2020 Maximum Rent Increase Announced

Today the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) released 2020’s maximum rent increase percentage as 2.6%. In their release, which can be read in full here, the RTB sets out the rent increase and speaks to their commitment to improving the outdated and underutilized above regulation rent increase process that is currently in place.

Excerpt from the Minister’s Press Release –

When the rent increase cap was lowered in 2019, the Rental Housing Task Force also recommended that the provincial government work with landlords on revising the process for applying for limited additional rent increases to ensure they can pay for necessary maintenance and repairs to their buildings, and preserve good-quality housing for people throughout the province.

The previous process for seeking additional rent increases only gave landlords the opportunity to recover investments for unforeseen repairs or maintenance. The Province has worked with landlord groups on a new way to help ensure important capital investments are made. Landlords will be able to apply to recover costs incurred in the previous 18 months for major capital improvements. The new system is expected to be ready for summer 2020.

“The work we’ve been doing with the Province on a new process is unfolding in a manner that, in our view, will result in a process that will be fair and transparent for tenants, while providing landlords who continue to invest in the enhancement and energy efficiency of their rental properties a workable solution to recoup a portion of those costs,” said David Hutniak, chief executive officer, LandlordBC.

The amount rent can be increased by is set every September for the following year by the Residential Tenancy Branch. The amount for 2020 is 2.6%. Like many processes in this industry there is a mandatory government form, notice period and time frame that must be considered.

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

It is also important to be aware that there are rules on the timing of when a rent increase can be served and how much notice a tenant is entitled to. LandlordBC members have access to an easy to use guide for rent increases in our Members Only section of the LandordBC site. This guide provides clear step by step instructions to ensure our members have the most up to date information and do not run into any surprises.