Monthly Archives: May 2011

Are students the target of new rental bylaw?



Barbara Hall, chief of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, worries that a new bylaw passed in Waterloo will further reducing the available rental units for students.


Landlords who lease their rental properties in residential areas of Waterloo have concerns that a new bylaw requiring them to have a licence is too restrictive for them and their prospective tenants.

On May 9, Waterloo city council approved a rental housing licensing program and bylaw, which will come into effect April 1, 2012. The new bylaw addresses rental housing in low-density areas of the city and attempts to “limit the impact of large rental units on residential neighbourhoods.” Continue reading

Grow-op suspect busted after being spotted in newspaper photo

May 12, 2011

Peter Edwards

{{GA_Article.Images.Alttext$}}Jennifer Wu

In happier times, Sau San (Jennifer) Wu loved getting her picture in the newspaper, posing with a cellphone at her ear and a coy smile on her face in ads for her former Richmond Hill real estate business.

Now, Wu is heading to prison after getting her photo in a newspaper one time too many.

York Regional Police detective Dave Noseworthy spotted her face in the background of a photo in an online Romanian newspaper earlier this year, five years after Wu fled the country — and charges of helping run the largest indoor residential marijuana grow operation in Canadian history. Continue reading

A square deal for city renters

19 May 2011 04:01–a-square-deal-for-city-renters

A crane on the skyline is a potent sign of Toronto’s seemingly never-ending condo boom. But as prices outpace rents, investors could decide to pull out.

A glut of condominiums in the Toronto market is keeping rents down even as the cost of buying a unit has been rising.

It’s a great recipe for renters, but not so tasty for investors, who buy an estimated 45 to 60 per cent of all new condos in Toronto, according to a study released yesterday by Urbanation Inc.

“Rents are not keeping up with price inflation in any of the major municipalities in the Toronto area,” said Ben Myers, executive vice-president of the market research firm.

“As the price of new condominium projects continues to escalate, the expectation would be that rents in newly registered projects would be higher than projects registered in years prior.”

However, rents have barely budged from the 2007 level of $2.26 per square foot. The average condo leased in the first quarter of 2011 was 800 square feet, with an average rent of $1,686.

“Positive monthly returns for investors are being eroded,” Myers said.

That could spell trouble for the still robust GTA condominium market if investors — buyers who don’t intend to occupy their units — decide to pull out because they can’t get the returns in rent they need to justify their investment.

Why I wouldn’t sell my home myself

Since writing about whether you could create a bidding war without an agent, I have received numerous emails from sellers, real estate agents and companies that provide “for sale by owner” services on the pros and cons of selling by yourself.

Allison Philpot sold her home in Ottawa using a For Sale by Owner marketing service. She listed her home for $419,000, and was able to create a bidding war after her first open house. She received a top bid of $429,000, which she accepted. Continue reading