The standard rent increase process outlined in the Residential Tenancy Act and Regulations allows landlords to increase their existing tenants rent once a year at a prescribed percentage. There are three things you must understand before increasing a tenant’s rent, they include; the amount of increase, the timing for both serving documentation and the effective date for the rent increase, and the form that must be used to inform your tenant of the rent increase.
It is important to note that this process is the only legal way of increasing the rent while one set of tenants are living in your rental unit. Signing a new agreement with a higher rent or making amendments to existing agreements regarding rent are not effective methods of increasing the rent and would not be supported at Dispute Resolution.
The amount rent can be increased by is set every September for the following year by the Residential Tenancy Branch. The amount for 2018 is 4%.
The Residential Tenancy Branch follows the instructions and formula provided in Section 22 of the Residential Tenancy Regulations. Section 22 states:
Annual rent increase
- 22 (1) In this section, “inflation rate” means 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.
- (2) For the purposes of section 43 (1) (a) of the Act [amount of rent increase], a landlord may impose a rent increase that is no greater than the percentage amount calculated as follows: percentage amount – inflation rate + 2%
Rent Increases can be effective 12 months after the last rent increase or the date the rent was established and a rent increase form needs to be served 3 full months before the effective date. If you were to serve the rent increase form on September 15th the rent increase would be effective on January 1st.
Remember that you must take into consideration the possible delays involved in the method you choose to serve the Notice of Rent Increase.
To issue a rent increase you must complete and serve the proper rent increase form. It is vital that you ensure you are always using the most up to date version of this form. As this form is provided by the Residential Tenancy Branch you can find the most up to date version of this form here.