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B.C. Renters Face Biggest Rate Hikes In A Decade

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B.C. Renters Face Biggest Rate Hikes In A Decade

An extra $1,080 a year on a median one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver.

The B.C. government has released its 2019 rental guidelines dictating exactly how much landlords can hike the rent by, and tenants may want to brace themselves.

The maximum allowable rental increase for 2019 is 4.5 per cent, up from this year’s cap of four per cent and the biggest allowable increase since 2004, when hikes were limited at 4.6 per cent.

The rental increase is based on the provincial government’s formula for rental increases, which is inflation plus two per cent.

“The inflation rate, calculated using the 12-month average percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for British Columbia ending in July, is 2.5 per cent. Therefore, the maximum allowable increase for 2019 is 4.5 per cent,” the B.C. government explains in a news release dated Friday, Sept. 7.

In August, the median rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver was $2,000, according to rental-listing website Padmapper.

The maximum allowable increase on that rent in 2019 would work out to an additional $90 a month or $1,080 annually.

“B.C. landlords can choose to increase rent once annually,” the news release states. “Landlords must provide tenants with three full months’ notice using the correct notice of rent increase form.”

However, a landlord can apply for rental increases above the posted limit for a number of reasons, including if they have undertaken “significant” renovations for the unit or they have incurred unforeseen financial losses due to the financing costs of a property purchase.