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Landlords, Rent, and Covid-19

If you are a landlord and you are looking to rent a property right now you are facing unprecedented challenges related to Covid-19. One important piece of information to keep in mind is how much rent you will charge.

There are restrictions in place that put a cap on how much a landlord can increase rent each year. This increase is set by law and is posted on the Residential Tenancy Branch website. However, with the outbreak of Covid-19 rent increases have been postponed; you can still issue your notice of a rent increase, but the increase itself will not come into effect until the State of Emergency is lifted.

If you are a landlord and if you are having a hard time finding a tenant you will want to keep this cap on rent in mind. If you rent to a tenant now for a reduced amount you will be bound to that amount in the years to come and you will still be capped at a set increase in rent. Right now this may be better than receiving no rent, but it is something to be aware of. It is also important to remember that when and if that tenant who is paying reduced rent leaves, you can then charge a subsequent tenant fair market value rent.

The foregoing is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you require legal advice, please contact the author who would be pleased to discuss the issues above with you in the context of your particular circumstances. We are available for videoconference and phone calls to adhere to physical distancing recommendations.

Alison McLeod is a real estate and business lawyer at Doak Shirreff Lawyers LLP. She can be reached at [email protected] or 250.979.2561.