A Kamloops-based property management group with ties to Prince George is taking issue with the province possibly capping the annual allowable rent increase.
This comes as the annual cost of living rose by 7.7 percent in May – the largest jump since 1983.
Kelson Group President, Jason Fawcett told MyPGNow.com that with insurance, natural gas, and utility costs rising between 10 and 50%, raising rent is the only option.
“We want to continue to repair our buildings, provide good service to our residents, and if we are not able to charge more rent it does create some challenges.”
“Landlords will have to make choices and oftentimes repairs is one item that you can cut from the budget and that in the long run is not good for the building.”
The way it is now, landlords are allowed to raise rents in line with inflation.
Rent increases are tied to the 12-month average percent change in the consumer price index, which was 4% in April.
A figure that could go higher – with the final calculation based on the CPI change as of next month.
However, Fawcett believes their property management group as well as others could be unfairly punished if rent increases are kept to a bare minimum.
“We’ve already had a cap for two years when there were no increases and this year, the increase has been a modest 1.5% and so it’s a challenge to think that the government may ask us not to use this formula that we’ve used.”
“It’s somewhat arbitrary that everyone is not going to get these rent increases. What the government really should do is be looking at who are the people who need the most help and how can we target those individuals that are in more need than others.”
Fawcett adds any solution should be means-tested for those people that need more help.
“As landlords, we certainly get to know our residents but we really don’t know all the details about their financial situation. It puts us in a difficult situation to determine that. That’s why the government should have an application process for those people that need more help and there are a few programs already mainly targetted for seniors and some low-income families but we would advocate for more to be done.”
Kelson Group manages eleven apartment complexes in Prince George and will operate a new five-storey, 95-unit apartment complex on Foothills Boulevard that was approved by the city in November.