Good news for P.E.I. landlords.
This is especially important with all the bad news for landlords we’ve seen over the past year in the region.
The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (also known as IRAC) had meetings on whether or not there should be a rent increase and, if so, what the allowable rent increase should be.
In its report, IRAC said it received eight submissions from tenants, one from a landlord and one from anti-poverty group Alert.
According to the Guardian website starting Jan. 1, 2014, landlords will be allowed to increase rent for heated premises by two per cent, while rent for unheated premises and mobile homes in trailer parks can go up by one per cent.
In its report on the increases, IRAC said it considered submissions from the public, the vacancy rates in P.E.I., the province’s economic outlook, increases in other provinces, consumer price index forecasts and previous allowed rent increases.
Although IRAC approved an increase, that doesn’t necessarily mean rent will go up the full amount or at all because it is at the landlord’s discretion, as long as they don’t go above the maximum allowed.
Among the concerns tenants raised were the negative effects of a rent increase on people with fixed incomes, above average construction of new rental units and the negative effects an increase would have on students.
IRAC has allowed rent increases every year for the last 10 years, including in 2013 when landlords were able to raise it by as much as five per cent for heated premises and three per cent for unheated.
The report showed rents went up in Charlottetown for 2013 where the average for a two-bedroom unit reached $831 compared to $797 in 2012.
Summerside’s average was $697 in 2013 compared to $669 last year.
That was despite an overall vacancy rate of 7.8 per cent across the province, which was up from 4.8 per cent in 2012.
While IRAC found property taxes are expected to be within the range of consumer price index increases and electricity rate increases will be stable for several years, heating oil prices 35 per cent over the past four years.
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