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Navigating Rent Increases: Strategies for Landlords and Tenants

As the Calgary rental market continues to tighten, both landlords and tenants find themselves grappling with the impact of rising rents. In this article, we explore the factors driving rent increases, effective communication strategies for landlords, and practical advice for renters.

Factors Driving Rent Increases

1.  Population Boom and Housing Demand:

2. Low Vacancy Rates:

  • Calgary’s rental vacancy rate was already at a near-decade low in October 2022, standing at 2.7%.

  • A tight rental market means landlords have the upper hand, allowing them to adjust rents more aggressively.

3. Construction Delays and New Units:

  • While thousands of new housing units are under construction, it takes time to bring them to market.

  • Over 9,000 units are currently being built in Calgary, a record for recent decades.

  • Until these units become available, existing landlords can capitalize on the scarcity by raising rents.

Tips for Landlords: Communicating Rent Adjustments

1. Transparency and Timeliness:

  • Be upfront with tenants about rent adjustments.

  • Provide notice well in advance to allow tenants to plan accordingly.

  • For fixed term leases, a Landlord legally does not have to provide any notice if the lease is ending, but to negotiate a lease renewal, we find around 60 days in advance to be a good timeline 

  • For periodic tenancies, 90 days (or 3 clear months') notice is required before any rent increase can occur 

  • For all tenancies, rent can only increase once every 365 days, but the amount it can increase is not limited.

  • Explain the reasons behind the increase, such as rising property taxes, maintenance costs, or market trends.

2. Personalized Communication:

  • Avoid generic notices. Instead, have a face-to-face conversation or send personalized emails.

  • Highlight any improvements or upgrades to the property that justify the increase.

  • Show empathy and understanding, acknowledging the impact on tenants.

3. Offer Alternatives:

  • If tenants express concern about the increase, discuss alternative options.

  • Consider a longer lease term or other concessions to retain good tenants.

Advice for Renters: Budgeting and Negotiating

1. Budget Wisely:

  • Anticipate rent increases when planning your budget.

  • Allocate a portion of your income specifically for housing costs.

  • Cut unnecessary expenses to accommodate higher rents.

2. Negotiate Thoughtfully:

  • Engage in respectful dialogue with your landlord.

  • Research comparable rents in the area to understand market rates.

  • Propose a reasonable counteroffer if the increase seems excessive.

3. Know Your Rights:

  • Familiarize yourself with local rental laws and tenant rights.

  • Understand the legal notice period for rent adjustments.

  • Seek professional advice if you believe the increase is unfair.

Remember, open communication benefits both parties. Landlords need reliable tenants, and renters seek stability. By understanding each other’s perspectives and finding common ground, we can navigate rent increases more effectively.

At CIR Property Management, we take the stress of negotiating renewals off the landlord's hands! We understand that these conversations can be difficult to navigate and have with tenants. We communicate directly with the tenant and help facilitate the transaction to benefit both parties. This is a part of the full management service we provide. For more information, please contact us directly.


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