B.C. renters to face largest allowable rent increase in 5 years

The B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch has set the maximum allowable rent increase for 2018 at four per cent.

B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch sets maximum allowable rent increase at 4 per cent

Vancouverites could be facing rents increases of up to four per cent, the largest potential rent increase in five years. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Get ready to pay a lot more in rent.

The B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch has set the maximum allowable rent increase for 2018 at four per cent — making it the largest potential rent increase in five years

In 2017, rent increases were capped at 3.7 per cent. While a four per cent increase in comparison might not seem very large, it's more pronounced given the low vacancy rates and sky-high rental prices in Vancouver. 

According to data tracked by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, rents in Metro Vancouver had a sharp increase of 6.4 per cent in 2016 .... even though the rental cap that year was 2.9 per cent.

CMHC explained the discrepancy, saying the data suggests tenants were signing new leases with landlords. 

Normally, rent increases are capped at two per cent plus inflation, but this only applies to month-to-month tenancies. It's not uncommon for landlords to use a loophole that instead asks tenants whose term is up to sign a brand new fixed-term agreement, where it would be theoretically possible for them to circumvent the rent increase cap. 

The rent increase was met with criticism on social media. 

The Vancouver Tenants Union tweeted, "The rent is too damn high. And now they're raising it another four per cent. We need a rent freeze!"

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