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B.C. government to announce changes to strengthen landlord and renter protections

The B.C. government is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday about strengthening landlord and renter protections.

It is not yet clear what the announcement will be but in February’s throne speech, the province said it would take action to protect renters from bad-faith evictions.

However, a petition from the Landlord Rights Association of B.C., with nearly 18,000 signatures, argues B.C.’s tenancy laws are unfairly slanted in favour of renters.

Click to play video: 'Expecting couple facing $600 rent hike for baby'

Expecting couple facing $600 rent hike for baby

In December 2023, Global News reported on a Vancouver woman who was eight months pregnant who said her landlord was threatening to raise the rent once her child was born.

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Joy Maynard and Antoine Moore had been living in their Vancouver basement suite since April 2021.

They told their landlord earlier in the summer about the pregnancy and Maynard said he informed them that his son is the owner of the house so they needed to talk to his son about these matters.

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That’s when they said they were informed that any additional occupant would cost them $600 a month.

“We also told them that my mom is coming to visit. The son said that my mom is going to be considered an occupant,” Maynard said.

“So any rules that they have pertaining to occupants applies to my mom and as well to the baby. So there was a set amount in our lease that spoke about new occupants and it was $600 per person. We were hoping $600 for a baby would have seemed ridiculous to everybody, but they were like, ‘No, this is what it says in your lease. It’ll be that for the baby regardless. So there would be a stiff increase in your rent.’”

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Following that story, B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said the landlord should “give his head a shake” and indicated legislative changes could be coming.

“We know the majority of landlords are excellent, we know the majority of renters are fantastic, and what we have is a system where on the ends of a spectrum we have people who abuse the system,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Hundreds of B.C. landlords rally in support of petition, claim provincial laws working against them'

Hundreds of B.C. landlords rally in support of petition, claim provincial laws working against them

In early March, more than 200 upset landlords and their supporters gathered outside Kahlon’s office in Delta for a rally.

The rally was in support of a B.C.-based petition launched in October 2023.

Those in attendance believed the current tenancy laws were being abused by problematic tenants. They believed the current set of rules, regulations and laws were “outdated” and were discouraging potential and existing landlords from renting out viable spaces.

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“We still need some fairness and protection for the landlord,” Feng Lin, a Metro Vancouver landlord, said at the rally.

“(We) have very limited protection. For example, if the tenant is not paying rent, it takes months or even longer to have the right to evict a tenant. The procedure takes really long and then in the end even if (they) successfully evict a tenant, the landlord cannot get the rent.”

This story will be updated following the announcement at 11:30 a.m.

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