New securities to protect tenants who are evicted due to renovations came into effect this week. (Stock photo)

This afternoon, a news release from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing stated that the government would be eliminating the geographic rent increase clause from the residential tenancy regulation and the manufactured home park tenancy regulation.

For a long time, the clause has been used as a loophole by landlords who seek to increase rent prices in markets with low vacancies in British Columbia.

What this means for you

Getting rid of the geographic rent increase clause means that landlords will no longer be able to demand exorbitant rent increases just because other rental units in the area are being leased out for higher prices.

According to one tenant, Ross Waring, he and his neighbours faced rent hikes of up to 73%.

“With near zero vacancy rates in many B.C. communities, too many tenants live in fear of drastic increases to their rent,” said Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson.

“This change means an end to one more loophole that some landlords have taken advantage of, and builds on the other steps our government has taken to increase protections for renters, such as closing the fixed-term lease loophole and increasing resources for the Residential Tenancy Branch.”

The elimination of the vacate and geographic clauses and limitation on rent increases take effect Monday.

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