Monthly Archives: July 2014

Alberta tribunal designed to minimize use of lawyers in landlord tenant disputes

The article referenced in the above tweet discusses a number of reforms to the Alberta court/justice system. The focus is is on:

1. Moving Landlord and tenant disputes out of the courts and under the jurisdiction of a specialized tribunal; which

2. Should reduce overall costs to both landlords and tenants because there will be less need for lawyers (which cost  lots of money).

3. The diminished involvement of lawyers in landlord and tenant disputes should facilitate more flexible solutions to the inevitable problems in the landlord and tenant relationship.

Although the article places the reform of “landlord tenant disputes” in the broader context of the reform of the Alberta legal system, it includes:

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Why U.S. citizenship results in diminished investment returns in #TorontoRealEstate

It is believed that at least one million Canadian citizens may be considered under U.S. law to also be U.S. citizens. The Obama administration has passed a new U.S. law, that the Government of Canada (AKA Harper Government) has agreed to implement on Canadian soil. The law called “FATCA” (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) basically requires the Canadian banks to:

1. Identify Canadians who may be considered by the U.S. to be U.S. citizens; and

2. Turn them over to Canada’s CRA, which will then turn them over to the IRS.

Toronto real estate agents take note! This new law will affect your clients and impose a new duty of care when advising these clients!

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Community politics and renting residential properties to students

Renting residential properties to students can be a good way to invest in real estate. It is a different kind of market which needs to be understood. There are two broad categories of issues (both of which I have written about):

1. Zoning and other municipal by-laws which may apply to student rentals;

2. Understanding students, the student rental market and how to be a landlord to students.

The above tweet references a blog post that provides interesting commentary about community politics and student rentals.

The post includes:


The Towers of Spite

A little over 20 years ago, we moved away from an area near the university. The area had become mostly a student ghetto, but the students were far less of a problem than the snotty local homeowners up the street who were doing all they could to fight the transition of the homes from single-family residences to student housing. Here is an editorial I wrote then.

You can read the complete post here.

The message is simple but forgotten.

If you are investing in real estate for the purpose of renting to students ask yourself:

How will house rented to students “fit into the community”?