Re: ‘Strap yourself in’
You are correct in that this is a political priority for all parties currently. Also correct that there as many solutions as there are opinions on housing as grains of sand. There is no one size fits all solution for this issue that has worked long term. As needs, demographics, and economy change so does the housing landscape and the laws that govern housing in general. Renting isn’t the only aspect of housing that has undergone changes. It is however one of the more dynamic and faster changing of the housing aspects.
You are correct anything that changes would need as current as possible laws and guidelines to help keep it on track. Yes these changes can be long in coming and are often after the fact. However, if you go to the other side of spectrum, you can cause just as many issues by making laws and guidelines for issues that may never materialize. At either end you can have similar issues from being too soon or too late to address issues that come up. I would suggest that you need guidelines to help balance past, present; future needs in as flexible a way as possible. Nothing is ever fair for everyone all the time, that’s just life. Laws for housing should be as fair as reasonably possible and give recourse where disagreement arises for both parties. That doesn’t say that one party will always win out over another or others just because. RTA I think and my interactions with it, is as a back ground tool in case all else fails. It gives a foundation to work from or assess the structure of laws and guidelines sitting upon the RTA.
Housing crisis has become a buzz word that covers a wide range of issues inside of it for renters, sellers, buyers, developers, and many more. I would argue that before the RTA the reason why there was no talk was there was little recourse for any aggrieved party. The RTA in my experience is a set of tools that both renters and landlords have as a way to safe guard reasonable requirements of each other. Is it a perfect system for either? I would say that no it isn’t and because every situation is different it’s hard to pin some of these issues down definitively for every situation. RTA is not a one size fits all it’s a foundation that gives both parties avenues for what each can expect from the other. If one party does not live up to those foundational guidelines, the other has a path forward. Think of it more as a code of conduct for each party to abide by and if you don’t you have ways of enforcing that. It does not mean that because you feel one way or another that you are entitled to having something go your way. It simply provides opportunity to have your side heard and looked into by a third party.
In terms of rent increases tied to inflation, I would agree in some cases that yes it does not keep up with overall costs for a landlord. The same could be said for anyone’s paycheque these days. If you compare a raise in your job with all the raises in costs around a person, it doesn’t even come close to covering the overall increased inflation. So housing isn’t the only place this occurs and yet we can’t just turn around and ask for more money from an employer in most cases. For most there are limits put on where and when pay raises take place just like rent increases are tied to inflation now. It’s not perfect system, but I think it is better than having no system at all. One of the options as a landlord is that if the costs become to much and people are not renting at those prices, don’t rent any more. Get out of the rental market and into one that is more affordable for those people. Nothing is forcing a person to become a landlord that is very much a choice a person/company has to make according to what makes sense for them.
You talk about flipping units and traditional build and sell vs. long term sustainable income from rentals. There are many factors for every person that determines what works best for them. Some like sustained long term income while maintaining the property. Others want to build, make money and move on without being tied down to properties long term. While going before the RTA maybe a hassle for some on both sides it serves its purpose in offering both sides an opportunity to have their case reviewed. While there have always been renters that don’t want to pay and landlords that want to evict purely to get a larger increase. These are not new issues and have been around well before the pandemic. Yes, some have taken a very negative approach and abused this non eviction clause past its limit. I would say that is a pretty small percentage of renters who are out to maliciously do this. CERB has for sure had its issues in terms of catching those gaming its system, over payments, under payments, ect ect. I would say most have not had a CERB augment to existing income or concurrent income. Most either flat-out lost jobs or went on it because the hours they were getting were so limited that it cost more to work. This not all cases but vast majorities are some versions of that. No system is perfect and will never exist to that degree.
I do agree that the sky high prices and the ripple effects resulting from its climb have had many negative impacts for all types of people. Its priced many locals right out their own markets for buying, selling, or renting. Taxes on properties that have gone through the roof so quickly it’s forced home owners to sell because that added financial stress is one of many straws. I would say we have moved from a home is a place to live into treating it like the stock market. Treating it as a main way to make ends meet in retirement vs other means of financial gains, has its own up and downs. So, when you treat something as a commodity to an ever increasing extreme you have extreme results that arise from that. That has been a very steady shift in mentality and view of what the housing market means to people over the last 100 years. Going from a home to a tradable commodity to be bet on for a secure future for a family or financial safety later on is a gamble these days. It not something that has an easy answer or even an evident one at this point in time. I feel most policies are a hope and a prayer that it might buy more time to figure it out. Housing in many ways is treading water and not successfully for many.
These groups and clubs have existed in some form or another for over 100 years to help people get a leg up in the housing world. It used to be boarding houses for those working, singles or others. Often these clubs are setup to address specific needs and might not cover all the bases, nor can they. They are however like everything else filling in a puzzle piece, in a puzzle that change is a constant.
In the end buyer, seller, renter, and or landlord if it doesn’t make sense for you to do it don’t. It’s a choice to start into the market, keep yourself in it, or to avoid it. Employers are becoming landlords to attract workers and it’s been the practice in certain areas to pay for moving costs in certain jobs. Any change on this scale takes time and the change is never positive for everyone. We live in an imperfect world and try our best to make the best of those imperfections.