B.C. to lift rent freeze in 2022
News 1130 recently published an article, “B.C. to lift rent freeze in 2022.”
The article pertains to the province’s decision to lift the rent freeze, introduced at the start of the pandemic and extended until the end of 2021. The rent freeze was implemented to help support British Columbians through COVID-19 in the face of business closures and job losses.
A maximum allowable rent increase of 1.5% will be permitted in 2022. It takes effect Jan 1, 2022, and landlords must provide three months’ notice to tenants.
The Vancouver Tenants Union argues that the timing is too soon, and are pushing for the freeze to continue until the pandemic is over. They point to the ongoing pandemic’s added precariousness with the Delta Variant and continually changing health orders leading to continued financial struggle for citizens. The group argues that not enough has been done to support renters, and links the issue to larger themes of housing affordability not taking priority in the province.
Meanwhile, LandlordBC applauds the move, but says the 1.5% cap is “woefully inadequate.” They argue that landlords have had to endure the pandemic all while dealing with stagnant rents and rising expenses, like property taxes and insurance rates. For many, rentals are their primary income source, and they worry about the ongoing viability of their rental business. However, the group is understanding of renters’ stress of keeping a roof over their heads in the face of a possible fourth wave of the pandemic, and say “we’re all in this together.”
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