Landlords defend 4.5 percent rent increase set by B.C. NDP government for 2019

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      Landlords are backing the rent increase set by the B.C. NDP government for next year.

      According to LandlordBC, the 4.5 percent raise in 2019 conforms to the current formula, which is two percent base increase over current rent, plus cost of inflation.

      In a paper released Tuesday (September 18), the association explained that the maximum annual increase is based on the 12-month average B.C. Consumer Price Index from August 2017 to July 2018 calculated at 2.5 percent.

      Added to the base increase of two percent, that brings the total to 4.5 percent, which was the rate announced last week by the province.

      The 4.5 percent increase is the highest since 2004. 

      In the paper, LandlordBC also indicated that workers can afford the rent increase.

      The association noted that during the same period from August 2017 to July 2018, average wages in B.C. grew by 4.6 percent.

      As well, wages grew 6.2 percent on average in the past six months, according to LandlordBC, citing B.C. Stats.

      The association also pointed out that over the last 10 years from 2009 to 2018, operating costs have outstripped rental increases.

      LandlordBC stated that the “compound maximum allowed rent increase” over the decade has been 3.2 percent, while operating expenses rose 7.6 percent per year.

      In a separate statement, the association expressed concern that the current rental formula may be changed by the government.

      “This would cause serious harm to landlords and renters alike by negatively impacting the long- term viability of the rental housing industry in BC, pushing more landlords in the secondary market to home sharing platforms like Airbnb and, thwart new purpose-built rental development,” according to LandlordBC.