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Task force report praised for considering both B.C. renters and landlords


The Canadian Press  / December 13, 2018 (with mention of BCNPHA)

VICTORIA – A task force has made several recommendations to modernize and improve British Columbia’s overheated rental market, in a report one non-profit group says strikes a balance between the rights of tenants and landlords.

The Housing Ministry said the Rental Housing Task Force submitted 23 recommendations, which include ways to deal with so-called renovictions and making renting more secure.

The report illustrated how many times during the consultation process renters spoke of being evicted due to renovations even when they were willing to accomodate the upgrades.

It’s calling for changes to maintain tenancy during renovations both big and small, which includes cosmetic changes and larger alterations like new windows, plumbing or electrical work.

The recommendations also address enforcement of rules, create a province-wide rent bank for those with low-incomes and investigate how to provide legal assistance for those evicted in more remote communities.

Rent increases tied to the tenant, rather than the home, was recommended. It’s the current system in place which allows landlords to raise rents above the provincially-allowed limit when the tenant moves out.

Adam Olsen, a Green party MLA and task force member, said they wanted to provide recommendations that recognized the need for protections for renters, while giving landlords the ability to make decisions about their properties.

BC Non-Profit Housing Association said the recommendations offer a robust framework for ensuring that tenancy laws and processes in the province are fair for both renters and landlords.

However, Liberal municipal affairs critic Todd Stone published a statement saying there is nothing in the recommendations to increase housing supply, which is one of the fundamental problems facing struggling renters.

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