The provincial government has announced its 2024 allowable rent increase has been set below the inflation rate for the second consecutive year in a row.
On Jan. 1, 2024, landlords can raise rents up to 3.5 per cent. Although the allowable increase is still set below the province’s 5.6 per cent 12-month rate of inflation, it has increased from the two per cent cap set in 2023.
In a statement the province explained that the increase from 2023 aims to provide a balance in tenant affordability while still allowing landlords to maintain rental units.
“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.”
Landlords who choose to increase rent in the new year are required to provide tenants three-months’ notice using the notice of rent increase form and can only raise rents once a year.
In 2018, the province changed previously set rules that allowed landlords to increase rent to the rate of inflation, plus an additional two per cent. A recommendation from the rental housing task force resulted in the removal of the additional two per cent, allowing landlords to make increases based only on the province’s inflation rate.
The province said that the decision to cap the rental increase below inflation in 2023 was made to protect renters who would have seen an almost six per cent increase.
“With renters facing a possible rent increase of almost six per cent, the government listened to the voice of renters and acted, and I’m so glad they have,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, the premier’s special liaison for renters. “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.”
Once inflation returns to normal levels, the province stated it intends to return to normal annual rent increase requirements tied to the B.C. Consumer Price Index.