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Navigating Vancouver's 2024 Rent Increase: What You Need to Know

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

The landscape of renting in Vancouver is always evolving, and for 2024, there's another change on the horizon that both tenants and landlords need to be aware of. In an effort to strike a balance between tenant protection and landlord considerations, the province has set the maximum rent increase at 3.5 percent. This decision marks the second consecutive year that the increase has been set below the rate of inflation and reflects a commitment to addressing the escalating concerns of renters while also acknowledging the challenges faced by property owners.

It's important to note that while a 3.5 percent increase might seem substantial, it's well below the 12-month average inflation rate of 5.6 percent. This means that the rent increase is more aligned with the economic realities faced by both tenants and landlords.

rent increase vancouver

A Brief History of Rent Increases in British Columbia

Since 2018, maximum rent increases in British Columbia have been linked to inflation, matching the average rate of the Consumer Price Index from the one-year period ending the previous July. However, the province implemented a rent freeze during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequently limited annual increases to address concerns about surging inflation and its potential impact on families.

While the government's approach aims to protect renters, it has faced criticism from landlords who argue that increasing expenses and interest rates have already affected their financial well-being. This even resulted in the suspension or abandonment of several purpose-built rental housing projects, a matter of concern raised by B.C. Premier David Eby, mentioned the importance of expanding rental options to combat skyrocketing rents.

On the other hand, tenant advocates have been pushing for additional rent freezes and other measures to protect renters from homelessness, especially given the challenging housing market in Vancouver. A recent report highlighted that the average rent for an available one-bedroom unit in the city has exceeded $3,000 per month, intensifying the affordability issue for many.

However, the government has also emphasized its intent to return to CPI-linked increases in the future, providing a sense of stability and predictability for both renters and property owners.

How Does the Increase Affect You?

For most tenants in B.C., a 3.5 % increase would translate to allocating several extra hundred dollars per year. To put it into perspective, tenants currently paying $3,000 per month would need to pay an extra $105 per month or $1,260 annually.

In comparison, homeowners of properties valued at approximately $2 million, found themselves paying an average of $326 more in property taxes due to Vancouver's 10.7% hike for 2023.

Important Dates and Exemptions

It's essential to mark your calendars as the 3.5 % maximum allowable rent increase goes into effect on January 1, 2024. Landlords must provide their tenants with a three-month notice for any rent increase. Additionally, it's important to understand that this increase does not apply to commercial leases, non-profit housing with income-adjusted rents, cooperative housing, or specific assisted living facilities.

Landlords need to be aware that any efforts to apply the allowable rent increase for the upcoming year before the end of 2023 will be considered invalid, and tenants are not legally obligated to make such payments.


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