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Investor Quarterly – Spring 2014

Posted on April 06, 2014

Tenancy Info: 2014 Rent Increases

British Columbia landlords are subject to what is called ‘rent control’. This means that the government dictates how much landlords can raise the rent for your existing tenants in your rental properties. Every year the Residential Tenancy Branch of the BC provincial government will publish the allowable rent increase on their website.

How much can Vancouver landlords raise the rent by in 2014?
The allowable rent increase is a maximum of 2.2%. This maximum rent increase is for existing tenants only. If your tenant moves out and a new tenant moves in, then you can increase the rent to what you feel is appropriate.

How does this maximum rent increase compare to other provinces in Canada?
The tenancy laws and rules differ for each province. Landlords in Alberta don’t have any legal guidelines to adhere to. If you are a landlord in Calgary or Edmonton you can raise the rent as much as you want with three months notice of the increase to your tenants. With vacancies so low and so many tenants out there, there have been reports of some Lethbridge landlords raising their rent by over $100 per month.

Tenant Screening: Credit Checks

According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the vacancy rate in Metro Vancouver is very low. It is at a stunning 1.8%, down from 3.5% for British Columbia in 2013. This low vacancy rate is creating an issue for tenants looking for nice properties to rent. In fact, many renters in Vancouver say it’s tough to find a decent place to live. This presents a great opportunity for good landlords in the city.

Quick Tip:
When interviewing potential tenants, don’t rent based on a gut feeling. It is important to do your homework when looking for a new tenant. Your best defence against bad tenants is a financial credit check. It provides you with a comprehensive financial history of the person who wants to rent your property.

It’s important that Vancouver landlords know there are lots of great tenants out there, and most tenants will respect you and your rental property. Be aware of the characteristics of bad tenants and you’ll find a great tenant for your rental property.

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