May 22, 2012
Fight, Fight, Fight or a Search for Social Justice?
According to a story in the Peacearch News, BC tenants with may soon find it easier to fight their landlords.
The Surrey government has asked the Lower Mainland Local Government Association to lobby the province to amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.
Amend the BC RTA?
Surry councilor Judy Villeneuve received unanimous council support for a resolution calling for a change in Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act.
What is Part 5 of the Residential Tenancy Act about?
Part 5 of the RTA states how tenants can enforce their ‘tenant rights’ against landlords. Tenants who have issues with their landlords must now go to court and present and prove their case.
So What’s Wrong With That?
According to Villeneuve having to make and defend your case is too difficult and too bureaucratic for tenants.
The Surrey resolution states: “Tenants who wish to enforce their rights under the RTA must navigate a complex bureaucratic and legal process and be prepared to spend significant amounts of time and money to engage the process.” It goes on to say “Creating barriers for tenants to access the RTA, especially tenants with low incomes of vulnerabilities.”
Villeneuve goes on to voice her concern that many rental properties in British Columbia were built 25 to 30 years ago. She says “Tenants are living in untenable situations.”
Wait a Minute. To Create More Private Rentals You Increase Government Interference in the Market?
Villeneuve and Surrey Council seem to think so. Which is strange because even the former Ontario NDP government under Premier Bob Rae found out otherwise. Our friends at the Ontario Landlords Association explain the NDP 1991 rent increase exemption here.
Let’s hope Villeneuve and Surrey Councilors come together and rent out their basements and invest in some private multiplexes to help create more high quality, new rental stock in the province.
Don’t hold your breath.