Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New rules for rentals start soon

Minister sees little resistance

  • Print

Renters and landlords will both see new protections when Manitoba's Residential Tenancies Amendment Act comes into force Aug. 1.

The new rules have been in the works for more than two years and are aimed at making rent increases more predictable and reducing red tape for landlords.

"I think we've got it right," Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux said Thursday. "All the consultation ahead of time has really paid dividends."

Lemieux said the one change that affects all renters is how the province's basic annual rent increase will be calculated. It will now be based on the consumer price index for Manitoba and must fall within the Bank of Canada's inflation-control target range.

"People will know ahead of time," he said. "If landlords want anything over that, they have to go to the Residential Tenancies Commission to get approval and prove that they're doing extra renovations so that they can get over and above what that rate is."

'I think we've got it right. All the consultation ahead of time has really paid dividends'

-- Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux

Avrom Charach, a board member with the Professional Property Management Association, said for the most part, the new changes are welcomed by landlords.

"On balance, this is not bad," Charach said. "I don't see things that are patently unfair."

He said the new rent guideline is one of three options landlords asked for to make rent increases more transparent.

"It's definitely wonderful now that people will know and understand how the guideline is reached," he said. "You won't have landlords complain that they're pulling numbers out of the air and you won't have the tenants complaining that they're favouring the landlords."

The new rules also mean tenants must be compensated for moving costs and higher rental fees when a landlord carries out renovations that create a major inconvenience and are intended to drive tenants out.

"There are some landlords who all of a sudden start repairing your bathroom -- it sounds good -- but does it really take a month-and-a-half to replace a toilet?" Lemieux said. "You do see these games being played. These are not legitimate renovations."

Charach said that change is benign as it won't impact the vast majority of landlords.

"Any good landlord isn't going to take the windows out of a suite in the middle of January and leave them out for a month," he said.

The changes will also allow landlords to boot out law-breaking tenants -- they must submit proof first to the Residential Tenancies Commission -- if it affects the security and well-being of other tenants or causes damages.

"If somebody has a meth lab in their apartment or if they're renting a house, it's also a safety issue for the tenants," Lemieux said.

The province says there are also changes to the appeals process so landlords can act faster on rulings in which tenants have not paid their rent.

Gordon McIntyre, co-ordinator of the Winnipeg Rental Network, a non-profit initiative that provides a web-based database for people to find affordable rental housing, said the group was initially concerned the province was going to shorten the period for tenants to appeal those rulings.

"They did revert back to a seven-day appeal period, which we were happy with," McIntyre said.

"We were generally OK with the other amendments."

The province also says regulatory changes coming into effect Jan. 1, 2015, will strengthen requirements for exemptions from rent regulation due to renovations and limit how often landlords can apply for those exemptions. The changes will also spread the cost of some improvements over a longer period, which could result in smaller rent increases.

For more information on the new rules go to manitoba.ca/rtb.

bruce.owen@winnipegfreepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2014 A6

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets This Week: Young guns get a look

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  070527 The 21st Annual Teddy Bears' Picnic at Assiniboine Park. The Orlan Ukrainian Dancers perform on stage.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think the Jets' three pre-season losses in a row are a sign of things to come?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google