Legislation to protect renters from unfair eviction introduced
Gaps in the Residential Tenancy Act have made life difficult for many renters in B.C., particularly in Vancouver where soaring property rates and few vacancies have combined to create a highly competitive rental market where long term tenants are sometimes unfairly targeted for eviction in favour of tenants who can be charged more for the same unit.
Renters deserve to know they won’t be unfairly evicted from their homes. The legislation proposed would crack down on unfair evictions and massive rent hikes.
The three pieces of legislation, introduced by Vancouver-Hastings MLA Shane Simpson, Housing and Social Development Critic, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Diane Thorne, include a series of amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act as well as changes to the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.
The amendments would increase the notice that a landlord must give a tenant in the event of renovation evictions, and give tenants the right of first refusal following renovations or conversion into a strata unit.
The Long Term Tenants Protection Act would protect tenants from massive rent hikes applied for under the geographic area increase clause, which has previously allowed rents increases of up to 73 per cent in one year.
The bills would protect people like long-term West End renter Lynne Stevens, a 82 year old cancer patient who was evicted from her suite at Emerald Terrace in Vancouver’s West End under the pretext of conversion for landlord use, despite the fact that other suites were available for that purpose.
Amendments to the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act proposed by Simpson would protect the rights of manufactured home park residents who face eviction when parks are redeveloped.
Tightening up the residential tenancy act is an important step towards creating a province where everyone can afford secure, stable housing.
Will the BC Liberals adopt the proposed legislation? Write your local MLA and let them know what you think.