Task force recommends decreasing annual rent increase cap in B.C.

Shutterstock

Renters in British Columbia were recently notified they could soon be paying up to 4.5% more in rent – the biggest increase in more than a decade – but they may be in for a bit of a break in the future.

A rental housing task force, appointed by Premier John Horgan in April, has recommended the annual rent increase cap be changed from inflation plus 2% to just the rate of inflation, the government announced September 24.

“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, who along with being the MLA for Vancouver West End is also the chair of the task force.

“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.”

Ontario and Manitoba have limited their annual rent increases to the rate of inflation for more than 10 years.

Under the recommendations, landlords would still be able to apply for higher increases if they can show the costs of maintenance warrant boosting rents beyond the rate of inflation.

Along with Chandra Herbert, the task force included Courtney-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard and Saanich North MLA Adam Olsen.

The government will make a decision on the recommendations before October 1.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV