B.C.’s maximum allowable rent increase set at 2.6% for 2020

B.C.’s maximum allowable rent increase set at 2.6% for 2020
File photo
The maximum allowable rent increase for 2020 has been set at 2.6%. The maximum allowable rent increase for 2020 has been set at 2.6%. File photo.

Landlords will be allowed to charge 2.6 per cent more for rent next year.

On Wednesday, the B.C. government announced the maximum allowable rent for 2020 has been set at 2.6 per cent.

This is the seventh year in a row that the limit as increased. However, next year is also the second year new provincial regulations 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.

In a release on Wednesday, the province said the maximum allowable rent increase for 2020 would have been 4.6 per cent under the old rules.

“Renters need secure housing they can afford,” Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said in a statement.

“That’s why we removed the additional 2 per cent above inflation that the old government allowed for rent increases since 2004. Under the old formula, renters would have seen a rent hike of more than 9 per cent over 2019 and 2020. 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.”

B.C. landlords can increase rents 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That was repealed nine days later when the government announced it would be changing the rules to drop the add-on, after public outcry from renters continuing to struggle with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.

With files from CBC

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