Monday, July 25, 2022 - 11:30 AM

What We Heard: Public Engagement for Property Managers and Landlords

Image of colourful homes with trees, text reads 'Affordable Housing St. John's''

The City of St. John’s Housing Division recently engaged with landlords and property managers to build knowledge around the provision of affordable housing in St. John’s, and to share supports and resources related to affordable housing projects.

A landlord survey was conducted online from May 9 to June 3, to better understand the impacts of recent changes in the rental properties market. The What We Heard document will be presented to City Council today, see item 14.5.

The survey received 249 responses with a 64% completion rate. The survey was promoted via a Public Service Announcement, the City website, social media, community partner networks, and during a landlord engagement event on May 25.

Highlights of the survey results: 

  • Most landlords in St. John’s operate on a small scale, holding 1-5 units
  • Of the 249 respondents, only 3 indicated operating accessible units, highlighting a key need
  • The greatest impact of the pandemic is loss of rental income and increased rental arrears  
  • Landlords indicated damages and poor support processes as common challenges
  • 57% of landlords are dissatisfied with recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 
  • 47% of respondents are interested in or able to provide affordable housing, however, lack of security in recouping costs of missed rent, damages, is cited as a significant barrier
  • Cost of living increases is perceived as a major barrier to providing affordable rentals
  • Landlord mitigation funds and tax incentives are cited as key incentives 

Findings from the landlord survey will be presented to the Affordable Housing Working Group and used to inform working group initiatives and advocacy to increase the feasibility of affordable market rentals.