Montreal, January 19, 2022 – Rent increases are expected to be low as inflation has had a significant impact on landlords over the past year. In the event of a dispute with a tenant, a landlord would obtain from the Tribunal rent increases of approximately 2% and the increase could reach 5% if there is a more pronounced raise in municipal taxes, insurance, and energy costs.
Staggering cost increases
Without considering taxes, maintenance, and renovation work, the basic increase in rents remains much lower than inflation in general; however, Quebec landlords are living in an environment where inflation has simply exploded, and this is unprecedented in terms of rising costs in the rental sector. Materials and labour costs have driven up maintenance and renovation expenses by approximately 25% this year, following a first year of pandemic inflation that had already inflamed construction costs. Unfortunately, the grid continues to penalize landlords and discourage maintenance and renovation. For example, in the case of major work, the rate of return offered to the landlord leads to a return on investment of over 50 years. This calculation is disconnected from reality and is repeated year after year. In fact, a landlord who invests $1000 in major work in a dwelling would be awarded by a court less than $2 increase per month more than someone who has not invested a penny in renovations; this is a mathematical calculation that makes no sense.
"Labour and material costs are skyrocketing and landlords are the big losers because the calculation grid penalizes all landlords who have had to do work in their buildings," says Benoit Ste-Marie, executive director of CORPIQ.
Insurance and municipal taxes cause market headaches
Among the bills that are passed on to tenants, insurance costs continue to rise. For rental properties over 35 years old, the increase was 30 to 40% in 3 years, and exceeds 50% when considering the growth in insurable values. Landlords who had lower increases last year were even more impacted this year; insurers adjusted de facto insurable values, creating disproportionate increases. The issue of values also has an impact on the tax bill, which in some cities has jumped this year. This is the case in Quebec City, where the average increase for buildings with 7 or more units could reach 8.3%, an unprecedented situation that will have a strong impact on rent increases. CORPIQ estimates that approximately 50% of the rent increase in Quebec City will be due to municipal tax increases.
"Cities are using landlords as tax collectors, which forces them to bear the burden of delivering a rent increase message for a reason that is beyond their control," says Mr. Ste-Marie.
In order to regain a healthier and more viable market in the long term, the government must review the outdated rent-setting grid, which is having a negative impact on the supply of housing. It is time to value maintenance and renovation in a long-term holding perspective and to better control the consequences of external factors such as insurance and municipal taxes that put upward pressure on rents. In this regard, CORPIQ salutes the gesture of the Quebec City administration which wishes to set up a committee to avoid abrupt tax increases. Unfortunately, for this year, the figures announced by the city represent the worst-case scenario.
Information and interview requests:
Executive director – Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec
Phone : 514-249-1691
Email : email@example.com