Students living in dorms on UBCO’s campus are not covered by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act. - Image Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News                                Students living in dorms on UBCO’s campus are not covered by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act. - Image Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News
Bad Video Embed Code

Students living in dorms on UBCO’s campus are not covered by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act. - Image Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News Students living in dorms on UBCO’s campus are not covered by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act. - Image Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Student unions lobby for housing rights

Student unions across B.C. asked the province to include students under the Residential Tenancy Act

Students across B.C. may face the risks of quick evictions, undetermined move-out dates and more as they are not covered by the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act.

The act states students and employees living on campus in quarters owned by the university are not covered under the agreement. This leaves universities to set their own contracts.

Student unions in the Okanagan, Vancouver, Burnaby and Victoria sent a letter to the provincial government in October, asking for students to be included in the tenancy act.

“I think the only real problem with the (dorm) contract, and this is very similar to other universities and colleges across the country, you have to move out in a set time after your last final and you have to move out in a set time in December and in April,” said UBCO student union president Blake Edwards.

“So it just adds an extra pressure for students who need those extra few days to pack up and move.”

The letter lists nine recommendations asking for student housing to be included in the act.

These recommendations include: requiring contracts to explicitly list the rights of tenants, to provide an specific process so tenants can report problems in the residence, a requirement of 24-hours notice before owners are able to enter a residence, transfers between housing units are only required for safety reasons, all institutions have a community standards appeal process, a requirement of a one-month eviction notice, an outline so students know what to expect during a maintenance disruption, for continuing tenancies the rate increases can be no more than that year’s inflation rate plus two per cent, and can only happen once every 12 months and contracts must list a specific start and end date of tenancy.

Edwards said he hasn’t heard anything back regarding a regulation change.

The act does not include students because “students or employees are required to meet certain criteria, such as being enrolled as a student at the institution or being employed by the institution. Those terms would not be acceptable as part of a tenancy agreement under the act and therefore the tenancy agreement wouldn’t be enforceable under the act,” said Lindsay Byers, media relations spokesperson for the ministry.

“The province will not be contemplating any changes to the act at this time.”

Currently, at UBCO the dorm contract states the contract is terminated at a move-out date, the day following the last scheduled exam, or the first day of exams if the student does not have any exams scheduled.

UBCO director of media relations, Bud Mortenson said UBCO has oversight for students in place, as the university has ombudsmen where they can take their concerns if not satisfied with the student housing office.

“The first level of recourse would be to bring a problem to the attention of the student housing office. If the student in the residence wanted to escalate the ombudsmen would work with them to find a solution,” he said.

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

Just Posted

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News file)
Homeownership unattainable for many Kelowna residents

Single-person and single-parent households often have limited options when it comes to housing

A Kelowna cannabis manufacturer has acquired another cannabis-based firm. (Black Press Media File)
Kelowna cannabis company acquires edibles manufacturer for $24.9 million

The Valens Company has acquired LYF Food Technologies

LaRae Richards loads an order for deliver via Uber Eats Wednesday afternoon at Red Onion Burgers in Mountlake Terrace on May 17, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Uber Eats comes to Kelowna

There are more than 60 businesses on the online delivery platform

(Pixabay)
‘Roadmap out of COVID-19’: Innovate BC’s program helping businesses recover

CEO Raghwa Gopal said the tech sector is here to help brick and mortar businesses

(Pixabay photo)
COVID-19 exposure confirmed at Kelowna school

Interior Health confirmed the exposure at Central Programs and Services on Jan. 25

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A large portion of Anglemont is without running water due to a water main break on Jan. 26. (CSRD Image)
A large part of Anglemont in the North Shuswap is without water due to a water line break on Jan. 26. (Black Press File Photo)
Broken water main leaves Shuswap community without running water

The water line has left Anglemont residents either without water or with low pressure.

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Penticton fire crews quickly put out a small blaze at a home on Duncan Ave. E Monday night. (Mike Biden photo)
South Okanagan house fire sends one to hospital

The fire at the Duncan Place home was cooking related

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

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

Most Read