July 18th, 2012
ACORN Wants to Amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act!
A US based group now in Canada has started a new campaign called “Healthy Homes”
Healthy Homes? That Sounds Like a Good Thing
The group is called ACORN. Their campaign is to get the province to amend the British Columbia Residential Tenancy Act.
How Would that Create “Healthy Homes”?
ACORN’s Susan Collard claims to hear stories from tenants that are horrendous “all the time.” She says one of the most important issues tenants face is trying to get repairs completed.
According to Collard, some tenants have fought their landlords for two and half years trying to get repairs done.
I’m a Landlord and I Do Repairs on my Properties ASAP!
Collard continued: “[They've] been battling landlords for two and a half years. It has gone to Supreme Court and so far all [they've] gotten out of it is an eviction notice and the repairs still haven’t been done.”
So What is Her Proposed Solution?
She says one solution is proper enforcement. Collard explains explains too often complaints won’t be taken seriously. “To use what laws we currently have to the full extent. You need reforms around the amount of time it takes to get repairs done.”
What Reforms are Proposed?
Collard adds the structure of the Residential Tenancy Branch also needs to be re-jigged to ensure it has both sides of the story. Currently, Collard says the branch will only speak with the landlords.
Is The Government Going Along With Their Proposals?
The NDP has responded.
Let Me Guess, the NDP Wants more “Tenant Rights”
The British Columbia NDP housing critic Shane Simpson remembers visiting a rental property in his Vancouver riding.
Simpson recalls: “It had been left in disrepair for years and years,” he said. “The roof of the building collapsed.”
Does Simpson Want to Change the Residential Tenancy Act?
He believes the Act lacks tools for tenants to “push back” and battle “bad landlords.”
Simpson believes that after substantial renovations tenants should have the right to return to the rental at “fair rates.” He also wants the province to be able to intervene in situations where municipalities are not taking action.
According to Simpson there is no doubt the Act needs to be reviewed, and changed.
So the NDP Agrees With ACORN?
It looks that way. Which means the next provincial election is very important for BC landlords and investors.