“We’ve found a balance”: BC announces 3.5% rent increase cap for 2024

Sep 11 2023, 4:48 pm

In more bad news for renters in the province, BC has announced the rent cap for 2024 will increase, and it’s a significant jump from previous years.

BC Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon announced for 2024, the allowable rent increase will be capped at 3.5%.

This is the highest hike that BC has seen since 2018 when the cap was 4%.

In 2023, the maximum rent increase was capped at 2%.

Kahlon blamed rising housing costs for the hike.

“Across the country, costs have been increasing — especially for housing — at a rate that’s unsustainable for many people,” he said.

As Kahlon alluded to in a statement, some landlords might have been expecting more.

“We know that’s the case for both landlords and renters. That’s why we’ve found a balance to protect renters while helping to keep rental units on the market.”

Historically, this is how rent increases have panned out over the last almost 20 years:

  • 2022: 1.5%
  • 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%

For context, say you’re paying $1,600 per month. The increase will mean you’ll be paying $1,656 when it takes effect, amounting to an extra $672 per year.

A release from the ministry states that the 3.5% cap is well below the 12-month average inflation rate of 5.6% and will apply to rentals on or after January 1, 2024. Landlords must provide renters with three months’ notice.

“The 2024 maximum allowable rent increase is significantly less than what it would have been prior to changes made by the province in 2018 that limited rent increases to inflation.”

While the rent cap applies to residents currently renting, it does not apply to landlords who own recently vacated units due to the province not having any vacancy controls. That means once a person leaves a rental unit, the landlord can set the rent as high as they want for the next tenant.

How much more will you pay in rent once this increase takes effect? You can find out when your landlord can increase your rent here.

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