BC’s Rental Housing Task Force Update

As you know, our housing charges are somewhat dependent upon the current rent increase formula. In the province of BC, this stands currently at 4.5%.

Our MLA, Spencer Chandra Hebert, is working to lower this rate. Here is a recent update from Spencer:

I wanted you to be amongst the first to hear that British Columbia’s Rental Housing Task Force is recommending the provincial government change the annual allowable rent increase formula to ease pressure on renters.

We listened to the voices of British Columbians concerned about affordability, reviewed how other provinces set rent and have a solution.

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.

Recommendations to government include:

* 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 to determine the criteria for reviewing landlord applications for increases above the inflation rate.

These recommendations follow months of online and in-person consultation in communities throughout British Columbia.

The task force noted that the annual allowable rent increase formula, put in place by the previous government in 2004, was a frequent topic of concern during the public engagement process.

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