High rents reaching 'crisis,' Tory MLA says

Rising rents are creating a crisis in the city, Calgary-Nose Hill Tory MLA Neil Brown says.

Rising rents are creating a "crisis situation" in the city, Calgary-Nose Hill Tory MLA Neil Brown says.

"I think that we need some sort of guidelines for landlords," Brown told CBC News Monday.

"The vast majority of landlords are very prudent and reasonable in their rent increases. But we've heard some unscrupulous landlords have given inordinate increases of 30 and 40 per cent, which have really resulted in some hardships for tenants."

Although Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach said he's concerned some landlords are gouging their tenants, he does not think imposing a cap on rent increases is the answer.

University of Calgary Prof. David Taras predicts rising rentswill be an issue in the next provincial election, expected to be called next year.

Three of Calgary's 23 ridings were won by the Liberalsthe last time voters went to the polls in November 2004.

Unless the rent problem is dealt with, the Tories could lose more seats, said Taras.

The rental issue came up at the weekend meeting of Alberta Progressive Conservatives,during whichdelegates rejecteda motion to adopt rent controls.

Last week, the province passed new rules to limit rent increases to once a year and require landlords to give tenants a year's notice if they want to do major renovations.