LandlordBC CEO Reacts To Vancouver Sun Article

This letter was written in response to the article ‘Vancouver lagging behind nation’s rental property boom‘ written by Barbara Yaffe for the Vancouver Sun on January 12th, 2015.

Dear Ms. Yaffe,

My name is David Hutniak, CEO, LandlordBC.  LandlordBC is the largest industry association in BC representing in the order of 3300 owners and managers of rental housing.  In addition to serving as the leading voice for the BC rental housing industry in both our province and nationally, we are a resource to the industry for the delivery of education to support the provision of safe and sustainable rental housing in a manner that is sensitive to and respectful of the rights of renters.   

I am writing you in regard to the January 12, 2015 article you wrote entitled “Vancouver lagging nation’s rental property boom”.  In the article Mr. David Goodman, a prominent realtor specializing in multi-family real estate as you know, and a known supporter of the rental housing industry in the province, appealed for policies to encourage more purpose-built rental housing construction.  His appeal is both welcomed and appreciated by the industry. 

In my position as CEO of LandlordBC, I personally have stated publicly that a contributing factor to the shortage of purpose-built rental housing in the Lower Mainland is the price of land. What we need is the political will to reduce the price effect. Someone at some point is going to have to do something creative like 10-year property tax relief, or free density, or sale of city land at below market value, or something else creative that makes new rental construction more economically feasible

The age of the rental stock in Vancouver is a particularly challenging issue, and Mr. Goodman’s impassioned commentary in regard to the prohibition surrounding the demolition and replacement of this aging stock is certainly understood.  Having said that, I’m confident that we can all agree that the vast majority of multi-residential buildings in BC are well-managed and maintained, irrespective of their age, and that the industry on the whole is doing an excellent job delivering safe, sustainable, energy efficient purpose-built rental housing to British Columbians.  This is notwithstanding the many challenges we face, most notably our being compelled to operate within a legislative regime that caps annual rent increases to CPI + 2% (for 2015 this amount will total 2.5%), in an environment where cost drivers such as property taxes, utility costs, maintenance cost, and insurance costs are increasing at a significantly higher pace.  Despite these challenges, our goal as an industry remains;  to continue to invest in the existing rental stock and to deliver quality rental housing to British Columbians.

In closing, I thank you in advance for your serious consideration of my comments in regard to your well-written article.  I welcome any inquiries you may have in regard to LandlordBC and our commitment to leadership within the rental housing industry.


David Hutniak
Chief Executive Officer
LandlordBC –  BC’s top resource for owners and managers of rental housing