B.C. renters could pay up to 2.6 percent more in 2020
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson said the B.C. provincial government has removed the two percent above inflation rate that was previously allowed, again. The new inflation rate will permit landlords to increase their rent by 2.6 percent in 2020. The changes have been documented in the provinces updated Tenancy Laws for 2019.
Last year, the allowed rent increase was hiked up to 2.5% under B.C. Premier John Horgan, reports the Vancouver Sun, “in a bid to tackle the affordability crisis, particularly in heated markets such as Vancouver.”
According to Tenants BC, “A Landlord can increase rent each year up to (but not greater than) the percentage equal to the inflation rate. The allowable rent increase for each calendar year is available on the Residential Tenancy Branch’s website. For 2019, the allowable rent increase is 2.5%.”
However, Robinson says that if changes had not been made, renters could have seen an increase as high as nine percent in their rental rates due to various loopholes in the previous inflation formula.
“Because of our changes and the removal of the fixed-term loophole, people will no longer face the unreasonable rent hikes that were allowed for years,” Robinson said.
According to Global News, LandlordBC CEO David Hutniak said the goal is to limit over-inflation, be fair to landlords, and be transparent with renters.
“We, the government, everybody wants owners of particularly the ever-ageing rental stock to continue to invest in it and upgrade for energy efficiency, but that all costs money and so we need some mechanism to recoup some of that cost over time,” said Hutniak.
“The existing sort of opportunity within the current Act really doesn’t work for anybody.”
The Ministry of housing has come out to say that these changes will actually save the average British Colombian up to $300 dollars, as it was expected that rent would increase by at least 4 percent in 2020.
“Although more can still be done to improve rental affordability in B.C., reducing rent increases by two percent is a step in the right direction,” Andrew Sakamoto said in a statement through the province.
“We want renters to feel secure in their homes and to know their rights, and the compliance unit is ensuring that landlords understand that there will be serious consequences for deliberately not following their obligations with the tenancy laws in the province,” Compliance and Enforcement Unit director Scott McGregor said
McGregor added that the new rules will prevent landlords trying to skirt the rules, who often hike rent above what is permitted, or commit shady and often illegal renovictions.