VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Next year’s rent will be able to go up a little more than this year, as the British Columbia government sets how much landlords can add to the monthly bill.
The maximum rent increase for 2020 has been set at 2.6 per cent, to match inflation. Under old increase rules, rents could have gone up by up to 9 per cent in the same period.
The Housing Ministry says the increase is two per cent lower than it would have been before the reduction that was made last year, and that means renters living in an apartment costing $1,250 a month can save up to $300 next year.
A recent study of local housing found two bedroom homes in Vancouver cost an average of $3,000 a month. Those renters will be paying $80 more each month in 2020, adding up to just under $1000 for the whole year.
The ministry says the province is also placing limits on so-called renovictions as well as providing renters and landlords with more guidance on issues such as limited types of major repairs that truly require vacancies.
Justin Fung with advocacy group Housing Action for Local Taxpayers says rent is still unaffordable for most Vancouverites.
“We already have rents that are incredibly high,” he says, adding workers aren’t getting raises to keep up with inflation. “It’s just going to make the situation harder for renters as they try to make ends meet because the vast majority aren’t getting a 2.6 per cent increase in our incomes every year.”
Landlords can apply for higher amounts if they have proof it is for needed maintenance or upgrades, but Fung says ultimately no one is happy.
“You’re going to get pushback from the landlords saying they need to raise their rents as well, so I think this really speaks the need for the government to step in and provide truly affordable social housing.”
He adds ahead of the federal election, people need to be vocal asking the government to increase housing funding.
With files from the Canadian Press.