Not allowing landlords to receive both a government compensation program and rent increases beyond the allowable standard will undermine the government program, says a provincial landlords group.
Last week the P.E.I. government announced a program of property tax rebates for landlords. The program is designed as compensation for government intervention last month that froze rents for 2023.
But the government move left open the option of applying to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission for a rent increase, and Chris LeClair, acting executive director with the Residential Rental Association of P.E.I., said given that choice landlords are likely to apply for rent increases.
"To make it a one or the other option is to really undermine the impact of compensation," said LeClair.
"That makes the tenant the one that will end up paying more because the tax rebate is not addressing the economic losses that the landlord would have faced."
IRAC has told CBC News it is very busy with applications to increase rents. Some of those increases are said to be in double digits.
The new Residential Tenancy Act caps extraordinary increases at three per cent, but the legislation is not yet in effect and is not expected to be until the spring.
Landlords are simply making an economic choice, said LeClair, and rent increases would be lower if they could qualify for both extraordinary increases and government compensation.
"I don't see that as having your cake and eating it too," he said.
"I see it as a matter of landlords trying to piece together a financial scenario that allows them to have the best possible chance to remain viable."
LeClair estimates the property tax rebate will only make up for about 30 per cent of what landlords could make through rental increases.