“Major investments in repairs and maintenance are needed on these older units and controls mean that rents are unable to keep pace with increased costs, including management, utilities, taxes, maintenance and capital investment,” said Mike Chopowick, vice-president of the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, in an address to landlords recently.
This is just one of the major issues facing landlords, not just here in Ontario, but elsewhere across the country, in provinces like Alberta and Quebec. What’s more, the lobbying group is worried that rental housing built after 1991, which is not subject to rental control, could soon lose its amnesty.
During his presentation, Chopowick indicated that the average rent dispute process in Ontario takes approximately 90 days to fix, making Ontario among one of the lengthiest to solve disputes.
In Alberta, the average dispute is solved in 17 days, he said, and according to the federation, the average costs for a landlord can be more than $4,000.
Lee Strauss, a landlord and investor in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, agreed that more needs to be done to protect landlords, but stopped short of drastic measures and the need for provincial oversight.
“It’s a tough call,” he told CREW
. “On one hand, the protections are there to prevent landlords from elevating rents by $300, but on the other hand, the 1.6 per cent rent control figure is not doing much for landlords making significant improvements to their units.
“It’s usually just a conversation you need to have with your tenant and go from there.”
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Ontario landlords are lobbying for the provincial government to create a healthier private sector rental housing market by removing rent control, preserving vacancy de-controls and fixing the dispute process.