Recent changes to the Residential Tenancy Act

In May 17, 2018, several important changes were introduced to the Residential Tenancy Act.

Since then, Ask an Advocate has received a lot of questions from individuals curious to learn more about how this affects them.

Have a read, especially if you are a renter, as these changes are made retrospectively, meaning  it applies to current and future tenancy agreements!

To highlight some of these key changes,

1)    If a landlord wishes to end a tenancy for demolition, renovation or repair, or conversion of the rental unit, the landlord must now provide 4 Month Notice to end tenancy while tenants have 30 days to dispute the notice. Previously, a 2 Month Notice was required and tenants were required to dispute within 15 days.

Note: The notice should be served at least 4 months before the effective date of the notice and before the day that rent is due.

2)    If the landlord had ended the tenancy to renovate or repair the rental unit, the tenant holds a right of first refusal. This means the tenant has the right to enter into a new tenancy agreement at a rent determined by the landlord after the renovations are completed. If the tenant chooses to exercise this right, the landlord will need to provide a 45 day notice of availability and a tenancy agreement, OR *compensate the tenant 12 months’ rent

*In some circumstances this may be excused by an arbitrator

3)    If the landlord evicts the tenant to renovate or repair the rental unit but the stated changes never take place, the tenant could be compensated 12 months’ rent. Previously, it was 2 month’s rent.

In short,

Old New
Notice for demolition, reno’s or repairs 2 months 4 months
Time to dispute eviction notice 15 days 30 days
Compensation for “bad faith evictions” 2 months’ rent 12 months’ rent
Right of first refusal None Yes

To learn more, check out the Q&A section on the Ministry website.

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