B.C. to end COVID-19 rent freeze on Dec. 31, caps rent hikes at 1.5%

The B.C. government will once again allow tenants to increase rents starting on January 1, 2022. Richard Zussman/Global News

The B.C. government says it will end the province-wide rent freeze, enacted to address affordability concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, on Dec. 31, 2021.

In a news release on Wednesday, the province said the maximum allowable rent increase for 2022 is being set at 1.5 per cent, based on inflation.

The increase cannot take effect prior to Jan. 1, 2022.

“If a landlord served a tenant with a notice of rent increase that takes effect in 2021, it is null and void and the tenant does not have to pay it,” the release said.

If landlords choose to hike rent, they must provide the full three months’ notice using the correct form and can only increase it once a year.

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The increase does not include commercial tenancies, non-profit housing tenancies where rent is geared to income, co-op housing, and some assisted-living facilities.

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