In April 2018, Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Premier John Horgan created a Rental Housing Task Force (RHTF) for B.C.

The Task force toured around the province, and was made to advise on improvements for fairness and security for both renters and rental housing providers.

Now, the RHTF has released their early recommendations, the most notable being a change in the province’s annual allowable rent increase formula.

The RHTF recommends reducing the recently announced allowable rent increase from 4.5%, to 2.5% – the biggest annual rent jump since 4.6% in 2004.

B.C.’s annual allowable rent increase formula is the current formula of inflation, plus 2%.

Current calculations for inflation place it at 2.5%. Once the additional 2% is added, we get the 2019 total of 4.5%

The RHTF suggests removing the automatic addition of 2%.

Landlords will have the option to apply for an additional increase if they can show that the formula would not cover maintenance costs, or other expenses that may incur.

“Whether they are renters or rental housing providers, people are looking for greater fairness and greater balance in residential tenancy policies in our province,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, task force member and MLA for Courtenay-Comox.

A decision will be made on these early recommendations on October 1, 2018.

The task force’s full recommendations reported is expected to be released sometime this fall.