RedERent January 18, 2023 Advice no responses

Many tenants overlook the importance of tenant insurance when they are entering into a rental agreement. But, tenant insurance is a vital aspect of renting a home or apartment. Having the right coverage can protect both renters and landlords from unexpected costs or damages that may arise during the course of the rental agreement. Here’s why tenant insurance is essential for renters and landlords alike.

What Does Tenant Insurance Cover?

Tenant insurance covers any damage that occurs to the contents of a rented property, as well as any accidental injury sustained by the tenant or their guests while inside the property. This type of coverage also provides liability protection for those rare instances when someone sustains an injury in your rental space that you may be held liable for. It also covers any additional living expenses you may incur if you need to relocate temporarily due to damage caused by fire, water, smoke, etc., within your rental space.

For landlords, tenant insurance can provide peace of mind knowing that any potential damages will be covered should your tenants experience an incident while renting from you. This type of coverage helps protect against losses caused by theft, vandalism, fire and water damage (caused by your tenants). It also eliminates potential legal battles over responsibility for damaged items or injuries that occur on your property since the tenant’s policy will cover these expenses instead.

Why You Need Tenant Insurance

Tenants should have some form of insurance in case something unexpected happens, such as theft or natural disasters like floods or fires, which could leave them without their possessions and/or unable to reside in their current residence. Oftentimes, tenants will believe the landlord or building insurance policy also protects their belongings and home life; put simply, it does not.

Why Tenant Insurance is Essential with Overflowing bathtub

Landlords should make sure their tenants carry some form of coverage so they won’t be liable for damages done to their property by their tenants or their guests. In addition, having coverage on both sides ensures that no one is stuck with unexpected costs due to an unfortunate incident occurring inside the rental unit.

It’s important to understand the value of Tenant Insurance

Both tenants and landlords need to understand how important tenant insurance is when entering into a rental agreement.
Not only does it provide peace of mind knowing that all parties are protected from liabilities related to accidents or incidents within the rented space but it also ensures that no one is stuck with costly repair bills due to damages caused by either party during the tenancy period. Taking out a tenant insurance policy is an inexpensive way to safeguard yourself and your rental space from potential financial losses related to unexpected events while occupying a rented space—so it’s definitely worth considering!

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RedERent August 12, 2021 Construction no responses

Despite the undeniably high demand for purpose-built rental (PBR) housing, the development of these types of buildings has been lacking in (and outside of) most large Canadian cities.

While the homeownership market (freehold and condominium housing) continues to keep crews busy, “PBR” housing remains a “someday maybe” priority for many a Town Hall/private developer; and the reality is, it’s been that way for the last 50 years.

In their recent article for The Financial Post, Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis point out that Halifax has been bucking the trend.

Now, before we get hate mail (although…it might still happen) reminding us of the incredible housing shortage in the city we want to say:
Yes. Absolutely, the growing demand for rental housing (particularly affordable and attractive rental housing) continues to outpace the actual development of rental housing.

The fact remains, however, that rental housing in HRM dominates residential construction. So, what is at the root of the focus on rental development? A number of factors, but there are two that Haider and Moranis cite which certainly grabbed our attention.

Halifax’s housing initiatives deserve examination since we believe that restricting landlords to rent raises by a certain level, also known as vacancy decontrol, and the introduction of the capital gains tax have been instrumental in constraining the supply of rental housing.

John Dickie, president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations, pointed out that “until recently, Nova Scotia did not have rent control at all for rental apartments.” The exception was manufactured home lots. Vacancy decontrol was only introduced as a temporary measure in response to COVID-19.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. This has been a prefered business model for years and has lead to multi generational wealth and success in our city.

Haider-moranis Halifax Rental Starts Trend Line from "The secret behind Halifax’s ability to build purpose-built rental housing at a record pace | Financial Post"

Large real estate invenstors have taken notice (and root), making rental housing stock in HRM even more desirable.

Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAPREIT) in February 2020 announced the acquisition of eight apartment buildings in Halifax that added 1,503 rental dwellings to its local portfolio, which now comprises some 3,100 rental suites. With an average occupancy rate north of 99 per cent in the eight buildings, CAPREIT has been capitalizing on the strong demand for rental housing.

Halifax’s success with rental housing construction demonstrates how public and private entities may collaborate to build sufficient rental housing in places where the demand for rental housing is high. An absence of rent controls in the past, supportive socio-demographics, and imaginative homebuilders and rental investors have been critical to resolving the rental housing challenges.

To learn more and take a look at the full report we recomend checking out the full article from Murtaza Haider and Stephen Moranis here or visiting thier fantastic site at

Source: The secret behind Halifax’s ability to build purpose-built rental housing at a record pace | Financial Post

Murtaza Haider is a professor of Real Estate Management at Ryerson University. Stephen Moranis is a real estate industry veteran. They can be reached at the Haider-Moranis Bulletin website,

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RedERent April 27, 2021 Development no responses

Perhaps not surprisingly, rentals featuring balconies have been on the rise over the past few years

In the current climate (socially, not necessarily environmentally) the benefits of having a balcony or other outdoor space to breathe freely and relax have become even more attractive and in demand.

Balconies now offer developers a chance to attract renters, earn additional income, and accelerate lease-ups.

Balconies have long been a part of many apartment buildings, with the earliest examples dating back more than 2,000 years to ancient Greece, designed to increase air circulation in hot weather and bring natural light into interior rooms.

They continued to play an iconic role in fiction and real life, from star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet to Eva Peron’s triumphant balcony appearance at her Presidential Palace.

However, it wasn’t until the 1950s in the United States that balconies were built as an amenity for high-end apartments. A decade later, they became more common in middle-class developments such as New York City’s Lincoln Towers, constructed during a major urban redevelopment.

Balconies are no longer just for the rich and warm

Balconies are becoming a staple of rental property developments and renovations, and are no longer limited by climate (this time it’s environmental) or unit price point.

They’re showing up in buildings (across the U.S) rather than only in warm-weather locales. For example, Milhaus development projects include them in its 10 states, including its Indianapolis headquarters, says Jake Dietrich, Vice President of Development.

They also are found at all price points, from affordable senior housing communities such as Dominium’s The Legends of Blaine in Blaine, Minn., to luxury dwellings with multiple balconies like a new, still unnamed building in Dallas’ Turtle Creek neighborhood, developed by USA Infrastructure Investments and designed by Chicago’s Lucien Lagrange Studio.

Most share something in common. “The best balconies are not just a place to stand for a second and get some fresh air but extend living and let people pursue an activity such as cooking, dining, stretching out and even working,” says Mary Cook, President and Founder of Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates, a commercial interior design firm.

Diana Pittro, Executive Vice President at RMK Management Corp. in Chicago, which manages apartment homes in four Midwestern states, thinks the pandemic is the primary factor driving the surge. “People are spending more time at home, which, of course, means more time on balconies if they have them,” she says.

Nick Hollenbeck, Director of Sales and Marketing for Livingston, N.J.-based Sterling Properties, a developer focused on the tri-state area, says the number of inquiries for those looking for private outdoor space has been “unbelievable. Serendipitously, we had The Vestry in Montclair [N.J.] opening with big balconies and terraces,” he says.

In fact, private outdoor space may now rank only second to rent concessions on residential wish lists. The increased interest is evidenced by the uptick in renters’ searches for a “balcony,” which grew 84% last year, according to data from Zumper. The change has helped private outdoor space leapfrog over shared outdoor space, according to Lela Cirjakovic, Executive Vice President at Chicago-based Waterton, a value-add developer that operates in 16 states.

Appeal for Renters

Part of the growth in the appeal of balconies is that many renters are willing to use them like a terrace. Balconies can now be used (and easily outfitted affordably) for an outdoor escape no matter the temperature or weather.

This is particularly attractive for people downsizing (or moving) for a home with a dedicated outdoor space. As Covid-19 set in renters quickly began to seek out a replacement or substitute for public gathering spaces and facilities; balconies quickly became a standout (and enviable) feature in that regard.

Appeal for Developers

Developers have other reasons to incorporate balconies. These outdoor spaces have long been a way to differentiate the type/class of unit or building. This can be a particularly useful tool in municipalities that mandate mixed affordability as part of development agreements. A unit with a balcony can easily be offered with a higher price tag, without disrupting or downgrading the pricing structure and value of other units.

Other developers do so to provide fresh air and greenery as scientific evidence mounts that those features improve mental well-being. Leasing numbers also reveal they help rentals better compete with single-family homes with yards and compensate for less interior square footage in units as some apartments were downsized when amenity spaces were increased, says architect Ed Bradford, a principal at TAT in Chelsea, Mass., outside Boston.

Developers have also learned the importance of showcasing a view, the case when Baltimore-based RD Jones & Associates designed One Cardinal Way in St. Louis with balconies facing the city’s baseball stadium. Doing so allowed Baltimore-based developer The Cordish Companies to charge premium rents. “Residents wouldn’t pay the same amount if the views were of I-95,” says Rebecca Jones, RD Jones’ Founder and CEO.

How much extra can be charged varies—influenced by view, balcony size, direction faced, construction and maintenance costs and overall market conditions.

In his experience, real estate salesperson Michael E. Smith with Corcoran Group’s New York City office says the uptick in cost might be 15% to 20% above the monthly rent. “That’s especially true if the balcony clears trees and provides a good view,” he says.

Softening rent prices in several markets also mean—at least now—that costs for an apartment home with a balcony may have decreased, which allows some renters to afford a larger unit.

The greater desirability of balconies and terraces may also translate into faster leasing. Smith knew he wanted a balcony and was willing to downsize to get one that faced south. “I love morning light and waking up with the sun is very important to me,” he says.

Yet at the same time, there are caveats. Many developers follow the mantra of not attaching a balcony to each unit. To do so would eliminate some of its “specialness” and make it less feasible to charge extra, says Joshua Silverbush, who oversees market research and analysis at The Marketing Directors, a New York City-based advisory firm. As an example, Wood Partners prefers to have only 50% to 60% of a building’s units with outside space, says Steve Hallsey, Managing Director.

And because of where some renters live, they may prefer a window that opens and more interior space than a balcony used only a couple of months a year, says Cook.

Many experts remain uncertain how much the pandemic will influence balcony design. Some, like Smith, expect them to get larger, along with the interior of apartments, as more renters work from home and have children attend virtual school. Dietrich of Milhaus thinks the more important, rhetorical, question is, “Can developers afford NOT to make this change?”

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer.

Sidebar: 6 Ways Balconies Are Changing

As they become more prevalent, apartment balconies keep changing, influenced by a building’s design, location, building and fire codes, views and price points.

1. Bigger. Architect John Cetra of CetraRuddy Architecture remembers earlier decades’ small balconies, dubbed “diving boards” because they often were narrow—only 5 feet wide—and used more for storage.

Older balconies may measure 5-by-5, but the newer ones are often bigger to be more functional and accommodate more people and furnishings for a true living space, says architect Ed Bradford of TAT. A better size, he says, is in the range of 7-by-10, and some at its Avalon Sudbury-designed building in Sudbury, Mass., are 10-by-15. At the CetraRuddy-designed ARO in New York City’s Theater District, the 62-story apartment tower has a curved form with glass curtain wall wrapped in a steel “net” that creates space for balconies, some 6 feet wide. The same firm’s Oskar building, also in New York, has balconies that vary from 100 to 400 square feet and create a cascade effect down five stories. Despite the trend toward larger, integrating balconies into the overall building’s façade design for an aesthetic impact is more important, says Mary Cook of Mary Cook Associates.

2. Smaller. Among the latest changes are more Juliet-style narrow balconies designed to permit a bit of fresh air but not long stays and add to the aesthetics of the façade as they historically have done on European buildings. Lucien Lagrange Studio included them on all apartments for a Sacramento, Calif., community being designed.

3. Location. While most balconies are placed directly beyond the main living space,
Chicago-based apartment brokerage firm Downtown Apartment Company, says the current hot spot is to be off the main bedroom in larger units, as in the townhomes at Lendlease’s newer Chicago Porte and The Cooper at Southbank, both of which also have terraces off living rooms.

4. Number. Apartments are taking their cue from condos where units may have more than one balcony and sometimes off every room, as in the case of Adache Group Architects’ 30 Thirty North Ocean boutique building in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Apartments, especially in luxury buildings, now may have a second or third balcony, says Cook.

5. Style. Often, the railings are enhanced with more glass or another transparent material that doesn’t obstruct a view or more detailing that matches the building’s design. Floors are upgraded from concrete—sometimes to a faux material like Trex or pavers that wear well outdoors. More electrical outlets are included for better lighting through recessed cans or wall sconces and for powering up laptops and phones for working or schooling from home. Doors into units are constructed with new types of lower-maintenance glass and better seals for the frames, which are often less visible, inspired by the trend in shower doors. Dividers between adjacent units may also be fabricated from nicer materials such as Ipe wood or steel.

On their own, residents add furnishings, from ceiling fans to patio heaters, vertical gardens, upholstered seating, pillows and rugs. New York stager and professional organizer Amanda Wiss of Urban Clarity says she often does so to evoke the look of an interior room.

6. Rules. Because it’s easy for balconies to become storage and junk spaces, more building managers are enforcing rules about how they should look aesthetically and for safety, even orchestrating “housekeeping checks,” says Diana Pittro of RMK Management. Her company engages residents in a positive way by sponsoring holiday balcony décor and spring landscaping contests.

Source: Balcony Boom: Today’s Go-To Living Space | National Apartment Association

(please note that the views expressed in the article are solely those of the contributing sources to the original article as cited, the summary of this article should not be misunderstood to represent the views of the original publisher or its contributors) 

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer.

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RedERent April 1, 2021 Advice no responses
The reply from Roberto Noce was honest, informative..but perhaps not what the letter writer had hoped for.
Condominium units are private property, and the condominium corporation cannot restrict how someone leases or otherwise disposes of their property — there is strong case law on this in Alberta. The Condominium Property Act sets out the corporation’s powers with respect to unit rentals. Essentially, the corporation may require owners who rent out their units to pay a deposit.
In the article, Noce also attempts to dispel some misconceptions regarding “renters”
There are many false stereotypes of renters: They are transient, they don’t contribute to a community as much as owners, and they don’t make good neighbours. Just because renters do not own their condo units that doesn’t mean they care any less about the condominium complex than owners do. Here are some tips for getting active as a renter: Get to know your neighbours; find out when meetings and/or social events are and show up; and, if the bylaws allow for renters to be on the board, run for a position. Finally, if you are looking for rental information, go to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. Rental Market Report, which provides an in-depth analysis of rental markets, a review of rents and vacancy rates.

But condo units used for short-term rental such as Airbnb, well, that’s another story

Condominium corporations do have the power to restrict short-term rentals such as Airbnb. The Airbnb arrangements are distinct from traditional residential leases.
(in the eyes of the law)
Airbnb guests are not renters; they are the functional equivalent of hotel guests who are mere licensees.
To read the full story visit: Condo boards cannot limit the number of rental units in building | Calgary Herald (please note that the views expressed in the article are solely those of the contributing sources to the original article as cited, the summary of this article should not be misunderstood to represent the views of the original publisher or its contributors) 

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