For our final installment of the 5 key sections of the Residential Tenancy Act, we’ll take a look rent increases.
- How often can rent be increased?
- How much can rent increases be increased by?
- How much notice does the Landlord have to provide the Tenant before they increase the rent?
A Landlord may only increase your rent once per year in an amount established by the Residential Tenancy Office each year. For 2016 the allowable increase is 2.9%. This means if your rent is $1000, it can only be increased to $1029 – not a huge amount.
If you haven’t been given a rent increase during your tenancy, it can only be increased if one year has passed since your rent was established, from the date your tenancy began. If you have been given previous rental increases, a new one can’t be implemented until one year has passed since the last increase.
The Landlord must give you notice of the rental increase in the form set out by the Residential Tenancy Act, three months prior to the increase becoming effective. For example, if the Landlord wants to increase your rent effective August 1, then the notice must be delivered to you on or before April 30.
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: The only exception is if you are in a fixed term tenancy where the agreement states you must vacate at the end of the term (it does not go to a month-to-month tenancy). In this instance, the Landlord can increase the rent to an amount beyond the 2.9% allowed for 2016 because your tenancy will have ended and you are required to vacate. If you want to remain in the property, the Landlord is free to set a new rate in a new tenancy agreement.
If you have specific questions or concerns relating to your tenancy, or are uncertain how the rules apply to your personal situation, please contact the Residential Tenancy Office at 1-800-665-8779, or check their website at www.rto.gov.bc.ca.