On April 12, 2018, the Government of BC proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act aimed at providing more protections to tenants. With some of these changes now in effect, tenants facing eviction now have more rights to notice and compensation.
- Landlords are now required to give tenants 4 months notice to end a tenancy to demolish, renovate or repair the rental unit, or convert it for another purpose. Tenants will now have 30 days to dispute the notice. Previously, landlords were required to give 2 months notice and tenants had 15 days to dispute.
- If a landlord is ending a tenancy to renovate or repair their rental unit, the tenant must get the first right of refusal to enter into a new tenancy agreement. If exercised by the tenant, the landlord must provide 45 days notice of availability and a new tenancy agreement to sign.
- Tenants are entitled to 12 months of rent as compensation in cases where the landlord does not provide 45 days notice of availability and a new tenancy agreement to sign once the tenant has exercised their right of refusal.
- Tenants will continue to be eligible for one month of rent as compensation when a landlord is ending the tenancy for demolition, renovation, repair or conversion.
- Tenants are entitled to 12 months of rent as compensation in cases where a landlord ends a tenancy under section 49 (landlord use) and does not then take the steps to follow through within a reasonable timeframe or use the unit for the purpose stated as the reason for ending the tenancy for at least 6 months. Previously, tenants were entitled to one month of rent as compensation.
A landlord who is ending a tenancy on behalf of a purchaser must provide the purchaser's name and address in the notice.
More changes to the Residential Tenancy Act are expected to come. The amendments are part of the provincial government's 30-point plan to address BC's housing affordability crisis. For more details and the latest updates on the province's tenancy laws, see the official news releases on the Government of BC website.