Renters complain of price hikes in wake of Calgary flood

CALGARY- The city has been dealing with a low vacancy rate for months—and it’s gotten much worse in light of the devastating June flood.

Renters looking for affordable housing say not only are properties being snapped up within hours of the listing being published, but they are also being gouged by greedy landlords.

“I put my name down for a place, and asked them to let me know if something came up for $1,200 or less for a two bedroom. Now, they just called me and let me know that it’s now $1,400 for the exact same property,” complains Alexis Belyea, a new graduate.

Landlords aren’t allowed to increase rates more than once a year, and must give three months notice of changes on month-to-month rentals.

Despite the problems facing renters, the Calgary Residential Real Estate Association says it has not been made of any flood-related rent hikes.

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“I believe it’s just simply market forces, and has nothing to do with the flood,” says Gerry Baxter. “It’s just market forces, and the laws of supply and demand.”

Before the flood hit, Calgary’s vacancy rate was 1.2 per cent. Updated numbers won’t be available until the fall.

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