Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it’s important to know the laws around standard rent increases for residential tenancies. With info from the Residential Tenancy Branch, here are the rules in BC.
How often can the rent be increased?
A landlord is allowed to increase the rent for their tenant once a year. More specifically, a landlord can increase the rent 12 months after the date the existing rent was established, or the last increase took place.
How much can the rent be increased?
- It must stay within the maximum annual amount. As an example, residential tenancy rent increases that take effect in 2023 are allowed to a maximum of 2%. This is calculated using the 12-month average percent change in the Consumer Price Index for BC. BC Stats publishes this information and it can also be found on the Residential Tenancy Branch website.
- The Residential Tenancy Branch also provides a rent increase calculator tool to make it easier to determine the maximum allowable amount.
- The new cost of rent can’t be rounded up. When calculating the increase based on the current rent, the number cannot be rounded up – it must stay below the allowable increase percentage.
How much notice should there be?
Landlords must provide tenants with three full months’ notice of a rent increase.
Try the Solution Explorer from the Residential Tenancy Branch. It’s a tool to find helpful information, resources and template letters specific to your tenancy problem. It will help you out what you need to resolve your dispute and whether you may have a valid dispute resolution claim or if you need to take additional steps.
You can also contact the Residential Tenancy Branch directly for more information about your rights as a tenant or landlord.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
50 thoughts on “Rent increases: what are the rules in BC?”
Excellent information. I did not know that 3 months notice must be given for an increase in rent.
Hi Jo-Lue, thanks so much for your comment. I’m happy you find the info helpful! 🙂
Are rent increases set on jan1 or on the date you moved in
Hi Perry, thanks for your question. A landlord is allowed to increase the rent for their tenant once a year. More specifically, a landlord can increase the rent 12 months after the date the existing rent was established, or the last increase took place. Rent increases that take effect in 2022 are allowed to a maximum of 1.5%. Does that make sense? Let me know if you have questions about that! Thanks.
I live in an independent living resident in B.C. I am provided with food, hydro and housekeeping . What is the maximum amount I can be charged for 2020?
Hi Mary, thank you for your question. This is outside of the laws we oversee at Consumer Protection BC but it may depend on whether you live in a government-subsidized place or a privately run residence. I found a couple of pages on the BC government site (link here – https://bit.ly/2JrXeBm and here – https://bit.ly/2PsiTNA). Take a look at the page as it explains everything in detail. I hope you will be able to find the answer you are looking for.
The rent increase should be done on The Residential Board Form # RTB-7 as is stated in the Law.
If the term of the lease if for 2 years, can we increase after twelve months or only when the term ends which in this case is after 2 years?
Hey Larah, thanks for the question. According to BC law, a landlord may increase rent as described above once per year, meaning every 12 months from the original signing of the rent agreement. If you have more questions about tenancy, I suggest reaching out to the Residential Tenancy Branch, who oversees tenancy rules in BC. I hope this helps.
Does a private resort where the resort offers full time tenancy fall under these same rules of the residency tenancy act as far as allowable rent increases?
Hi Ross, thanks for the question. I’m not too sure as this isn’t an area we oversee. However, you can visit the Residential Tenancy Branch on their website or contact them directly if you have questions about tenancies. I hope this helps!
If rental is based on single person only and 2nd person moves in..wear and tear on provided furniture and appliances goes up..water..electricity etc. What can I do then?
Hi Brenda, thanks for reaching out to us here. We don’t oversee the laws around residential tenancies. If you check out the section titled “Questions?” you’ll find the contact information of the Residential Tenancy Branch who should be able to answer your questions about this. Thanks!
What is the allowable rent increase for a manufactured mobile home in a trailer park?
Hi Victoria, thanks for the question. If you click into the link we referenced, it says that manufactured home park tenancy rent increases that take effect in 2019 are allowed to a maximum of 2.5% plus a proportional amount. If you’d like more info, I would suggest contacting the Residential Tenancy Branch under the “questions?” section in the blog post. I hope this helps!
I am interested to know what the law says about landlords raising rents on an apartment after a tenant moves out.I just moved of my apartment and found out that the landlord raised the rent by $400 on this apartment.This just does not seem right.Are they allowed to charge such an exorbitant increase in rent?
Hi Sonia, sorry for the delay in getting back to you! There are certain rules around rent increases in BC and you can find more information on this blog (just scroll up to take a look at the post), under “How much can the rent be increased?”. Please click on the link for The Residential Tenancy Branch rent increase calculator and hopefully you will be able to figure it out. If you have further questions, you may want to contact the Residential Tenancy Branch as they oversee these issues. Thank you, Sonia!
Between tenants, a landlord can increase the rent charged by any amount he/she wishes.
Between tenants, a landlord raises the rent from $.1,250 to $1,650, the landlord does not tell the new tenant. The new tenant finds out, what can he or she do. Robin
Hi Robin, we’ve outlined in the post above but Residential Tenancy Branch is responsible for setting the maximum rent increase rules and taking complaints. Please have a look at their website as they have a lot of resources for tenants. If you have further questions, you can also contact them directly (the contact info is also on their website). I hope you will be able to find the information you are looking for quickly!
Personally I think there should be a mandated allowable percentage increase on new vacated suites being re-rented. The new rents being allowed/charged are beyond outrageous especially during the covid crisis which is still ongoing. The basic increase is 50% from the previous rent. And that is just with a lick of paint, cleaning, minor repairs maybe. If renovated the rent is even higher. When and where does the corporate/owner greed end?
Renovations are expensive and
Costs are increasing for taxes, insurance
and Utilities at exorbitant rate.
Takes months to catch up.
Hi Sonia, thanks for your question. I think we may have misunderstood your question. It’s my understanding that there are no rules regarding maximum rent increases when a tenant moves out. The rules mentioned in this blog post are focused on the maximum allowable rent increase for a current tenancy. You may want to reach out to the Residential Tenancy Branch for clarification on this! I hope this answers your question. Thanks
If another tenant moves in ,he must have the permission of the landlord to move in and he wants references. $ 400.- for 1 person to have a place to live is very reasonable this days.
Is there a limit to commercial rent increases as well?
Hi Thomas, great question. It’s my understanding that this would not fall under the Residential Tenancy Act. I believe the relevant legislation would be Commercial Tenancy Act, however I’m not sure if there’s anything similar to the limits on residential rent increases. This may be something that is specific to the agreement signed between the business owner and the landlord. I hope this is helpful to you.
can landlord increase rent without doing any improvements
Hi Helen, thanks for your question. A landlord is allowed to increase rent for their tenant once a year, but it must stay within the maximum allowable amount. 2.6% is the 2020 Allowable Rent Increase. This is unrelated to any improvements made to the house. So, in short, yes – a landlord can increase the rent without doing improvements, but only once a year. I hope this helps!
If a landlord has not raised the rent for a number of years, an they apply those increases instead of just the legal 3.6%?
Hi Judy, thanks for your question. It’s my understanding that rent can only be raised 3.6% in 2020. I don’t believe it matters if they have not raised the rent prior to this. If you want to confirm this, please contact the Residential Tenancy Branch (their contact info is in the blog post under “Questions?”), as they are the ones that oversee this legislation. I hope this helps and best of luck!
My landlord raised the rent 2years ago from $800 to&850. He had done some Reno’s and went on about how much it cost him and that he did it for me….it was a crappy situation and I’m the end I gave in to the $50 increase.
Is there anything I can do about that? As in if he says to raise it again this year, being he raised it $50 and at this point had he followed the rules it still would not be that high. He has become very difficult and demanding of me when he wants to do something to the home, without notice. I want to know where I stand before he comes back from his yearly six month leave every year.
Hi Diana, thanks for reaching out to us here. The folks to talk to about issues around your tenancy would be the Residential Tenancy Branch. Their contact info can be found in the blog post above under the heading “Questions?”. They are the organization that oversee the legislation. I hope this helps and best of luck!
What is the case for raising the rent on a month to month rental with no current lease?
Hi John, thank you for your question! As this blog post suggests, we are not the experts so you may want to contact the Residential Tenancy Branch. Here is their website and they have a lot more information about this issue. If you have further questions please feel free to contact them which is at the bottom of that page. I hope you will be able to find the information you are looking for there!
Hi Amanda I am in a situation where I have been renting since 2009 , at that time the rent was 500 soon after that the rent kept going up but no documents were served or signed for the increase alot of things need to be done in the unit for our safety and before we knew the house was sold. The new owner increased the rent again demanding the increase starts from the next month’s payment , we told him things need to be fixed and he agreed so we had a verbal agreement on 800 in 2019 . Now he calls me and demands another 100 increase starting November 01 without notice or fixing any problems in the unit. When new owner took over we never signed rental documents . In our suite we have water leaks everywhere , fire alarm doesn’t work, black mold, washroom leaks , heat doesn’t work and much more . He said he won’t fix it till his sister moves in the unit , I know you might ask why not leave but we are new renters and we didn’t know what to do till now , the previous owner threatened us if we didnt pay the increase and being new parents that time we were scared for our soon after the rent kept going up every 6 months by the previous owner by 100 dollars . Doing some research now I know a increase can be made every 12 month but to a certain percentage. My question is what do I do with this situation he wants more money but not fix anything which are emergencies.
Hi Michael, as the post suggests, the information we shared is from the Residential Tenancy Branch. They have authority over rental increase issues so please contact them directly. Here’s their website – the site has a lot of information and if you scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see another link to contact them.
how much can a camp ground raise their rates ,can they double the rates from last year
Hi Ken, thanks for asking a question here. As far as we know, campsites are operated as accommodation facilities and not rental units so they may not be subject to the provincial rental rules. Having said that, if you are looking to book long-term at a campsite or an RV site, you can inquire with BC’s residential tenancy branch.
Hello I have a one question I live in this basement suite almost 7 years my rent is now double
What should I do , sometime he knocked on my door telling me his hydro bill is so high
And I remember when is the interest rate so high he told me can you increase the rent
Because of the interest-rate high ,
I guess now he have to learn a lesson
Hi Narinder, has your rent doubled over 7 years? There is a limit on how much a landlord can increase rent every year (based on a percentage). For example, the annual allowable rent increase for 2022 will be 1.5%. If your landlord has gone over the allowable percentage, I would encourage you to contact the Residential Tenancy Branch. This page on their website has all the information including past increase percentages dating back to 2005 as well as their contact information to report unlawful increases.
My landlord increased rent by 32% with 23 days notice. Is there any fee to complain about this?
Hello Inderjit, thank you for commenting on our article. Sounds like your concern can be addressed by the Residential Tenancy Branch. I would recommend contacting them – the link is in the article itself. I hope you will be able to resolve the issue quickly!
What if you want to increase rent for an ‘occupant’ roommate where there was no damage deposit given and no contract signed?
Hi Melina. We don’t oversee tenancy law, you may want to look through the Residential Tenancy Branch website as they may have the answer to your question. Hope this helps!
If the landlord was not increasing the rent for 2 years – can the rent be increased for accumulated % for these 2 years?
Hi Sergii, thanks for your question. According to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), rent can only be increased once per year for a maximum of 2% in 2023. A landlord cannot increase rent by more than 2%, regardless of how many years have passed. So you’re aware, this is a topic covered by the RTB so they would be the ones to speak to if you need additional support. I hope this helps.
In apartment buildings, every tenant moves in different months of the year. Can the landlord give rent increase to all tenants at the same time? Or does rent increase notice go by the anniversary of each tenants move in?
Hi Cori, thanks for your question. The landlord can only increase the rent 12 months after the original rent was established, meaning it will depend on when each tenant moved in. For more information, you can reach out to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Is a landlord allowed to charge a cleaning fee above the 1/2 month’s rent damage deposit? If not, why not? I see that Air BnB charges a cleaning fee.
Hi Che, thanks for your question. I’m not too sure about regulation on tenancy cleaning fees. I suggest you reach out to the Residential Tenancy Branch, as they oversee tenancy in BC and should be able to answer your question. I hope this helps!