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Are landlords to blame for tenant financial woes?

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Guest | 08 Oct 2013, 07:10 AM Agree 0

Homeowners may be fretting about the high cost of servicing mortgage debt, but spare a thought for the 20 per cent of tenants who are spending half of their income on helping to pay for those mortgages.
Around 30 per cent of household income is identified as the threshold that should  be spent on housing, however, the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association say a quarter of renters are over that limit.
And now, a number of municipal leaders want Prime Minister Stephen Harper to step in and do something about it. They say the housing affordability situation is “putting our national economy at risk.”
Brendan Powell from The Brel Team told CREW there is very little that Harper can do, with the market naturally dictating rental rates. “This is not a unique situation to Canada. Yes, rents have gone up in urban markets but tenants choose to live in those areas, in those properties,” he says.
A number of cities, such as Kingston, are trying to ease the issue of affordability and supply by allowing homeowners to have secondary suites.
“This flexibility of rules and regulations by the various cities is really all that can be done to address the issue of supply and affordability,” says Powell. “At the end of the day, it is a business for landlords to maximize their return on investment. This should not be a blame game on landlords or anyone. It’s the market.”
  • vera 1517 | 08 Oct 2013, 05:44 PM Agree 0
    Rents have remained high, even when borrowing cost are a fraction of what they used to be. So, a property's mortgage could be well under what rent it can get. ( not is big cities but in smaller towns - where homes can be bought for $120,000 still ) If mortgages are that low, why is the rent still high?
  • Ron Cameron | 08 Oct 2013, 07:14 PM Agree 0
    What we need is a ban on foreign investment in real estate.
    The foreign investors have driven prices to the moon just
    because they can. Our middle class has disappeared and
    they were the group that shouldered most of the tax burden.
    Governments are raising fees everywhere they can to pay for
    a host of overpriced projects. I fear the may be approaching
    bankruptcy, like has happened in some U.S. cities.

    We will end up with a tremendous underclass if things keep
    up the way they are. Foreign goods used to be burdened with
    meaningful tariffs, that kept our own manufactured goods
    competitive. Rents are just the result of out of control real
    estate prices. Some foreign buyers buy 10 house as a time.
    They are filthy rich from send shoddy consumer goods here.

    There is a large cloud of bad feeling being engendered here.
    We know who to point the finger at. There will soon be a
    reason to fix this. The powers that be in Canada are basing
    the next quarter century's economy on oil and natural gas
    removal and sale. An Asian country is trying to buy a huge
    stake in the natural gas fracking business here in B.C.

    Is it worth it to bargain future health and welfare for a few
    years of digging up the rest of the dinosaurs. What happens
    when it finally runs out. Does anybody care? If we don't get
    our ducks in a row the jig may be up. Just remember, every
    wild animal would fair better if human disappeared. If that
    doesn't sober you, nothing will.
  • pam | 09 Oct 2013, 02:59 AM Agree 0
    I have had the lowest rental income in four years as dictated by the market. chilliwack BC
  • z. Homolkova | 09 Oct 2013, 02:18 PM Agree 0
    Really lame logic in this does a secondary, most likely basement unit, help to alleviate the tenants woes?
    Naturally, it will help the homeowner/ landlord to pay the mortgage with the rent that they collect from the tenant.
    So, back to Harper...any suggestions?
  • Carlos H | 10 Oct 2013, 05:24 PM Agree 0
    I would love to know where you all live, where you say that rent is so much higher than the mortgage. I might just decide to invest in there.

    Well, first of all, yes there is mortgage. Did you add up all the other expenses in there too? At least property taxes, which is easily a few hundred dollars per month, depending on the property? Then there might be utility expenses, insurance expenses, plus we also have to save some money for those rainy days where the tenant moves out and we have a vacancy... no rent money coming in but we still have to pay the bank. How about the maintenance? Did you account for that? Most months there might be nothing needing maintenance, but when it happens, it could be a few hundred dollars right up to a few thousands!

    So please, tell me where you live and how expensive rent is. If it really is high there, and it will pay off ALL my expenses, and maybe even some more after for a bit of a profit... I'll see you there tomorrow!
  • robin wilding | 13 Oct 2013, 01:11 AM Agree 0
    The market will always dictate rental rates, so if renters want to become the landlords one day they need to come up with creative solutions that will help them take advantage of our historically-low interest rates.
  • MadelB | 07 Feb 2014, 04:35 PM Agree 0
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