In the last 20 years, never have federal, provincial and municipal governments infiltrated the rental market in as many intersecting ways as they did in late 2018. Policies, programs and market forces all collided in a Big Bang-like explosion, leaving us with a chaos of uncertainty.
In December, B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force published its much-awaited recommendations on potential amendments to the provincial Residential Tenancy Act (RTA). These guidelines have clearly ushered in an altered universe, and yet they raise almost as many questions as they answer. What’s more, the new year will bring further shifts, as we wait to see which of the Task Force’s recommendations will morph into legislation and amendments to the RTA.
Meanwhile, from a municipal standpoint, Q1 of 2019 is an important period for Council and staff at the City of Vancouver to do a deep dive on all things rental as they wrestle with Motion B.10. This City-led act – which, notably, cites the Goodman Report as a sales information source! – is designed to give tenants protection under Vancouver’s Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy when they experience displacement from renovations. Yet it remains unclear to us what power the City actually has under Motion B.10 to change rental protections, since legislation regulating landlord–tenant relations is at the provincial rather than municipal level. For further commentary on Motion B.10, check out our “9 myths about Vancouver’s rental market” article.
For 36 years, the Goodman Report has written to our readership with one thing in mind: translating the state of the market to help you answer the question “What does this mean for my property?” If you own an apartment building, the first half of 2018 saw your value generally increase; however, your rental rates, property taxes and utility and employment costs did as well. In the last quarter, values stabilized and, in some areas, saw a decline, as political uncertainty increased. In the coming year, we expect that investors and developers of purpose-built rentals will remain somewhat active, yet equally apprehensive about their further involvement in the industry.
As always, we encourage you to reach out to chat – about the market, about your property regardless of location, or about a particular policy or area plan and what it means for you. We pride ourselves either on having the answer for you or on being able to point you in the direction of good advice with full transparency.