Northview backs down on fees for tenants paying rent online

·2 min read

Northview tenants will no longer be subject to extra processing fees when they pay rent online.

Linay Freda, the vice-president of operations, northern region, for Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund, delivered the news in an email response to a CBC News inquiry about the new fees.

"In consultation with the rental officer, any associated processing fees for residents using the third party property management portal have been eliminated and no charges will be applied to any resident wishing to pay rent online," Freda said.

"Any resident who was inadvertently charged a fee in paying November's rent will be refunded."

Freda, who is based in Iqaluit, did not specify whether that consultation was with the N.W.T. rental officer or the Nunavut one.

In an Inuvik Drum article published on Friday, Adelle Guigon, the N.W.T.'s rental officer, said tenants who pay the fee are entitled to their money back.

Guigon said the fees could be challenged under the territory's Residential Tenancies Act, which requires landlords give tenants three months notice of any rent increase.

Nunavut's Residential Tenancies Act includes the same provisions.

Submitted
Submitted

Northview Apartment REIT, formerly Northern Properties, was taken over earlier this month by Northview Canadian High Yield Properties, which is owned by Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital.

The company now owns more than 10,000 multi-residential suites in "secondary markets" across Canada, including the N.W.T. and Nunavut.

A Nov. 2 letter to N.W.T. tenants from the Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund said the company is "excited to introduce ourselves as your new Property Management Company."

It also announced that payments can no longer be made to the previous management company, and invites residents to a new "online resident portal called myCommunity," where tenants must register to pay their Dec. 1 rent.

Many tenants who did so found they were charged a brand new "web processing fee."

CBC News received one screenshot from a renter who was asked to pay $17.57 to process his $1,755 monthly rent.

Sara Minogue/CBC
Sara Minogue/CBC

A Nov. 18 letter from the company informed Nunavut tenants that the regional office will be closed due to pandemic restrictions until further notice. It reminds tenants to sign up for online payments ahead of Dec. 1, adding that "our new online portal is managed by a third party organization and some of the payment options they provide involve a processing fee charged by them (this is not a Northview fee)."

Northview specializes in rental properties in areas with a "high corporate demand for housing." Its website advertises the "stable and continuous rent growth" opportunities, and the fact that 66 per cent of its leases are backed by governments and credit rated corporations.