The B.C. government on May 17 amended the Residential Tenancy Act to require landlords to give tenants four months’ notice to end a tenancy in order to demolish, renovate or repair the dwelling.
Previously, landlords could evict a tenant for those reasons by giving two months’ notice. Tenants will continue to be eligible for one month's worth of compensation in those cases.
Landlords, or new owners, now must compensate a tenant for 12 months’ rent, unless excused by an arbitrator in extenuating circumstances, if a landlord or purchaser ends a tenancy for landlord use and they don't:
- take steps to accomplish the stated purpose for ending the tenancy under section 49 within a reasonable period after the effective date of the notice; or
- use the rental unit for that stated purpose for at least six months, beginning within a reasonable period after the effective date of the notice.
Previously, when landlords acted in what the ministry calls "bad faith," tenants were entitled to one month's compensation.
An addition to the act gives the tenant the first right of refusal to enter into a new tenancy agreement at a rent determined by the landlord if the landlord ends their tenancy to renovate or repair the rental unit.
A landlord must compensate a tenant for 12 months’ rent, unless excused by an arbitrator in extenuating circumstances, if the tenant exercises a right of first refusal and the landlord does not give the tenant:
- a 45-day notice of availability; or
- a tenancy agreement to sign.
If a landlord is ending a tenancy on behalf of a purchaser, the notice must contain the purchaser’s name and address.
More changes are expected to be on the way.
Premier John Horgan in April appointed a rental housing task force that is headed by Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert and the expectation is that the task force will work through the summer and table a report in the fall.