Current Situation in B.C.
There are approximately 1.5 million renters in British Columbia.
The vacancy rate in the province is 1.3%
The vacancy rates for primary rental units and rented condominiums remained below 1% in Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna in 2017.
The average cost for rent in B.C. is $1,164.
While most renter-rental housing provider relationships are working well, at times difficult and complex situations can arise.
Some common issues of conflict for renters and rental housing providers are regarding:
- Repairs and maintenance
- Pet restrictions
- Quiet Enjoyment
The task force is taking an in-depth look at the issues presented while engaging with stakeholders and the public to make sure we strike the right balance between rental housing providers and renters.
- Based on public and stakeholder engagement, the task force will consider further improvements to the Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.
- The work of the task force will build upon the actions taken by government to date.
Actions Taken To Date
- To help renters, the Province will provide $116 million over three years to expand eligibility and increase the average benefits under the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER).
- Beginning Sept. 1, 2018, more than 35,000 households will benefit from the enhancements, including 3,200 newly eligible seniors and families.
- The average payment for RAP recipients will go up by approximately $800 a year.
- The average payment for SAFER recipients will go up by approximately $930 a year.
- The B.C. government has strengthened protection from unfair rent increases by closing the fixed-term lease loophole and eliminating the geographic rent increase clause: news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017MAH0010-001815 and news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017MAH0021-002036
- The Province is providing $6.8 million in new funding to the Residential Tenancy Branch to reduce wait times for tenancy disputes and to establish a new compliance unit to take action against rental housing providers and renters who are repeat or serious offenders: news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017FIN0024-001557
- The Province is also investing $1.1 billion over 10 years to upgrade and improve existing affordable rental housing throughout B.C. This investment will fund seismic and fire-safety upgrades and essential repairs and maintenance, making homes safer and more comfortable for residents.