'Tenants want to see action': P.E.I. rental registry taking too long, says tenant

·2 min read
It's time for the rules to be updated, says Jonathan Greenan. (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)
It's time for the rules to be updated, says Jonathan Greenan. (David Donnelly/CBC - image credit)

P.E.I.'s Housing Department has committed to a study on creating a rental registry, but a Charlottetown man says tenants are weary of hearing promises of action on reform of residential tenancy rules.

A rental registry would be a place for tenants to see what the rent has previously been on a unit they are moving into. Under P.E.I. rent controls, allowable rent increases are attached to the unit, and cannot go up excessively when new tenants move in.

Earlier this week, Housing Minister Brad Trivers committed in the legislature to making a rental registry a reality. Department officials say they're currently in the process of issuing an RFP for an organization to undertake a study on what the registry could look like.

Jonathan Greenan, a tenant in downtown Charlottetown, told CBC News he is tired of the registry being discussed.

"Tenants want to see action on this now. We don't just want to just hear that there's action coming," said Greenan.

Jonathan Greenan is concerned reform will continue to be put off.
Jonathan Greenan is concerned reform will continue to be put off.(Laura Meader/CBC)

"It's time for policy action on rental issues on P.E.I. For too long our governments — municipal, provincial — have been dragging their feet on these things. I think that's what tenants really want to see. It's good to see the minister stand up in the legislature and say the rental registry is coming. Well, the whole house supported a registry 15 months ago."

The Residential Rental Association, which represents some P.E.I. landlords, says it is opposed to a registry.

Association chair Bill McInnis said his group is disappointed it was not consulted before the minister made the announcement. He feels a rental registry would be expensive and difficult to manage.

"If you're following every single unit, thousands and thousands of units, and you have to keep track of each on each month, to me that's going to be a logistical nightmare, and unwarranted really," said McInnis.

The registry would be a deterrent for further residential development he said, and the money spent on it better directed toward affordable housing.

The province says it will consult with a number of groups. It has set no timeline for creating a registry.

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