BC proposes more protection for renters and landlords

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The B.C. government is proposing amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act, which it hopes will better protect renters and landlords who play by the rules 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Residential Tenancy Act allows a landlord to end a tenancy for landlord use of the unit, which includes personal occupancy by the landlord, a purchaser or a close family member, conversion of the unit to another use, or demolition. The changes being proposed in the bill apply to “personal occupancy,” i.e., the landlord or family members moving in. Without the need for a hearing, the direct-request process for landlords who want an order of possession, where the tenant has not disputed the eviction, are being determined in a little more than one week.