Saskatchewan brings rent legislation into force

Bill 33 encourages landlords to belong to an association and, on a case by case basis, provides assistance to tenants facing significant and unaffordable rent increases. It does not bring in the kind of rent increase caps some legislators had called for as a way of addressing what has been, for some tenants, a year of double-digit increases.

Under the legislation, members of an approved landlord association can increase rents every six months as opposed to once every year for non-members.

“The Province of Saskatchewan is booming and the population increasing at a rate not seen since 1930,” says Paula Simon, executive officer of the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Industry Association.  “The legislation passed in the spring, just became effective November 15.  As a result, it’s said that self-governance, responsibility and ethics is the best way for landlords to find success in Saskatchewan.”

Saskatchewan is one of five provinces to reject full rent control, while Ontario, Quebec, B.C., Manitoba and PEI already have rent control in place.

Simon views The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act 2012 as a triumph for landlords.

“We currently don’t have rent control and that’s a very good thing,” says Simon. “It leaves space for self-governance.”

Saskatchewan is gaining momentum as an investment hotspot, but has been undervalued for many years. Now as investors and tenants are flooding the marketplace thanks to the province’s economic boom.

Investing in Saskatchewan became contentious for many investors during last year’s provincial elections, when the Saskatchewan NDP proposed the introduction of rent control. The plan, which would cost $320.8-million over four years, would cap annual rent increases at two per cent.

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