New securities to protect tenants who are evicted due to renovations came into effect this week. (Stock photo)

Renters in British Columbia who are facing evictions as a result of renovation or demolition can have a bit more piece of mind now that new protections and compensations have officially come into effect.

The provincial government made a series of changes to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) this week that will provide stronger protections for tenants.

The biggest changes include providing tenants with more time to find alternate housing if their landlord ends a tenancy to demolish or renovate a unit, and more time to dispute a notice to end a tenancy for demolition, conversion, or renovation.

Landlords must now give four months’ notice to end tenancy for demolition, renovation or repair, or conversion—a two-month increase from the original terms. Tenants now have 30 days to dispute the notice.

Landlords must also now compensate a tenant 12 months’ rent if they end a tenancy for renovation/demolition and don’t actually follow through on those plans. This would apply in situations where the landlord uses a vacate clause because they had plans to move back in, but then re-rents the unit to someone else.

The changes also include a first right of refusal for tenants in multi-unit buildings who are evicted because of renovation or repair.

 

A full outline of the amendments to the RTA are available here.

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