Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are utilities included in the rent?
2. How long will it take to process my application?
3. Do I have to pay a damage deposit?
4. Do I need to have tenant insurance?
5. What happens when I move in?
6. Is my rent going to increase?
7. Is there any way I can terminate my yearly/fixed term lease early?
8. What happens when I move out?


 

1. Are utilities included in the rent?

Many of our buildings include heat, hot water, and parking. Check with one of our friendly staff during the application process to confirm what is included.

 

2. How long will it take to process my application?

We strive to process all applications within 24 hours from receipt at our office. Unfortunately, sometimes applications can be delayed if there is missing information or we have trouble reaching your references. To avoid delays in processing please ensure that the application form is completed correctly and that the phone numbers and addresses provided are correct.

** Providing your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is optional. Please note, however, that most credit reporting agencies use the Social Insurance Number as a unique identifier to ensure proper identification when conducting credit reviews and preparing credit reports. If you do not wish to provide your Social Insurance Number, our ability to obtain a timely and accurate credit report may be affected, hence influencing our ability to complete the processing of your application.

 

3. Do I have to pay a damage deposit?

Yes. You are required pay a damage deposit. It will be equal to 1/2 of the amount of your rent. Deposits are payable when you sign your lease.

 

4. Do I need to have tenant insurance?

Tenant’s Insurance is mandatory. You must provide Twin City Management with a proof of tenant liability insurance prior to moving into your unit. As a tenant you are liable (i.e. legally responsible) for any harm you cause to any part of your building and others who live or visit there. This may cost anywhere from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

 

5. What happens when I move in?

A lease must be signed prior to taking possession of your apartment. At the time you sign your lease you must pay your security deposit. The security deposit is due and payable at the time you sign the lease, not the beginning of tenancy.

There are two kinds of leases:

  • A periodic lease is one where the lease is signed on a year-to-year or month-to-month basis. The tenancy can continue year-to-year, month-to-month until the tenant gives notice they no longer wish to renew it.
  • A fixed-term lease has a specific start and end date. The lease does not renew after that date. If you wish to continue tenancy after the end date you must negotiate a new lease with Twin City Management.

If you are signing the lease and moving in to the unit at the same time you must also bring with you the first month’s rent and your proof of insurance before you will be given possession of the unit. You should inspect the premises with your resident manager or an agent of Twin City Management when you move in. The purpose of this inspection is to identify any damages or deficiencies in the unit so you will not be held responsible for them at the end of your tenancy. You will both sign a copy of this inspection report and it will be held at the Twin City management office in your file.

 

6. Is my rent going to increase?

Unfortunately rent increases are a regular occurrence. There are many factors that can affect the rent on a unit. Many tenants believe the increase is relative to repairs and maintenance of their building, when in fact repairs and maintenance are typically planned and budgeted for annually based on existing rents. The major cause of rental increases is a rise in fees and utilities which are incurred by the landlord and are outside the responsibilities on the tenant. For example in 2012 we saw a rate hike of 5% in power, Halifax water increases their rates by almost 12%, and Property Tax assessments for apartment buildings are up about 30 per cent over the past five years.

Twin City strives to keep rental increases as affordable as possible. If a tenant is paying $700 for a unit and receives an increase of $35 per month this would work out to only a 5% annual increase. When compared to rate in which utilities and fees are rising you can see the increase is a necessary requirement to maintain a property. Rent can only be increased once in a 12-month period, on the anniversary date of the tenancy. Notice of a rent increase will be given to you in writing and will state the amount of the increase and the date the rent will go up.

For fixed-term leases, the amounts and dates of all increases will be included in the lease when it is signed. The rent can be increased by any amount. If you do not agree with a rent increase, you may give three months’ Notice to Quit to your landlord before the anniversary date, and leave. If there are any changes to a service or privilege included in your rent, it is considered to be a rent increase and you will be notified on your rental increase.

When you are living in your residential unit, you may choose to change a year-to-year lease to a month-to-month one. To do this you must give Twin City Management a written request at least three months prior to your anniversary date to begin a month-to-month lease. This change will take effect on your anniversary date when the year-to-year lease has ended. We will respond to your request in writing to confirm if your request has been accepted. If you have a fixed-term lease, you can only change the terms if you and your landlord agree to do so.

 

7. Is there any way I can terminate my yearly/fixed term lease early?

On a yearly tenancy, you must give notice to quit at least 3 full months before the anniversary date. On a month to month tenancy, you must give notice to quit at least 1 full month before the end of any month. If you leave without proper notice, you are still responsible for your lease until your landlord can re-rent the unit. Unless you have a fixed-term lease (end date stated in the lease), your lease term is automatically renewed until notice is given. According to the Nova Scotia Residential Tenancy Act; you must give your landlord your Notice to Quit before the first of the month and it is effective the last day of the month.

Twin City management offers three options for tenants who wish to terminate their lease early:

  • The first option is a traditional sublet. You must give Twin City notice in writing of your intentions to sublet your unit and you will retain financial responsibility until the end of your tenancy. You are required to locate a suitable tenant who must fill out an application and be approved by Twin City Management. Once approved, this tenant can move into your unit and pay the rent to you and you would then pay the rent to Twin City Management. We recommend that you have some type of sub lease agreement with your tenant in writing and that you forward Twin City a copy for reference. You would remain responsible for any unpaid rent or damages to your unit until the end of your tenancy. The fee for this process is $25.
  • The second option if you do not wish to continue with your lease, you may ask to assign any months remaining on your lease to a new person. The process remains the same in that you must notify Twin City of your intentions and locate a suitable tenant. After the applicant has been approved, they will sign a new lease with Twin City Management under the same terms of your current lease. They are required to remain responsible for any months remaining in your lease contract, however may sign a yearly lease if they wish to do so. The new person then becomes responsible for following the lease and paying rent until it has ended. The fee for this process in $75.
  • The last option is a lease buyout. If you are unable or do not wish to locate a suitable tenant on your own you may “buyout” your lease agreement. With this process you would notify Twin City of your intentions to vacate. You are then responsible to pay upfront the remaining months in your lease up to a maximum of three months. This money is due on or before you vacate the unit and must be payable in certified check, money order or bank transfer. If you are being transferred for work, check with your employer if they can assist you with this cost. Many employers have allowances set up for contract buyouts and will pay this fee for their employees.

 

8. What happens when I move out?

When you are moving out, you must make arrangements with the office or your resident manager at lease two days before your departure for an out inspection of your unit. The inspection should be carried out during daylight hours after all your belongings have been removed to check the condition and cleanliness of the apartment. During the inspection, we will check for the following:

  • All holes have to be filled & sanded/ walls wiped down
  • All windows, ledges, screens and light fixtures must be cleaned
  • Fridges & stoves are to be cleaned inside, outside and pulled out and cleaned behind
  • Cupboards are to be emptied and cleaned inside & out
  • Dishwashers/Washing Machines (if applicable) have to be cleaned, inside, outside and cleaned behind
  • Bathtubs/shower/toilets, tiles and mirrors are to be thoroughly cleaned
  • All flooring is to be cleaned thoroughly
  • All carpets are to be PROFESSIONALLY cleaned, and a copy of the receipt provided to your resident manager at the time of inspection
  • Any old furniture items left inside the unit or outside the building will be charged $75 each

** Please note – Any paint colors that were changed during your tenancy must be returned back to their original color scheme. Any Borders/Wallpaper must be removed prior to your out inspection. Your failure to clean your apartment properly will necessitate our cleaning the unit at your expense. Charges for dirty stoves are a minimum of $50, dirty refrigerators a minimum of $50 and labor is charged at a rate of $20.00 per hour for general cleaning. If the carpets are not PROFESSIONALLY cleaned, the following amounts will be charged:

  • 1 Bedroom-$74.75
  • 2 Bedrooms – $97.75
  • 3 Bedrooms -$120.00
  • 4 Bedrooms -$163.20

Please return keys for all doors and mailbox, plus any duplicate keys, and smart cards (if applicable) at the time of inspection. A $25 charge will be assessed for each set of missing keys/smart card. You may not deduct the amount of the security deposit from your final rent payment. We will return your deposit to you within 10 days of the last day of your tenancy. The 10 days does not necessarily start from the time you move out. (For example, you give Notice to Quit that gives your last day as the 30th of June, but leave on the 15th of June. The time for the return of the deposit starts on the 30th.) Security deposit checks will be made jointly payable to the names on the lease unless otherwise stated in writing. It will be returned 10 days after the termination of your lease, based on the inspection report and if no monies owe.

Please take the necessary steps to have the telephone and power disconnected, and make sure your forwarding address is provided on the back of the inspection sheet.

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