Province announces new rules to protect renters

By Vanessa Ybarra
December 9, 2017 - 1:39pm

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Renters are celebrating changes to the Residential Tenancy Regulation that go into effect Monday.

On behalf of Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert announced Saturday that the province is eliminating the geographic rent increase clause.

This means that landlords will no longer be able to issue large rent increases above the allowable rent increases limit even when other units in the area rent for higher amounts.

"Renters have been threatened with huge rent hikes under the existing rules and that's a scary situation for any renter," said Chandra Herbert. "Since 2008, I've been working to stop this, so that renters can have the more secure housing they need. I'm pleased our government has delivered for renters today."

Robinson says the change will eliminate loopholes that many landlords have been taking advantage of.

"With near zero vacancy rates in many B.C. communities, too many tenants live in fear of drastic increases to their rent," said Robinson of the amendments. "This change means an end to one more loophole that some landlords have taken advantage of, and builds on the other steps our government has taken to increase protections for renters, such as closing the fixed-term lease loophole and increasing resources for the Residential - rent changes."

Changes to fixed-term leases, restricting fixed-term tenancies with vacate clauses, and limiting rent increases between fixed-term tenancy agreements with the same tenant to the maximum allowable amount will also come into effect on Dec. 11.

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