Sunday, April 14, 2024

BC government implements new rules for landlords to prevent ‘bad-faith evictions’


The BC government is implementing a few new ways to protect renters and a way to help mitigate the number of “bad-faith evictions.”

Specifically, landlords will no longer be allowed to impose rent increases when a child is added to a household, a standardization of evictions is being set up and they are taking steps to improve the speed at which rental disputes are settled. 

“While most landlords and tenants play by the rules and have respectful relationships, too many people in BC 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.”

Through the amendments to tenancy legislation, when a child under the age of 19-years-old is brought into a household, no annual increases will be allowed beyond the annual allowable amount. 

Also, to deter landlords from “renovicting,” or forcing a tenant to move out so they can move in, going forward the Province will have an online portal to educate the property owner of what is allowable and the conditions that they must abide by. 

Through that bad-faith eviction portal, a standardized eviction notice will be available for any landlord to use.

“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.”

See also:

When it comes to settling rental disputes faster, BC says that more staff and improved resources have been the key in reducing wait times from 10 weeks to five weeks since February of last year. 

The Province also shared that the proposed amendments will also include:

  • More flexibility in addressing problematic tenancy cases and giving clearer guidelines for ending a 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
  • Banning evictions for personal use in purpose-built rental buildings with five or more units
  • Banning 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.”

In response to this housing announcement, the BC Green Party says they welcome these amendments but have further ideas they want the BC NDP to explore. 

“While implementing online declarations for personal-use evictions is progress, requiring landlords to provide evidence before evicting tenants would have offered greater protection and fairness,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the BC  Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley.

“BC continues to be the eviction capital of Canada, and the BC Greens will continue to advocate for vacancy control, a tangible solution to protect renters in BC that would bring stability to our out-of-control rental market, protect affordable rental housing, and better limit no-fault evictions.” 

She added that she wishes the BC NDP would crack down on Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and other financialized landlords—who buy up rental stock to increase profits rather than expand housing options. 

Curtis Blandy

Read more

Latest Stories