Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gouging Renters - My Eye

"Every renter in Alberta is in danger of being gouged because of the Conservatives' refusal to protect them from huge rent increases," Martin told a news conference. "This government has chosen to listen to the interests of the big landlords and real estate investment trusts like Boardwalk rather than those of ordinary Albertans,..." NDP MLA Ray Martin
Edmonton Sun Opinion Kerry Diotte

I'm just not feeling it. Of course the newspapers are on and on about the evil "Big Landlords" who are raising rents $500 a month, twice a year. What about the last 3 or 4 years when rents were next to static with little or no rental increases? The rents are finally catching up to the market, a market that did a 52% increase last year and 16% so far in 2007. Many properties still carry negative cashflow.

The Alberta Affordable Housing Task Force decided to not enforce rent control because in the end it doesn't work. It stifles new building and in the long run reduces rental units available.

"However, Mike Chopowick, of the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, said rent increases are often the result of costs, like utility or maintenance costs, that "are beyond the control of landlords."

Rent controls for Alberta, he said, "are certainly ill-advised at this time. It looks like a knee-jerk reaction."