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BC rents going up by up to 2.5 per cent next year

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC tenants will likely be paying two and a half percent more to rent their suites in the coming year.

The annual rent increase cap has been set at 2.5 per cent for 2015.

The percentage is based on inflation plus two per cent.  While the yearly rental increase cap is meant to be the maximum amount rents can go up,  most landlords usually opt to raise rents by the full rate.

Russ Godfrey with the Tenant Resource Advisory Centre says because rents go up every year, a tenant living in the same suite is spending hundreds more a month than a decade ago.

“In ten years, rents have gone up 50 per cent. And that’s the legal rent increase.  I know landlord costs have gone up, but by that much? Who has ever had a 50 per cent wage increase over ten years?”

He encourages renters to approach their landlords if the increase is too much.

“I had a friend who negotiated with her landlord. She told the landlord ‘If you raise my rent, I will have to cut down on my medication or food.’ He said ‘Don’t worry about it. I’ll rip up the rent increase notice’ and he did.”

But Godfrey admits because of low vacancy rates, it’s difficult for unhappy renters to just pack up and go elsewhere if their rent is no longer affordable.

A 2.5 per cent increase means rent on a $1,000-per month one bedroom apartment will go up by 25 dollars a month, or $300 a year.