Should the Alberta Government Implement Rental Caps? Alberta’s Rental Prices are Ridiculous

Alberta cities Calgary & Edmonton are among the highest rental prices in Canada.

ALBERTA — Calgary tops the charts when it comes to average rental rates across our nation for larger cities. Edmonton too, is in the top five, being surpassed by the expected: Toronto, ON and Vancouver, BC.

Even with rental vacancy rates rising, it is not enough to get landlords to drop their prices. This is a big concern.

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, average monthly rent costs in Alberta rose by $135 per month between 2012 and 2014 alone.

Canada’s economy is staying afloat due almost solely because of our country’s high real estate prices. 

Quebec cities Montreal and Quebec City both sit in the lowest bracket when it comes to major city rental prices in our country. Both cities sit roughly $500 less monthly than we do here in Edmonton. Impressively low.

According to statistics from 2014, the national average sits around the $1,000 per month mark for a 2 bedroom unit. For comparison purposes, Edmonton sits at roughly $1,250 per month, Calgary at roughly $1,320 per month. Fort McMurray, the most expensive city in Alberta, sits at roughly $2,000 per month for the same unit size.

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If you feel that Rachel Notley and the rest of NDP government should implement a rental cap in the province of Alberta, make your voice heard by taking our poll below:

Average apartment rental rates in Calgary are rising at almost 3 times the rate of inflation, but the NDP refuses to implement a rental cap in the province, instead focusing on building more affordable housing.

Let’s make our opinions known. Let’s put an end to ridiculous rent hikes. Landlords have been taking advantage of the fact that there is no cap to how much rent can jump for too long, and we should probably do something about it.

Most other major Canadian cities have some sort of rental control. Alberta and Saskatchewan are the only major exceptions.

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Just an FYI in case you were unaware: Landlords require giving a minimum of three months notice when hiking their tenant’s rental prices.

As to be expected, most landlords across the province oppose the idea of implementing a cap on rental prices.

The NDP government may debate rent regulations, rent subsidies and security deposits in the legislature sometime in the very near future.


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21 COMMENTS


Jody Mitoma

Founder of Edmonton Talks News.

21 COMMENTS

  • Lora Grass
    August 8, 2016 at 11:30 AM
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    Absolutely!!! Many landlords post an amount & ask for a 1 year lease, knowing full well that in 9 months a huge increase will be coming. The tenants are then faced with either accepting that, or, coming up with the extra money needed for security deposit on a new place and moving expenses. Few can come up with all this extra money just 9 months after the last time they had to do it! The alternative, sign a longer lease and hope & pray the home is decent, the neighbors are decent, the area is safe and that your job is safe lest you get down-sized and take a lower paying salary and no longer can afford the rent. The ENTIRE landlord tenant act in Alberta allows the landlord to be a bully!!! I could go on & on about other flaw’s in the system but will keep this to the question asked.

    (3)
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  • Terri Badiuk
    August 8, 2016 at 2:53 PM
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    Yes, my adult son is on Aishe and can’t afford a bachelor suite in this city!

    (1)
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  • Theresa Stevens
    August 8, 2016 at 3:37 PM
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    Nope. Rent controls discourage people from having rentals which compounds a problem of low or no availability. Many landlords, like myself, have rent based on expenses including condo fees, mortgage and insurance. Limiting what we can charge would have places like mine on the market and for sale. The government SHOULD invest in additional low income housing options, programs to support education subsidy and grants allowing people to earn more, and own homes if they choose, rather than constricting the private marketplace.

    (1)
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  • Raven Wanders
    August 8, 2016 at 3:56 PM
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    Yes. There should be a cap, especially with the ecomony the way it is now. Of course landlords will say otherwise but any increase that almost doubles rent is outrageous! Landlords sbould want to keep good tenants that are working as hard as they can to keep a roof over their head. When a persons decision is between rent and food there is a problem.

    (1)
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  • Kent Ashbey
    August 8, 2016 at 4:32 PM
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    I believe that when you look at expenses I.e land tax and condo fees on a 1 bed suite and all suite now are owned but individual owners they do. Not screen there tenants last building I was in 950 a month I had to be volunteer security would not pay for new lock or doors did not screen people who they rented to had police called multiple times 6 floods in the last 6 months of 2015 and fire alarm glitches crime and b&e and glass windows broken mind you the area was stony plain road so that really adds to it to

    Renters and landlords would work better if the rent was capped if your not making 100k a year then it should be based upon your income per year not per month of it was 825+ for low income but you get bachelor suites that are bed bug infested or just shit lords who don’t fix the place at all

    Time for a change

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  • Denise Chartier
    August 8, 2016 at 4:53 PM
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    Absolutely!!! We the housing market soared in 2005 we had rented a house at $995.00 per month, which at that time was very comparable and signed a years lease. When our lease was about to expire we were informed that they were increasing the rent to $1695 and there was nothing we could do, move or pay and still no protection. My mom lives in BC and there is a cap on the percentage landlords Can increase by.

    (1)
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    • Christine Stewart
      August 9, 2016 at 10:45 AM
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      There is a cap on the percentage that rent can be raised if you are on a month to month tenancy. However, if you are on a lease (that by law can be no longer than 1 year) the rent charged for the new lease has no cap. So even if you moved in with a reasonable rent, when your lease expires it is up to the landlord and the housing market to determine what the new rent can be. If availability is low – rents will be high. We just went through this in Fort St John…except the availability went up and the rents dropped. One particular building was renting very nice suites for $1495 on a one year lease one year ago. Yesterday they were being advertised for $695.

      (0)
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    • Christine Stewart
      August 9, 2016 at 10:45 AM
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      There is a cap on the percentage that rent can be raised if you are on a month to month tenancy. However, if you are on a lease (that by law can be no longer than 1 year) the rent charged for the new lease has no cap. So even if you moved in with a reasonable rent, when your lease expires it is up to the landlord and the housing market to determine what the new rent can be. If availability is low – rents will be high. We just went through this in Fort St John…except the availability went up and the rents dropped. One particular building was renting very nice suites for $1495 on a one year lease one year ago. Yesterday they were being advertised for $695.

      (0)
      Reply
    • Christine Stewart
      August 9, 2016 at 10:45 AM
      Permalink

      There is a cap on the percentage that rent can be raised if you are on a month to month tenancy. However, if you are on a lease (that by law can be no longer than 1 year) the rent charged for the new lease has no cap. So even if you moved in with a reasonable rent, when your lease expires it is up to the landlord and the housing market to determine what the new rent can be. If availability is low – rents will be high. We just went through this in Fort St John…except the availability went up and the rents dropped. One particular building was renting very nice suites for $1495 on a one year lease one year ago. Yesterday they were being advertised for $695.

      (0)
      Reply
    • Denise Chartier
      August 9, 2016 at 12:24 PM
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      There is no rent cap in the province of Alberta even for a month to month tenancy. The only law regarding the increasing of rent is with respect to “notice”.

      (0)
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  • Heather Hanrahan
    August 8, 2016 at 5:13 PM
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    100% no!!!
    1) the rental property market will shift to slums. The landlords with the high end properties will sell because they won’t make any money. And the good landlords will stop fixing things properly and making improvements.
    2) tenants will be the ones who ultimately suffer. Living with broken and cheap appliances and fixtures, and having fewer choices of rentals because the nicer ones will get sold.

    I’m one of the good landlords. I fix things when they are broken. When I have to replace/repair something I leave it to professionals, and buy quality materials. We offer upgrades, like stainless steel appliances, and modern decor. If I had a cap on the rent, I would have to hold off on fixing things as long as possible, use the cheapest materials, and do most of the work myself. I’ve been a landlord for 2 years, and I haven’t made a cent. Every dollar above my mortgage has gone to repairs and improvements. My tenants are happy, and so am I because this is a retirement plan, not a get rich quick scheme. I have never had a hard thing me finding tenants because I offer quality suites at fair market value. (All decreased recently because of the crappy economy. It’s supply and demand!) And I would be the first to sell if there were rent caps. And my great tenants would be out of luck.
    If you really want to improve things for the tenants, decrease maximum lease time to 6 months. Then tenants will shop around for a better deal if they’re not satisfied.

    (1)
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  • Heather Hanrahan
    August 8, 2016 at 5:18 PM
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    100% no!!!
    1) the rental property market will shift to slums. The landlords with the high end properties will sell because they won’t make any money. And the good landlords will stop fixing things properly and making improvements.
    2) tenants will be the ones who ultimately suffer. Living with broken and cheap appliances and fixtures, and having fewer choices of rentals because the nicer ones will get sold.

    I’m one of the good landlords. I fix things when they are broken. When I have to replace/repair something I leave it to professionals, and buy quality materials. We offer upgrades, like stainless steel appliances, and modern decor. If I had a cap on the rent, I would have to hold off on fixing things as long as possible, use the cheapest materials, and do most of the work myself. I’ve been a landlord for 2 years, and I haven’t made a cent. Every dollar above my mortgage has gone to repairs and improvements. My tenants are happy, and so am I because this is a retirement plan, not a get rich quick scheme. I have never had a hard time finding tenants because I offer quality suites at fair market value. (All decreased recently because of the crappy economy. It’s supply and demand!) And I would be the FIRST to sell if there were rent caps. And my great tenants would be out of luck.
    If you really want to improve things for the tenants, decrease maximum lease time to 6 months. Then tenants will shop around for a better deal if they’re not satisfied. Or if the govt. wants to help, they should provide the people with quality low income housing!

    (0)
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    • Heather Hanrahan
      August 8, 2016 at 5:35 PM
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      I’m not sure what’s happening in BC or Ontario tbh.
      But I do know that rent has indeed decreased here. It takes a while for all the official stats to come out (the ones in the article are from 2014) but if you just look on kijiji you’ll notice a very significant decrease in rent. We have dropped the rental rate on each of our units by $150/month to stay competitive, and attract and keep great tenants. Smart landlords all do this.
      The problem is a shortage of low-income housing. And it’s not going to be fixed by driving mid and high end property owners out of the market. Supply and demand corrects the market in all other industries, but it’s harder with rental properties because people feel trapped by long leases. Making leases shorter, or making it less risky for tenants to break leases would help with this problem.

      (0)
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    • Ellen Hancock
      August 8, 2016 at 6:07 PM
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      Years ago there used to be a rent rebate on income tax depending on your income.

      (0)
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  • Ellen Hancock
    August 8, 2016 at 6:06 PM
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    Years ago on income tax they used to give a rent rebate depending on your income.

    (0)
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  • Miranda Gill Watters
    August 8, 2016 at 9:46 PM
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    NO ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Rental caps will make a bad situation even worse. To help the situation, subsidies are a MUCH better option

    (0)
    Reply
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    August 16, 2016 at 2:27 PM
    Permalink

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