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BC NDP Announces Rent Increase Freeze

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Blog by MacPherson Real Estate Ltd | October 13th, 2020

Government Update - BC NDP Announces Rent Increase Freeze
As many of you have heard, the BC NDP have indicated in their election platform that they will extend the rent increase freeze that had been implemented during the COVID-19 period. In September 2020, they announced that the rent increase freeze implemented during the COVID-19 period would end December 1, 2020. If the BC NDP are re-elected it would appear that this rent increase freeze would be in effect through 2021. This is a highly undesirable outcome and LandlordBC has strongly expressed the concerns of our industry to the BC NDP.  We now have to await the results of the October 24 election before further action can be taken. However, we would like to note that there is confusion surrounding the previously announced December 1, 2020 increase. It will be necessary for a new Regulation to be passed by November 30th, and the timing to implement such may be a challenge. Please keep in mind that this is not a rent freeze. It is a rent INCREASE freeze. Landlord’s are still permitted to raise rents as a result of tenant turnover and list vacant units at market prices.  
Also in the BC NDP document:
  1. The reintroduction of the $400 renter rebate. This will now be income tested for households earning up to $80,000 annually.
  2. The introduction of a brand new portable housing benefit to help those who are ready to transition out of supportive/social housing into market rental. We are not sure how much the supplement will be or for home long.
  3. For new construction, they are going to work with municipalities to create “one-window” permitting for all purpose-built rental and they will mandate elimination of parking minimums near transit for PBR. 
  4. They will be extending the super low cost housing through BC Housing “Housing Hub” and while this is primarily focused on social housing, there are opportunities for private sector rental developers to tap into these monies through partnerships with BC Housing. There have been several of these partnerships already put in place and LandlordBC is aware of more in the pipeline.
  5. Although not in the document, we continue belief that the Additional Rent Increase process recommended by the Rental Housing Task Force to be used for partial recovery of investments related to capital expenditure, will be implemented for our sector should the NDP form government after October 24.
LandlordBC continues to be in conversations with all levels of government regarding the needs of the rental housing sector. We are here working for you and will keep our members posted as this unfolds.
Source Landlord BC