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Cap placed on rent increases for the next year

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
September 12th, 2023

Nelsonites are protected from the raging rate of inflation when it comes to possible rent increases.

Similar to last year, the maximum allowable rent increase comes in below the rate of inflation, at 3.5 per cent compared to the 12-month average inflation rate of 5.6 per cent.

Before 2018, the annual allowable rent increase was tied to rate of inflation plus two per cent but —  following a recommendation by the Rental Housing Task Force — the rent increase was reduced to just the inflation rate.

“Across the country, costs have been increasing — especially for housing — at a rate that’s unsustainable for many people,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing, in a press release. “We know that’s the case for both landlords and renters, and that’s why we’ve found a balance to protect renters while helping to keep rental units on the market.”

The rent cap applies to rent increases with an effective date on or after Jan. 1, 2024, meaning if landlords choose to increase rent there must be a full three months’ notice to tenants using the correct Notice of Rent Increase form.

And it’s a one-shot deal. Landlords in Nelson and across B.C. can increase rent only once every 12 months.

A rent increase freeze was put in place in 2020 and 2021 to support renters during the COVID-19 pandemic. As inflation soared last year rent increases were capped at two per cent, well below the 5.4 per cent inflation rate that would have otherwise applied.

Once inflation returns to normal levels, the intent is to return to an annual rent increase tied to B.C.’s Consumer Price Index in future years.

Since 2017, steps have been taken to ease the burden of the high cost of rental accommodation, including banning illegal renovictions and strengthening the financial penalties for landlords who evict tenants in bad faith (A renoviction is an eviction that is carried out to renovate or repair a rental unit).

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