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

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

Just Posted

LRCA Volunteer Counselling Program receives $7,500 boost from Oyster Bay Microtel

The Microtel raised funds through the MasterBUILT Common Ground program

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

Ladysmith man arrested in Saanich after towed sawmill draws attention

Police located the man thanks to social media and a keen-eyed witness

Killer whales cause a scene

WHALE OF A TALE Art Carlyle captured these images of killer whales… Continue reading

Ladysmith man shocked out of his seat after $50,000 Keno win

Larry Salmond plans to purchase a new RV with his winnings

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Wildfire smoke expected to blanket to Vancouver Island again

Conditions expected to worsen Wednesday afternoon

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

‘Bonnie’ and ‘Henry’ among latest litter of service dog puppies

B.C. Alberta Guide Dogs names two pups after provincial health officer

Most Read