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Landlords at mercy of many factors

Re: Woman wants change in Alberta rent rules, Red Deer Advocate, Feb. 10:

Yes, Red Deer rents are rising:

1. because home prices have risen ridiculously in the last few years!

2. Return on investment on rental investments are about four to five per cent, from which:

a. Landlords have to pay property taxes

b. Insurance

c. Income taxes

d. maintenance and repair (often caused by tenants — I know: my wife and I do most of it after a move out and tenants insist on recouping their deposits without regard even to the photographs of the damage. They swear and threaten — and how!)

e. ever-rising city, heat and power utilities during vacancies.

I am sorry this lady’s rents went from $804 to $876.00 a month. That is a steep raise indeed!

Landlords are allowed raises twice a year and that with three months clear notice.

I discuss and raise rents when necessary by $25 once a year — if that! No raises in the first 12 months — usually with tax and insurance hikes.

Property taxes, insurance and maintenance costs keep rising. It is impossible to call techs now when at least $100 is eaten up for appearing at the door!

Rent controls will shoot rents up to the ceiling and stay there. It does not guarantee for lower rents.

I would rather not say it, but the only way we maintain and manage ours is that we do almost all the work ourselves!

Tenants either don’t clean or their idea of clean is not what the incoming tenants want. We lose two to three months a year to clean, repair and paint our places after each move!

Why we do it? We fell into it and I like renovating and woodwork, plumbing, electrical and general upgrading of properties. But what tenants wreak even in one year is enough to make us cry.

My only thoughts are that I could be doing any other business and there would be all the reasons not to do it. Robbery, violence, rudeness, filth, — you name it.

I think housing prices in Red Deer have gone through the roof. The lowest priced little old house is now $239,000. What will 715 square feet rent for? About $900 to $1,000 and month plus all three utilities? City utilities alone begin at $70 a month and hover over $94-plus, then add gas and electricity — especially this monstrous winter!

After giving every tenant a lawn mower, even in side-by-side duplexes —only to find they were left in the rain — I have stopped, because of negligence and recklessness. Some tenants actually decided to share each other’s appliances after they wrecked what they had, so the landlord would not find out! Our lower rents make our places attractive to tenants, who know how to take care of their homes!

All this despite prompt maintenance and agreement not use tenant favours.

I am sorry for this particular tenant’s hardship, but the city has to lower its utilities, and stop chasing big moollah at the slightest hint of property “value” increase to hike taxes.

Sure , you would like to build monuments to your greatness and impress us with your great government achievements.

Not all landlords are millionaires — the small ones have low-density occupancy and earn gross of about four to five per cent, from which to pay all the costs. We got taken by the brokers in the stock market because we are small.

So bring on all the new regulations. Either we will flee as housing providers or liquidate.

Then the city will have to provide more “affordable” housing — just let people move out of here.

Just take the price of any home and take five per cent of it: that’s your rent.

Home prices here are selling for at least 100 per cent more than they are worth if they are for renting.

Our children and grandchildren are coming into the market and paying the monstrous prices that our generation chased up the tree!

So, we seniors will be taxed out of our homes of 40 to 60-plus years!

Nanda Sologar

Red Deer



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