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

Just Posted

Helping our community during COVID-19

A high school student’s perspective

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

Invermere council okay with ‘reverse grad march’ idea

Nothing finalized and complications aplenty, but Invermere council agrees to grad march idea

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

Wings Over the Rockies encourages nature viewing during pandemic

Three local photographers and Wings supporters offer nature viewing tips.

Vancouver Island bride held wedding in seniors home so dying stepdad could walk her down aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Yukon ready to lift COVID travel restrictions with B.C. in July: premier

Premier Sandy Silver says the territory’s health-care system can cope with the virus.

‘It is dire:’ Study finds B.C. logging continues on critical caribou habitat

The federal Species At Risk Act requires provinces to identify critical habitat for caribou herds

Grieving together, but apart: How funeral homes are handling the pandemic

‘Hugs are so important and right now hugs can’t happen’

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Man recalls black bear chasing him up tree in Slocan Valley

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read