The annual allowable rent increase for 2021 in British Columbia has been set at 1.4%.
This figure is less than half of what landlords could have expected in previous years, according to a statement by the Province’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
Previously, British Columbia rent increases were calculated by adding two percentage points to the rate of inflation.
However, after receiving pressure from tenant advocates, lawmakers appointed a task force to investigate ways to improve the affordability of rental housing within the province. The task force recommended capping rent increases at the rate of inflation, similar to the calculations used in Ontario and Manitoba.
The province adopted that change effective in 2019. For reference, Manitoba’s rent increase guideline for 2021 is 1.6%, while Ontario is set to freeze rent increases in 2021.
According to the Ministry, the “reduced” 2021 rent increase cap means the average renter within the province will save $317 over the year, while the average renter in Vancouver will save closer to $420.
For manufactured-home park tenancies within British Columbia, the rent increase cap is 1.4% and a proportional amount for the change in local government levies and regulated utility fees.
In a statement, the Ministry says that the current rent increase will ensure that property owners can continue to make repairs and maintain safe housing.
B.C. landlords can increase rent only once per year and only if they provide proper notice to tenants at least three full months’ in advance.
Because of the pandemic, rent increases for 2020 have been frozen until December.
More information, including notice forms, is available from the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has indicated that he will seek a freeze on rent increases for 2021. In a tweet, he writes:
“This year is not like every other year. Which is why, at the direction of @fordnation, I will bring forward legislation this fall to freeze rents – so that the vast majority of families do not see a rent increase in the next year.”
The Ministry’s website posted a notice under the heading “Rent increase guideline for 2021” that reads “The government has announced its intention to bring forward legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels.” Updates will be published here.
The 2021 rent increase guideline is 1.6 percent, effective January 1, 2021.
Tenants must receive proper notice at least three months prior to the rent increase taking effect. Generally, rent can be increased once per year.
Manitoba’s guideline is determined based on the percentage change in the average annual “All-Items” Consumer Price Index (Manitoba only) data, which is published by Statistics Canada. The economic adjustment factor for 2021 is 1%. The economic adjustment factor helps to offset the costs of inflation.
The guideline applies to most rental housing, including apartments, single rooms, houses, and duplexes. There are some exceptions:
Units renting for $1,570.00 or more per month as of December 31, 2020;
Personal care homes;
Approved rehabilitated rental units; and,
New buildings less than 20 years old where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit was first occupied after March 7, 2005.
Landlords are allowed to apply for a greater increase if they can prove the guideline will not cover costs.
More information, including notice forms, is available here.
This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).
Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.