The B.C. Residential Tenancy Branch has set the maximum possible rent increase for B.C. to 4.5% – the biggest annual rent jump since 4.6% in 2004. Landlords must give their tenants at least three months notice prior to increasing the rent.

The rent increase is calculated by using the B.C. Consumer Price Index and a relevantly developed formula.

Once in a 12-month period, the B.C. government allows landlords to increase the price of rent at the same calculated rate of inflation, plus 2%.

The current B.C. Consumer Price Index calculation for average change in inflation sits at 2.5%. The cost of inflation plus the additional 2% brings the total maximum rent increase allowed to 4.5%.

This rent increase cap only affects existing tenants, with no limits in place for new tenants entering a property.

British Columbia’s rent increase can look strikingly high when compared to other provinces and territories. Ontario’s rent increase for 2019, for example, sits at 1.8%.

In an effort to combat growing housing issues in B.C., the B.C. government created a Rental Housing Task Force in April 2018.

The task force has recently travelled across B.C. to review rental conditions, and will share its recommendations before the end of the year.

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