Investing In Waterloo Region
Being within an hour's drive of major surrounding cities like Toronto, London, Burlington, and Hamilton, it's no surprise why more and more people are attracted to this area. With the unemployment rate under the provincial average, job growth leads to rental demand which brings more qualified tenants looking for housing.
As a Landlord myself and a previous tenant in student housing in Waterloo, I have an in-depth knowledge of the Student and Multi-Family market in Kitchener and Waterloo. Kitchener-Waterloo boasts a fantastic vacancy rate of 2.8% and with a growing technology sector in Kitchener, you can expect similar vacancy rates for years to come. There is one standout difference from investing in Kitchener rather than Waterloo - the rental license. While Waterloo requires a license for any low-rise residential unit, Kitchener does not.
If you have lived in the region for the past 5 years, you will have noticed the incredible amount of growth. Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo are both located in Waterloo and are two of the countries premier post-secondary schools. With the rate of student enrollment (30,000-40,000 students by 2020), there is an ongoing demand for student housing. Many are moving their investments to the lucrative student market, a more predictable and stable environment that can have multiple sources of return, along with many tax benefits. Although Student Housing in Waterloo can drive higher rents, you are required to have a rental license for every unit, with some exceptions.
Investors in Waterloo must apply for a rental license if they meet any of the following requirements:
Any low-rise building containing 3 or fewer units, ie. single detached, duplex, triplex
An owner renting 4 or fewer rooms in the home
A rental license is not transferable and costs $374.82 – $757.30, dependent on size and number of bedrooms.
Rental licenses must be renewed each year by April 1st at a cost ranging from $204.45- $413.07 dependent on the number and size of the bedrooms.
To apply for a rental license you will need the following supporting documents:
Criminal Records Check
Electrical Safety Authority- General Inspection Certificate report
Proof of Ownership (transfer agreement or deed)
Property Maintenance Plan
When renewing the license, the applicant must include a certificate of
insurance and HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) each year and
the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) every 5 years.