Rent your home, own your vote!

RENT YOUR HOME, OWN YOUR VOTE!

Are you tired of a government that ignores 30% of the population in BC? Will you be next to get your $500/ month rent increase or eviction notice? What can you do to stop it?

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If you rent, you must visit RentersFightBack.com to find out how renters can make the difference in the BC election. It’s that close in a number of key ridings!

Renters At Risk encourages people to visit the Renters Fight Back website for some great videos and information. Find out how you can make a difference in your neighbourhood before the Election!

Authorized by Renters At Risk, BC Elections Act, 604-602-1218

Renters At Risk calls for rental reform immediately

THINK YOU ARE SAFE FROM MASSIVE RENT INCREASES OR EVICTIONS? -NOT WITH BC’S CURRENT RENTAL LAWS

Over the last few years, many renters have been driven from their homes because property owners across the Lower Mainland aggressively use BC tenancy laws in a variety of ways to get around yearly rent increase controls. The tight rental market combined with the changes that the BC Liberals made to the Residential Tenancy Act in 2004 have significantly eroded tenants’ rights and obliterated the concept of security of tenure.

To date, the BC Liberals and the Housing Minister ignore the widespread epidemic and refuse to listen to BC Renters’ cries for help.

Renters need protection NOW to rebalance the Residential Tenancy Act and protect them from investors speculatively buying buildings and driving up rents to unprecedented levels.

You are at risk of losing your home at any time in the following ways:

MASS EVICTIONS FOR RENOVATIONS:
Landlords buy buildings and start evicting tenants’ floor-by-floor or building-by-building for cosmetic renovations or normal maintenance. They then re-rent these spruced up units a month later, for up to 120% of the old rents. The BC courts have recently called the practice a “loophole” to end tenancies and circumvent the intent of rental legislation (section 49 (6)(b) of the Residential Tenancy Act). Despite the 2007 Amacon and Hollyburn rulings, tenants are still being evicted and must fight the same battle over and over again at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) even after BC’s highest court has spoken out against this practice.
• The solution: IMPLIMENT RIGHTS OF FIRST REFUSAL LEGISTLATION (Private Members Bill M205)

In Ontario legislation was implemented in 2007 to solve their eviction crisis. Right of first refusal allows landlords to do legitimate upgrades and gives evicted tenants the option of returning to their units after the renovations are completed at their original rental agreement and rate. If tenants opt not to return, they get 3 months compensation (BC gives only 1 month) and 120 days to move out (BC gives only 60 days). The right of first refusal is the only way to balance the rights of both renters and property owners in BC in an increasingly tight rental market.

GEOGRAPHIC RENT INCREASE APPLICATIONS:

Landlords can apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch to bring below market rental units up to existing new rents in a geographic area. It means that tenants with long-term leases can have their rents increased dramatically above the yearly allowed amount at any time. This essentially eliminates rent control and makes an existing rent in a tenancy contract meaningless. As rents get pushed up by in neighbourhoods, renters will get pushed out of their homes because of huge, unexpected rent increases.

Could you afford a rent increase that is HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS/MONTH?

After much public outcry in 2004, the BC Liberals dropped their proposed retroactive rent increase clause, but slipped this clause into the RTA instead.

• The solution: REMOVE SECTION 23(1)(a) OF THE RTA REGULATIONS

VOLUNTARY RENT AGREEMENTS

Landlords send letters to tenants asking them to agree to higher rent increases, and threaten pending evictions or massive rent increase applications if they refuse to sign the “deal”. Many tenants unknowingly sign their rents away in fear.

• The solution: REMOVE SECTION 43(1)(c) OF THE RESIDENTIAL TENANCY ACT

FIXED TERM LEASES
Using tenancy forms from the Residential Tenancy Branch, landlords are now asking tenants to sign time-limited leases in this tight rental market. This is especially concerning before the Olympics. When the lease is up, the tenancy is over and does not revert to a month-to-month lease that is subject to the yearly allowable rent increase. The tenant must either move out on the date specified, or negotiate a new lease with an unrestricted rent increase.
• The solution: REMOVE FIXED TERM LEASES, UNLESS BY APPLICATION.

Introduction

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womanTHE BC LIBERAL GOVERNMENT has rewritten the Residential Tenancy Act to favour landlords, allowing mass evictions of renters from their homes, and community. They have also made it possible for landlords to get massive market rent increases higher than yearly rent controls, even if you have a lease.

HOW? Landlords easily get around tenancy laws either by simply asking you to agree to pay more rent, or they evict you, claiming your suite needs to be vacant for renovations. Floor-by-floor and building-by-building, corporate landlords are evicting tenants so they can double the rents.

REALITY: Tenants who challenge their evictions at the government’s Residential Tenancy Branch find the process exhausting, and they usually lose their cases or give up, despite recent BC Supreme Court rulings in tenants’ favour.

SOLUTION:
The government of Ontario has taken action to stop evictions by implementing rights of first refusal. This gives renters the option to return to their units after renovations are completed. The BC Government refuses to change the legislation to help tenants and even denies that mass evictions and rising rents are even a problem! Renters need a government that will protect them! The legislation must be changed!

Authorized by Renters At Risk, BC Elections Act, 604-602-1218

Contact your MLA and voice your concerns.
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Are you being threatened with eviction? Call TRAC – Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre – Mon. to Thurs. – 9am – 5pm – In Vancouver call 604-255-0546. Or outside the lower mainland: 1-800-665-1185
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A Community Response to Mass Evictions

RENTERS AT RISK CAMPAIGN

A Community Response to Mass Evictions of Tenants and Excessive Rent Increases

The Renters at Risk Campaign was started in response to an alarming trend of evictions-for-renovations. Over the past several years, hundreds of renters have lost their homes as property owners buy up buildings across the Lower Mainland and use loopholes in BC tenancy legislation to evict tenants for renovations. Loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act allow property owners to obtain massive rent increases that would be otherwise prohibited.

The Renters at Risk Campaign aims to educate the public about this growing trend of evictions-for-renovations and rent increases, and to lobby the government to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to give tenants, among other options, the rights of first refusal as in Ontario.

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