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Proposed Quebec Rent Increases For 2022 Are Out & Pretty Much No One Is Happy

A landlord association thinks they're too low. A tenant association thinks they're too high.

Contributing Writer
Proposed Quebec Rent Increases For 2022 Are Out & Pretty Much No One Is Happy

Quebec's housing tribunal released their proposed rent increase for 2022 on Wednesday – and, in a province where rising rents have been an ongoing concern, it immediately sparked debate between landlords and renters' associations.

According to the Tribunal administratif du logement's (TAL) recommendation, rental prices that don't include heat should go up by 1.28%. This percentage increases if heating is included in the rental price: 1.34% for electrical heating, 1.91% for gas, and 3.73% for heating oil.

The Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ), a provincial landlords' association, believe that the TAL's suggested rent increases are far lower than a realistic range. On the flip side, the Coalition of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations of Quebec (RCLALQ) believe that rent increases in the range recommended by TAL – or higher, if the tenant agrees – are simply not acceptable.

"Without taking into account taxes, maintenance, and renovation work, the base increase in rents remain much lower than inflation in general," said the CORPIQ in a statement posted Wednesday. "Material and labour costs have boosted maintenance and renovation spending by about 25% this year, after a first year of the pandemic that had already inflamed costs in the construction sector."

The CORPIQ says that the TAL's system of calculating rent increases, "continues to penalize property owners and discourage maintenance and renovations."

“The CORPIQ will always say that the increase is not enough,” said Marion Duval, spokesperson and co-coordinator of RCLALQ, in response to the CORPIQ's statement.

Duval stated that repairs and renovations to a property are investments that the owner makes. She stated renters shouldn’t pay for those investments, since “the tenants will never touch [returns on] that investment."

“Moreover, 3.73% is a lot," Duval continued, referring to the recommended increase for units heated with heating oil. "I don’t know many people who have that salary increase yearly.”

Duval explained that landlords should abide by the TAL’s recommendations, as their calculations already include a profit margin. “The tribunal already took into consideration that, as an investor, you have the right to a profit,” Duval said.

The RCLALQ urges renters to know their rights when it comes to rent increases. "In Québec, lessors and lessees are free to agree on a rent increase that both consider acceptable.," the TAL said in their release yesterday. "The lessee also has the right to refuse a rent increase proposed by the lessor."

The RCLALQ pointed out that tenants often do not dispute excessive rent increases for a variety of factors. "Many tenants do not refuse abusive hikes for fear of retaliation, or in order to stay on good terms with their landlord. Thus, very few rent increases are set by the Tribunal," the RCLALQ says in their mission statement.

"Even though Quebec’s Housing Tribunal (TAL) affixes a median percentage increase each year to guide landlords, they are under no obligation to comply," they added. "Even if the increase is excessive, if tenants do not refuse a rent increase, it is legal."

The RCLALQ also pointed out that many renters are under the false belief that they must either accept rent increases proposed by their landlords or move out. Rent can also be increased significantly when a new lessor moves in.

"Too many landlords use fraudulent tactics (repossession and eviction in bad faith, major non-essential work, termination of lease under pressure, etc.) to evict tenants and excessively increase the price of rents," the RCLALQ claims.

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