tel: 306.536.6545

Agent Photo

»Serving Your Regina Real Estate Needs

Condo Info

Wed, 28 Jun by Pauline Relkey

CONDO INFORMATION

Condominium Living
A condominium is a form of home ownership in which individual units of a larger complex are sold, not rented. Contrary to popular belief, the word “condominium” does not apply to the type of unit itself, but to the legal ownership arrangement.

Those who purchase units in a condominium technically own everything from their walls inward. All individual owners have shared rights to most common areas, such as hallways, pools and grounds, parking lots and roadways. Maintenance of those areas becomes the responsibility of a condominium association. Every owner owns a share of interest in the condo association, plus an obligation to pay monthly dues or special fees for larger maintenance problems.

People who benefit most from condo living are those who don’t mind having close neighbours and people who don’t want to be bothered with outside maintenance or grounds keeping.

One thing to be aware of when living in a condo setting is the political reality of the owners’ association. Decisions may be made in monthly meetings that will cost individual owners more money, but not necessarily deliver equal benefits for all. It can be nearly impossible not to be impacted by at least one condo board decision and it is to your benefit to participate in meetings and discussions.

What is a Condominium?
A condominium is a form of real property ownership that has two distinct parts: you own your condominium unit to which you get a title and you also jointly own common property with the other unit owners in your complex.

Owning a condominium is not the same as renting an apartment where all the duties and responsibilities of running the building are handled by the building owner and caretaker. In a condominium complex, ownership responsibilities belong to you and all the other unit owners in your condominium corporation.

Some examples of residential condominiums are an apartment within an apartment building, a duplex, a bungalow or a townhouse.

Non-residential condominiums may be commercial outlets, resorts, timeshares and bare land units.

Condominium Unit
The exact boundaries of each condominium unit are identified in a condominium plan.

When you buy a unit you acquire title to a space that is usually bound by walls, floors and ceilings. You are responsible for the maintenance, repair and remodelling of your unit. However, you may need the board’s permission to remodel your unit if the changes impact the common property.

Common Property


The common property in a condominium complex is everything that is not within a unit identified in the condominium plan. It usually includes the space and facilities outside the condominium units, such as roofs, front steps, sidewalks, eaves, driveways, outside electrical systems and landscaped areas. Your share of the costs for the maintenance and repair of the common property is determined by your unit factor.

Unit Factor
The unit factor identifies your portion of the joint ownership of the common property. The developer assigns a unit factor to every condominium unit when registering the condominium plan. The sum total of the unit factors for all the units in a condominium plan is 10,000. Developers must disclose how they set the unit factor. It is important to know the unit factor assigned to your unit because it will affect your condominium contributions and your voting rights.

Insurance
Insurance on the entire structure of the condominium complex is the responsibility of the condominium corporation. The corporation must have replacement cost value insurance on the property for all perils covered by standard insurance policies. Check the policy for exclusions. There must also be insurance for any liability incurred by the board or corporation when carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

You will need to buy your own insurance to cover your personal property, personal liability and perhaps any changes made to your unit. Check the bylaws to see if unit improvements are covered under the corporation’s policy. Ask your insurance agent or broker for more information. The condominium corporation can give you a certificate of insurance that provides your agent or broker with information about the extent of the corporation’s insurance policy.

Condominium Corporation
A condominium corporation is created when the developer registers the condominium plan with Saskatchewan’s Land Titles Office. The condominium corporation consists of the owners of all the units identified in the condominium plan.

As a legal entity it can sue for damages to the common property and it can be sued regarding any matter for which the owners are jointly liable. An agent or employee of the corporation can act on behalf of the corporation.

Bylaws
Bylaws regulate the corporation. They provide for the control, management and administration of the units, the common property and any other real and personal property owned by the corporation. A board of directors is elected by the unit owners to carry out the condominium corporation’s responsibilities.

Condominium bylaws vary greatly. Some for example, may not allow children or pets to live in the complex. In other complexes if you wish to remodel the interior of your unit you may have to seek approval from the board of directors if the common property or building structure is affected. Keep a copy of any correspondence you have with the board.

Make sure you know what bylaws govern the condominium you own and your rights and responsibilities.

Owners can change the bylaws to suit their particular complex by passing a motion to adopt the changes. A special resolution, requiring the approval of 75% of the owners named on the unit titles and representing not less than 7,500 unit factors is required to make any changes to the bylaws. Changes are effective after the board registers the changes at a Land Titles Office.

Owners, and everyone occupying a unit, are bound by the bylaws of the corporation. If there is a conflict between the bylaws and the Condominium Property Act, the Act applies. The Act and specific bylaws give the corporation the right to impose sanctions, like fines, on owners who fail to comply with the bylaws.

Board of Directors
Every condominium corporation has a board of directors elected by the owners to carry out the corporation’s responsibilities. The bylaws outline how many directors sit on the board, how often they are elected, and if there are any eligibility requirements.

Directors are volunteers who agree to take on the responsibility of running the condominium for at least 1 term. Two thirds of the members of the board must be unit owners or mortgagees, unless otherwise stated in the bylaws. The board conducts its business by holding regular meetings, usually quarterly. The board must report to the owners at annual general meetings or extraordinary general meetings.

Each director has the responsibility to act honestly and in good faith in exercising the power and in discharging the duties of the board. Every director must declare any conflict of interest and not vote on matters that may involve a conflict.

It is important to remember that the board of directors must make decisions in the best interests of the entire corporation and all the owners, which will sometimes conflict with what individual owners might want to do.

Board of Director’s Responsibilities
The board is responsible for:
• Abiding by and enforcing the Act, regulation and corporation’s bylaws.
• Managing, administrating and maintaining the common property.
• Setting and collecting condominium contributions and dealing with the financial administration of the corporation (financial statements must be prepared according to generally accepted accounting practices).
• Preparing and approving an annual operating budget and reserve fund budget and providing those budgets to the owners before the annual general meeting.
• Placing and maintaining insurance on the property for perils covered by standard insurance policies or any other perils identified in the bylaws and the regulation.
• Placing and maintaining liability insurance for the board or corporation with respect to carrying out their duties and responsibilities.
• Establishing, maintaining and administering the capital reserve fund and preparing and distributing an annual report on the reserve fund to the owners.
• Conducting a reserve fund study every five years and preparing a reserve fund plan.
• Hiring and supervising employees, contractors and a condominium manager or management company.
• Reviewing and updating the bylaws and with proper notice, presenting the changes to the owners for approval.
• Holding an annual general meeting and reporting on their stewardship of the corporation.
• Responding, within 10 days, to a written request from an owner, purchaser, or a mortgagee of a unit, for information on contributions due and payable, copies of agreements, bylaws, minutes of the board or general meetings, budget, recent financial statements, insurance, and the reserve fund study report or plan or annual update (if available), as required under the Act and the regulation.

The board may charge a reasonable fee for these documents.

Property Manager
The Property Manager is hired by the Board to carry out the individuals have many responsibilities to the community itself and should be chosen by the board with great care, as they will be directly involved with the owners themselves. Ideally your community will benefit if this person has strong social interaction skills and is well liked within the community. This serves to build strong ties between unit owners and the board, insuring smooth relationships and ease of communication.
Since one of the most important responsibilities of condo management is that of a liaison between the board of directors and the owners of the units, it stands to reason that this person will be the one that the unit owners go to for general correspondence. Representing the collective group of homeowners is no small task. When there is a discrepancy or an emergency of some kind, it is the responsibility of the management to be on the front lines, resolving the issue and being the person in charge to insure that legally as well as mechanically, the homeowners have someone on their side.

Condo management also has a responsibility to supervise all employees of the property, including maintenance workers, repairmen of various kinds and contracted labor. They need to be paid, their payroll taxes need to be taken out, and the financial stability of the property itself must be tended to and secured. This person is also responsible for keeping records of all correspondence with unit owners and repair persons, and keeping an account of all funds that are spent, what they are spent on and who they are paid to. Even if the property itself is small, this can be a large task to complete.

If unit owners question the validity or feasibility of certain rules or restrictions that have been created within the community, condo management is who they will go to in order to get the ball rolling to either amend or completely do away with the rule. The manager represents the unit owners in front of the board in every instance. It is vital that they are holding the best interests of the unit owners firmly in mind.

In addition, creating the annual budget for the property is yet another one of the responsibilities that condo management may be required to take on. It takes a great deal of energy, time and work to keep an entire condominium community running smoothly and operating sufficiently at all levels. Consideration must be given to financial responsibilities, maintenance responsibilities, emergency actions and unit owner/board relations.

Finding someone with a strong, genuine work ethic who understands this type of responsibility can be challenging. Seek out bids from many different candidates, and take your time making the decision. Award this type of responsibility only after a thorough background search and many interviews have been conducted. Finding the right person for the job is more important than filling an empty seat. The unit owners will surely agree.

Condo fees
The condo corporation needs money to meet its financial obligations – paying for insurance premiums, snow removal, grass cutting, repairs to common property, reserve fund, etc. The main source of income for the corporation is the money paid by the owners in their condo contributions (often referred to as a condo fee).

Contributions are normally set annually and paid monthly, however the board can levy special assessments (1 or more lump sums) if the corporation needs to raise extra funds to meet its obligations.

The board sets contributions by taking into consideration the budgeted needs of the corporation and the unit factors (for each unit). Corporations can change the formula for allocating condominium contributions, if the owners pass a special resolution to amend the bylaws. Make sure you know how your condominium contributions are calculated. Be aware that condominium contributions can and do go up!

A condominium corporation has the right to collect unpaid condominium contributions.

The corporation can:
• Ask the owner’s mortgage company to pay the outstanding amounts and add it to the owner’s mortgage.
• Require an owner’s tenant to pay the monthly rent to the corporation to cover the unpaid condominium contributions.
• File a caveat against the title to the unit at the owner’s expense.
• Charge interest (up to 18% per year on outstanding amounts).
• Sue the owner for all outstanding contributions, interest and its full legal fees.
• Foreclose on the title to the unit.

The board of directors, elected by the owners, makes most of the decisions on the running of the corporation. As an owner of a unit you have the right and obligation to vote. Your voting rights are determined by the Condominium Property Act, the bylaws of your condominium corporation and by the unit factor for your condominium unit.

At most general meetings, votes are conducted by a show of hands. The bylaws clarify who has the right to vote if more than 1 person owns the unit.

Bylaws permit owners to ask for poll votes at meetings. In a poll vote the person’s share of the unit factor assigned to the unit determines the weight of that owner’s vote.

You may exercise your right to vote personally or by proxy. If you have a mortgage, the first mortgagee may have the right to vote in your place if it gives the corporation written notice of the mortgage.

If you owe money to the corporation for 30 days or more on the day before a vote, you lose your right to vote.

Owners can vote on matters presented at any general meeting and on bylaw changes, changes to the common property and other matters permitted under the Act, regulation and the bylaws. It is important that owners vote to elect the board of directors and to change the bylaws.

Reserve Funds
The Condominium Property Act requires that condo corporations establish and maintain a capital replacement reserve fund to provide for major repairs and replacement of property and common property owned by the corporation. As buildings age they need to be repaired and maintained e.g. the roof of the complex needs to be replaced. The same is true of other parts of the common property such as the asphalt in the parking lot, underground utilities, or services and landscaping. Condo owners must pay for the repair or replacement costs of the property owned by the corporation. The reserve fund is not used for repairs or replacements that are done annually.

Condo corporations registered before September 1, 2000 must have completed a reserve fund study and a reserve fund plan by September 2002. Reserve fund studies must be conducted every 5 years.

Condo corporations registered after Sept. 1, 2000, have 2 years from the registration date to do a reserve fund study and approve a plan.

The Act gives the board the responsibility and power to make decisions around the reserve fund. Although a responsible board will provide information to and obtain input from the owners, it need not consult the owners before making decisions on the reserve fund.

The board must:
• Engage a qualified person to conduct and prepare a reserve fund study.
• Receive a reserve fund report from the qualified person.
• Prepare and adopt a reserve fund plan.
• Provide a copy of the approved reserve fund plan to the owners before implementing the plan.
• Maintain the reserve fund at an appropriate level so that the corporation can meet the statutory requirements.
• Maintain the reserve fund in a separate trust bank account and not combine the funds with other corporation funds except when bills are paid under the reserve fund plan and ensure all managers or other persons handling the corporation money do the same.
• Prepare and provide to the owners, before or at the time of giving notice of every annual general meeting, an annual report on the reserve fund; including the opening balance, money in and out, where the income came from, what money was spent during the year and the list of property repaired or replaced and the costs incurred for the repair or replacement.
• Not use the reserve fund for “improvements” unless the owners vote by special resolution to allow it (improvements are normally changes, enhancements, alterations or additions to the common property or property owned by the Corporation which are not listed in the reserve fund study report).

How much money should be in the reserve fund?
Each condo corporation will have a different amount in its reserve fund. The corporation determines how much money it should have in its reserve fund by completing a reserve fund study. The reserve fund study is prepared for use by the condo board, owners and buyers. It is not reviewed by the government.

How is the reserve fund funded?
Corporations may meet their funding requirements by:
• Increasing condo contributions (permanently or for a set period).
• Levying special assessments (immediately or in the future).
• Borrowing money.
• Using any combination of the above requirements.

This gives the corporation maximum flexibility as to how and when to deal with repair and replacement costs, while at the same time enabling it to deal with any potential surprises and undue hardship for owners.

For example, if the corporation does not have enough money in the reserve fund to cover significant repairs or incurs other large unexpected expenses, the board may require each condominium owner to pay a special assessment to cover the costs.

Reserve Fund Study
The Reserve Fund Study is a requirement of the Condominium Property Act and examines whether there is sufficient money set aside to repair and replace the common property and any real or personal property owned by the condo corporation, where the repair or replacement does not occur annually. A qualified person must, complete the reserve fund study and prepare a report for the common property and other property owned by the corporation to:
• identify what property may need to be repaired or replaced within the next 25 years (create an inventory).
• assess the present condition of the property and estimate when the property will need to be replaced or repaired.
• estimate the costs of repair or replacement or the property, at a cost no less than current costs.
• identify the life expectancy of the component when it is repaired or replaced.
• identify the current level of funds in the reserve fund, if any.
• recommend the amount of money, if any, that should be included in or added to the reserve fund.
• describe the basis for determining the current level of funds and recommend the amount of money required.

Who can do a reserve fund study?
Only a “qualified person” can do a reserve fund study.

A qualified person would be someone who, based on reasonable and objective criteria, is knowledgeable about:
• Depreciating property.
• The operation and maintenance of depreciating property.
• The costs of replacements or repairs to depreciating property.

Your Rights and Responsibilities for living in a condo
When you own a condominium unit you have the right to:
• Vote in matters presented to the owners for a vote, provided your condo fees are current.
• Access common areas, subject to the bylaws.
• Obtain information on the management or administration of the corporation.
• Use mediation, arbitration or court action to resolve disputes with the corporation, the board or other owners.
• Legally challenge improper conduct of a developer, condominium corporation, employee of a corporation, director, or other owner.

Along with having specific rights as a condominium owner, you also have the following responsibilities:

• To inform yourself about the Act, the regulation, the bylaws, the policies and the governance of the condominium corporation.
• To abide by the Act, the regulation, the bylaws, the policies, and to have your family, tenants and guests do so.
• To participate in governing the condo corporation (i.e. attend general meetings, information sessions and serve on the board or on a committee, vote).
• To read the minutes of the general meetings and board meetings, the budget and financial statements, the corporation’s newsletter.
• To express your views, provide feedback to the board when requested to do so, put any complaints or concerns in writing to the board for follow up.
• To keep the board aware of circumstances in the condo complex which might affect funding or other decisions.
• To maintain your own unit and any exclusive use common property.
• To obtain insurance on your unit and your own belongings.
• To pay all condo contributions and assessments on time.

Every owner should have a copy of the condo plan, the bylaws, the Act and regulations. Owners can get a copy of the condo plan and bylaws from a registry agent. You will need to know the condo plan number (letters and/or numbers) to obtain these documents.

Taxes
You will pay municipal taxes on your condo unit. The current taxes should be noted in the purchase documents. It’s a good idea to double check with the municipal government to confirm the taxes.

Entering the Unit
No one may enter your unit without your consent or without giving you proper notice unless there is an emergency. An emergency would include the provision of water, power, and heat or any other service that would affect other owners. If there is no emergency, you must be given at least 24 hours notice before someone can enter your unit to repair the problem. The notice must be in writing, state the reason for entry and set a date and time for entry. The hours for entry are between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Renting Units
If you want to rent your unit to someone else, you must inform the corporation in writing of your intent, your future address and the amount of the monthly rent. You must name your tenant in writing to the corporation within 20 days after the tenancy starts.

The corporation may require that you pay a deposit that could be used to repair or replace common property damaged by your tenant. The amount of the deposit cannot be more than one month’s rent.

If you do not pay your condo fees, the corporation can direct the tenant to pay all or part of the rent to the corporation to cover your unpaid fees.

The tenant is bound by the bylaws of the corporation. If your tenant contravenes the bylaws or damages the common property or the corporation’s property, the corporation can ask you to evict the tenant. It can also give the tenant and you the notice directly.

The Residential Tenancies Act may affect you and your tenant if you are renting a residential unit. If there is a conflict between the Residential Tenancies Act and the Condominium Property Act, the Condominium Property Act applies.

Regina’s Apartment Vacancies Up but Rental Condo Market Down

Tue, 29 Nov by Pauline Relkey

In today’s Nov 29, 2016 Leader Post, it said 5.5% is our apartment vacancy rate which is considered high, but the rental condo vacancy has fallen sharply to 1% over the past year. This is according to CMHC.  The national average rental vacancy rate in major centres across Canada is at 3.4%.

Causes – weaker labour market conditions and lower migration.

A total of 2300 jobs within the typical renter age group of 15 to 24 years were lost in Sept 2016.

Renters are supposedly buying places instead of renting because of low interest rates. Rental completions have risen substantially with rental apartment stock at 12,568 units in Oct 2016 up 389 units from Oct 2015.

The supply has increased faster than demand.

Average monthly rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Regina is about $1109.

Larger increases in the vacancy rate took place in Alberta and Sask due to the economic slowdown in these provinces. So this is good news for renters – lots of choices.

The complete article is here.

construction

It’s Time to say Good-bye to Single Family Homes

Wed, 09 Nov by Pauline Relkey

Interesting talk on CBC Radio.

Nathan Lauster, author of Death and Life of Single Family Homes says that places like Vancouver are becoming unaffordable to buy a house and we should look at other ways to live.

When we live in a single family home, there are environmental costs – we use more energy, we need vehicles to get around and need more land to build on.
Plus it’s isolating. We need to get people out to meet others.

The alternatives are townhouses, low and high rises and duplexes.

We buy single family homes for 2 reasons:
1. Cultural – to show that we are successful and can afford to buy a home and that we are good people/parents and provide a home for our children.
2. Pragmatic – we can control our space.

Nathan says that we can have a more full life when we get rid of maintenance issues. One person says the local cafe is his kitchen, the park is his family room for example.

Municipalities have to change their zoning bylaws to enable more people to live in less space. We usually live in one part of town, work in another part of town and shop in yet another part of town.

What is Vancouver doing to lead the way?
They have parks and agricultural land that is protected space so no development happens on them.
They have made industrial areas as exciting places to live.
They enabled old houses to mix in with new builds.
They have secondary suites/laneway houses (and so does Regina).

single-family-homes-or-town-houses.   To hear the radio podcast, click here.

Realtors call for registry of grow ops, meth labs

Wed, 18 May by Pauline Relkey

Leader Post May 17, 2016
Our provincial association, ASR – the Association of Saskatchewan Realtors, is asking for a registry of former marijuana grow ops and meth labs so that agents and their buyers can be aware of these places.

There could be damage or the buyers could have other inspections done that would eliminate any or most of their concerns.

Moldy drywall and insulation because of moisture intensive growing practices are the most common problems from grow ops. Electrical systems that are rigged and chemical damage are other issues that could be there.

This information is currently held by the RCMP and the municipal police but not available to real estate agents or the general public.  No exact number of former grow ops is known but estimates are at 200+.

For the complete article, click here.

grow op

Everything you want to know about Condos in Saskatchewan

Wed, 19 Aug by Pauline Relkey

Click here for the Government of Saskatchewan’s information on condos.

condos

CMHC To Allow 100% Of Suite Income

Tue, 18 Aug by Pauline Relkey

This will give buyers more options and help sellers to promote their properties.

Click here for the complete article.

basement suite

Are you a Landlord or thinking of becoming one?

Sat, 24 Jan by Pauline Relkey

You should know the latest changes to the Saskatchewan Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.  The most recent changes apply to written tenancy agreements, security deposits, landlord’s right of access, rent increases, ending a tenancy and disputing a notice to vacate.

 

rental agreement

NOTICE OF CHANGES TO LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS

THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT, 2006

Amendments to The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 will come into effect June 1, 2009.  These are in conjunction with other changes that came into effect December 12, 2008.

The changes that were effective December 12, 2008, can be summarized as follows:

Rent increase notices for periodic rents (i.e. month to month) come into effect six (6) full calendar months after being served.

  1. Rent increase notices can only be served after six (6) months from the date the last notice was served.
  2. In a fixed term tenancy (six months, one year, etc.), which must be in writing, the rent can only be changed during the term of the lease if it is specified in the lease when and how much (dollar or percentage).

The changes that will come into effect June 1, 2009 are as follows:

A.            SECURITY DEPOSITS

1. SECURITY DEPOSIT HANDLING FOR MONIES HELD BY LANDLORD

At end of a tenancy, the tenant should provide the landlord with a forwarding address.

If they do, the landlord must send the NOTICE TO TENANT OF CLAIM FOR SECURITY DEPOSIT, which will be available on our website and at our offices, to the tenant, outlining any claim, within seven (7) business days of the end of the tenancy, advising the tenant that they wish to keep all or any of the security deposit.  Any amount not claimed by the landlord should be paid to the tenant at that time.  The tenant should immediately apply to the Office of Residential Tenancies for a hearing if they disagree.  Both parties will be notified of the hearing place, date and time.  The landlord is required to submit the disputed security deposit to the Office of Residential Tenancies.

If the tenant does not provide any forwarding address, the landlord is not obligated to take any further steps and may take the security deposit out of trust thirty (30) days after the end of the tenancy.

The tenant still has 120 days from the end of the tenancy to dispute the security deposit in both situations.

If a landlord does not follow the proper process, the tenant can apply, without any hearing, for an order that the security deposit should be returned to them.  As well, if it appears that the landlord without any valid reason, failed to follow the process, the landlord may be obligated to pay the tenant’s costs.

2. SECURITY DEPOSIT PROCESS FOR GUARANTEES OF THE SECURITY DEPOSIT BY THE MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SERVICES

The landlord submits the NOTICE OF CLAIM FOR SOCIAL SERVICES GUARANTEE, which will be available on our website and at our offices, which provides the basic claim, to the Office of Residential Tenancies within seven (7) business days of the end of the tenancy.  If the form is submitted in time, it will be forwarded to the Ministry of Social Services and the tenants, if possible, will be provided with a copy of the application and claim.  The tenant will be given a limited opportunity by the Ministry of Social Services to advise the Office of Residential Tenancies that the tenant disputes the claim.

    • If a dispute is filed, a hearing will be arranged.
    • If no dispute is filed within the time period imposed by the Ministry of Social Services, the Ministry will then normally provide the guarantee to the landlord.
  1.  A tenant still has 120 days from the end of the tenancy to dispute the claim and have a hearing and the landlord would have to pay any guarantee received from the Ministry of Social Services into the Office of Residential Tenancies.

B.                 DISPUTE OF EVICTION

Tenants will provide dispute notices (new Forms 8(a) and (b)) to landlords in all cases where the landlord wishes to evict a tenant, including such situations as the property being sold, renovated or turned into a condominium. The Landlord applies for a hearing.

C.                 EVICTIONS FOR NUISANCE, DISTURBANCE, ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY

A landlord may apply, without warning, for a hearing at the Office of Residential Tenancies to evict a tenant for the above reasons.  If it appears that it is necessary to evict immediately, an eviction order may be issued.  If the situation does not show a need to evict immediately but that the tenancy should end, a hearing officer may provide An eviction order on a fixed date without requiring the landlord to take further proceedings.

NOTE:  The approved forms that you need because of these changes, and for any other processes mandated by the Act, can be obtained from the Office of Residential Tenancies, or downloaded at http://www.justice.gov.sk.ca/ort.

Office of Residential Tenancies

Regina: 120 – 2151 Scarth St., S4P 2H8General Inquiry Line: …………………787-2699

                                              or 1-888-215-2222

Specific inquiry on your application

(please provide application #) ….787-0719

Fax: …………787-5574 or        1-888-867-7776

Saskatoon: 105 – 122  Third Ave No.,S7K 2H6

General Inquiry Line: …………………933-5680

                

 Specific inquiry on your application

 (please provide application #): .933-5683

Fax:………………933-7030 or 1-888-867-7776

 

Summary of The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

 

Application of Act

§         Residential property in Saskatchewan, not located on federal land

§         Includes any tenancy agreement with a person under 18 years of age

§         Includes most “room and board” arrangements

But Excludes:

§         An agreement whereby the living accommodations and a business are located together and under a single agreement

§         Hotel, motel, resort, cottage, bed and breakfast if rented for less than six consecutive months

§         Living accommodations provided by educational institutions to students and staff

§         YMCA, YWCA and Salvation Army

§         Rental units in complexes for persons fifty five years of age and older where meals are provided

§         Where lease for a term twenty years or over and Life leases

§         Crisis or emergency shelters

§         Hospitals, treatment centres, personal care homes

§         Farm acreage if the person is farming the property

General Principles

§         Parties cannot agree that the Act or parts thereof or benefits don’t apply.  Any part of a tenancy agreement that contradicts the Act is not enforceable.

§         The common law of contract applies to the relationship between the parties.

§         A landlord cannot seize the property of a tenant under any circumstances, but can obtain an order to dispose of abandoned property

§         The tenancy agreement is in force even if the tenant does not take possession on the commencement date.

§         A tenant should pay rent even if there are problems with the rental property or tenancy agreement and try to settle with the landlord or apply for a hearing at the Office of Residential Tenancies

§         A landlord cannot stop providing any services or facilities or start charging fees for them unless they obtain an order from the Office of Residential Tenancies allowing them to do so.

§         A tenant has the right to privacy and no unreasonable disturbance from the landlord or the landlord’s other tenants

§         Neither landlord or tenant can change the locking systems without the other’s permission

§         Landlords and tenants must maintain the property in a state of proper cleanliness and repair and comply with health and safety laws.

§         A tenant can only assign or sublet the rental unit under a fixed term tenancy with the permission of the landlord, which cannot be unreasonably withheld, and the tenant still remains liable for any losses or damages for the balance of the fixed term

§         A non-resident landlord has to appoint an attorney in the province for the purpose of service of notices.  The attorney can be any adult, resident in Saskatchewan.

§         A landlord can make an application for an order to dispose of abandoned property after they have tried to get the tenant to retrieve their property or the tenant cannot be found.  The landlord may deduct the costs of disposition and any amounts they think owing to them.

§         A landlord cannot interfere with the sale of a mobile home.

 

Tenancy Agreements

Can be written, verbal or implied.

Standard Conditions are considered conditions of every residential tenancy agreement, written, verbal or implied.  The Standard Conditions highlight the more important requirements of the Act but do not replace the provisions of the Act nor do they affect the application of any other parts of the Act not contained in the Standard Conditions.  They must be attached to every written agreement and it is recommended that they be provided to a tenant with every verbal or implied agreement.

Written Tenancy Agreements must include: 

§         Standard Conditions

§         Correct legal names of parties

§         Address of the property

§         Date agreement reached

§         Service address and telephone number of landlord or agent and emergency contact number if not those numbers

§         Commencement date; periodic term (whether weekly, monthly or other); if fixed term state end date; amount of rent and whether it varies with the number of occupants and if so, how much; day of period that rent is to be paid by; who pays utilities; what services and facilities are provided; amount of any security deposit and when to be paid.

§         A copy of the signed tenancy agreement must be provided to the tenant within 20 days.

§         Service and emergency addresses and telephone numbers must be provided to the tenant within 20 days, even for verbal and implied tenancy agreements

§         Tenants can withhold rent if the written lease is not provided or if service address and numbers are not provided until such time as provided.

§         In multi-unit residences landlords must post their name, service address and telephone number (or that of an agent) in a conspicuous place

§         A fixed term tenancy of three months or longer must be in writing.

§         Agreements or parts of an agreement can only be changed by the agreement of both parties.  The one exception is a notice to increase the rent.

§         A landlord cannot charge for processing any application to rent.

 

Security Deposits

§         •Payable ½ on entering tenancy and ½ two months later

§         •Up to one month’s rent

§         •Make sure they are held in trust accounts

§         •To be able to retain the deposit, a landlord must, within 7 business days from the end of lease, either 1) obtain a written consent of the tenant at the end of the tenancy or, 2) make an application to the Office of Residential Tenancies; a tenant may be entitled to the deposit if this is not followed

Landlord’s Right of Access

A landlord cannot enter a rental unit unless:

§         •A tenant provides consent at time of entry

§         •24 hours written notice not more than 7 days before intended entry giving reason for entry and date and time which must be within a 4-hour period, between 8 to 8

§         •The tenant has apparently vacated or abandoned the rental unit; or

§         •An emergency poses a threat to the safety of people or property.

§         If a tenant has given notice to end the tenancy, the landlord may enter to show prospective tenants if:

–they have given at least 2 hours notice, or

– the tenant has provided a telephone or e-mail address and is given two-hours notice in that manner, or

the landlord leaves a notice for the tenant at the entrance that the landlord has entered the unit for the purpose of showing it, when the tenant does not provide a telephone number or email address or the landlord is not able to contact the tenant by those means, after reasonable attempts to do so.

§         If a landlord wishes to show the rental unit to prospective purchasers it must be by consent or 24-hour notice.

 

Rent Increases

§         •Must be in writing a full six calendar months before it comes into effect and can only be served after six months from the beginning of the tenancy or the last time a rent increase notice was served.

§         •A six full calendar months period if an owner occupied mobile home

 

Ending a Tenancy

A tenancy ends if:

§         proper notice is provided and not disputed by the tenant

§         landlord and tenant agree in writing

§         tenant vacates or abandons and landlord retakes possession

§         circumstances beyond the control of either party (e.g., fire destroying unit)

§         The Office of Residential Tenancies orders the tenancy ended

§         for a fixed term tenancy, on the end date in the agreement

§         there is a very serious breach of the agreement by the landlord and the landlord has been given notice and an opportunity, if possible, to fix the problem

Tenant must give a written notice no later than the last day of the preceding period but may also depend on the tenancy agreement.  A more immediate notice may be given if a serious breach of the agreement.

Landlord

§         May terminate a tenancy immediately by serving notice if rent more than 15 days behind; any utilities unpaid for 15 days after landlord gives notice to pay are treated as rent arrears; if landlord accepts payment of all arrears before any hearing, tenancy continues

§         A landlord may apply for an order for possession immediately if there is significant:

–       interference/disturbance with others living around or the landlord or serious jeopardy to the health and safety of the same people

–       property is put at risk

–       noxious, offensive or illegal acts that may cause the same risks

–       caused extraordinary damage

–          the landlord does not have to provide any warning notice in the above situations and may proceed directly to applying for a hearing and an order.

§         A landlord must otherwise have one of the following reasons before serving at least a one calendar month’s notice, after giving a notice and reasonable time to correct, if possible:

–            security deposit remains unpaid over 30 days

–            tenant repeatedly late in paying rent

–            unreasonable number of occupants

–      the tenant/guests disturbed, jeopardized health or safety of others living around them or the landlord or put landlord’s property at significant risk or engaged in a noxious, offensive or illegal act on the property that may cause damage to property, effect the privacy rights or safety of the landlord  or others living nearby

–            tenant/guest have caused extraordinary damage to the property

–            tenant fails to repair after a reasonable time and after being given notice

–            tenant has breached a material provision of the agreement

–            assignment or sublet of rental agreement without landlord’s written consent

–            tenant giving false information about rental property to prospective renters or purchasers

–            in order to comply with any order of a government agency

–            breach of a necessary term for a public social housing landlord

–            tenant doesn’t comply with an order from the Office of Residential Tenancies

–            any reason the Residential Tenancies Office judges proper

–            owner occupied home and tenant/guest continues to smoke after being asked to stop

§         Notice must be in writing and served by at least the last day of preceeding period.

§         Tenant may dispute notice to landlord within 15 days or otherwise is deemed to have accepted the notice and must vacate as specified.

§         Landlord may end a tenancy of an employee who resides in the unit due to the employment as a caretaker/manager on ending the employment.  Notice is effective after 30 days.  Tenant/employee may dispute within 15 days or is deemed to have accepted.

§         If landlord intends that a close family member or friend will live in the property or to sell the property or intends to demolish, renovate/repair, convert to condominiums/housing co-op or to non-residential use for periodic tenancies must give notice at least by the end of the preceding month.  Tenant can dispute within 15 days or deemed to have accepted.  The tenant can end the tenancy earlier.  A landlord can be held liable for damages if the intended use does not happen

Notice Requirements:

§         in writing

§         dated and identify party giving notice

§         state address of rental unit

§         effective date of end of tenancy

§         state grounds for ending tenancy

–         if not served in proper time, notice becomes effective at the end of the next possible period

Order of Possession

§         A landlord cannot regain possession unless the tenant vacates or abandons the unit or the landlord obtains an order for possession and writ of possession directed to the Sheriff from the Office of Residential Tenancies and the Sheriff turns over possession.

§         If tenant gives a notice disputing the request to end the tenancy, the landlord may make an application for an order for possession from the Office of Residential Tenancies.

§         The landlord may make an application for an order for possession if:

§         tenant has given notice to end the tenancy and doesn’t vacate

§         tenant has not disputed any notice to end the lease

§         the term of a fixed term tenancy is ended

§         any other circumstances the Office of Residential Tenancies considers reasonable

§         The Sheriff may evict tenants if they do not leave after an order is provided.

Applications and Orders

§         Any dispute over a residential tenancy must be made to the Office of Residential Tenancies.  An application must be completed and presented to the Office of Residential Tenancies along with the required fee, if any

§         The fees to file an application are as follows:

1.       $50 a hearing/order for:

–            any claims less than $5,000 and

·            any order for possession;

2.       $50 for any claims from $5,000 to $10,000.

3.       any applicant who is on social assistance or in receipt of any federal government income

supplement will not have to pay any fee.

4.       a tenant application for a return of security deposit to remain at 0.

§         The applicant for an order will normally be provided with a hearing notice that they are to serve on the other party. A hearing is held and an order provided that is considered just and equitable. A party can make their representation in person, by telephone or in writing.

§         In an application by a landlord for an order for possession, a tenant can ask the Office of Residential Tenancies not to make an order if the landlord gave the notice because the tenant made a fair complaint to an authority, the tenants were trying to secure their rights, the landlord has contravened the agreement or any standard condition or based on a rent increase given solely to enable the landlord to end the tenancy.

§         Only claims $10,000 and under may be dealt with by the Office of Residential Tenancies.  You can sue for an amount over that limit at our office but you would have to waive any award over $10,000. This means that you could not sue for that excess amount in any other Court or forum.

§         Any clerical or typographical errors can be corrected or clarification of an order made without appealing.  Any obvious error (not a dispute over a difference over finding of fact) or inadvertent omission can also be corrected without appeal.  The corrections can be made at the request of the parties or the hearing officer.  Any request must be made within 15 days of the order.

§         Any appeal to any decision is to be made to the Court of Queen’s Bench within 30 days of the order on a question of law or jurisdiction.  Forms may be obtained from the Court of Queen’s Bench nearest to the property.  Any order is suspended on filing the appeal and pending the outcome of the appeal.

§         An order can be registered with the Court of Queen’s Bench after the appeal period has passed

§         Any notices required by the Act that must be served, except for notices for hearings which will have instructions with them, must be in writing unless otherwise stated and can be served as follows:

–      on a tenant by personal service or by posting the document on the door of the tenant and mailing the document

–      on a landlord by personal service on the landlord or their agent or by ordinary mail to the address provided by the landlord

  • Ordinary mail is deemed received 3 days after posting
  • Notices to be served on a landlord where no address or valid attorney may be served on the Office of Residential Tenancies.
  • If service was not affected properly, it can be considered served if it is known to have come to the attention of the party to be served
  • If it can be shown that not served, a party can ask for a rehearing
  • There are different processes for various types of applications and except
  • for a tenant application for the return of a security deposit, they all begin with the same application form.

Office of Residential Tenancies: www.justice.gov.sk.ca/ORT

120-2151 Scarth Street,                         105-122 3rd Avenue North,

Regina, SK, S4P 2H8                             Saskatoon, SK, S7K 2H6

306-787-2699                                           306-933-5680

306-787-5574 (fax)                                  306-933-7030 (fax)

 

Toll Free # 1-888-215-2222, Toll Free Fax 1-888-867-7776 , within Saskatchewan

Please make sure you read the whole Act and Regulations to make yourself aware of all of its provisions, as this document is not all inclusive of the requirements.  This document is an information guide only and not legal advice and the law may change from time to time or be subject to a different interpretation by the Courts, contrary to what might be stated in this document.  You should consult a lawyer for any questions.

Be a boy scout and BE PREPARED.

 

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Association of Regina REALTORS® Inc.. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.