B.C. announces largest allowable rent increase in a decade

The Province of British Columbia has announced the maximum allowable rent increase for 2019, and it's the largest rent hike in more than a decade.

Next year, landlords can raise rents by a maximum of 4.5 per cent. This figure is partly tied to the B.C. consumer price index (CPI).

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"B.C. landlords can choose to increase rent once annually," the government said in a news release. "The maximum percentage increase allowed each year is the inflation rate plus two per cent.

"The inflation rate, calculated using the 12-month average percentage change in the CPI for British Columbia ending in July, is 2.5 per cent."

The last time the maximum increase exceeded 4.5 per cent was 2004 (4.6 per cent).

There is a loophole, however; landlords have the power to raise the rent above the maximum allowable amount if they have a written agreement from the tenant or an order from the Residential Tenancy Branch.

In all cases, landlords must provide tenants with three months' notice of rent increases.

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