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More protections for renters, parents, landlords, and families

The Province is taking action to support renters and landlords who play by the rules by amending legislation to better protect people from bad-faith evictions, eliminate rent increases when a child is added to a household and resolve rental disputes faster.

“While most landlords and tenants play by the rules and have respectful relationships, too many people in B.C. are still facing unfair rent hikes and evictions under false pretenses,” said Premier David Eby.

“At the same time, many people who have chosen to rent part of their home are struggling to end problematic tenancies. That’s why we’re taking action to protect both renters and landlords with stronger rules designed to ensure the law is respected by everyone — and bring more fairness for everyone in the rental market.”

Proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act will protect growing families by restricting rent increases if a tenant adds a child under 19 to their household. No rent increases above the annual allowable rent increase will be permitted even if there is a term in the tenancy agreement that states rent will increase with new occupants.

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The amendments will also deter bad-faith evictions by requiring landlords to use a web portal to generate a notice to evict a tenant for personal use. This will help educate landlords about the required conditions and risks of bad-faith evictions, while providing a standardized process for serving notice. The new process for evictions will also allow for post-eviction compliance audits and provide information to the ministry about the frequency of these types of evictions.

“We are taking action to protect tenants from unfair evictions, promote better compliance and improve the rental system overall,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing.

“Renters should not lose their homes because of some bad actors who don’t follow the rules. Landlords need the certainty that issues with problematic tenants can be resolved quickly. By putting stronger policies in place and increasing education, we are strengthening protections and promoting stability in the rental market.”

Action is also being taken to resolve rental disputes faster. Since November 2022, wait times at the Residential Tenancy Branch have been reduced by almost 54%, due in large part to additional staff, service improvements and investments to provide resolutions faster. Wait times for the dispute stream that fast tracks hearings for unpaid rent and/or utilities decreased by more than 52% from 10.5 weeks in February 2023 to less than five weeks in February 2024, providing quicker resolution for landlords waiting to get their units back.

The Ministry of Attorney General’s new Money Judgment Enforcement Act will come into force in 2025, which will make it easier and less costly for people to get the money owed to them from decisions resulting from Residential Tenancy Branch hearings.

Other changes through these proposed amendments include:

  • allowing for more flexibility in addressing cases where there is a problematic tenancy and prescribing more clear guidelines for ending tenancy with justified cause;
  • increasing the amount of notice a landlord must give a tenant when ending a tenancy for personal occupancy;
  • increasing the amount of time a landlord must occupy a rental unit after ending a tenancy for personal occupancy from six months to 12 months;
  • increasing the amount of time a tenant has to dispute a notice to end tenancy from 15 days to 30 days;
  • prohibiting evictions for personal use in purpose-built rental buildings with five or more units; and
  • prohibiting eviction for the conversion of rental units to specific non-residential uses.

“These changes are critical to protect good renters and landlords from those who try and cheat the system for profit,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, premier’s liaison for renters and MLA for Vancouver-West End.

“We know of too many people who act in good faith that are facing the consequences of those who take advantage of the system, and this legislation is crucial to put an end to that.”

Since 2017, the Province has taken action to better protect renters, including banning illegal renovictions, strengthening the financial penalties for landlords who evict tenants in bad faith and improving wait times at the Residential Tenancy Branch. The proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act meet government priorities as laid out in the Homes for People Action Plan, further strengthening tenancies in B.C.

Proposed amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act

The Province, through its Homes for People action plan, committed to cut down on unlawful evictions and strengthen the security of tenants, while supporting landlords.

Government is proposing the following amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act that, if passed, will come into force in various phases this spring and summer.

After bill introduction:

  • prohibiting personal occupancy evictions in purpose-built rental buildings with five or more units; and
  • increasing landlord’s occupancy period from six months to 12 months.

Upon royal assent:

  • prohibiting rent increases for additional occupants who are minors and making it an offence to do so; and
  • making a clear prohibition for a landlord to give frivolous notices to end tenancy.

 By regulation expected by summer 2024:

  • requiring landlords to use a web portal to generate Notices to End Tenancy for personal occupancy;
  • increasing the notice period that a landlord must give a tenant for eviction for personal use; and
  • increasing the tenant dispute period from 15 days to 30 days.

Future regulations:

  • providing regulation-making authority in the Residential Tenancy Act to:
    • prohibit conversion of rental units to specific non-residential uses, such as short-term rental accommodation or storage;
    • prescribe increased amounts of compensation for evicting long-term tenants for landlord use; and
    • clarify the criteria by which the landlord could legally end a tenancy for a problematic tenant.
  • Increasing administrative monetary penalties to improve deterrence from contravening the Residential Tenancy Act.
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