The Province of British Columbia has announced that the maximum annual allowable rent increase will be set at 1.4 per cent starting in 2021.
This is a decrease of 1.2 per cent from 2020, where the maximum allowable rent increase was set at 2.6 per cent.
The government also points out that the 2021 number is “less than half” of what it would have been prior to changes made back in 2018.
Under the previous system, maximum rent increases were calculated to be the rate of inflation, plus an additional 2 per cent.
“By removing the extra 2 per cent, renters living in a $1,320-per-month apartment, which is the cost of the average two-bedroom rental unit in B.C., will save up to $317 next year, and people living in an average two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver will save about $420,” reads a statement from the BC government.
The government adds that for manufactured-home park tenancies, the rate is 1.4 per cent, plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees.
The Province emphasizes that the rent increase can’t be more than the amount calculated using the allowable increase percentage, meaning that landlords are not allowed to round up when calculating changes.
Landlords in British Columbia are legally allowed to increase rent once per year and it is required that they provide tenants with three full months’ notice.
Additional increases by landlords on the basis that the rent is significantly lower than other similar rental units in the same geographic area are no longer allowed.
According to the Province, current freezes on rent will be maintained until December 2020 in order to protect renters who have experienced income loss amid COVID-19. This means that renters who received a Notice of Increase for 2020 should maintain their current rent rate until Nov. 30, 2020.
The 2021 maximum increase rate marks a notable drop from 2018, where the increase rate was 4.0 per cent.