What you need to know about rent increases in BC, and what your landlord is allowed to do

What you need to know about rent increases in BC, and what your landlord is allowed to do

Here's what to expect when your landlord imposes a rent increase as they must do the following:

  • - provide three months' notice
  • - use the official notice of rent increase form
  • - use the maximum amount: 1.5% in 2022
  • - a minimum of 12 months must have passed since the last rent increase, if an increase had never been issued prior, at least 12 months must have passed from when the rent was first established
  • - the landlord can not  round up numbers, if the new rent is $1820.60,  they can't make it $1821.00

Learn more about lawful rent increases with the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)

However, there are some instances where the landlord can increase rent beyond the maximum limit (1.5% in 2022).

  • "There are three circumstances where a landlord may apply to the RTB to raise the rent above the maximum limit for expenses. 
  • - the landlord has incurred a financial loss from an extraordinary increase in the operating expenses of the residential property
  • - the landlord, acting reasonably, has incurred a financial loss for the financing costs of purchasing the residential property, if the financing costs could not have been foreseen under reasonable circumstances
  • - the landlord, as a tenant, has received an additional rent increase for the same rental unit." (Shepert, 2022).

Yet, There is "a very high bar set for landlords to prove a financial loss." This loss must be a "net operating loss," where their expenses exceed total revenue. 

For more modest increases, including necessary repairs or improvements, a landlord may apply for a rent increase for capital improvements.

  • To maintain the residential property in a state of repair to comply with health, safety, and housing standards;
  • That has failed, is malfunctioning, is inoperative, or at the end of its useful life; or
  • That achieves a reduction in energy use or greenhouse gas emissions, or an improvement in the security of the residential property

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