EDITORIAL: Changes would bring stability to B.C. renters

MLA task force calls for more protection for the province’s renters

An MLA task force is calling for more protection for the province’s renters. And with a vacancy rate hovering at just over one per cent and average rents climbing by more than $100 a month over the past year, the news couldn’t be more welcome for Capital Region residents who aren’t able to afford a home of their own.

The task force – made up of Saanich North and the Islands MLA Adam Olsen, Ronna-Rae Leonard of Courtenay-Comox and Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert – said the rules governing evictions to renovate a rental property need to be strengthened.

RELATED: Stop ‘renovictions,’ B.C. housing task force says

“One of most frequently mentioned challenges from renters was unfair evictions, including renovictions and other evictions, based on false claims,” the MLAs wrote in their report to the B.C. government. “They told the task force about how stressful it was to live with the constant threat of being forced from their home with too little time to find alternative housing in a challenging rental market.”

The report calls for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act that would allow tenants to remain in their homes during renovations as long as they are willing to accommodate construction. And with rental properties so hard to come by, it is likely a sizable portion of renters would put up with quite a bit to avoid being forced out into an ultra-competitive market.

READ ALSO: Renoviction shot down

The task force has already brought some financial relief for B.C. renters. The government adopted its recommendation back in September to limit annual rental increases to the rate of inflation. That change means landlords will be able to increase rents by 2.5 per cent in 2019, as opposed to the 4.5 per cent that would have been permitted under the previous formula.

The NDP’s election promise of a $400 grant for B.C. renters has yet to materialize. But the task force’s recommendation could prove even more valuable to those British Columbians who are most vulnerable to changing market conditions.

The provincial government should move quickly to adopt these latest recommendations that can offer a little more certainty to residents forced to plan for their future on a month-to-month basis.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

New accessible playground opens at View Royal’s Eagle View Elementary School

Students overjoyed while faculty and parents feel relief

School district launches survey for George Jay Elementary name change

The Greater Victoria School District wants to take public cues before decisions are made

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read