Rents in British Columbia will only increase in line with the province’s inflation.
The provincial government has set the annual allowable rent increase for 2020 at 2.6% having removed the previous government’s formula for increases.
“Renters need secure housing they can afford,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “That’s why we removed the additional 2% 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% 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.”
The government calculates that the new formula will save $300 in the year for a renter of an average $1,250 per month apartment (the average rent in BC). A couple could save $471 in rent for a 2-bedroom apartment.
The BC government is also enforcing protections for tenants including new Residential Tenancy Branch guidelines issued last month that will provide landlords and renters with stronger guidance on:
- the limited types of major repairs that truly require vacancy;
- the good-faith requirement;
- necessary permits required by landlords; and
- case law regarding renters’ ability to sustain tenancies during renovations.
Stronger action is being taken against those who flout the rules.
“The new compliance unit has been investigating a number of cases involving illegal renovictions and landlords trying to evade the annual allowable rent increase,” said Scott McGregor, director, Compliance and Enforcement Unit. “We want renters to feel secure in their homes and to know their rights, and the compliance unit is ensuring that landlords understand that there will be serious consequences for deliberately not following their obligations with the tenancy laws in the province.”