Rent Increases For 2024 Capped to 3.5%.

The provincial government has just set the maximum allowable rent increase for 2024 by landlords in BC to 3.5%. According to BC’s housing minister, Ravi Kahlon, the figure represents a balance that the government has found.

Agreeing with his Housing minister, David Eby, premier of BC, emphasized that this is a particularly challenging time for renters and landlords across the province. “We are balancing both the realities faced by renters of increasing costs on many fronts as well as the realities faced by landlords of many increasing costs, and their perhaps decision to not continue renting if they don’t see some recognition of the fact that they are seeing increasing costs as well,” he said.

This is the second year in a row that the increases have been set below the provincial inflation rate.

Before 2018, the annual allowable rent increase was based on the provincial rate of inflation plus 2%. Following a recommendation by the Rental Housing Taskforce, this extra 2% was removed, with the cap calculated only using the inflation rate.

As expected, the reaction to the announcement is overwhelmingly negative by both renters and landlords.

Landlord BC CEO David Hutniak says this rent cap creates uncertainty for landlords, it does not cover rising costs and it could hurt the rental supply in the long term. “ While we were pleased to hear the premier and housing minister recognize that landlords are equally challenged in today’s high inflation and interest rate environment, we were nevertheless disappointed that the province felt it necessary to intervene once again,” he commented.

He also acknowledged the situation for renters. “We appreciate that renters are challenged. They need help, and it is in the government’s court to help them, but not while harming landlords at the same time. We need workable solutions,” Hutniak added.

The maximum allowable rent increases do not apply to commercial tenancies, non-profit housing where rent is tied to income, co-operative housing or some assisted living facilities.

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