People living on eight leasehold properties in the North Lake area near Egmont have succeeded in their calls for relief from what could have been doubling of their annual rent due to the province this year.
Part-time resident Jim Close told Coast Reporter the group launched their action on two fronts. He said they reached success for this year through “the political route." In response to a letter writing campaign, the province has agreed to hold its rents at 2021 levels. Close said that decision was reached after the residents argued that, as a landlord, the province should obey the rental increase cap it introduced, restricting rent increases to no more than 1.5 per cent. The provincial leasehold property 2021 rent freeze will be applied across B.C., according to a letter the province sent to Close.
According to their leases, their rents are to be calculated at three per cent of the assessed value of the property. With assessments taking huge jumps between this year and last, leasees were looking at rent value increases of “100 per cent or more." For Close, his rent was slated to go from $4,500 per year to $9,000 in 2022.
While awaiting a response to their letters to the province, Close and five of his seven neighbours on leasehold lands also appealed the 2022 assessments of their properties. They did that in attempts to scale back their rent increases. While the rent freeze provided a better outcome for them, Close said he was happy that they went through the process. He said that three of the six appeals resulted in reductions to property valuations.
With 75 per cent of North Lake leasehold residents filing 2022 assessment appeals, that area was an exception, according to a May 10 press release issued by the BC Assessment Authority. That document states that less than two per cent of B.C. property owners appealed their 2022 property assessments.
“With over two million properties in British Columbia and notable assessment value increases for 2022 in many parts of the province, property owners have a keen interest in their assessments and are using our website to review the market sale comparisons and property information that we provide,” Deputy Assessor Bryan Murao said in the release. “The result is that the vast majority of British Columbians are satisfied with their 2022 assessments.”
The deadline to appeal 2022 property assessments was Jan. 31.