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The End of Rent Control? Bring it on!

Rent Control Blog Image, Nov 2018

Ontario’s controversial rent control is about to come to an end – and that’s a positive change!

When I was attending a speaking session with one of my favourite economists – Benjamin Tal – a few weeks back, he had a great quote: “There’s a Swedish economist who said, ‘Rent control is the best way to destroy a city, maybe besides bombing it.’”

Isn’t that the truth?!

In the GTA, rental units are scarce. And, says Tal, rent control would only further diminish the already depleted supply of available units. 

We’ve already seen a number of developers cancel plans for much-needed new apartment buildings across Ontario thanks to rent control. As well, investors have shied away from buying condos and other rental properties due to last year’s introduction of tighter rules that made ALL properties subject to the province’s rent control laws. Prior to this, rent control laws only impacted properties that were rented or built prior to 1991.

Fortunately, the PCs announced legislation earlier this month to end rent control across Ontario for all newly-built or newly-converted rental units moving forward – while maintaining rent control for current tenants – as part of the Housing Supply Action Plan.

Hey – I don’t want rent levels to be out of reach for the average Canadian. In fact, I welcome a stable rental market. Many experts – including Tal – agree that abolishing rent control will bring in more rental units to the market. More supply will naturally bring in more stable rents.

The Age-Old Debate: Rent or Own?

It’s also interesting that some experts are saying it’s better to rent than to own. And, while it may sound great to pay a rent-controlled low monthly rent of $1,200 or $1,400, in Toronto for instance, what we aren’t seeing is what happens when the landlord decides to sell that home and the new owner chooses to move in. As a renter, you’ll be forced to try and find a place to live at a reasonable rent. Good luck with that! Rents are at record-high levels thanks, in part, to rent control laws introduced by the provincial Liberals that came into effect in 2017.

Rent control will never be the answer to short supply issues!

Your best interest is my only interest. I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments. Like this article? Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis: 416-224-0114; steve@canadamortgagenews.ca

Steve Garganis View All

As an industry insider, Steve will share info that the BANKS don't want you to know. Steve has appeared on TV's Global Morning News, CBC's "Our Toronto" and The Real Life TV show. He's also been quoted in several newspapers such as the Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, The Star Phoenix, etc.

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