Affordability review out

British Columbia's Rental Housing Task Force recommends cutting annual rent increase cap.

"We listened to the voices of British Columbians concerned about affordability, reviewed how other provinces set rent and have a solution," said Spencer Chandra Herbert, Rental Housing Task Force chair and MLA for Vancouver-West End. "Renters were clear that rent increases that far outstripped cost-of-living increases were becoming increasingly unaffordable, and landlords were clear they needed help to maintain their properties."

"Our recommendations follow the approach of Ontario and Manitoba and will keep rent more affordable while ensuring rental homes are maintained and improved," Chandra Herbert said.

Here are some of the most significant recommendations:

  • changing the maximum rent increase formula, from the current formula of inflation plus 2%, to inflation only (2.5% for 2019), which would remove the automatic 2% yearly increase.
  • giving landlords the ability to apply for an additional increase if they can show the formula would not cover maintenance and other costs incurred.

The task force recommends the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing do further work with landlord and tenant groups in determining the criteria for rent increases above the inflation rate.

"Whether they are renters or rental housing providers, people are looking for greater fairness and greater balance in residential tenancy policies in our province," said task force member Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. "We've made these recommendations after careful consideration and look forward to a response from cabinet later this month."

A decision will be made on these early recommendations from the Rental Housing Task Force before Oct. 1, 2018.

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