B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)

B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

The B.C. government is extending its COVID-19 rent freeze to the end of 2021, and amending legislation to cap future rent increases to inflation.

Attorney General David Eby, given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 election, introduced the changes as the legislature resumed its post-election sitting March 1. Once approved by the NDP majority, the legislation will impose new rules on landlords intending to evict tenants for renovations or redevelopment of the property.

Landlords will have to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch first, before issuing eviction notices for renovations or rebuilding. The legislation also changes regulations for mobile home parks, to ensure that changes in park rules do not override an existing tenancy agreement.

The changes to so-called “renovictions” and “demovictions” were recommended by an MLA committee in 2018, chaired by Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert.

“The changes mean no more tenants will face eviction notices for phoney renovations that were never going to happen,” Chandra Herbert said. “By putting an end to this kind of bullying behaviour, meant to drive out long-term tenants and jack up the rent, we’re protecting renters and supporting rental housing providers who do proactive maintenance of their rental homes.”

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 business grant fund still mostly unspent

RELATED: Surrey MLA calls for more disabled-accessible housing

David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC, representing owners of rental properties, endorsed the new restrictions on evictions, but said the Residential Tenancy Branch needs to handle its new role efficiently.

“LandlordBC believes that encouraging continued investment to prolong or sustain the useful life of a rental unit or building is essential,” Hutniak said in the government statement. “We further believe that making the landlord proceed in this proposed manner, whereby legitimate cases where vacant possession is necessary and appropriate are adjudicated up front, will ensure work is undertaken in good faith, thereby mitigating what has at times been an unnecessarily confrontational process.

“What will be critical is that the RTB establish a robust application and implementation process and that arbitrators assigned to these cases possess the necessary specialized knowledge to assess the technical nature of the proposed work.”

It’s the second extension for the rent freeze, first imposed in March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic began disrupting lives and employment.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Nechako Centre building was a retail space built in 1955. The building is now vacant and is listed for sale for $4.4Million. Sitting on 0.72 acres, the building is currently under a redevelopment/revitalization process. (Jacob Lubberts Photo)
Nechako Centre teardown in Kitimat for sale at $4.4 million

B.C. assessments valued the property at $843,000 with a land value of only $492,000

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Raising more than $1,300 for the KVHS’s dementia home project, Dennis and Brenda Horwood leave Kitimat with a bang and start their new retirement journey together. (Photo supplied)
KVHS thanks local Kitimat couple for their contributions to the dementia home project

Dennis and Brenda Horwood raise $1,360 during a retirement garage sale

No increase in fees will be made by the leisure services department in the summer months. Reviews will be made again in May/June for any recommended fee adjustments in the fall. (District of Kitimat photo)
District of Kitimat halt leisure fee increases until the fall

The Leisure Services Advisory Commission recommended no increase take place at this time

Mount Elizabeth Theatre have been approved for a provision of funding by city council for up to $42,000. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat’s multi-use theatre grant request approved for live streaming equipment

A funding commitment of up to $42,000 was granted from council to the Mount Elizabeth Theatre

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

(Bandstra Transportation photo)
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Most Read