March 12th, 2013
Earlier this month, tenants living in a rental property in Regina were facing rent increases of up to 77%. These tenants went to the media and complained to the government saying they felt like ‘faceless people.’
Upset tenants included senior Pat Colpits who has lived there for nine year and pays $674/month. She said she was shocked to receive the news her rent would increase to $1,195/month on September 1st.
This isn’t the first time landlords and tenants have faced off against rent prices. Colpits added would have to move and believes other tenants would also be forced out because they simply couldn’t afford the new prices.
Colpits and a group of other tenants went to the Saskatchewan legislature to ask for help.
According to a CBC news report, today the tenants received news the rent increases would be stopped.
Landlords are shocked at this result but it’s important to look at what happened.
As explained above, after receiving the rent increase,the tenants began their campaign against it. It became political after the NDP began calling for rent control and the government shot it down.
The new owners of the building were contacted by a quasi-government landlord association. Afterwards, it was stated the property management company that had been hired to manage the building, and who sent out the notices, no longer has that contract. The owners then rescinded the rent increases. They say they will ‘work with’ the buildings tenants on future increases.
We are happy this has worked out and with the owners of the building and the tenants successfully hash out a way that works for all of them.
However some questions do arise out of this.
-Was the property management company made the scapegoat for the rent increases? We wait for their comments.
-Why did the new owners change course so suddenly?
-What did the landlords association say to the building owners?
-How will future increases be implemented as the owners work with the tenants?
Again, we are glad this worked out for the tenants. However, it looks like the issue of rent control is becoming very political. This is something all current landlords and future investors need to keep our eyes on.
To discuss this and other issues facing Saskatchewan landlords and tenants go to the Saskatchewan landlord forum.