News / Vancouver

B.C. rents set to rise by 4% in 2018

It's the biggest increase since 2012

An apartment building in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

Jennifer Gauthier / For Metro

An apartment building in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

Get ready for a rent hike.

B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Branch has set the allowable rent increase for 2018 at four per cent, translating to an extra $70 a month, or $843 a year, in rent for the average two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver.

In 2017 the increase, which is capped at two per cent plus inflation, was set at 3.7 per cent. The last time the rent increase hit four per cent was in 2012, when the hike was set at 4.3 per cent.

Between 2015 and 2016, rents in Metro Vancouver increased by a whopping 6.4 per cent — the highest increase ever recorded by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Metro Vancouver's very low rental vacancy rate, low supply of rental housing compared to demand were factors behind the extraordinary increase, although tenants also reported an increase in evictions for renovation and for landlord family use of properties.

B.C.'s cap on rental increases only applies to month-to-month tenancies. Landlords' increasingly use of a loophole, where they ask tenants to sign a fixed-term agreement with a vacate clause when the term ends, that allows them to circumvent the rent cap.

Both the B.C. Liberal and now NDP governments promised to address the fixed-term loophole, but have yet to introduce legislation to address the practice.

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