Rent controls have been a disaster for the rental market and its participants within Manitoba and every jurisdiction where implemented. The Manitoba Party will immediately set upon a thorough review of this poorly constructed and administered piece of legislation and all its attendant regulations.
Instituted decades ago by reckless or mercenary politicians, this infamous program placed the management of landlord and tenant relations under the loutish grip of government functionaries. And these politically tainted hands have interfered with and circumvented market rates for rental property ever since.
Prices are a signal to markets. Increasing prices signal rising demand or curtailment of supply, whilst retreating prices signal a lessening of demand or an enlargement of supply. By thwarting this prized and efficient mechanism renters are left with every conceivable shortage of shelter, which compels ever greater sums of money for the most meager of accommodations. Equally, landlords and builders are frustrated and impeded in the provision or management of rental properties by shifting standards and demands. With repeated dampening of prices and imposition of bewildering and myriad regulations, many real estate investors astutely avoid construction of rental property whilst existing landlords profitably convert needed apartment units into condominiums or extract greater amounts of money for aged or dilapidated buildings. Accordingly, with supply much diminished and constrained the costs of apartment or home rentals have soared, inflicting the greatest harm on the poorest among us.
The solution to this dearth of rental property is not greater controls, not greater disruption of rental markets and interference in agreements negotiated and completed by contracting parties. How we arrive at a remedy for this painful and ubiquitous want of affordable shelter will require the energy, thought, and cooperation of all parties, far less of government and far more of the transacting parties. Let the forces of the markets and the desires of its participants reign whilst limiting the incompetence of government as broadly as possible.