January 18, 2021

Moncton tenants are moving in mid-winter after a nearly 50% rent increase

Tenants in two Moncton apartment complexes face an increase of nearly 50 percent in rent and use, with the latest New Brunswick tenants being financially affected by the sale of their building to new owners.

“It’s stressful,” Stephanie Gillam shares with her mother, a two-bedroom apartment on one of the two recently sold premises, 427 High St. 12-unit building.

“We are forced to move because the increase is unbearable.”

Gillam said his mother has a steady income and the two have been calling home for the past five years.

The day after the building was sold on November 30, they were given three months’ notice on March 1 that their rent would increase from $ 250 per month to $ 700 to $ 950, and that applications would no longer be included in that fee.

A lessee in the Second High Street building, sold to the same new owner on the same day, received a similar notice.

Gillams’ announcement is that rent will increase from its current monthly $ 700 all-inclusive $ 950 and up to utilities. (Pierre Fourier / Radio-Canada)

NP charges an estimated $ 90 per month for the equivalent billing for the tenant to take their own electricity bill.

This would increase Killam’s total increase to 40,340 or 48.6 percent per month.

Gillam, who lost his job in June and is now charging employment insurance, said “they put in whatever they want.”

Gillam thinks there should be a cap on how much rent can be increased.

$ 250 a month, and the apps are “impossible” for most people, he said.

“We didn’t earn that kind of income,” he said.

Peter Jongkinlen, who lives with friends in an apartment building on 265 High Street, says they can’t figure out if they can afford to stay there – and if not, where will they go. (Pierre Fourier / Radio-Canada)

Tenants who suffer from inability to make a decision

Three blocks to the south, there are similar concerns.

Peter Jonginilan has friends in the 12-unit building at 265 High Street, and they are having a hard time figuring out if they can stay there – where they would go if they could.

“No one can handle that kind of increase. Even people in this neighborhood find it difficult to meet the results,” Jonginilen said.

Everyone understands that “landlords need to make money”, but there must be reasonable limits to rent increases.

“It’s not good to keep this up to 50 percent.”

CBC News, the current tenant of 265 High Street, has agreed not to be identified, saying many in the building are being evicted due to the increase.

“It’s not fair to raise it in that short period of time,” the lessee said.

“There are people who have been there for more than five years and they all think of moving because they can no longer afford it. They have not met what rent is now.”

Following two incidents of double-digit rent increases, in October and November, Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson said large rent increases were rare and did not require government regulation. (Photo by CBC News File)

According to property records, the apartment buildings were purchased by Deepay on June 30 for $ 720,000 each from Jansky Holdings Limited.

Kyle Johnson was listed as president of the company. Kyle Johnson is listed as one of the two founders of K Square Property Management in Moncton, the company that issued rental increase notices in both buildings.

Johnson could not be reached for comment in an interview with the CBC. The response to the comment text was answered with a brief message: “Not interested in commenting, please do not contact me again. Have a great day.”

An email from the state Department of Communications seeking feedback on the High Street rent increase has not been answered.

Three weeks ago, Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson addressed the issue of steep rent increases, saying they were rare and not something the government should control.

Wilson made the comments following two double-digit rental hikes – one in Moncton, where rent increased by 62 percent after the sale of a building on Steetman Street in October, and another in Lincoln in November, when tenants of the recently sold building received notices of a 50 percent increase in rent.

“This is a very unfortunate isolated situation,” Wilson said of the 50 percent increase in Lincoln. “Landlords are not raising rents across the province.”

Aditya Rao is with the New Brunswick Alliance for Tenants’ Rights, and says tenants in New Brunswick need protection from sudden and excessive rent increases. (Skype)

Updated call for rent increase rules

But Aditya Rao says with the new Brunswick Alliance for Tenants’ Rights, Moncton’s recent increase shows that previous cases have not been isolated.

“Even in these two cases, I don’t think it’s a reason to wash our hands of the problem,” he said.

Rao revises provincial rules to protect tenants from major rent hikes in the future

“The majority of landowners, it costs absolutely nothing for them, because the majority of landowners do not try to measure this system,” he said.

Stephanie Gillam said she and her mother had no choice but to leave the building occasionally in the winter.

“This is not something I want to do. I do not want change, but we have no choice,” Gillam said.

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