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Industry News

Small amendment to the BC Residential Tenancy Act at the very end of:
BILL 30 – 2018 CANNABIS CONTROL AND LICENSING ACT
Click on the following link and scroll down to the bottom for further details.
https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/legislation-debates-proceedings/41st-parliament/3rd-session/bills/first-reading/gov30-1

WAGE/BENEFIT SURVEY - Minimum wage increase as of June 1 2018
Apartment & Condominium Building Managers/Caretakers
The following information was obtained through interviews and discussions with employees and employers in the Property Management industry. You will find below a chart that shows the lowest, the average and the highest monthly wages paid for the number of suites listed. The amount represents the total gross wages paid regardless if it is a single or couple employed. Rent payments are deducted from these amounts as is Income tax, CPP and EI deductions (where applicable).
# Of suites - 15-50 Low-$1500 Average-$2400 High-$3700
# Of suites - 51-100 Low-$2500 Average-$3300 High-$5400
# Of suites - 101 plus Low-$3100 Average-$5000 High-$8000
Benefits: Rent Reduction - 75% of employers offer a rent reduction. The average rent reduction was 42% off market rent.

Minimum wage increases for Resident Caretakers on June 1 2018. The minimum wage for resident caretakers is a monthly wage based on the number of suites in the building.

For a building with nine to 60 residential suites: $759.32/month, plus $30.43/suite
For a building with 61 or more residential suites: $2,586.40/month

*Minimum wage as of June 1, 2018 - $12.65 per hour

The Government of British Columbia is beefing up protection for renters by closing a loophole that some landlords used to seek inflated and unfair increases in hot rental markets.
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017MAH0021-002036 

2018 Maximum Allowable Rent Increase in BC

The standard rent increase process outlined in the Residential Tenancy Act and Regulations allows landlords to increase their existing rent once a year at a prescribed percentage. There are three things you must understand before increasing a tenant’s rent, they include; the amount of increase, the timing for both serving documentation and the effective date for the rent increase, and the form that must be used to inform your tenant of the rent increase.

It is important to note that this process is the only legal way of increasing the rent while one set of tenants are living in your rental unit. Signing a new agreement with a higher rent or making amendments to existing agreements regarding rent are not effective methods of increasing the
rent and would not be supported at Dispute Resolution.

Amount
The amount rent can be increased by is set every September for the following year by the Residential Tenancy Branch. The amount for 2018 is 4%.

The Residential Tenancy Branch follows the instructions and formula provided in Section 22 of the Residential Tenancy Regulations. Section 22 states:

Annual rent increase
•22 (1) In this section, “inflation rate” means the 12 month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British ending in the July that is most recently available for the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect.
•(2) For the purposes of section 43 (1) (a) of the Act [amount of rent increase], a landlord may impose a rent increase that is no greater than the percentage amount calculated as follows: percentage amount – inflation rate + 2%

Timing
Rent Increases can be effective 12 months after the last rent increase or the date the rent was established and a rent increase form needs to be served 3 full months before the effective date. If you were to serve the rent increase form on September 25th the rent increase would be effective on January 1st.

Remember that you must take into consideration the possible delays involved in the method you choose to serve the Notice of Rent Increase.

The Form
To issue a rent increase you must complete and serve the proper rent increase form. It is vital that you ensure you are always using the most up to date version of this form. As this form is provided by the Residential Tenancy Branch you can find the most up to date version of this form at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/forms/forms-listed-alphabetically

Housing minister eyes possible cut to annual rent increases!

http://vancouversun.com/news/politics/housing-minister-eyes-possible-cut-to-annual-rent-increases

Getting ready for Pool season!

Here are some tips from the people at RMTI – Resident Managers’ Training Institute for getting your pool back into shape for the upcoming season. For information on becoming a CSPO – Certified Swimming Pool Operator please visit www.rmti.ca for further details and click on CSPO Course Information.

Remove the Pool Cover - If your pool has been covered up for the off season you will need to remove the cover.  Some pools are covered in order to keep out leaves and debris. If you have a solid cover that contains rain water on top you need to drain that rain water off and not let it run back into the pool. Be careful that the pool water does not drop when siphoning off the water on the cover. You then need to sweep and clean the cover with a pool grade cover cleaner and deodorizer to prevent sticking, mildew, stains and unpleasant odors. Once cleaned fold and store the cover in a clean, dry place away from the sun and weather elements.

Fill the pool - The water level should be at about the middle of the skimmer opening. Remove all debris such as leaves and sticks using a leaf rake. A magnet attachment for your pole is handy for picking up any metal objects such as pins and nails before they have a chance to stain the surface of the pool.

Check the equipment - All equipment needs to be in good working order. Check for frozen pressure gauges, damaged flow meters, cracked skimmers, baskets, etc. Make sure the weir is working. Take a good look at the main drain! These are some of the items the Health Inspector will look at. (See note 1 below) You will need to call your pool service company to clean and service the gas heater. This is not something to attempt yourself. Gas heaters should be cleaned twice a year. Clean the chlorinator if it was not done at the close of the last pool season. 

Note 1: It has been suggested by Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) who inspect pools and hot tubs, that operators should have a goal of making sure that their pool is operating within the correct parameters for at least a couple days before they want to open; in the case that something unexpected happens, this will allow them time to address it without actually delaying the opening.

Sand filer - Should be chemically degreased and descaled – a simple operation which if done regularly, will ensure full filtration. If your filter isn’t working to capacity your chemicals will be less effective. Install any diving boards and ladders that were put away when you closed the pool at the end of last season. Check for hairline cracks that may have appeared since last season. If you adjusted your return fittings for winter, make sure you return them to the down position for full circulation. Inspect all your safety equipment and replace any items that are damaged: Your life ring, rope, insulated pole and life hook to name a few.

Brush the walls and the steps - All the way to the floor of the pool. Brush the dirt and debris towards the centre drain so that most of the dirt will be sucked into the filter system.

Clean all the tiles - Make certain to use a pool grade cleaner that will not tie up your chlorine. A stiff bristled brush works well on the tiles while a scrubby pad is better for the water line of vinyl. Brushes are available with a built in dispenser.

Vacuum the pool - Before attempting this be sure to check your hose for any cracks or splits. You may need to replace your hose if you find any. A damaged hose will not only add unnecessary hours to your work load, but will not be effective in vacuuming the pool.

Check your test kit - Make sure it’s in good working order. Each season you’ll need new reagents to ensure accurate readings. You can also take a sample of your pool water to your pool service company and they will be able to perform a computerized water analysis. The pool water will be tested for water balance as well as total dissolved solids, cyanuric acid, total versus free chlorine, iron and copper. Most pool professionals offer this as a free service. Some will even bring their computer to your pool-side for a small service charge. If you prefer to analyze the pool water yourself, check the chlorine level for free available and total chlorine.

Check and adjust the total Alkalinity - Total Alkalinity is the measurement of the alkaline in the pool water. It acts as a buffering agent, preventing big changes in pH and avoiding corrosion and staining. In plaster pools a measurement of 80-125 ppm is ideal. In vinyl, painted and fiberglass pools, it should be adjusted before the pH.

Test and adjust the pH - The degree of acidity or alkalinity of swimming pool water is measured by the pH reading. A pH of 7.4 – 7.6 will allow the chlorine to work at full strength and the pool will not be damaged by overly acidic or alkaline water. Your bathers will also be more comfortable. High pH may cause cloudy water and scaling on the pool pipes, equipment and surfaces.

Measure the Stabilization - The ideal cyanuric acid level is 40 ppm. This prevents sunlight from dissipating the chlorine. If unstabilized chlorine is being used, the stabilizer level should be checked and adjusted each 30 to 60 days.

Check the calcium Hardness - The desired range for plaster pools is 200-250 ppm. All other pools require a slightly lower range of 175-225 ppm. By maintaining the correct hardness levels you will prevent etching of the plaster and corrosion of metal equipment.

Burn out the Pool - This treatment oxidizes water-soluble, non-filterable swimmer wastes, assuring comfortable swimming. Burning out also kills any microbes that may be resistant to the normal daily treatment.

Add Algaecide – In order to back up your chlorine. The algaecide will help to kill the algae and bacteria, allowing your chlorine to do its job more effectively.

Start Routine Maintenance - Check your supply of log sheets. These are readily available from the Health Department. As a back up to regular testing, be sure to use your pool professional’s computer analysis during the open season.

Salt water pools - Ensure that all plumping is reattached and close any valves left open during fall closing.  If you disconnected electricity, now is a good time to reconnect power to your pool system and devices.  If you are using a salt water pool system, reinsert the salt cell if it was removed during winterization.  Always use caution with electricity especially around water, to avoid electrical shock. A this point you should make sure that your entire pool system including the pump, filter, chlorine generator and heater are working properly.  It's also a good time to ensure that your zinc anode is still in good shape if you have a salt system and have incorporated this device.

Water chemistry is the most important step to opening a pool properly in the spring after the water has been sitting stagnant over the winter months. The chemistry will have altered over the winter months and it will need to be balanced.  If you plan on balancing the water chemistry yourself we recommend a good salt water test kit so you know exactly what needs to be adjusted and don't get caught in the over treating nightmare. 

If you have a salt water pool, it's extremely important that you get the salinity levels correct at the start of the season because the generator will function optimally only if the salinity is within the recommended range between 2500-4500 ppm.  If levels are too low it won't produce enough chlorine while high levels could cause damage to your salt cell.  If you want more detailed information about salt and a calculator for adding the right amount be sure to contact your pool service company.  

As you adjust the chemistry and salinity of your pool it's important to allow the water to circulate by leaving your pool system and pump running for at least 12 hours.  You should keep your salt water chlorine generator turned off during this initial circulating and mixing until you are satisfied with your pool chemistry.  If you want more detailed instructions on chemistry and balancing be sure to contact your pool service company.

RMTI – Resident Managers’ Training Institute offers an online course on becoming a CSPO – Certified Swimming Pool Operator that can be completed in two weeks (full time study) or four weeks (part time study). On successful completion of the CSPO course you will receive your CSPO certification and certificate. RMTI is Certified Federally by the Ministry of Employment and Social Development Canada and has been serving the property management industry for over 38 years. For further information on the CSPO – Certified Swimming Pool Operator course the CRM – Certified Resident Manager course and the CBS – Certified Building Superintendent course please visit www.rmti.ca 

Construction boom still happening!

I was in a meeting recently where I overheard a couple of developers and property managers talking about the construction boom going on in the Lower Mainland with respect to multiple family projects. It reminded me of an article published almost 10 years ago in The Vancouver Sun that said “almost the same thing”. I guess not much has changed. Below is a re print of the article for your review.

CONSTRUCTION BOOM SPURS DEMAND FOR BUILDING MANAGERS!
Competitive salaries and discounts on monthly rent are among job's attractions!
Brian Morton, Vancouver Sun - Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Lower Mainland's construction boom is creating a boom of another kind for people seeking careers as resident managers in condominium and apartment buildings. "Everywhere you look there are buildings going up, whether they're three-level buildings or highrises," Steve Munday,
registrar of the Resident Managers' Training Institute, said in an interview. "There are more jobs now in the industry than there have ever been."

Munday said the RMTI trains about 125 resident managers each year through its three-month program delivered either online, via CD-ROM or text book. It costs about $990. Most students are local, but there are an increasing number from across Canada and other parts of the world. New immigrants are also showing keen interest, according to Munday. He said the profession attracts people of all ages largely because benefits include competitive salaries and discounts on monthly rent.

"A single person can make between $1,000 and $4,000 a month, while a couple in larger buildings that need two full-time people can make up to $70,000 per year. The benefits are based on the type of building." He said managers get a suite discount from 30 per cent up to 90 per cent of market value. "Some people are paying $800 in a suite that normally rents for $3,000 to $4,000 per month. And they get free parking, hydro, cable and phone. "They're there to make sure the building is run on a day-to-day basis."

According to Munday, the old image of "Ma and Pa" managing a building for free no longer stands. Today, with millions of dollars invested in buildings, owners, investors, condominium councils and management companies seek out professionally trained managers to operate them. Wages are paid based on the number of suites, with managers often getting health and pension benefits along with their financial benefits.

Once training is complete, students receive a certificate, along with access to posted jobs on the school's job link. According to an RMTI news release, students receive extensive training in managing buildings, including advertising and marketing procedures, suite leasing, rent
collections, security deposit procedures, tenant relations and the proper way to serve legal notices.

Students also study residential tenancy law, including the latest legislation. Managers, who are trained in fire safety codes, regulations and equipment, also perform minor repairs, do general maintenance and perform janitorial functions.

Reed Fromin, 51, manages a 26-storey, 150-unit apartment building across from Stanley Park after working in the hotel industry for 20 years. He decided to reinvent himself after he lost his hotel job and now works with his partner Josanne Levan. He landed a job less than a month
after he finished the resident managers course. "We were assistant managers for two years," Fromin said in an interview. "[We] became managers at the end of May. There are four people employed here. It's a big building. I wish I would have done this 10, 15 years ago. We absolutely love it. I'll retire here. I'm not going anywhere. When you find something good like this, there's absolutely no reason to leave. "We had the spirit of service. You're helping make people's experience here enjoyable. It's the same thing [as hotels]."

Fromin praised the benefits, which include competitive salaries of about $36,000 a year for each of them, extended medical benefits and a reduced rent for a two-bedroom apartment. "We pay about $505 in total. A two-bedroom suite in this building typically starts in the $1,200s.
"We get parking. Everybody gets free cable and we pay our own hydro and telephone. We work five days a week. Because there are two couples, it's easier to facilitate getting days off." Fromin said his work day ends at 4 p.m., [but] "people come in the morning, noon and night, except for the weekend."

"We handle all the rentals, maintenance requests. Anything not too involved I do myself. Anything more involved, the maintenance is done by the owners. Most of the cleaning is done by the assistant managers." Fromin said he was happy with the RMTI program, adding that the course outline also includes minor maintenance issues, such as "how to change a fill valve in a toilet. "I found the program useful. It gave us a good idea of what to expect. By the end, you know if it's something you want to pursue."

John Simpson, who manages a 188-suite senior's complex in Burnaby with wife Pamela, received his certification through RMTI and found work quickly as a resident manager. The 64-year-old Simpson, who retired from a sales job but wanted to keep working, said in an interview that he was very happy with the program and is pleased with his new job. "We looked at 36 different buildings," said Simpson, who eventually settled on the Salishan Senior's Apartment. "It's something we could do after 65 and I couldn't afford to retire full time."Simpson said he
and wife Pamela work full time, five days a week and get two weeks vacation a year. Besides getting free rent in a "nice one-bedroom apartment," they're paid about $4,000 a month "with all amenities."

Simpson takes care of maintenance issues and hires contractors for major jobs, while Pamela takes care of the office and bookkeeping duties. "I love it," he said. "I love the people. There's such a mixture." Munday said the Simpsons and Fromin aren't unusual in finding work quickly.
"One guy had six interviews and four job offers two weeks after graduating."

Update to the above article
*RMTI course is 100% online – cost is now $1495.00 and includes the text book – no taxes
*Course can be completed in 3 weeks (full time study) to 6 weeks (part time study)
*About 60% of the jobs are for singles and 40% are for couples
*RMTI has over 100 job listings on an ongoing basis for their graduates across Canada (40 in BC)
*Wages and benefits have increased over the past 10 years
*RMTI also offers a CSPO – Certified Swimming Pool Operator course as many new buildings now have pools, spas etc.

*Kelly Doyle is now the registrar and Steve Munday is the General Manager

For a complete review of the RMTI courses please visit www.rmti.ca

How much interest is owed on a security or pet damage deposit? Online Calculator.
http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/rtb/WebTools/InterestOnDepositCalculator.html

The 2017 deposit interest rate is 0.0%.
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/news

Residential Tenancy Act changes
Tenancy change supports family violence victims, people in long-term care and
Landlords can repay a tenant's security deposit by electronic transfer of funds.

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016MNGD0092-002595

More Jobs for Building Managers as Province of BC is building 2,900 new units of housing!
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2016PREM0145-002468

The Crime Free Multi Housing Program was introduced into British Columbia in 1994 by New Westminster. BC Police Dept. 

The Crime Free Multi Housing Program has been adopted by over twenty communities in British Columbia.  With the support of BCCPA through training, materials and administration the Program has been a huge success. There are now over now 600 buildings working with the program throughout the Province. The Program is an initiative between your local police agency and the rental community.

The Crime Free Multi Housing Program is a Crime Reduction Program designed specifically to help residential owners, managers, employees, police and other agencies to work together.  The program has successfully improved security and reduced crime, by working to identify the problems and provide solutions.  It takes a pro-active approach at reducing criminal and nuisance-related activities in the community.

One of the most effective ways of fighting crime and ultimately reducing costs for owners is by working together with local agencies. Crime Free Multi Housing offers the opportunity to participate, to share information, and increase awareness of the issues associated within the rental community.

For further information visit: Crime Free Multi Housing Program - BC Crime Prevention Association - http://bccpa.org/programs/crime-free-multi-housing-program/

Resident Caretaker Amendment - BC
Effective October 1st 2016 an amendment to the Employment Standards Regulation took effect.
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/employment-business-and-economic-development/employment-standards-workplace-safety/employment-standards/factsheets-pdfs/pdfs/resident_caretakers.pdf

BC maximum rent increase for 2017 is 3.7%
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/during-a-tenancy/rent-increases

Explosive strata disputes escape court quagmire with new B.C. tribunal
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-civil-dispute-civil-resolution-tribunal-crt-condo-nighmares-1.3681931

Serving notices in the event of a Canada Post work stoppage
For information on serving notices in the event of a Canada Post work stoppage visit the Residential Tenancy Branch website for more information
at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies  

BC Strata Councils in ‘critical’ funding state
Strata depreciation reports have unearthed an alarming situation for B.C. condo owners: The overwhelming majority of strata units are carrying monthly maintenance fees that are nowhere near adequate to keep up their buildings.
Read more at:BC Strata Councils in ‘critical’ funding state

Strata fees: How much is enough?
Making sense of condominium strata fees — what is reasonable? what is too little? — is a growing challenge.
Read more at:Strata fees: How much is enough?

Fees and Fee Waivers
Effective 4:00 pm, January 8, 2016 the fee for filing an Application for Dispute Resolution increased to $100 and Applications for a Review of an Original Order or Decision to $50.
Read more at:Fees and Fee Waivers

Toronto is experiencing a rental renaissance with the number of new apartment units under construction hitting a 25-year high.
Read more at:Toronto is experiencing a rental renaissance 

 

 

 

 

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