Manitoba government introduces new rent increase rules and housing incentives in Winnipeg

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Manitoba government plans new rules for rent increases and incentives for new housing - Winnipeg



“Manitoba landlords could be facing new restrictions on rent increases if a bill proposed by the Manitoba government becomes law. This bill would limit landlords’ ability to raise rents above the annual provincial guideline, which is currently tied to inflation. Instead of allowing landlords to apply for higher increases for any reason, the bill would require a specific justification for exceeding the guideline.

Conditions for Rent Increases

Under the proposed bill, landlords would only be able to apply for rent increases above the guideline in cases where they are facing significant cost increases, such as taxes, utilities, security costs, or if they are investing in capital projects like plumbing or heating upgrades. This change aims to ensure that rent increases are justified by legitimate expenses and not arbitrary reasons like cosmetic changes.

Phased-In Increases

Additionally, the bill would empower residential tenancies directors to order rent increases to be phased in over several years rather than taking immediate effect. This gradual approach could help lessen the financial burden on tenants while still allowing landlords to recoup their expenses over time.

Opposition Concerns

Despite these intentions, the Opposition Progressive Conservatives have raised concerns about the bill’s effectiveness in protecting tenants. They argue that the bill still allows for substantial rent increases based on tax hikes, especially as the government plans to eliminate its education property tax rebate for commercial and rental properties. This could potentially offset any benefits of the new legislation for renters.

Incentives for Landlords

On the other hand, Minister Lisa Naylor suggests that the bill also includes incentives for landlords to create new housing. Owners who convert non-residential properties into rental units could receive a 10-year exemption from the rent guideline, encouraging the development of more rental units. This move could help address the ongoing housing shortage in Manitoba.

Conclusion

As the debate over the proposed bill continues, it is clear that there are valid concerns on both sides of the issue. While the bill aims to strike a balance between protecting tenants from steep rent increases and incentivizing landlords to expand rental housing options, its implications for the rental market remain uncertain. Ultimately, finding a solution that benefits both landlords and tenants will require careful consideration and collaboration from all stakeholders involved.”



Reference

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