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Quinte landlords association calls for fewer restrictions on rent guidelines

QRLA member and small landlord Ken Horricks shows the 2021 annual rent guideline.

The Quinte Region Landlords Association (QRLA) is calling on the provincial government to re-think restrictions on rent increases, reporting local landlords are struggling to keep up financially, and to provide the housing their communities need.

The government is permitting landlords to increase rents by 1.2 per cent in 2022.

In a written statement, the QRLA states “That may be an increase from 2021 when rents were frozen, but it’s not enough. Many small landlords are struggling to pay their bills after two years of COVID-related restrictions. By limiting the amount that landlords can adjust rents, the provincial government is unfairly shouldering the blame for housing issues on small landlords, when broader solutions and discussions are needed.”

The 2021 average inflation rate was 3.4 per cent, with December coming in at 4.8 per cent, according to Statistics Canada’s Consumer Price Index.

Robert Gentile, QRLA President states this inflation and double-digit increases in construction, insurance and hydro costs over the past decade means that landlords are falling behind and are finding it increasing difficult to maintain and invest in housing.

“The public accepts that grocery stores and other essential services need to raise prices to cover their costs.” said Gentile. “We want the government to understand that landlords are no different than these businesses; they provide a service and the costs associated with it are not fully in their control.”

The QRLA agrees that while it may be difficult for some tenants on modest fixed incomes to face higher rent increases, limiting rent increases such that landlords cannot keep up with costs is not the answer.

“Some tenant advocacy groups are calling for another year of rent freeze. But have they really thought that through?” asks Gentile. “By freezing rents, you’re only harming the very people you need to provide and create more housing – small landlords, which provide over 80 per cent of all rental housing.”

Gentile states the problem of tenants struggling to pay rent is a result of a lack of rental supply which is mainly caused by a hostile regulatory environment for housing providers.

“Who would want to invest in more rental supply when the rules are stacked against them?” said Gentile. “Another problem is incomes not rising with the rate of inflation. The incomes provided by social programs, such as Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works, have barely moved over the last two decades and social housing allowances also rarely provide tenants enough
support.”

The QRLA says it’s not only a supply problem, but an income problem.

“We already see many landlords quitting the industry after suffering losses. Freezing rents will further discourage rental housing investment and worsen the supply crisis.” said Gentile. “This will only cause further harm to the citizens the government is trying to help – tenants. Lack of housing and the ability to pay for it is a broad social problem that needs broad action, not pointing the finger at housing providers.”

The Quinte Region Landlords Association provides education, resources and supports to housing providers. Its approximately 260 members supply more than 1000 rental units in the area.

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  1. Dan says:

    Why don’t we have the landlords and tenants trade positions and then we can revisit this conversation in a year?

    There. Fixed it.

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