Rent Increases

Landlords can only increase the rent once a year by an amount permitted by law or an additional amount approved in advance by an arbitrator – they need to use the right form and give the tenant three full months’ notice of the rent increase.

The maximum allowable rent increase changes each year. The limits for residential tenancies and manufactured home park tenancies are different.

  • For residential tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2016 is 2.9%
  • For manufactured home park tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2016 is 2.9% plus a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees

Subsidized housing, where rent is related to the tenant’s income, is not subject to rent increase laws.  In these cases, the Residential Tenancy Branch does not have the authority to make decisions on rent increases.  Tenants who have questions about rent increases for subsidized housing should discuss it with the housing provider.

The rent increase cannot be more than the amount calculated using the allowable increase percentage. This means a landlord can’t round up when calculating the allowable increase. For example, if the base rent is $1,100 and the maximum allowable increase is $31.90 the landlord can issue a Notice of Rent Increase for a new rent of up to $1,131.90, but not $1,132.

Find out what’s involved with the different types of rent increases:

Maximum Allowable Rent Increases

The following table outlines the maximum allowable rent increases for the past few years:

Year

Maximum Allowable Rent Increase

2015

2.5%

2014

2.2%

2013

3.8%

2012

4.3%

2011

2.3%

2010

3.2%

2009

3.7%

2008

3.7%

2007

4.0%

2006

4.0%

2005

3.8%

2004

4.6%

Landlords may not retroactively apply a rent increase.  If a landlord did not issue a rent increase in the previous year, or issued a rent increase that was less than the amount allowed by law, they cannot later apply a rent increase to catch up.

Unlawful Rent Increase

A tenant does not have to pay an increase that is higher than the amount allowed by law. Instead, the tenant can give the landlord documents showing the allowable amount or apply for dispute resolution asking for an order that the landlord comply with the law, as long as the increase wasn’t granted through dispute resolution.

The tenant may deduct from future rent any overpayment – only if the tenant has already paid an increase higher than the legal amount. The tenant should attach a note to the rent to explain the reason for not paying the amount that the landlord has asked for.

The content on this website is periodically reviewed and updated by the Province of British Columbia as per the date noted on each page: July 14, 2016.

2.9% is the 2016 Allowable Rent Increase

Laws and Regulations

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