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Rising Multi-family Assessments Could Trigger Higher Rents Across B.C.

Rising multi-family assessments could trigger higher rents across B.C.

By Andrew Duffy, Times Colonist for Business in Vancouver

A surge in the assessed values of rental buildings, coupled with new rules around rental rates, could translate into reduced investment in existing buildings and fewer new developments, says the head of LandlordBC.

David Hutniak, chief executive of the organization that represents rental property owners and managers, said another year of increased assessment values could mean higher property taxes for the owners of rental buildings — hurting both landlords and eventually renters.

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“Ultimately, renters will be impacted because any landlord contemplating holding rents in 2019 or not passing on the entire [consumer price index] increase [2.5 per cent], they will now have no choice but to do so,” he said.

Last fall, the province cut by two per cent the annual rent increase that landlords can charge, limiting increases to the CPI, which for 2019 is 2.5 per cent.

But with possible property tax increases looming as a result of high assessments, Hutniak said the 2.5 per cent falls far short of what landlords would need to keep up with increased costs.

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