Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

The much anticipated rental review report has been released – and – those hoping for some kind of cap on rental increases will be disappointed. The report is only recommends limiting rent increases to an annual basis and “provide better protection against unreasonable rent increases.”

The review was conducted by representatives of 9 government departments – organizations – and residents. Tenants – landlords – developers – advocacy groups – businesses – banks – and others provided input over a 3 month period.

The report finds New Brunswick is now facing lower vacancy levels than in the past and generally higher rents which are putting pressure on access to affordable housing. It also finds there are challenges in the system amplified by the COVID pandemic:

“An existing gap between what New Brunswickers need and what is available on the rental market.

*Lower-cost housing units are reported as inadequate.
*Many New Brunswickers are making hard choices to stay housed, and feel unprotected.
*Developing affordable housing can be full of roadblocks.
*Communities in rural areas have unique challenges.”

The report goes on to identify solutions already underway and new recommendations:

“1) Strengthen existing government services;
provide Incentives for tenants, landlords and developers;

2) Review and revise the New Brunswick Residential Tenancies Act to, for example, limit rent increases to once a year and provide better protection against unreasonable rent increases;
3) Ensure the recruitment of future construction workers and builders;
create new partnerships with organizations such as the New Brunswick Multicultural Association and the New Brunswick Business Council; and
4) Involve tenants, landlords and developers in the re-design of services.”

The report has been submitted to the provincial government for review. The full report can be found here.