B.C. rental task force member MLAs Adam Olsen (left), Ronna-Rae Leonard and Spencer Chandra-Herbert. (Black Press files)

Stop ‘renovictions,’ B.C. housing task force says

MLAs call for end to strata bans on renting vacant suites

Rules for evictions to renovate a rental property need to be strengthened, a task force of B.C. MLAs has recommended.

“One of most frequently mentioned challenges from renters was unfair evictions, including renovictions and other evictions, based on false claims,” the three MLAs wrote in their report to the B.C. government, released Wednesday. “They told the task force about how stressful it was to live with the constant threat of being forced from their home with too little time to find alternative housing in a challenging rental market.”

The task force is also calling for eliminating the ability of strata corporations to ban rentals from their buildings.

“While the task force believes this change will help increase the rental housing supply, it is also important to give strata corporations the ability to evict tenants in exceptional cases where negligence, abuse or law breaking is disrupting the quiet enjoyment of other residents, putting people in danger or harming the building,” the report states.

B.C. Housing Minister Selina Robinson declined to comment on the recommendations, saying they must be reviewed by cabinet first.

The task force was appointed in April by Premier John Horgan, chaired by Vancouver-West End NDP MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert. The other members are NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard (Courtenay-Comox) and B.C. Green MLA Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands).

In its first recommendations in September, the task force called for the annual rent increase formula to be reduced to an inflation adjustment only, eliminating the additional two per cent increase allowed for landlords. That would limit the 2019 increase to 2.5 per cent, based on federal calculations of inflation.

It called for additional rent increases to be applied for at the Residential Tenancy Branch in cases where renovations and repairs have been completed.

The latest report calls for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to allow for “maintaining tenancy during renovations, as long as the tenant is willing to accommodate construction.

“Evictions for renovations should be reserved for the rare instance of serious, major and long-term renovations, such as seismic upgrades, which extend the life of a building considerably where it is impossible to keep tenants in the building due to health and safety risks, or unreasonable to expect a tenancy to continue, due to the extensive length of time a building would be uninhabitable.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: MV Balfour ferry returns to service

The 65-year-old ferry had been out of action for a month

Castlegar food bank collecting school supplies

Supplies needed to help local kids in need

Rossland council urges minister to kill Jumbo Glacier Resort project

Mayor writes letter panning ski resort on environmental, legal, and economic grounds

Jail time for driver involved in Castlegar road rampage

Sean Patrick Byrne caused havoc on Castlegar roads in November

Contempt charge against Balfour logging protesters dropped on technicality

A B.C. Supreme Court justice ruled Cooper Creek Cedar failed to file a contempt application

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Most Read