The Province of B.C. announced it has extended the freeze on rent increases until July 10, 2021, under the powers of the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act.
According to a government update posted on November 12, increases set to happen on Dec. 1, 2020, are now cancelled along with all pending increases through to July.
“We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging,” commented Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases to provide more security for renters during the pandemic. We are all in this together, and it is important for both renters and landlords that people can stay in their homes.”
Back in March, the Province originally froze rent increases with the ban set to expire December 1st. The extension comes as concerning news to the province’s hard hit landlords, according to Vancouver-based association, LandlordBC.
“Needless to say, this decision is very concerning,” the group responded in a blog post. “Our sector is on a negative financial trajectory and we need support for rental property owners. While not insensitive to the challenges many renters have faced during the pandemic, the reality is that our sector has also been challenged with significant disruptions, risks and costs as a result of the pandemic.”
As the leading voice for owners and managers of rental housing in British Columbia, LandlordBC says it will continue to advocate on behalf of members and the broader sector to ensure the government understands and responds appropriately to the group’s concerns.
“[In] the absence of rent increases for existing tenancies to better cover cost inflation like taxes, utilities, insurance, maintenance, etc., our financial challenges will be further exacerbated and threatens our ability to ensure British Columbian’s have continued access to a safe, secure, sustainable rental housing,” the association wrote.
You can read the complete response here: landlordbc.ca.