Through no fault of their own, renters across the province including Prince George are dealing with the highest eviction rates in Canada.
According to a report from UBC’s Housing and Research Collaborative, 10.5% of renter households in BC were forced to move by their landlord between 2016 and 2021 – almost double the national average of 5.9%.
The study states the rise in evictions is fueled by higher rates of no-fault evictions – this involves tenants being asked to move so landlords can sell, refurbish or move into the unit.
During the same five-year period, 9% of renters in BC experienced a no-fault eviction, compared to the national rate of just 4%.
Last year, the Residential Tenancy Branch received 16 applications related to no-fault evictions for rental addresses in Prince George.
From January 1st to March 31st of 2023, the RTB received seven applications related to no-fault evictions at rental addresses.
The Ministry of Housing confirmed to MyPGNow.com the province does not track how many evictions occur each year in BC or the reasons behind them unless the eviction is disputed by the tenant.
Furthermore, the UBC-based study noted rents in the province are roughly $500 more than in the rest of Canada while home prices average $300,000 more than anywhere else in the country.
In September of 2022, the BC Government announced rent increases would be capped at 2% this year to assist with inflation.
This drew the ire of Kamloops-based property management company, the Kelson Group, which operates several apartment buildings in Prince George.
President, Jason Fawcett also noted the current rent control model in BC has become a two-tiered system where long-term tenants pay less while new renters dish out more.
“If they moved in when rents were lower then they continue to be much lower and that’s an advantage for them (long-term tenants). Maybe those people do not relocate or they end up staying in Prince George or other locations in the province because they get a good deal on rent.”
“For new residents, they often end up paying more. It’s a burden on them and we think that is the unfortunate part of our economy in order to have a functioning housing market than there needs to be a fair rental rent. Some people are paying less and other people are paying more and that just isn’t a good strategy over the long run,”
Lastly, the study noted BC’s rate of at-fault evictions for either late rent, property damage, or excessive noise was on par with the rest of the provinces.
Late or non-payment of rent accounted for 5.5% of evictions across Canada – 20% were due to the behaviour of tenants.
For a link to the full report, click here.