As of July 1, 2021, legislative changes have come into effect across BC which require landlords undergo new approval processes to end tenancies for renovations and increase rent for capital expenditures.
ENDING TENANCIES FOR REPAIRS AND RENOVATIONS
Landlords must now apply online for an Order of Possession from the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB). They must have all applicable permits and approvals ready, and they must be able to prove that eviction is necessary for the work to be completed. Tenants will have the opportunity to oppose the application in a dispute resolution hearing. If approval is granted by the RTB, landlords must provide a minimum of 4 months notice to tenants (after approval).
In cases of bad-faith evictions where the landlord does not follow through on the stated purpose for ending a tenancy, another legislative amendment will now make it easier for tenants to pursue compensation. The burden of proof is now on the landlord to show that the property was used for the stated purpose of eviction. Previously, the onus was on the tenant to prove the contrary.
ADDITIONAL RENT INCREASES FOR CAPITAL EXPENDITURES
Landlords must now apply online for approval by the RTB to raise rent above the annual allowable amount in order to recoup costs of repairs or improvement. Eligible expenses include those necessary for a major system or component:
- that has failed or is at the end of its life;
- to maintain the property in accordance with health and safety standards;
- to reduce energy use or greenhouse gas emissions; or
- to improve the security of the property
Tenants will have the opportunity to oppose the application through an arbitrator at a dispute resolution hearing.
The amount increase would be calculated using a formula which takes into account the actual expenses incurred and the number of rental units affected, amortized over a 10-year period. The additional rent increase will be capped at 3% per year (plus the standard annual rent increase) for a maximum of three years.
Note that the current rent freeze in BC will remain in effect until December 31, 2021.