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

Second Haida Nation webinar centres on mental health, well-being amid COVID-19

Haida Gwaii Talks Coronavirus guests led live exercises, shared free advice, apps and more

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

What’s your housing story? Port Clements needs assessment is underway

Survey of current residents, landlords, future residents runs until April 15

Port Clements applies for Community Trails and Recreation Program Grant

New hope for community trail projects impacted by reallocation of Rural Dividend money

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Revenue dip needed to qualify for wage subsidy drops to 15% in March: Trudeau

Wage subsidy would over 75% of each employee’s salary for qualifying businesses

B.C. closes all provincial parks for COVID-19 protection

Easter weekend approaches, camping already closed

Air Canada says it will apply for wage subsidy to rehire workers after cutting 16,500 jobs

Air Canada said March revenues fell by more than 30 per cent year over year

Most Read