BC Caps Annual Rent Increase At 3.5%


VICTORIA, BC: Rent increases in B.C. are now capped at 3.5 per cent for 2024, according to a September 11 announcement by the Ministry of Housing.
According to the ministry, for the second consecutive year, B.C.’s maximum allowable rent increase is being set below the inflation rate.
“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.”
If a landlord served a tenant with a Notice of Rent Increase that takes effect in 2023 using the 2024 annual allowable rent increase, it is null and void and the tenant does not have to pay it. They must follow the set rent increase for 2023.
The maximum allowable rent increase is defined by the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for B.C. ending in July the year prior to the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect. For example, if a rent increase takes effect in 2025, the maximum allowable rent increase is the 12-month average per-cent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for B.C. ending in July 2024.
According to Khalon, the rent cap of 3.5% is well below the 12-month average inflation rate of 5.6% and applies to rent increases with an effective date on or after Jan. 1, 2024. “If landlords choose to increase rent, they must provide a full three months’ notice to tenants using the correct Notice of Rent Increase form. B.C. landlords can increase rent only once every 12 months.”
The 2024 maximum increase for manufactured-home park tenancies will be 3.5%, plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees.
“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.”
In addition, the government provided the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) with $15.6 million in additional funding to improve services and reduce delays. The capacity of the RTB’s Compliance and Enforcement Unit was also increased to allow for earlier interventions and to eliminate the need for hearings in the first place.