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Website launched to protect renters from bad-faith evictions

July 3, 2024 at 11:48 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

A new website launching on July 18, 2024, will better protect renters from being evicted in bad faith and bring improvements to the process for landlords.

“With this new tool, we’re taking action to better protect tenants from being evicted under false pretences and ensure that landlords who need to legitimately reclaim their units have a straightforward pathway to do so,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “The portal will also provide government with a window to better understand when and how often these evictions occur so that we can continue to build on our work to improve services for renters and landlords.”

While some landlords do need to reclaim their units (for example, a first-time homebuyer who wants to live in their new home), evictions initiated under false pretences continue to happen, either deliberately or unknowingly. Some landlords evict tenants under the guise of landlord use, only to rent out the unit again at a significantly higher rent.

Starting July 18, 2024, landlords will be required to use the Landlord Use Web Portal to generate Notices to End Tenancy for personal occupancy or caretaker use. Landlords generating notices to end tenancy will be required to include information about the persons moving into the home. Through this process, landlords are informed of the significant penalties they could face if they are found to be evicting a tenant in bad faith. By requiring landlords to include the information of who will be occupying the home on the notice, tenants can have a better sense of the landlords’ intentions and may provide this information at the dispute hearing if they believe the landlord is acting in bad faith.

“We’ve worked tirelessly through our BC Eviction project and systems change work to affect this type of change,” said Amanda Burrows, executive director, First United, a community provider for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. “Today, we see that advocacy works and this new web portal to help prevent bad-faith evictions is a positive first step toward housing security for over one million B.C. renters. There is still work to do and we will continue to advocate for changes to prevent homelessness and displacement because housing is a human right.”

Under the Residential Tenancy Act, a landlord can evict a tenant if the following people will be moving in:

  • they or a close family member (parent, spouse or child);
  • a purchaser of the property or a close family member of the purchaser; or
  • a superintendent for the building.

Effective July 18, 2024, the Province will increase the amount of notice a tenant must receive and the amount of time they have to dispute an eviction. Landlords will also be required to give tenants four months’ notice instead of two months when evicting for personal or caretaker use, giving displaced tenants more time to find a new home. Tenants will have 30 days to dispute Notices to End Tenancy instead of the current 15 days. The person moving into the home must occupy it for a minimum of 12 months and landlords who evict in bad faith could be ordered to pay the displaced tenant 12 months’ rent.

“Protecting a landlord’s right to reclaim a rental unit for personal use is critical to maintaining a balanced rental housing market,” said David Hutniak, CEO, LandlordBC. “It is also important that landlords know their responsibilities when exercising this right and that they understand the risks of bad-faith evictions. The Landlord Use Web Portal will not only educate landlords about the process, but it will also standardize the process for improved efficiency while increasing transparency.”

The Landlord Use Web Portal will also allow the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) to conduct post-eviction compliance audits and provide information to the RTB about the frequency of these types of evictions. Changes to the process for evicting tenants for personal and caretaker use aim to support the rights and interests of both landlords and tenants, while creating a standardized process for ending tenancies for personal and caretaker use.

“No one should lose their homes because of bad-faith evictions,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, Premier’s liaison for renters and MLA for Vancouver West End. “Taking this step is a proactive way to help stop bad-faith evictions and keep people in their homes. The introduction of the Landlord Use Web Portal aligns with recommendations made by the Rental Task Force to make the Residential Tenancy Branch more responsive, accessible and proactive with more opportunities to learn from and educate landlords and renters on their rights and responsibilities.”

The Province continues to take action to better protect renters, including recent changes to ban illegal “renovictions,” strengthen the financial penalties for landlords who evict tenants in bad faith, eliminate rent increases when a child is added to a household and improve wait times at the RTB. The Landlord Use Web Portal supports the Homes for People Action Plan, further strengthening tenancies in B.C.

Quick Facts:

  • Starting July 18, 2024, landlords will be required to use the Landlord Use Web Portal when they are issuing Notices to End Tenancy for personal or caretaker use, with a unique notice ID when ending a tenancy.
  • Landlords using the website portal will be required to have a Basic BCeID to access the site.
  • While using the website portal, landlords will be given information about the required conditions for ending a tenancy and the penalties associated with evicting in bad faith.
  • They will also be informed about the amount of compensation they will be required to issue to evicted tenants.

Learn More:

To access the Residential Tenancy Branch Landlord Use Web Portal, which will go live on July 18, 2024, visit: https://tenancydispute.gov.bc.ca/LandlordUse/Login

To learn more about government’s new Homes for People action plan, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023HOUS0019-000436

To access residential tenancy resources, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies

To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for people in British Columbia, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/housing

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