The B.C. government plans to end its freeze on rent hikes starting in December, 2020. Starting in 2021, landlords will be allowed to raise rents by a maximum of 1.4%. The freeze on raising rents went into effect in March, and landlords are only able to raise the rent once a year, so the freeze on rent hikes did not help all renters.
Any tenant who received a notice to increase rent that would have gone into effect after March 18 is allowed to pay their current rent until November, 2020, the B.C. government said in a statement on September 3.
B.C. landlords must provide tenants with three months' notice using a notice-of-rent-increase form so the earliest that the new 1.4% increase could kick in would be January, 2021.
Before 2018, B.C. landlords were able to raise rents by the rate of inflation, plus an additional 2%.
The B.C. government removed the ability to add the extra 2% rent hike in 2018 – a tweak that means that 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 in 2021, and people living in an average two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver will save about $420, according to the B.C. government.
It said the end to the freeze on rent hikes enables property owners to make investments and repairs to maintain safe housing, while ensuring rent increases are moderate and predictable.