We know that the majority of homes we see are boarded up or boarded up and boarded up again, but a new study has found that nearly 60 per cent of homeowners who have been the victim of a home theft or damage report that their home has gone missing or destroyed.
“It’s something that we’ve been hearing for a long time and it is an issue that affects people who are homeowners,” said Debra Lantz, with the Halifax Police Centre.
“And it’s something I think we all take for granted in our city.”
In 2011, Lantz and her colleagues looked at the data and found that the rate of property loss in Nova Scotia has nearly doubled since 2000.
The rate of reported home theft jumped from one per 100,000 people in 2000 to three per 100.5 people in 2012, to five per 100 in 2013, and then to six per 100 this year.
While the numbers are still relatively low compared to other provinces, it is still an issue.
“I think it is a huge issue in Halifax, and I think that it is something that needs to be addressed,” Lantz said.
“The number of homes that have gone missing in Halifax in the last five years has tripled and there is a lot of work to be done.”
For the new study, Lathan looked at data from Statistics Canada.
She said the data comes from the property information system (PIS), a tool that collects property information from landlords and property managers in Canada.
The data also includes information from the Nova Scotia Crime Statistics Branch.
According to the agency, the average number of incidents of property theft reported by landlords in Nova Scotians between 2008 and 2014 was 2.9 per 100 households.
The agency says about 85 per cent were reported to police, but there is not a specific breakdown of the number of times the property was reported to the police.
“We know that when we look at the number that has been reported to us, it’s pretty consistent with the number reported to our police service and the number we would have seen if the number were higher,” Lott said.
For the last six years, Halifax has seen an average of four reports per 100 people of home loss or damage.
In 2011-12, the number increased to five incidents per 100 residents.
“If you look at what happened to homeowners, that’s a huge increase in the rate,” Lotti said.
Lantz says there are different approaches that landlords can take to getting their properties fixed.
The first is to check for signs of damage or damage that may indicate the presence of a criminal element, such as broken windows or holes.
The next is to seek a loan, which typically is about $1,000.
Lott says landlords who don’t have access to a bank account, or have a bank loan, may need to borrow money to get their property fixed.
“When it comes to getting your home fixed, you want to be aware that the banks have a responsibility to the homeowners that are paying for the mortgage,” she said.
If a homeowner doesn’t have that, Lott recommends that they take out a home insurance policy, or pay for it themselves, and that they check for insurance in case it’s lost or stolen.
“In my experience, if it’s not insured and it’s taken to the bank and you have the property that’s gone missing, they can’t get it back, but they can put you in a process to get it repaired,” Ltt said.
When a home has not been insured, Ltt says it is important that people report any property loss or damages to the Halifax police.
If there is any doubt about the owner’s identity, police may contact the property owner to see if they can get the property fixed, or to arrange a repair.
“But the last thing you want is for the owner to be in a position where they’re not aware that they’re having the property insured,” Lotta said.
While Lantz is supportive of landlords using a mortgage insurance policy to cover their properties, Lotti says the information on the Halifax Property Insurance Corporation website is misleading.
The information on this website doesn’t say that you need to purchase a property insurance policy for your home to protect against property damage, she said, but that the insurer must cover damage from a burglary or other incident.
“For the average homeowner, it may be a better idea to pay out of pocket for the insurance,” Ltta said.
In 2016, Halifax Police also conducted a survey about the safety of homeowners, and the results showed that homeowners who had experienced an incident in the previous six months were more likely to be alive.
About 15 per cent said they had reported their property had been stolen, and about 23 per cent reported that their property was lost.
“What we have seen is that the percentage of homeowners that have reported that they have lost or damaged their property in the six months following an incident is increasing,” said Const.
“They are more likely