Preventing renovictions, extending rent freeze to benefit tenants (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Attorney General and Responsible for Housing

Media Relations
778 678-1572

Backgrounders

Proposed changes to tenancy laws

The following are additional proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act that will improve the dispute resolution process.

Expanding review grounds to improve procedural fairness in tenancy disputes

  • This would allow the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) to formally review a decision where it is clear an error has been made. It would divert cases from the judicial review process to the RTB’s internal review process, which will reduce costs to tenants and landlords, the courts and government.

Amending authority to compel records during Compliance and Enforcement Unit (CEU) investigations

  • The CEU was established in 2019 to investigate cases of non-compliance and levy administrative penalties where appropriate. Currently, the RTB may compel documents from a person under investigation by the CEU. The amendment would broaden the type of material the director may compel from someone. It also would allow the director to compel records from a person, such as a contractor or other third party, who is not under investigation but may hold information related to the investigation.

Expanding the scope of administrative penalties

  • Currently, the RTB may levy an administrative penalty against a person if they contravened the Residential Tenancy Act or regulations, or failed to comply with a decision or order of the RTB. The amendment would also allow the RTB to levy an administrative penalty against a person who gave false or misleading information in a dispute resolution proceeding or investigation, or who failed to comply with a demand issued by the RTB for records.

Review process for administrative penalties

  • The amendment would establish grounds of review specific to administrative penalties. It would also give the RTB authority to undertake a review of an administrative penalty on the RTB’s initiative, rather than having to wait for the tenant or landlord to file a review.

Repayment of monies owed

  • This amendment would allow the RTB to grant a monetary order for the outstanding rent at the same hearing that a tenant’s application to dispute a notice to end tenancy is dismissed. Currently, they would need to have another hearing.

Clarifying jurisdiction

  • These amendments would clarify that the $35,000 monetary limit only applies to claims for damages and debt – not other claims such as compensation or repairs. 

Updating manufactured home park rules

  • Clarifying language in the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act to ensure park rules, which can be changed easily by the park owner, do not override an existing tenancy agreement.
  • There are currently no limits to how often park rules can be changed, which can lead to frequent changes that may unfairly target tenants. New regulatory authority will allow future changes to limit the frequency park owners may change park rules. These changes will come through regulation after consultation with park and homeowner stakeholder groups over the coming months.