MLAs Adam Olsen (left) Ronna-Rae Leonard and Spencer Chandra Herbert want the cap for automatic rent increases lowered. (B.C. government)

Cap rent increases at inflation rate, B.C. task force recommends

MLAs say drop annual increase that would allow 4.5% rise next year

NDP and Green Party MLAs are calling on the B.C. government to act quickly to cap next year’s rent increase at the rate of inflation.

An annual maximum rent increase of two per cent plus inflation, in place for many years in B.C., would produce a 4.5 per cent increase next year unless the formula is changed.

The formula should allow annual increases to cover inflation only, with landlords allowed to apply for a larger increase if they have done substantial improvements.

Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, who chaired the task force as it toured the province and consulted other provinces, said rising rents and lack of maintenance are problems that go beyond Vancouver.

“We saw too many cases where rents were being increased to the maximum every year, and the buildings were falling apart,” Chandra Herbert said.

The task force called on Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson to act as soon as this week to change the formula, keeping rent increases down to the federal inflation rate of 2.5 per cent for 2019.

RELATED: B.C. welcomes Ottawa’s help on rental housing construction

Ontario and Manitoba allow property owners to apply for additional rent increases to cover maintenance and renovations, and it has not deterred investors from building additional rental stock, Chandra Herbert said.

We believe this strikes the balance between the need for affordability for renters and the need to maintain property,” he said. “People were clear to us. They understand costs do go up, but they also need to be able to afford them.”

Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard said the message at meetings across the province is that renters and property owners both need a fair system.

“In my home community, I’ve had a renter who was forced out of town into a secondary suite that didn’t have a door that locks, didn’t have hydro, and still faced rent increases,” Leonard said. “I’ve also had rental housing providers who have had their rental units damaged to the tune of $7,000.”

The task force expects to release its full report and recommendations later this fall.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Illegal dumping pushes BC Conservation to the tipping point

Terrace office may bring violators to court to seek higher penalties

Natural gas pipeline cost soars

Coastal GasLink to carry gas from northeastern B.C. to LNG Canada plant at Kitimat

Airport wants LNG companies to build own terminals

Best way to handle expected crush of traffic

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Man surrenders after Terrace drive-by shooting

Mayor confident with police assurance of public safety

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Most Read