B.C. introduces legislation amending tenants rights in demolitions, renovations

NDP government proposes changes to Residential Tenancy Act, Manufactures Homes Park Tenancy Act

The B.C. government introduced legislation Thursday with changes to the Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act that could give tenants additional time and compensation if they’re to be displaced by renovation or demolition.

“Tenants need stronger protections when a landlord is choosing to renovate or sell their property,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in a news release Thursday.

“By improving protections, renters, as well as tenants of manufactured home parks, will have better security in these difficult situations.”

Proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act include providing tenants more time to dispute a notice or find alternate housing if their landlord ends a tenancy to demolish or renovate, as well as increasing the compensation amount a landlord must pay to a former tenant if evicted for the same reasons.

This compensation would also apply in situations where the landlord used a ‘vacate’ clause because they had plans to move back in, but then re-rented the unit to someone else.

READ MORE: Renters, landlords to be quizzed on B.C. problems

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For those living in trailer parks and manufactured homes, amendments to the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act include a 12-month notice to end tenancy, increasing compensation landlords pay tenants if converting a park or if a manufactured home cannot be relocated and that landlords would be responsible for the disposal costs of a home if it can’t be relocated.

Landlord BC CEO David Hutniak said that while there is increased pressure to renovate or redevelop old rental housing, many landlords already do offer the option to tenants to return to a renovated unit as long as they are willing to pay a most-likely increased rent.

“Our industry recognizes the need to provide sufficient notice to allow tenants ample time to secure new homes,” he said.

“Providing the option to return to their renovated unit at market rent, something many in our industry already do, will further contribute to housing security.”

The changes, which were introduced to the B.C. legislature Thursday, are part of the B.C. government’s 30-point plan, the province said, coming days after announcing a new rental housing task force.

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