Letters to the Editor 

The market sets rates

As a "scum" landlord, I would like to respond to the article "Council takes on ‘scum’ landlords" (Pique Nov. 9).

There can be no such thing as "gouging" in a market economy. If there is high demand for a place to stay, and someone is willing to pay what you might think is a high rate, a landlord can charge whatever someone will pay. If the rent prices become too high in one area, and the high rent areas cannot supply staff to work in the businesses, or regular people to buy their goods, then the businesses slow down and rents come down. A landlord takes all the risk in developing and owning property and should be able to charge the "market rate". Only the market can determine what a fair rate is.

I would like to know if the council will be calling for increased rents and organizing warm fuzzy group hugs and support dinners for the landlords when there comes a time there is a crash in demand and they cannot rent their properties anymore. I encourage small residential landlords to speak their mind at bclandlord.com

Christian Saxvik

North Vancouver

 

Grip it, kick it, solve it

I wish I could say that I was stunned by the lack of focus or discipline in the discussion at council surrounding “scumbag landlords”, but having sat at that table for many years I cannot. I must point out, however, that council will get virtually no support from landlords in solving the problem of excessive rents unless council takes an even handed approach. If council intends to address the issue of excessive rents, they had best at the same time address the issue of the grossly excessive damage caused to rental properties each year by seasonal “wrecking crew tenants” who are merely passing through and have little commitment to either the community or the property in which they live. Like scumbag landlords, wrecking crew tenants are a very small minority, but dollar wise they are a significant problem. If nothing else, wrecking crew tenants drive up rents for the crop of tenants that follows.

To complete the picture, council should also address the ongoing, rampant disturbances inflicted on long term, decent families in many of our residential neighbourhoods who are unlucky enough to find themselves stuck beside a party house for the season.

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