Rent implications

Rent implications An open letter to local landlords: Rent is now tagged to mortgage payments. You bought your second dwelling as a means to accrue equity. Why not pay it off as soon as possible and just charge high rent Ð like $1,500 or even $2,000 a mon

An open letter to local landlords:

Rent is now tagged to mortgage payments. You bought your second dwelling as a means to accrue equity. Why not pay it off as soon as possible and just charge high rent Ð like $1,500 or even $2,000 a month?

Why indeed?

This action has a consequence, like it or not.

You may view yourself as providing much-needed accommodation when a tent city is growing at our legislative building.

In fact, you are complicit in increasing the cost of living for all renters.

Bear in mind that for a reasonable standard of living (no winter trips to Hawaii) rent is one-quarter of income. A rent of $1,500 demands a monthly income of $6,000, or $72,000 a year.

People earning $72,000 a year could afford to buy a house. (If there were houses available to buy, another reason why rents are high.)

By demanding renters pay your full mortgage, you are contributing to an impoverished quality of life. Will a single mom be able to afford to provide her children with skis, skates, camps, music lessons? Concerts? Plays? That is what is being sacrificed in order to cover your mortgage.

Question: Why not contribute on a monthly basis to your investment?

Some landlords believe that maintenance is a cost, but really, at the end of the day, the investment is the landlord’s, and you have net gain.

Framed like that, you could see your way to making an investment that is not on the backs of those who have less income.

If a single person earns $41,600 a year ($20 an hour), for example, one-quarter of that income works out to be $867. That would be an affordable rent. Good luck finding a bachelor basement apartment for that right now.

Currently, a single parent is lucky to find something under $1,600 a month, which is about half their income at $20 an hour.

Some landlords avoid facing this by advertising for “professional couples,” which is code for “single parents and other low-household-income earners need not apply.” Up goes the rent: Because of our housing shortage, professional couples have nowhere to buy and will cover your 15-year mortgage payments.

It comes down to perception.

Is it really the responsibility of tenants to cover your mortgage, or is it your responsibility to offer fair accommodation, and to, instead, understand your tenant is helping you to become wealthier?

When you buy a rental home, landlords, your actions affect so many.

Be thoughtful and considerate, please. Stop driving up the cost of living for all tenants.

Wages are simply not matching your profit expectations.

Thanks for considering my perspective.

Heidi Marion

Whitehorse