Premier John Horgan (Colin Smith Takes Pics)

The BC government will introduce legislation that, if passed, will extend the rent freeze to December 31st, 2021.

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 30th, 2020, and before January 1st, 2022, can disregard those notices.

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 1st and are in addition to earlier protections introduced in 2018.

“We’re protecting renters and supporting rental housing providers who do proactive maintenance of their rental homes,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver West-End, on behalf of David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing.

Also, the legislation will require landlords to apply for the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) before they can terminate a tenancy agreement in order to renovate.

“We are pleased that landlords will now have to go through an application process before issuing such notices in the first place. If implemented properly, this change should improve security of tenure and reduce unlawful tenant displacement across B.C,” said David Hutniak, chief executive officer of LandlordBC.

If passed by the legislature, these changes will support the previous action on behalf of renters including closing fixed-term lease loopholes, eliminating geographic rent hikes, and introducing steps to strengthen protections for renters facing “renovictions.”

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