LETTERS: Rental system in need of overhaul


I have often wondered why a landlord gets a free ride when property values escalate like they have in the Lower Mainland of late.

I am a landlord also, but I don’t think I should, and I don’t, charge what the traffic can bear.

This is the tenet of the capitalist system, which in many ways is the best system going, but it needs a few tweaks here and there. Rent is one of them.

Just because a property is worth $4 million dollars, that doesn’t mean you should be allowed to charge $20,000 per month. What did you pay for it? If it was $4 million, fair enough, but if it was $1 million, then you should be charging $5,000 per month – plus taxes and expenses, of course.

That is six per cent return on your investment, and that is very good these days. This is especially important for commercial rent. Because of the pandemic, many businesses cannot survive because their rent is so high and their cash flow is very restricted.

Many families cannot afford the space they need here in the Lower Mainland because of this dilemma. If rents were controlled, as I suggested, then rents would not have escalated like they have. Landlords would just sell their properties at a huge profit then buy another, you say. Well, yes, they could, but they would pay a heck of a lot of capital gains tax and the government could use that money to build affordable housing.

I think this is a much better way to control rents than just fixing a maximum rent increase, which then becomes the minimum, of course.

Laurence Gill, Surrey

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