Maximum rent increase in British Columbia held at 2.6% for 2020

B.C. renters will see their monthly housing costs climb by a maximum of 2.6 per cent in 2020.

The province’s NDP government capped the maximum increase at the rate of inflation last September.

The previous formula had allowed rent to increase by two per cent plus inflation.

The 2020 increase is 0.1 per cent higher than the 2019 maximum, reflecting a slight hike in the rate of inflation.

“Under the old formula, renters would have seen a rent hike of more than nine per cent over 2019 and 2020,” said Housing Minister Selina Robinson.

“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.”

The province says it is also working with landlords on a new process to allow for limited additional rent increases to pay for maintenance and repairs to rental properties, as recommended by the Rental Housing Task Force.

LandlordBC CEO David Hutniak said that process has so far been positive, but “not a done deal.”

Hutniak said the goal is a system that is transparent to renters, but fair to landlords.

“We, the government, everybody wants owners of particularly the ever-aging rental stock to continue to invest in it and upgrade for energy efficiency, but that all costs money and so we need some mechanism to recoup some of that cost over time,” said Hutniak.

“The existing sort of opportunity within the current Act really doesn’t work for for anybody.

The province says it hopes to have a new system allowing exceptions in place by summer 2020.

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