VIDEO: Education, enforcement aimed at B.C. landlord, tenant infractions

New compliance office investigates repeat offenders, levies big fines

A new compliance unit for B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch puts teeth into enforcement for landlords or tenants who repeatedly violate B.C.’s laws, Housing Minister Selina Robinson says.

Education about things like scheduling landlord visits and allowing for renovations can solve many of the issues, Robinson said Wednesday. The enforcement unit adds a second stage to ensure compliance that includes fines of up to $5,000 per day for landlords who won’t comply with repair orders or other major changes.

“We have all heard too many stories about broken relationships – renters living in substandard housing because they were too scared to complain in a highly competitive rental market, landlords being left with thousands of dollars worth of damage when renters move out,” Robinson said. “These broken relationships are symptoms of the same problem, a rental housing market that isn’t working for landlords or for renters.”

Robinson introduced the head of the Residential Tenancy Branch compliance and enforcement unit, Scott McGregor, who explained that his office is a second line of defence if branch hearings and orders do not make someone comply.

He gave the example of a Surrey landlord who had been subject to five hearings determining he had to make repairs to a tenant’s suite.

“Orders as a result of those hearings had actually resulted in a rent reduction down to zero, so the renter was no longer paying rent, but the repairs were still not being made,” McGregor said.

“The landlord did not do that. Therefore we levied the fine against the landlord.”

READ MORE: Landlord accused of pointing gun in rent collection

READ MORE: B.C. increases tenant rights in demolitions, renovations

Robinson said additional staff at the branch have reduced the wait time for callers getting through with their concerns about a landlord or tenants. A public information program is coming out to help people understand their rights and obligations for situations like arranging repairs.

Tenants should know they can arrange to stay in their homes while minor repairs are completed, and landlords should know the rules around having people move out for major repairs, Robinson said.

The province is still considering some of the recommendations of its rental task force, including a call to prevent strata councils from banning rentals in their buildings.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

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

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson Column: Siblings are the best (and the worst, by default)

If my brother-in-law wanted a walk, he was going to have to work for it.

Maple Bay animator helps lead Netflix’s ‘The Willoughbys’

Family comedy with A-list voices has Cowichan Valley ties

CVRD may have to delay 11 capital projects scheduled for 2020

More than 50 of the 81 projects are complete or are schedule for the year

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Most Read