The letter from Charlotte Ostrowski regarding a freeze on rent increases compelled me to write.
Yes it’s true that the current rent increase of four per cent in 2019 comes at a time when rental rates in the Comox Valley are already high and vacancy rates are low, but rentals are subject to the laws of supply and demand.
When there is not much rental property, rates are high. However, so are the expenses of the landlords. The price of maintenance, insurance, heating and taxes are continually going up and they don’t get frozen.
Rent freezes don’t make sense.
All that would do is discourage landlords, which would decrease the supply even more.
Instead, if there were more rental suites built, possibly even to the point of surpassing the demand, what do you think would happen to rental rates? They would go down. So instead of demanding a freeze on rents, encourage the building of more rental properties. Make the market more competitive. Decrease the red tape making it easier for developers to move ahead with the construction.
How about thinking outside the box and offering breaks towards taxes or development fees to any developer who puts in underground parking?