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Purpose-built rental housing. credit: Monika Sosnowska
Recent amendments to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) have addressed some significant concerns in the rental housing industry. At issue are fixed-term tenancies and vacate clauses, renovictions, and cannabis legalization.
"More changes occurred in the last 18 months than in the 14 previous years of the Residential Tenancy Act's existence," says LandlordBC's Hunter Boucher.
Bill 16 was introduced in late 2017 with the intent of closing some unintended loopholes that allowed rental housing providers to increase rents for existing tenancies. "One of the first orders of business following the formation of the newly elected (NDP) government was the introduction of this amendment and a single allowable exemption-that a landlord may utilize a vacate clause when they or a close family member are moving into the rental unit at the end of the fixed term," explains Boucher. "This is the only situation where a vacate clause can be enforced. The RTA defines a close family member as a spouse, child, or parent of the landlord."
Bill 30, introduced in 2018, addresses landlord's concerns about property damage and tenant health. It offers protections for landlords against the growing of cannabis in rental units and extends any existing prohibition against smoking to include cannabis.
Bill 12, also introduced in 2018, provides additional protections to tenants facing eviction for superficial or non-existent renovations.
"Some of the recent or proposed changes are significant," says Boucher, "yet the core rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants remain, for the most part, true to the values originally intended when the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) was introduced."
|Download Spring 2019|
For more on changes to the RTA and how these affect landlords in BC, read Boucher’s “Landlords in BC Experiencing Unprecedented Change” in the Spring 2019 edition of Input. Download Spring 2019
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