Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Shame on McGuinty for Lowest Ever Rent Guideline

The Premier has betrayed both landlords and tenants with the announcement yesterday that the 2011 annual rent guideline will be just .7%.  That's the lowest percentage since the guideline was introduced, in a year that is expected to see landlords' costs increase by about 7% with the impact of inflation and the HST, ten times the allowable increase.

It was the Liberals who changed the rent guideline calculation methodology in 2007 when they implemented the Residential Tenancies Act.  Those changes are resulting in this record-low number.
Picking on landlords is such an easy game, but the practice ignores the ultimate victim, the tenant.  With basically no ability to keep up with inflation, landlords have only two areas in which to cut back, staff and maintenance.

In too many cases, Toronto buildings are in a state of disrepair.  But who is to blame?  Landlords run the only business I can think of where they can't raise prices for existing customers to cover their basic needs as costs increase.

When government threatened the pharmaceutical industry early this year with onerous and existential changes to their funding, the industry shot back with threats of price increases, cuts in service hours, the elimination of free services etc. Landlords can't do any of the above, as services, pricing and facilities are all regulated.  This leaves cutbacks in maintenance and investment in capital projects.

As for the supply of rentals (not in condominiums) in Toronto, nobody is building.  There is just too much uncertainty and risk when rental housing is in effect, controlled by the state.

Shame on this government for using landlords as scapegoats and pandering to the tenant vote.  As infrastructure crumbles and tenants don't have decent, well maintained housing, we will look back at the political gamesmanship played since the Liberals were elected in 2003.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We need you Harry to help put a Landlord revolt in place... :)