The BC Government introduced legislation today (Monday) that could see the rent freeze last until the end of the year.

The changes will also cap future rent increases to inflation, stop illegal renovictions and make the dispute resolution process better for tenants and landlords.

“The changes mean no more tenants will face eviction notices for phoney renovations that were never going to happen,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver West-End, on behalf of David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.

“By putting an end to this kind of bullying behaviour, meant to drive out long-term tenants and jack up the rent, we’re protecting renters and supporting rental housing providers who do proactive maintenance of their rental homes.”

To protect tenants, landlords will be required to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) before they can terminate a tenancy agreement for the purpose of renovating.

In addition, landlords will not be able to end tenancies for renovations that are not substantial or do not require the rental unit to be vacant.

These changes, if passed, will come into effect on July 1, and are in addition to earlier protections introduced in 2018.

With the Province having already introduced and extended a rent freeze during COVID-19, the new legislative changes to freeze rents until the end of the year will mean all renters who have received notice of a rent increase that would have taken effect after March 30, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2022, can disregard those notices.

Starting in 2022 and beyond, rent increases will be capped at the rate of inflation, fulfilling a commitment by government.

Prior to 2017, the maximum allowable rent increase was as high as 4.3%, well above inflation.