VIDEO: B.C. to end geographic area rent increases, close fixed-term lease loopholes

Both clauses allowed landlords to raise rents above the max annual allowable rent increase

Landlords will no longer be able to use higher neighbourhood rents to justify a rent increase, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert announced in Vancouver Saturday.

“The geographic area increase clause allowed landlords to bully renters into paying massive rent increases,” said Chandra Herbert.

The Residential Tenancy Act clause had allowed landlords to apply to raise rents beyond the maximum annual allowable increase if they could prove that similar units in the neighbourhood had higher rents.

The cap on rent increases is four per cent for 2018.

Chandra Herbert said that landlords would at times apply for rent increase of 70 per cent or more, as well as using the threat of rent increases to convince renters to agree to lower, although still significant increases.

Andrew Sakamoto, executive director of the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre, said that the geographic area clause had let landlords push rents even higher amidst what has been called a rental crisis in B.C.

Metro Vancouver rental vacancies sit at less than one per cent across all of its communities.

“We can’t allow landlords to use geographic rent increases to bring more units in line with the already inflated market that vacated clauses helped create,” Sakamoto said.

READ: B.C. to give renters a break on deposits, rent increases

The change will go into effect Monday, along with the end of a fixed term lease loophole.

The loophole allowed landlord to have their tenants sign a fixed-term lease with a vacate clause that allowed landlords to either bring in rent increases or evict tenants.

“While the good news that vacate clauses are for the most part eliminated, the bad news is that this loophole has left communities across B.C. with artificially inflated rents,” said Sakamato.

Any renters currently under a fixed-term lease will be able to go to a standard month-to-month lease.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Oliver town hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Oliver Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Add a little Spritz and Cider to your summer

Penticton Vees snag ‘impact’ forward Fin Williams from Prince George

17-year-old already has impressive Junior A resume

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Vancouver Island RCMP respond to reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Most Read