Attention Landlords and Tenants – Rent Increases

As many of you are aware, there are limits on rent increases for existing tenants in a residential rental unit.  Each year, the Provincial Government advises on the maximum allowable rent increase in a given calendar year.  The maximum increase in 2015 was 2.5%, in 2016 is 2.9% and in 2017 the maximum allowable rent increase has been recently announced to be 3.7%.  Note that this only applies to existing tenants. When a unit becomes vacant, there is no restriction on the amount of rent that a landlord can charge the new tenants.

Before increasing the rent, a landlord must also provide the tenant with three-months’ notice of the increase using a form prepared pursuant to the Residential Tenancy Act. This form can be found at:

It should also be noted that a landlord can only increase the rent for an existing tenant once per 12-month period, regardless of whether the property has been sold and the landlord has changed. In other words, a new landlord cannot increase an existing tenant’s rent if the previous landlord had already increased the tenant’s rent within 12 months from the time that the new landlord acquired the property.

If you own a rental property or if you are thinking of purchasing a rental property and would like advice regarding your rights and obligations, please contact Sitka Law Group for a free consultation. We are located on Shelbourne Street near the border of Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria.