British Columbia

B.C. drops maximum allowable rent increases for 2021 to 1.4%

The province has announced the maximum allowable rent increase in B.C. has been set at 1.4 per cent for 2021, marking a drop of nearly half from the maximum of 2.6 per cent in place for 2020.

Landlords must also provide tenants with three full months notice of an increase

Landlords cannot currently raise rent for tenants who have experienced a loss in income during the pandemic, as the province also has a rent freeze in effect until December 2020 (Maggie MacPherson/CBC)

The province has announced the maximum allowable rent increase in B.C. has been set at 1.4 per cent for 2021, marking a drop of nearly half from the maximum of 2.6 per cent in place for 2020.

The province announced the new limits on Thursday.

Landlords cannot currently raise rent for tenants who have experienced a loss in income during the pandemic, as the province has a rent freeze in effect until December 2020 to help those families.

The province said Thursday tenants who received a notice of increase for 2020 that would have gone into effect after March 18 should continue to pay their current rent until Nov. 30.

Landlords must provide tenants with three full months notice of an increase using a government-approved notice of rent increase form. Rent can only be raised once a year.

Next year marks the third year under updated provincial regulations limiting the allowable increase to the cost of inflation alone. Under old rules, changed in 2018, landlords could raise rents by the cost of inflation and add an additional two per cent. 

Russ Godfrey, a legal advocate for tenants, said while the increase is modest, it will be an additional hardship for many British Columbians who must start paying back rent they deferred over the past few months.

"I think the government should have been bold enough to cancel the annual rent increase this year until the pandemic slows and people get back to work," said Godfrey on CBC's The Early Edition on Friday.

He also suggested municipalities defer property taxes for homeowners so landlords can be flexible with tenants during the pandemic.

"Being a landlord is a choice. Being a renter is not a choice for most people," said Godfrey.

To hear the complete interview with Russ Godfrey on The Early Edition, tap here.

With files from The Early Edition

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