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NDP worried over possible changes to rental increase limits

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There’s word the BC government is considering taking away some of the certainty for renters.

The NDP says the minister for housing wants to do away with the yearly rent increase limit.

Right now, landlords can only increase the rent by 2.5 per cent each year, unless a new tenant moves in or they’ve made significant improvements. According to the NDP, Housing Minister Rich Coleman has said he will soon be having discussions about increasing that limit so landlords can recover rising utility costs and property taxes.

NDP Critic David Eby says the minister can do this easily without notice. “They could do that through something called an order in council. It wouldn’t even go, as I understand it, to the legislature. They could just eliminate that two-and-a-half per cent amount overnight and allow rents to increase as much as landlords wish.”

The average one bedroom in Vancouver rents for almost $1,500 and Eby worries people will leave if it gets any higher. “I think it really challenges the idea that young people, young families and the future of the economy in Vancouver are welcome if they can’t afford to stay here.”

A statement from the minister responsible for housing confirms changes are being considered, but no decision has been made.