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Concerns raised over unintended consequences of federal budget’s impact on rental housing: QRLA

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Quinte Region Landlords Association (QRLA) members are concerned that some 2024 federal budget proposals may harm their ability to expand rental housing supply. The association represents about 300 housing providers supplying over 2000 rental housing units in the Quinte region.

QRLA president Robert Gentile says the group applauds the government for addressing the rental housing crisis and encouraging supply, but worries some measures may have unintended consequences.


Disclosing historical rents: ‘A prelude to removing vacancy decontrol’


He notes the requirement to disclose historical rents to new tenants as an example of more red tape on top of an already heavily regulated industry and that, as it is, many landlords leave the industry due to excessive regulations. He says he’s not clear on how historical rent information would be of use to tenants and worries it could be a prelude to removing vacancy decontrol (landlords’ ability to raise rents when a unit becomes vacant).

“Many landlords fall behind financially because the rent increase rules don’t allow them to keep up with rising operating costs. The only chance many landlords have to catch up is when there is a tenant turnover. Take away that ability, and you may trigger an exodus of small landlords who decide rentals aren’t worth the high risk and headaches.”


More concerns: Landlord disputes legal fund and capital gains tax


The QRLA is also concerned about the proposed Tenant’s Bill of Rights, and the $15 million legal fund to help with landlord disputes. “We have no issues with helping good tenants defend their rights with any bad-apple landlord,” Gentile says, “but what about the many mom-and-pop landlords who face financial ruin at the hands of bad-apple tenants abusing the system? Don’t they also deserve protection so they can keep providing rental housing? Many are not getting that right now.”

He points out that both sides have rights that should be protected, and both sides should expect a justice system that works.

Raising the capital gains tax is another concern the QRLA has, claiming it may act as a disincentive to small landlords investing in rental properties: “Many small landlords do not realize much cash flow owning rentals, and count on the eventual sale to realize a return on their time and risk, often years down the road. Some are counting on their capital gains as their retirement fund. Raising the tax may discourage people from providing rental housing.”


Gentile says the QRLA looks forward to dialogue with the federal government through industry partners to better understand the budget and its potential implications on landlords and rental housing supply.


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