Maximum allowable rent increase set for 2019

BASED on the B.C. Consumer Price Index and the formula for rent increases in British Columbia, the maximum annual allowable rent increase will be 4.5% in 2019, the government announced on Friday.

B.C. landlords can choose to increase rent once annually. The maximum percentage increase allowed each year is the inflation rate plus 2%. The inflation rate, calculated using the 12-month average percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in July, is 2.5%. Therefore, the maximum allowable increase for 2019 is 4.5%.

For manufactured home park tenancies, the rate is 4.5% plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees.

Landlords must provide tenants with three full months’ notice using the correct notice of rent increase form.

In the context of extremely low vacancy rates in communities throughout British Columbia and rising rents, the Province has taken the following steps to help provide relief to renters:

* providing greater protection from unfair evictions;

* eliminating a geographic rent increase clause that had left some renters facing exorbitant rent increases;

* enhancing rental assistance for seniors and low-income families through Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters and the Rental Assistance Program; and

* increasing rental supply in communities throughout the province through new programs such as the Building BC Community Housing Fund, which is an investment of close to $1.9 billion over 10 years to build 14,000 new rental homes.

The B.C. government also created the Rental Housing Task Force, which toured the province earlier this year seeking feedback on the concerns and issues impacting renters and landlords. The task force will share its recommendations for further improvements for renters and landlords by the end of this year.