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

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

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

A multi-building residential development on Erskine Lane in View Royal was approved by council on June 15. (Courtesy Town of View Royal)
Dire shortage of three-bedroom apartments, says View Royal mayor

New development to feature wide range of rental units, amenities for tenants

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Most Read