There are black and white rules to rent increases in British Columbia and it’s important to know your rights as a tenant. After all, you can only stand up for the rights you know about.
A landlord can increase rent each year up to (but not greater than) the percentage equal to the inflation rate. What does that mean? Check the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) website to find out the rent increase percentage allowed for each calendar year. It changes every year. If the landlord charges an amount higher than the allowable percentage, even if it’s just a few cents more, you do not have to pay the excess rent unless you have been served with a dispute resolution officer’s order allowing this rent increase.
In addition, the rent increase must be in writing on an approved Notice of Rent Increase form provided by the RTB. This notice must be served three full calendar months before the rent increase takes effect, and there are rules about how it is served. For example, if it’s put in your mailbox, it has to be done at least 3 days in addition to the 3 months.
But I can’t afford a rent increase!
If your landlord has given you a rent increase and you can’t afford to pay, you should talk to him/her about your situation. If you’ve been a model tenant, the landlord may decide to just disregard the rent increase in order to keep you on as a tenant. Read more tips on How To Talk Your Way Out Of A Rent Increase