Tenants association hopes for stricter rules on rent increases

Saskatchewan's only tenants association says one of its goals in 2013 is to lobby for stricter regulations on rent increases.

The Queen City Tenants Association held its second annual general meeting in Regina Saturday night.

Its purpose is to educate and assist tenants, and lobby the government and landlord associations on their behalf

In the past year the association helped come up with amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act, which governs the relationship between renters and landlords.

Association President Angelica Barth said they will also continue to ask for regulations that limit when and why a landlord can set a rent increase.

"If a landlord does something to raise the health and safety standards then they can be compensated monetarily for that in a rent increase," she said. "But the rent regulation also stipulates that you can't just randomly raise the rent."

Dale Beck, director of the Office of Residential Tenancies, said having a unified voice for renters is important.

"No individual tenant can speak on behalf of tenants generally," he said. "So we don't have access to good sources of information about tenant concerns or about issues that might arise."

Barth said another goal for 2013 is to expand the group's membership.