Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Tough times for tenants: BC’s rent cap increases to 3.5% in 2024


While rent increases are never ideal, BC tenants are lucky to have a rent cap in place when compared to our neighbours in Alberta, no protections are in place.

In BC, the rent cap increased from 0% to 1.5% in 2022, then to 2% in 2023 and beginning next year, the rent cap will be increased to 3.5%.

“Across the country, costs have been increasing — especially for housing — at a rate that’s unsustainable for many people,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. 

“We know that’s the case for both landlords and renters, and that’s why we’ve found a balance to protect renters while helping to keep rental units on the market.”

According to BC, this increase is well below the 12-month inflation rates of 5.6% and should be manageable for tenants and should help mitigate rising costs for landlords as well. 

This increase only comes into effect on January 1st, 2024. This means that tenants who are coming to the end of or renewal period of their lease before then will not have this increase affect them. 

In addition, landlords in BC must provide a full three-months notice to their tenants of any rent increases with an official Notice of Rent Increase and can only provide one of these every 12 months.

The rent cap was introduced in 2018 for renters who need support amid the current housing crisis in BC when before rental increases were directly tied to the rate of inflation and landlords could add an additional 2% to that rate.

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“With renters facing a possible rent increase of almost 6%, the government listened to the voice of renters and acted, and I’m so glad they have,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, Premier’s Special liaison for Renters, former chair of the Rental Housing Task Force and MLA for Vancouver-West End. 

“We also know people renting out homes are facing increased costs and want to make sure they continue to make places available for long-term renters.”

According to the province, once inflation is stabilized and there is enough housing for rent to be decreased and affordable, the rent cap will once again be tied to the BC’s Consumer Price Index. 

This increase of the rent cap does not apply to commercial tenancies, non-profit housing where rent is tied to income, co-operative housing and some assisted-living facilities.

Curtis Blandy

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