B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)

B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

The B.C. government is extending its COVID-19 rent freeze to the end of 2021, and amending legislation to cap future rent increases to inflation.

Attorney General David Eby, given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 election, introduced the changes as the legislature resumed its post-election sitting March 1. Once approved by the NDP majority, the legislation will impose new rules on landlords intending to evict tenants for renovations or redevelopment of the property.

Landlords will have to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch first, before issuing eviction notices for renovations or rebuilding. The legislation also changes regulations for mobile home parks, to ensure that changes in park rules do not override an existing tenancy agreement.

The changes to so-called “renovictions” and “demovictions” were recommended by an MLA committee in 2018, chaired by Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert.

“The changes mean no more tenants will face eviction notices for phoney renovations that were never going to happen,” Chandra Herbert said. “By putting an end to this kind of bullying behaviour, meant to drive out long-term tenants and jack up the rent, we’re protecting renters and supporting rental housing providers who do proactive maintenance of their rental homes.”

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 business grant fund still mostly unspent

RELATED: Surrey MLA calls for more disabled-accessible housing

David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC, representing owners of rental properties, endorsed the new restrictions on evictions, but said the Residential Tenancy Branch needs to handle its new role efficiently.

“LandlordBC believes that encouraging continued investment to prolong or sustain the useful life of a rental unit or building is essential,” Hutniak said in the government statement. “We further believe that making the landlord proceed in this proposed manner, whereby legitimate cases where vacant possession is necessary and appropriate are adjudicated up front, will ensure work is undertaken in good faith, thereby mitigating what has at times been an unnecessarily confrontational process.

“What will be critical is that the RTB establish a robust application and implementation process and that arbitrators assigned to these cases possess the necessary specialized knowledge to assess the technical nature of the proposed work.”

It’s the second extension for the rent freeze, first imposed in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began disrupting lives and employment.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Patios, retail shops to expand outdoor spaces in West Kelowna (PHOTO: The City of West Kelowna).
West Kelowna allows expanded patios, retail spaces

West Kelowna allows businesses to expand outdoor service areas due to pandemic restrictions

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Kate Budau’s flat tire outside of Glenmore Elementary School on Monday. (Contributed)
Kelowna mom searches for Good Samaritans who helped her change a tire

Woman looking for two dads who helped her after her tire popped in the Glenmore Elementary School drop-off area on Monday

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
67 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty people in the region are hospitalized with the virus, 11 of whom are intensive care

Volunteers at the West Kelowna Salvation Army were celebrated with a special treat on Monday. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and non-profits are highlighting the people who put in the work

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Lumby resident Dan Hill was at Vernon’s Polson Park to celebrate 4-20 by giving away free marijuana joints to people of age April 20, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
North Okanagan man back with free joints, cupcakes on 4-20

Dan Hill is trying to help people of age relax during a stressful April with marijuana giveaway

A lit cigarette tossed from a passing car is believed to be the cause of a grass fire which was only held to a ditch by the quick action of passersby in Salmon Arm on April 19. (Pixabay image)
Passersby fight Salmon Arm roadside grass fire believed started by flicked cigarette

Dry conditions prompt warning from resident, fire department

Most Read