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

Bus crash survivor petitions Justin Trudeau to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

Ogden Point officially rebranded as The Breakwater District

New signage and logos accompany plans for the area’s future

Police arrest two men on Gorge Road East

Traffic has resumed in the area

Some 5,000 residents on the Saanich Peninsula have signed up for alert system

Sidney hosts Peninsula Emergency Preparedness Exhibition Friday

CRD warns of traffic delays on Marigold Road

Ongoing work in the Colquitz River will affect traffic until Friday

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Sooke athletes win gold at 55+ Games

Myrtle Acton, 86, leads way with three first place finishes

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Charges dropped against Mountie involved in shooting death of Surrey man

‘I feel like I’ve lost Hudson all over again,’ says mom

Most Read