Rent Increases

Landlords can only increase the rent once in a 12 month period 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.

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A rent increase for a tenant with a fixed-term agreement (lease), who is remaining in a rental unit, is limited to the maximum annual allowable amount and can only be increased once every 12 months.  Rent can no longer be increased above that amount between tenancy agreements with the same tenant. 

Landlords are no longer able to apply for an additional rent increase on the basis that the rent is significantly lower than other similar rental units in the same geographic area.

Rent Increase Calculator

What are the rules about rent increases in B.C.? How much can landlords increase rent by in B.C.?  Use the rent increase calculator and get information about rent increases for landlords and tenants.

Rent Increase Calculator

Solution Explorer

See how tenancy law applies to your situation. Use the Solution Explorer to find helpful information, resources and template letters specific to your tenancy problem. Find out what you need to resolve your dispute and whether you may have a valid dispute resolution claim or if you need to take additional steps.

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Maximum Allowable Rent Increase

The landlord may only increase the rent 12 months after the date that the existing rent was established with the existing tenant(s) or 12 months after the date of the last legal rent increase, even if there is a new landlord or a new tenant by way of an assignment.

The maximum allowable rent increase is defined as the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in the July that is most recently available for the calendar year for which a rent increase takes effect.

For example, if a rent increase takes effect in 2020, the maximum allowable rent increase is the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in July 2019. 

BC Stats publishes the 12-month average percent change in the all-items Consumer Price Index for British Columbia:

The limits for residential tenancies and manufactured home park tenancies are different.

  • For residential tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2020 is 2.6%
  • For manufactured home park tenancies, the standard allowable rent increase for 2020 is 2.6% 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 $28.60 the landlord can issue a Notice of Rent Increase for a new rent of up to $1,128.60, but not $1,129.00

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

Previous Maximum Rent Increases

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


Maximum Allowable Rent Increase



2018 4.0%



























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: October 17, 2019.

Contact the Residential Tenancy Branch