Provincial government sets housing rental increase at 2.6% in 2020

If you rent your home in B.C., you could be paying as much as 2.6 per cent more next year.

That’s the maximum rate that landlords are allowed to increase rent in 2020, as set by the B.C. government Wednesday. The province said the hike is tied to the annual rate of inflation.

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Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson said the government has again this year removed the additional two per cent above inflation rate that had previously been allowed under the former government.

She said that under the old formula, renters would have seen a rent hike of more than nine per cent over 2019 and 2020. “Because of our changes and the removal of the fixed-term loophole, people will no longer face the unreasonable rent hikes that were allowed for years,” she said.

Last year, Premier John Horgan announced the rate hike would be limited to 2.5 per cent, based solely on the rate of inflation, in a bid to tackle concerns about affordability, especially in Vancouver and Victoria.

Horgan said the change strikes a balance between providing relief for tenants and encouraging landlords to maintain their properties by requiring them to apply for higher increases to cover improvements. The changes follow early recommendations by a task force appointed by Horgan, and are in line with policies in Ontario and Manitoba.

The Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre said that although more can still be done to improve rental affordability in B.C., reducing rent increases by two percentage points is a step in the right direction.

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