It’s being called a ‘loophole’ in B.C.’s rental laws: a provision in the Tenancy Act that allows landlords to jack up rent to match the average rental price in a geographical area.
Landlord BC CEO David Hutniak says if your rent is significantly lower than market value, your landlord could file a request with the Residential Tenancy Branch to raise it, but he says it’s rare.
“It’s a pretty arduous process, there’s a hearing. An arbitrator basically decides if this is even allowed. Let alone, landlords being successful in achieving their desired outcome, I don’t know even know that many even bother.”
He says if they wanted to, they could file a request every year.
“If an arbitrator from the Residential Tenancy Branch approved this application, they would only be able to do it once every 12 months.”
Hutniak says while the law has been around for years he doesn’t see landlords catching on to it.
“I don’t know of any in recent times and to my knowledge, the frequency would be very, very low, if at all. I don’t know of any that have been successful.”
This comes after some of the tenants living in a two-storey building in Vancouver’s West End received notice their landlord was looking to raise rents by hundreds of dollars.