For those that can’t afford to own property or choose not to buy in have a little more protection headed their way as a renter. The Provincial Government is planning to strengthen the Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act to protect renters and tenants of manufactured home parks.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Selina Robinson said in a press release, “By improving protections, renters, as well as tenants of manufactured home parks, will have better security in these difficult situations.”
With the housing market in not just Revelstoke but in British Columbia, many landlords are upgrading, renovating or flipping their properties for a variety of reasons. While they own the property, this can cause a tenant stress and concern as finding a new place in a hectic market can be difficult and competitive. If approved by the legislature, the changes to the Residential Tenancy Act will provide more protection for tenants facing eviction.
The focus will be to:
- Provide tenants with more time to find alternate housing if they are evicted.
- Providing more time to dispute a notice to end a tenancy for demolition, conversation or renovation.
- An increase of compensation a landlord must pay to a former tenant if they end a tenancy for renovation/demolition and then do not follow through with their plans—This compensation would also apply in situations where the landlord used a vacate clause because they wished to move back into their own property then chose to rent it back out to someone else.
- Including a first right-of-refusal for tenants in multi-unit buildings who are evicted due to renovations or repairs.
These changes are part of the B.C. Government’s 30-point plan for securing and creating an affordable housing market as well as improve the laws to make the rental market secure as well as affordable for renters. The changes could be sometime in the fall of 2018.
For those that have rented in both apartments and a manufactured home in a park know that their is a difference in the tenancy acts. The Province is also looking at creating a better fail safe way of renting, support and better compensation if they too are forced to move out. The proposed amendments to the MHPTA bill be to assist tenants to either move their mobile home to another site if possible or compensate them on the loss of their home if they are unable to move.
The proposed changes are:
- ensuring the effective date of a 12-month notice to end tenancy is the same for all tenancy agreements under the act;
- increasing the amount of compensation landlords pay tenants who have been given a notice to end tenancy, in order to convert a park;
- increasing the amount of compensation a landlord owes a former tenant if the landlord gave notice, but did not do the conversion;
- providing additional compensation if a manufactured home cannot be relocated; and
- clarifying that a tenant, who is unable to relocate their manufactured home, is not responsible for disposal costs of the home.
To help renters, the Province will provide $116 million over three years to expand eligibility and increase the average benefits under the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER). The average payment for RAP recipients will go up by approximately $800 a year and the average payment for SAFER recipients will go up by approximately $930 a year.
The B.C. government has strengthened protection from unfair rent increases by closing the fixed-term lease loophole and eliminating the geographic rent increase. The new legislation means that landlords can not use the loophole to bypass annual rent control, meaning renters will now be protected against massive rent hikes at the end of a lease.