Profit margins for landlords in Canada average eight percent, the Commons human resources committee was told yesterday. Witnesses disagreed over means to increase the national housing supply.

“Some people picture all or most of the rent money going into the landlord’s pocket,” testified John Dickie, president of the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations. “The truth is far from that.”

Dickie said an average 19 percent of rental revenue covered operating costs, 14 percent paid property tax and 12 percent paid utilities. “That makes up 45 cents out of every dollar of rent leaving 55 cents as net operating income but we’re not done with the expenses,” said Dickie.

“On average another 36 cents goes to pay the mortgage and 11 cents goes to pay for major repairs and building modernization,” said Dickie. “That leaves just eight cents out of every dollar of rent as the pre-tax return on each dollar of revenue.”

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