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A landlord-tenant privacy quiz | REM

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All private businesses across Canada, including residential landlords and real estate brokerages, will be impacted by the latest changes to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) beginning Nov. 1. PIPEDA is Canada’s federal private sector privacy law that sets out the ground rules for how businesses, including landlords, must handle personal information in the course of their commercial activity. PIPEDA was significantly amended when the The Digital Privacy Act received Royal Assent in June 2015.




Under PIPEDA, landlords must:

  • Obtain a tenant’s consent to collect, use or disclose a person’s personal information.
  • Identify the reasons for collecting the personal information before collection and only ask for the limited information needed for what a reasonable person would consider appropriate to the circumstances.
  • Provide an individual with access to the personal information the holder has about the individual and allow them to challenge its accuracy.
  • Only use a tenant’s personal information for the purposes for which it was collected.

The time limit for PIPEDA court applications changed from 45 days to one year.

As of Nov. 1, PIPEDA will include a mandatory requirement for organizations to give written notice to affected individuals and to the commissioner about privacy breaches and to maintain records for 24 months about each breach.

All businesses (and landlords of every size) must ensure that personal information is protected by appropriate safeguards including physical measures (locked filing cabinets, restricting access to offices, alarm systems), technological tools (passwords, encryption, firewalls) and organizational controls (security clearances, limiting access to a “need-to-know” basis, staff training, agreements).

You say you knew all this already? What about the case where a landlord and tenant had a verbal tenancy agreement (permitted under the RTA) to allow the tenant to grow up to four cannabis plants but the landlord discovered 60 plants? Here’s the answer.

The full implications of PIPEDA to Canadian businesses would require possibly a small book to analyze the obligations for every type of small business. My personal focus is on residential “landlording”, which includes Realtors who assist residential property investors, so here’s a 20 Question Landlord-Tenant Privacy test:

  1. Do you need a tenant’s SIN number for most things?
  2. Do you need permission to capture a tenant’s face on a surveillance camera?
  3. Do you need written permission to do a credit check?
  4. What minimum information is needed to do a credit check?
  5. Is it against the law to demand a tenant’s SIN number?
  6. Can you deny a tenancy applicant because they didn’t give you their SIN number?
  7. Can you use the SIN as a general tenant identifier, for example in your accounting system?
  8. Can a landlord ask for a driver’s licence, tax information, pay stubs?
  9. Can you look into a tenant’s background by looking at social media postings or calling another landlord?
  10. Can you put a tenant’s name on a “bad tenant” list?
  11. Can you verbally disclose bad tenant behaviour to other landlords, for example a phone reference?
  12. Can you take pictures of a tenant’s apartment and contents if you suspect a tenancy agreement breach?
  13. Can you set up surveillance cameras in your building that capture tenant faces?
  14. Can a tenant ask what information you hold about them?
  15. Can other tenants collect information on a tenant?
  16. How long can you retain a tenant’s information?
  17. Is there a prescribed process for personal information destruction?
  18. Can you disclose personal information to pursue a debt?
  19. Can police agencies demand tenant information from you?
  20. Can police agencies demand the landlord allow them entry to a tenant’s unit?

Short (and incomplete) answers:
  1. No.
  2. Yes, but can be implied.
  3. Yes.
  4. Name, address, date of birth.
  5. No law currently prevents landlords from asking for a SIN for purposes such as identification.
  6. No.
  7. No.
  8. Privacy law doesn’t prevent such requests but information must be fully protected.
  9. Informal checks are a collection of personal information – permission required, privacy laws apply.
  10. Not to an unregulated or ad hoc list.
  11. No.
  12. Strict rules apply.
  13. Strict rules apply.
  14. Yes.
  15. Generally, no.
  16. No prescribed period but not indefinitely.
  17. No but “must be done appropriately”.
  18. Strict rules apply. Disclosure to a tenant’s family, co-workers or on social media is not allowed.
  19. Strict rules apply, specific documentation required.
  20. Maybe, if police declare it an emergency. Otherwise, warrant usually required or 24-hours’ notice to tenant. Strict rules apply.

Now, be honest with yourself: how well did you score? More importantly, do you have all of the above risk exposures covered in your Rental Application form and Standard Lease appendix B clauses?

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The cost of renovating your bathroom in Toronto in 2021

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Home renovations can be a big task, especially bathroom renovations where you have to work with either an awkwardly shaped space, or one with lots of pipework and very little natural light.

Nonetheless, getting a bathroom renovation by Easy Renovation to change your existing bathroom layout, improve the ambience or add more natural skylights can be worth all the trouble. But determining how much a bathroom renovation would cost is important while setting a budget.

The pandemic has changed a lot of things with social distancing rules, working from home, and for some, being made redundant. Therefore, having a complete grasp of the financial implication of a bathroom innovation is very important.

Owning your dream bathroom can be made a reality and the good thing is, regardless of your financial situation, there are always available options. If you also decide to put up your property for sale in the future, a bathroom upgrade would be a great investment—as it would add significant value to the property. Your bathroom renovation project, like every home renovation, can either be very affordable or extravagant, but one thing is certain, you’re bound to have a more refreshed, stylish and modernistic space.  

Looking through detailed sketches of luxurious and expensive bathrooms can be quite tempting, especially when you’re on a budget. However, your bathroom can be equally transformed into something that looks just as modern, stylish and refreshing but without the heavy price tag.

Conducting a partial bathroom renovation means you only have to change a little part of your existing bathroom rather than tearing it down and starting from scratch. If you intend to carry out this type of bathroom renovation in Toronto, depending on the size of your bathroom, you can spend between $1,000 – $5,000. With a partial bathroom renovation, you can save money by tackling smaller problems that exist in your present bathroom—or you can just upgrade a few of its features.

Partial bathroom renovations are quite affordable and would leave your bathroom feeling new and stylish without being time-consuming or a financial burden—which is important considering the economic impact of the pandemic. Repainting the bathroom walls, replacing the tiles on the floor and in the shower area are examples of partial bathroom renovations which is the cheapest to accomplish.

A more expensive and popular bathroom renovation is the standard 3- or 4-piece renovation. This renovation type involves a lot more services that are not covered by a partial renovation budget. To execute a standard bathroom renovation in Toronto you need a budget of about $10,000 – $15,000.

Unlike with a partial renovation, you would have to make a lot more changes to various elements of your bathroom without the hassle of changing the overall design. You can easily restore your current bathroom into a modernistic and classy space that fits your existing style. Making changes to more aspects of your bathroom is quite easy since there is more room in your budget to accommodate it.

A standard 3- or 4-piece renovation includes everything in a partial renovation plus extras such as revamped baseboards, installing a new bathroom mirror, buying new lights, installing a new vanity, changing the toilet, and buying new shower fixtures.

If you’re one of those looking to make a complete overhaul of your existing bathroom, then the option of a complete bathroom remodel is for you.

Unlike a bathroom renovation, remodelling means a complete change of your current bathroom design and layout for one that is newer and completely unrecognizable. The possibilities when remodelling a bathroom are endless especially when you have a large budget of over $15,000. That way, you can get the opportunity to create the perfect bathroom for yourself.

In addition to all that’s available with a standard bathroom renovation, bathroom remodelling allows you to make bathtub to shower conversion, relocation of plumbing, relocation of the toilet, reframing the bathroom and even relocating the shower.

In conclusion, a bathroom renovation can be a very important upgrade to your home and depending on the features that you decide to include, in addition to the size of your bathroom, this would influence the total cost of the project.

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7 Tips For First-Time Home Buyers In Calgary

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Buying a house for the first time can be overwhelming to say the least. If you’re wondering what neighbourhood to go with, what you can afford, or even how to just get started on the process, let us take some stress off your hands! We’ve teamed up with Hopewell Residential to give you 7 tips to ensure the home you end up with is everything you dreamed of.

Hopewell Residential is a five-time Developer of the Year award winner, so their expertise is second-to-none in Calgary and beyond. Who better to learn home-buying tips from than the homebuilders themselves?

Create a checklist of needs & wants

This is a biggie. When you’re buying your very first home, you’ll want to weigh your needs vs. your wants. Ensuring you have what you love in your first home is a big, big deal.

What should you do? Easy. Set up a list of needs and a list of wants, but be pretty strict with yourself, and make sure you take your lifestyle into consideration. With the increase in remote work over the past year, it’s important to keep in mind that a home office or flex room might just be the key to maximizing at home happiness. Especially if you’re thinking you might be expanding your family later on, spare rooms and extra space is key (but more on that later!).

Or for instance, you might need a home in an area with a high walkability score, but you want to be close to certain amenities. Set yourself up with the right level of compromise and the number of homes that actually fit your ‘perfect’ idea will skyrocket.

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‘Don’t give up’: Ottawa Valley realtors share statistics, tips for homebuyers in ‘extreme’ sellers market

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The real estate market in the Ottawa Valley can be summed up this way: people from far and wide are in a buying frenzy, but there’s hardly anything to buy at the “store,” and the limited inventory is overpriced.

This “stampede” — as one realtor described it — will affect rural towns as residents grapple with finding affordable housing and agonize over their inability to purchase homes in their price range.

“We are seeing a lack of inventory in all price ranges,” said Laura Keller, a real estate agent from Carleton Place.

Helen Vincent, a Renfrew realtor, said she’s never seen a market like this in her 36 years of practice. “We postpone offers for four to five days in order to get all the buyers,” she said.

Multiple offers — between seven and 10 — became the norm, with cash offers and no conditions, as buyers faced bidding wars. “In Ottawa, they have up to 50 (offers),” she added.

“It’s very stressful. You’re going to get nine (people) ticked off, and one happy. So many people are disappointed,” Vincent said.

Terry Stavenow, an Arnprior realtor for 40 years, said that “the pent-up need took over with inventory going low. It made a stampede on everything that was available.“

“Brand new housing — it’s very much gone. Several building developers are rushing to get inventory. They usually don’t do construction in the winter months,” said Stavenow.

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