The “boring” rise in rents in Quebec is underestimated, a study finds

This militant organization that promotes and defends the right to housing came to this conclusion by combing through more than 51,000 housing ads on the Kijiji website, an exercise it has volunteered for since 2020.

In his most recent report entitled No protection, no law : Study on the uncontrolled rental marketthe RCLALQ deviation score very important between the average rent of the apartments for rent on Kijiji and the rental dates of the CMHCaffecting all rents paid.

And that gap has only widened over the years.

That CMHC conducts its rent studies every October on a sample of apartments taken from all urban centers with a population of 10,000 or more.

The studies of the national housing association do not aim at this as privately initiated properties that have at least three rental units and have been on the market for at least three months.

Invited to comment on this study, the CMHC had not responded to an interview request on Saturday afternoon.

According to the organization’s analysis, in 2022 rented accommodation was on average 49% more expensive than the average apartment. This difference was 41% in 2021 and 31% in 2020.

For example, renters in Quebec who have recently moved pay an average of $427 more per month than renters who have not moved. »

A quote from Excerpt from the report “Without a roof or rights: Study on the free rental market”

If this discrepancy with the data of the CMHC While it continues to increase in Montreal (54.3%), it is increasing most rapidly outside of major urban centers.

This is the case in Saguenay, where rented accommodation is 28% more expensive than the average rent.

This is also the case in Trois-Rivières, where the 39% difference says a lot about the current state of the rental market, according to Marjolaine Denault, co-speaker and responsible for analyzing the survey data.

Historically, Trois-Rivières has been known for having cheaper housing than elsewhere in Quebec. However, today we are seeing very significant gains in this region.

In one year, the average rent for large apartments (five and a half or more) in Trois-Rivières has increased by almost 40%.

Photo: Radio Canada

In Trois-Rivières, as elsewhere, is the rise in rental prices closely related with a very low vacancy rate.

At the provincial level, this rate remained below the established equilibrium threshold of 3%, ie 2.5%, which is already sufficient very difficult the apartment search. Less than 1% in Trois-Rivières, the vacancy rate fluctuates around 0.5% or even less in several cities mentioned mediatorfor example Granby, Mascouche, Terrebonne, Drummondville, Rouyn-Noranda, Joliette, Rimouski and Riviere-du-Loup.

Municipalities with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants are not taken into account CMHCthe RCLALQ estimates that the extent of the shortage could be even worse in certain administrative regions such as the Laurentians or Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Local reviews sometimes report rates approaching 0%, reports the RCLALQ.

In this context, the report states this unequivocally migration to another region to find cheaper housing is no longer possible.

The Spread of Scarcity [de logements] on the entire territory of Quebec offers tenants no escapethe authors decide.

2022 more expensive than 2021

It is also in the intermediate cities and in the suburbs of the great metropolitan area that the study of RCLALQ recorded the largest rent increases compared to the previous year.

Across Quebec, samples show that home prices increased by 9% between 2021 and 2022, averaging $1,300 per home (all sizes combined).

The increase reached 20% on the North Shore, even 24% in the area including Mirabel, Oka and Pointe-Calumet, so that the median price of a home in the North Crown is now $1,400.

The most spectacular climb, however, was in Granby. The cost of rental housing increased by 54% between 2021 and 2022 to an average of $1,213.

Interestingly, the community has seen rent increases of over 40% for all types of units except studios. However, at the Quebec level, this type of housing has seen the highest annual increase, at more than 19% (at an average price of $951).

For a register and for rent control

Faced with a rental market they describe as completely unbridledthe authors of the report call on the Quebec government to take action which have concrete and proven effects on rent control.

the RCLALQ points out that property owners often take advantage of tenant turnover to demand increases violent the rent.

The organization proposes setting up a rental register public, free and universal to counteract this problem. Such a register would allow prospective tenants to verify the rent paid by previous tenants.

Although the landlord is required to report this amount on Section G of the lease, this section is often left blank. But even if the owner fulfills this obligation, It is impossible for new renters to know if the information is true unless they contact the former renters.

So the authors want to eliminate what they see as a load The review rests unfairly on the shoulders of tenants.

They are also calling on the government to introduce an obligatory rent control.

The tribunal administratif du logement sets reasonable rates for rent increases each year.

Photo: Radio Canada / Josée Ducharme

To achieve this, they propose making compliance with the average rental variation rates issued annually by the Administrative Housing Tribunal mandatory. Currently, these prices are recommendations only.

While tenants can always refuse and challenge increases that don’t meet these recommendations, the study finds that Landlords and tenants do not negotiate on an equal footing. Tenants are very often afraid of refusing or even negotiating the rent increase. There are fears of eviction, refusal to work or simply tenants who do not know their rights in the event of rent increases.

Asked to comment on those allegations, Quebec Minister of Communities and Housing Andrée Laforest did not respond to a request for an interview Saturday morning.

But Ms Laforest, who acknowledged the existence of a housing shortage in the spring, dismissed the idea of ​​a rental register last September.

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