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

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.

BC legislaturerental market

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local letter writer expects more people turning to prayer during pandemic. (File photo)
LETTER: More people likely turn to prayer during pandemic, Langley man contends

Pandemic, politics and the economy are giving people reason to call on a higher power, he writes

Langley’s Julie Vantol shared this picture of her “intrepid” three-year-old son Jonas cycling along the shores fo the Fraser River on a recent sunny winter day. “Great day for a bike ride along the beach at Derby Reach trailhead, at 208th,” with the snow covered mountains in the background, she said. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Perfect biking weather?

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Fort Langley’s Wout Brouwer captured this picture of McMillan Island from the opposite shore of the Bedford Channel on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Maple Ridge mountaintops backdrop former Ridge church

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Langley churches offer in-person services precisely because they care about people

Letter writer concerned Township councillor wants to punish churches with tax threat

Crows gather at in the cottonwoods of Sandra Kidder’s neighbour in Aldergrove every winter morning just before sunrise. (Sandra Kidder/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
SHARE: Aldergrove cottonwoods hosts morning murder of crows

Send us your photo showing how you view Langley, and it could be featured in a future edition

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read