The major driver of the rental affordability crisis in B.C. is the fact that our residential tenancy laws allow landlords to jack up rents to outrageous levels between tenants.
We desperately need rent controls in B.C. not only to increase the supply of affordable rentals but also to protect tenants who have been living in the same suite for years at lower rent levels. Due to a lack of rent controls, housing for long-term tenants has become precarious, unstable, and unpredictable. I know because I am one of those renters affected.
Being able to raise the rent as high as they want for new tenants is one hell of an incentive for landlords to force long-term tenants out by any means possible. Unfortunately, our landlord-friendly Residential Tenancy Act contains many ways, numerous loopholes, and very effective tools that unscrupulous landlords can easily utilize to torment good tenants, making their lives such a living hell that they are forced to leave just to keep their sanity.
We need laws to prevent exorbitant increases to rent between tenancies so landlords no longer have the financial incentive to abuse good tenants. Premier Eby should act immediately to bring in rent controls, thus making more affordable rental housing available and protecting long-term tenants from ending up on the street.
Doreen Marion Gee