Next year, B.C.'s maximum annual allowable rent increase is set at 1.4%, which is less than half of what it would have been prior to changes made by the Province in 2018.
Prior to that change, the previous government allowed rent increases to be the rate of inflation, plus an additional 2%. By removing the extra 2%, 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.
For manufactured-home park tenancies, the rate is 1.4%, plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees.
In a release, the government notes that this system ensures property owners are able to make investments and repairs to maintain safe housing while ensuring rent increases are moderate and predictable.
B.C. landlords can increase rent only once per year and must provide tenants with three full months’ notice using the correct notice of rent increase form.
To protect renters who have experienced income loss during COVID-19, the Province is continuing to maintain rent freezes until December 2020. Any tenant who received a Notice of Increase for 2020 that would have gone into effect after March 18, 2020, should continue to pay their current rent until Nov. 30, 2020.
In August, a payment plan was set out for renters in British Columbia who haven't been able to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic as a government moratorium on evictions ends on Sept. 1.
Renters in arrears between March 18 and Aug. 17 will have until at least next July to pay back the money owed to landlords.
The government says landlords and renters need to work out a payment plan with the extra payment due with the monthly rent.
- With files from the Canadian Press.