Here's how much B.C. landlords can increase rent by next year

Landlords in B.C. will be able to increase rents by 1.5 per cent next year for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a news release Wednesday, the province said landlords must give tenants three months' notice if they want to increase rent.

A rent freeze has been in place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2021. Extending the rent freeze was one of the provincial NDP's 2020 election promises.

The maximum allowable rental increase, which is set by the province each year, has been much higher in years past. In 2018, the province limited rent increases to inflation. Before that, rent increases could include an additional two per cent on top of inflation.

Landlords may only increase rent once per year and can't increase it before Jan. 1, 2022. If a landlord previously gave a tenant a notice of rent increase that takes effect this year, the tenant does not have to pay it.