British Columbia

B.C.'s maximum allowable rent increase to rise 2.6% in 2020

The maximum allowable annual rent increase for B.C. has been set at 2.6 per cent for 2020.

Maximum hike set at the province's annual rate of inflation

Apartments in the West End of Vancouver are pictured on July 17, 2019. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The maximum allowable annual rent increase for B.C. has been set at 2.6 per cent for 2020, marking the second year under new provincial regulations that limit the increase to the cost of inflation.

Under the old rules, landlords could raise rents by the cost of inflation plus two per cent, but a provincial task force last year recommended eliminating the two per cent add-on. Cabinet accepted that recommendation on Sept. 26, 2018.

A statement from the province Thursday said the maximum allowable rent increase for 2020 would have been 4.6 per cent under the old regulations.

"Because of our changes and the removal of the fixed-term loophole, people will no longer face the unreasonable rent hikes that were allowed for years," Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in the statement.

Part of the Vancouver skyline is pictured on June 11, 2019. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Landlords in B.C. can choose to increase rents once a year and must provide three months' notice, using a government-approved notice of rent increase form.

In 2019, the B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch set the rate at 4.5 per cent — 2.5 per cent for the cost of inflation plus two per cent — which would have constituted the biggest increase since 2004.

That was repealed nine days later when the government announced it would be changing the rules to drop the add-on, after public outcry from renters continuing to struggle with the sky-high cost of housing across the province.

The rate increase for 2019 was ultimately set at 2.5 per cent.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story incorrectly stated 2020 would mark the seventh straight year the maximum allowable rent increase has risen in B.C. In fact, it will be the first rise since the rate dropped in 2019.
    Sep 05, 2019 10:28 AM PT

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