Survey finds broad support for B.C. rent freeze

Click to play video: 'B.C. aims to extend rent freeze to end of 2021'
B.C. aims to extend rent freeze to end of 2021
WATCH: The provincial government says it plans to extend the current freeze on residential rent hikes for all of 2021. Sarah MacDonald has reaction – Mar 1, 2021

A healthy majority of British Columbians support the province’s plan to extend the freeze on rents amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new survey.

The survey, conducted by Insights West, also found that the rent freeze may be a factor in why some landlords choose not to rent out properties.

Read more: B.C. looks to extend rent freeze to end of 2021

The survey found that 68 per cent of respondents supported proposed legislation to extend the rent freeze to the end of 2021.

Ninety-three per cent of renters in B.C. supported the freeze while 47 per cent of landlords supported the government’s plan.

Click to play video: 'B.C. provincial government making life a bit easier for tenants'
B.C. provincial government making life a bit easier for tenants

The survey found that 37 per cent of respondents believed the rent freeze could impact housing supply and 63 per cent believe “landlords shouldn’t have to bear all the cost of the pandemic, renters need to pay too.”

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Fifty-five per cent agreed that “house prices and costs like property taxes are going up, renters need to pay their fair share even during the pandemic.”

Read more: 20% of B.C. homeowners regret renovations: report

The survey found that 12 per cent of adults in B.C. define themselves as landlords, but another nine per cent own rentable property that they choose to not rent out.

Forty-seven per cent of those who did not rent out property said it was too much hassle while 28 per cent cited rent controls and rent freezes and 37 per cent had concerns about COVID-19.

“The surprising finding in our poll was the amount of rental inventory in our province that goes unused due to pandemic concerns as well as rent control policies,” Insights West president Steve Mossop said in a statement.

“While everyone agrees that rent freezes are good for renters, many agree that this policy will likely have a negative effect on the number of rental units available.”

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