currently being repaired or maintained, this is not considered a violation and no investigation is required. If you have concerns about the heating or cooling in your rental unit, please speak to your landlord or property manager. You should make your request in writing to the landlord by completing a work order or a Standard Maintenance Request. If the issue is not addressed within a reasonable amount of time, you can contact 311 to file a complaint. A service request will be submitted for investigation by Municipal Licensing & Standards.

The heating by-law is not applicable to common areas (hallways, stairwells, building entrances). The by-law only applies to the dwelling unit. If there is heating equipment in common areas, so long as the equipment is in good working order, which is a property standards by-law requirement, there is no minimum temperature that applies to these areas. Use common sense though as you would not want a foyer or common entry way to be too cold.

Renting your Suite on MLS

Many landlords are not aware that you can list your property or suite for rent on the MLS. Most landlords tend to use Kijiji or craigslist to find new tenants as these services are free, just like a sign in the window. There are also paid services like view-it.ca or apartments.com that specialize in classified listings for rentals. Real estate agents tend to charge one month’s rent to list a residential apartment on the MLS which is shared between the landlord’s and renter’s agents. Although this rate is fairly standard this can be negotiated.

In order to get your rental suite listed on MLS you need to engage a licensed realtor and execute an agreement to list for lease. The MLS listing itself is fairly detailed so you can put in a lot of information and details about the rental premises. Be sure to include as many pictures as possible. Remember to tell your agent about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, parking space or garage information, utilities the tenant is responsible for; any required deposit or fees; and relevant information about amenities such as a yard, laundry facilities, storage, and fitness center or barbecue area.

It is important to not overprice your rental suite. Remember that a landlord has to pay one month’s rent to the agents so they are receiving less rent overall for the property. Sometimes landlords will charge a little more on MLS to cover these fees. It is prudent to look at other similar rentals to get a sense of what the market price should be.

Your agent will show the property and deal with any offers that come in. Also, the prospective tenants seem to be somewhat vetted when they are represented by an agent. It is always good to have professional help to ensure a smooth transaction.

YTD Sales Volume Stats

nov-chart

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported a record breaking 8200 sales of single family homes in September 2015. This sales volume represents a 3 percent increase over the sales volume reported for August 2015 and was 2.5 percent higher than the sales volume reported for September 2014.

 

 

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