You could be paying more in rent next year as BC lifts rate freeze

Sep 8 2021, 1:22 pm

Following 2021’s freeze on any increase to the rent for rental housing, the provincial government has announced landlords will be able to increase rent in 2022, but the hike will be capped at 1.5%.

According to the provincial government, this rate is set to inflation, and cannot take effect before January 1, 2022.

Landlords are required to provide a full three months’ notice to tenants using the correct notice of rent increase form. Rents can only increase annually.

A rent freeze was first implemented on March 18, 2020 as a COVID-19 emergency measure to support renters who may have faced income challenges from the pandemic’s sudden toll on the economy. The freeze was repeatedly extended, and is now set to end on December 31, 2021.

The increase of 1.5% is the lowest allowable increase in at least 15 years, based on records. The maximum rent increase previously allowed an additional 2% on top of inflation, but that was eliminated as one of the BC NDP’s measures since 2017 to help support improved affordability.

Here is the history of BC’s previous maximum rent increases:

  • 2021: 0%
  • 2020: 2.6% (before March 18, 2020)
  • 2019: 2.5%
  • 2018: 4.0%
  • 2017: 3.7%
  • 2016: 2.9%
  • 2015: 2.5%
  • 2014: 2.2%
  • 2013: 3.8%
  • 2012: 4.3%
  • 2011: 2.3%
  • 2010: 3.2%
  • 2009: 3.7%
  • 2008: 3.7%
  • 2007: 4.0%
  • 2006: 4.0%
  • 2005: 3.8%

According to Zumper‘s Vancouver data for August 2021, one-bedroom units have an average rent of $2,000, while two-bedroom units are at $2,860.

Rents have steadily increased since 2020, especially during the peak of COVID-19, as the economy took a hit and international students and out-of-town domestic students were not required to be on campus for their studies. Rental housing demand has largely rebounded to its pre-pandemic levels.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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