Monthly Newsletter Highlights
(as submitted to the Sandycove Acres Monthly Newsletter)
2016/17 Home Owners Newsletter Highlights
Follow the links to you area of interest.
PRESIDENTS Report - Open House - January 2016
A Summary of the OPEN House meeting January 24th, 2016
RENT Increase Guidelines and Above Guidelines Increase Notices AGI
ALL RESIDENTS Letter sent by Home Owners explaining their position on proposed increases. AGI
SPECIAL MEETING - April 17th, 2016 - Presentation made describing issues AGI
CANDIDATES for the Board for 2016-17 for June 12th AGM and Elections
PROXY Procedure for June 12th AGM and Elections
ABOVE GUIDELINE INCREASE HEARINGS ANNOUNCED - we have been notified by the Landlord & Tenant Board that the hearing has been scheduled for 10:00 am on June 26th, 2017. The hearing will be held at the LIBERTY NORTH Event Centre, 100 Caplan Ave., Unit 1, Barrie.
We have confirmed with our contact at the Board that the address shown on their web site (34 Simcoe Street, Barrie) is incorrect. ALL residents have the right to attend - you have to sign in at 9:30am.
All residents will receive a formal notice from Parkbridge approximately 30 days before the hearing date. As approved by members last year, the Association will be legally represented.
Rent Increase Guidelines for 2016 - (excerpt reported in Monthly Newsletter December 2015) As we reported in July 2015, the Ontario government announced the rent increase guideline for the year 2016 would be 2.0 per cent. The rent increase guideline is the maximum amount by which a landlord can increase the rent of a tenant without seeking the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. The 2016 Guideline applies to a rent increase that occurs between January 1 and December 31, 2016.
Recently it was announced by the Sandycove Home Owners Association that Parkbridge has or is in the process of applying for an ABOVE GUIDELINE RENT INCREASE through the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board.
Over the past two years the Home Owners Association (HOA) have, on numerous occasions, advised residents that it is Parkbridge's policy to apply for Above Guideline Increases wherever permitted by provincial law. As tenants may be aware this is now becoming a reality - for some residents a letter has already been received to that effect and all residents will receive this in due course.
This means that, if approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board (arguments have not yet been heard), the rent increase in 2016 will be the Guideline Increase of 2% plus an Above Guideline Increase of 1.11% for a total of 3.11%. This would be effective on the normal annual date for rent increases. The Residential Tenancies Act requires that tenants receive 90 days notice of this application - hence the first set of letters sent to residents is for those whose date is March 1st 2016.
For more information on this topic please refer to Page 11 of the Sandycove January 2016 Newsletter or contact the Sandycove Office or contact the Sandycove Home Owners Association.
HOME OWNERS OPEN HOUSEwas held Sunday, January 24th, 2016 at the Wheel (reported January 26th) and was attended by some 300+ concerned and interested Sandycove residents. Joining this annual social event was Mayor Gord Wauchope, Deputy Mayor Lynne Dolin and our own Councillor and resident Carolyn Payne. Each spoke for a couple of minutes, the Mayor spoke to a number of Innisfil issues and in particular announced a new and long overdue Medical Clinic and Family Doctor office to be opening in Alcona later in 2016. John Bicknell, President of the Home Owners Association spoke to the 2 primary issues currently in Sandycove Acres.
Winter road conditions in the park and the totally unsatisfactory cleanups that we are seeing was first to be discussed and John let folks know what had been done to correct the situation. Essentially the contracted company will clear the south side while the remaining Sandycove staff will do the north side. It is hoped this will get the job done. Deep concern was expressed by all that the contractors be returning as a number of commitments made by them have not been met including inadequate equipment and poorly trained and inadequate staffing.
Above Guidelines Rent Increase was discussed at some length (click here to see the initial notice) and again John Bicknell led the discussion and was able to show on the big screen what was happening and why. John was very well prepared for this presentation having done some extensive research into the provincial Act as well as the Parkbridge submission. He also outlined some actions the Home Owners can take and asked that people can support these activities by joining the Association and letting their neighbours and friends know that their membership is important and inexpensive at $10 a year (or 84 cents a month). The funding will assist in acquiring legal advice. To see the full presentation John made please click on the following link - Above Guideline Rent Increase - What you should know
PRESIDENTS Report – 2016 OPEN House (text is from the March 2016 Home Owners submission to the Monthly Sandycove Newsletter)
Presented by: John Bicknell, President, Sandycove Home Owners Association
Although today's gathering is intended as a social occasion, it has become a custom for the Association to give a report on its activities. This has, in recent years, tended to overwhelm the social aspect; something we intended to change this year. Unfortunately, events have overtaken us and I know that this is why so many of you are here today.
I propose to speak about two matters that have been our main concerns in recent weeks - snow clearance and Parkbridge's application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase.
SNOW CLEARANCE: I am sure that everyone here will agree that this has been, basically, a disaster. This despite a substantial increase in the contractor's budget over the previous year and a commitment by them as to continuity of staff and improved equipment - neither of which has happened.
Since the first snowfall the Association has been in constant contact with management, providing detailed reports including pictures of problem areas. We have held several face to face meetings at which we stated that the contractor's performance totally failed to meet the requirements of our community and that changes must be made as we did not feel they could significantly improve. I would describe these meetings as having been both frank and constructive.
Many residents have suggested that the Grounds Guys should immediately be cancelled. This HAS been discussed but, however desirable, this is not really a practical solution. Leaving aside legal considerations of broken contracts, it is unlikely that a QUALIFIED contractor could be found at this time of year and, in any event, we would be faced once again with all of the problems of new people learning about Sandycove.
We are pleased to say that, as you may already be aware, Parkbridge have responded to our concerns this past week by implementing changes. The in-house staff have taken over the responsibility for the North side roads, courts and drives. Extra staff will be added if it is found necessary for this and some new types of equipment may be provided on a trial basis. This will mean that the Grounds Guys will use all of their people on the South side and common areas.
Hopefully this will mean a sufficient improvement - this week's reports have been promising - but we will continue to monitor and will press for more changes if it proves necessary.
In the longer term, our intent is twofold. We shall make the case that this contractor can not be renewed for 2016/2017. Further, we shall argue that the real solution given the size and nature of our community is a return to a full in-house capability. It is our intent to make our case directly with Parkbridge's Head Office; hopefully in cooperation with community and regional management. We shall, of course, report to residents through the newsletter as appropriate.
ABOVE GUIDELINE RENT INCREASE: It is many years since we have been faced with this situation and in that time, legislation has changed so that much is new to us as well. I hope that the following PowerPoint presentation will provide some understanding of what is happening, what the current laws are and what the Association feels can be done under these laws. To view the presentation made please click on the following link - Above Guideline Rent Increase - What you should know
I would be remiss if I did not say that we expect this to be an annual situation. We need your support both as numbers adding to our credibility with Parkbridge and financially so we may obtain legal and/or financial advice as necessary. If you are an association member, we thank you for your continuing support. If not, I most strongly suggest that now is the time to join. Please also encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same.
HOME OWNERS SPECIAL MEETING was held Sunday April 17that the Wheel with about 400 supportive residents in attendance. John Bicknell, President of the Home Owners Association spoke to the current issue of the Above Guidelines Increase (AGI) being proposed by Parkbridge which will impact all residents. The primary purpose of the meeting was to receive approval from the members to hire legal assistance in the action. This motion was made and it received an overwhelming majority vote in favour of proceeding. John spent most of an hour describing the issue in great detail and described how the Home Owners will be disputing the increase, with assistance from legal counsel, to the Landlord and Tenants Board of Inquiry. The session was followed by an open question and answer period. The complete presentation made by John is available for review by clicking here.
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