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LETTER: Rent freeze will result in loss of suites

I wanted to comment on the recent article by Jake Romphf regarding the desire of Victoria Council to regulate rent increases between tenancies.

In 2020 there was a rent freeze but my property taxes and insurance went up 12 per cent. In 2021 there was a rent freeze and my property taxes and insurance went up 11 per cent. In 2022 I am allowed to raise rent 1.5 per cent. My insurance went up a further 12 per cent and I anticipate that my property taxes and other rental costs will go up more than that.

If the rent controls apply to the rental then when my long-term tenant leaves I will be unable to raise the rent for the new tenant the amount necessary to cover the costs that I have been subsidizing the previous tenant. This will eventually lead me to sell my house and I will then become a tenant.

When the council refers to holding budget increases to three per cent it is disingenuous, since it fails to take into account the increases of the school taxes and CRD or the increases in the property value which due to the new rules on mortgages I cannot monetize.

While they may think rent controls tied to the suite will hold tenant rents down, in reality as in other parts of the world, it will result in people removing rentals from the market, either by sales or turning them back into principal residences.

Rent controls for existing tenants (at inflation) is appropriate with exceptions for large cost increases but freezing the suite rent in perpetuity without freezing the expenses will result in loss of rentals and ultimately higher rents.

David Gray

Victoria