Letter: New rental rate regulations will reduce the supply of housing

What about landlords?

Renters in B.C. have just received a big handout from the NDP government on the backs of hard-working landlords. No longer will landlords be able to increase rents above the allowable 4 per cent in 2018. Increasing rents above 4 per cent was only allowable under certain “extraordinary” circumstances such as unexpected repairs or large operating cost increases to a rental property.

NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert rationalized the decision by saying it gave more security to renters in B.C. What about landlords? Most of whom are harding-working people that have begged and borrowed to finance additional properties in hopes of getting ahead. Where is the security for them and other entrepreneurs in this province? In the light of historically low rental vacancy rates, the government should be encouraging and incentivizing landlords to buy and rent property, and developers to build more rental housing.

Increasing regulation to free enterprise in this province can only reduce the incentives to provide rental housing. These changes to rental increases will reduce the supply of rentals, making it even harder for people to find affordable housing. Further, people that live in a house that is renting well under the market rate will not be able to afford to move.

I have long dreamed of following in my parent’s footsteps of buying, renovating and renting out property on the side. I knew it wouldn’t be easy—saving up a down payment, taking on significant financial risk, spending all my free evenings and weekends renovating and managing rental properties—but I always thought it would be worth it. However, it is becoming more apparent that, under an NDP government, owning rental property is not something I want to do.

The vast majority of landlords here in B.C. are not wealthy. They are middle-class people trying to get ahead in life. It is about time our government consulted with them and asked what can be done to provide security for landlords. Let’s encourage people to become landlords, not penalize them for it.

Mitch LaRue, Kelowna

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