Following recommendations from the Rental Housing Task Force, the Government of BC has announced a new compliance and enforcement unit within the Residential Tenancy Branch, as well as a new public education program on residential tenancy law.
The Rental Housing Task Force was appointed in 2018 to engage the public and provide recommendations for modernizing tenancy law in BC for safe, secure and affordable housing.
The compliance and enforcement unit within the Residential Tenancy Branch will investigate and take action against repeat and serious violations of tenancy law from both tenants and landlords. The unit will not participate in early stages of disputes, but will step in where tenants and landlords are knowingly ignoring tenancy law and Residential Tenancy Branch orders. With five staff members and the authority to impose fines of up to $5,000 per day, the unit is actively investigating over 20 cases and has issued one $5,000 penalty so far against a landlord.
In its engagement process last year, the Rental Housing Task Force found that there was a general lack of awareness on BC's tenancy laws and that many issues between tenants and landlords could be resolved by a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities. The new public education program is intended to address this knowledge gap and will also focus on key issues such as the rules surrounding renovictions and terminating tenancies.
For more background information and details, please see the official news release by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
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