The province is looking to close a loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act that allows for renovictions. Neil Corbett/The News

New government takes aim at renovictions loophole

Maple Ridge MLA says tenants at risk of becoming homeless

The province will close the loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act that allow renovictions to happen.

As seniors and other tenants in the 22 units at the Esme Manor apartments in Maple Ridge look for new homes, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare said the provincial government is aware of the issue.

“We’re very concerned by these evictions,” said Beare, who was recently named to the new NDP government’s cabinet as the minister of tourism, arts and culture. “And they’re at a time when Maple Ridge is facing challenges with homelessness.”

Tenants in eight units on the three-level building’s top floor have been evicted to make way for renovations, and told that they can return in two months, but with their former $750 per month rents hiked to the $1,000 range.

Some, like Robert and Gail Halliday, say they have nowhere to go, and they will refuse to leave.

Others say they may be left homeless. One resident at a press conference outside the building on Monday said he just got two months eviction notice, and has rented a storage locker.

“If I can’t find a place at the last minute, my stuff goes into storage and I’m homeless again,” he said.

The press conference was called by the Alliance Against Displacement. Spokesperson Tingchun Chen called on the provincial government to take action.

“The provincial government needs to be accountable for the policy decisions they have made that have created the housing crisis, and step up and fix it, operating with municipal governments as well,” she said.

Beare said the renovictions have been discussed with the premier’s office, and Housing Minister Selina Robinson has a mandate to amend the Residential Tenancy Act.

“It’s clear the law does not do enough to protect tenants,” said Beare. “We’re planning to close the loophole and make sure tenants are better protected.”

That loophole allows landlords to evict tenants for renovations, then raise rents beyond the annual maximum. For 2017, the maximum allowable rent increase is 3.7 per cent. For a unit renting at $750 per month, the maximum increase would be approximately $28 per month.

Beare said BC Housing staff were on site meeting with tenants on Monday, and the province will work with the landlord and the city to ensure no tenants are left homeless.

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

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach roundabout project would cost nearly $2M

Town to apply for funds to cover $1.79M of the total

Town of Qualicum Beach defers discussions with preservation society regarding wetlands

CAO says registered covenant will protect land in perpetuity

Qualicum Beach seek funds for $4.5M community field project

Turf surface would allow for new sporting activities

Parksville homeowner must clean up property or face penalties

If deadline not met, city crews will do the job and a bill will be sent out

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read