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Province cuts maximum rental rate increase

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The provincial government announced today that it will be reducing the maximum allowable rental rate increase, after announcing earlier this month that rents would have been permitted to increase by up to 4.5 percent next year.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson said that her Ministry will be taking action on a recommendation from B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force by cutting the annual allowable rent increase by two percent, limiting it to inflation.

The previous formula, which dates back to 2004, allowed annual rent increases of two percent plus inflation.

That means that effective January 1, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase will be 2.5 percent.

“It’s simply not sustainable for renters, many of whom are on fixed incomes, to see their rent increase by more than inflation each and every year,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have to eliminate the risk of such huge increases for renters. Our new approach strikes a balance between giving relief to renters while encouraging people to maintain their rental properties.”

As a result of eliminating the additional two percent increase, renters paying $1,200 per month will save up to $288 next year over what they could have paid under the old formula.

“We recognize supply is key to bringing down rental costs in the long term, but renters have told us they are hurting and need help today,” said Robinson. “That’s why we are taking careful steps to address the housing crisis and ease the pressure on renters, while also making sure that landlords have the tools they need to continue to invest in their rental properties.”

The Residential Tenancy Branch will work closely with landlord advocacy groups on expanded circumstances under which landlords could apply for an additional rent increase to reflect the costs of maintaining their rental properties.

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