VIDEO: Education, enforcement aimed at B.C. landlord, tenant infractions

New compliance office investigates repeat offenders, levies big fines

A new compliance unit for B.C.’s Residential Tenancy Branch puts teeth into enforcement for landlords or tenants who repeatedly violate B.C.’s laws, Housing Minister Selina Robinson says.

Education about things like scheduling landlord visits and allowing for renovations can solve many of the issues, Robinson said Wednesday. The enforcement unit adds a second stage to ensure compliance that includes fines of up to $5,000 per day for landlords who won’t comply with repair orders or other major changes.

“We have all heard too many stories about broken relationships – renters living in substandard housing because they were too scared to complain in a highly competitive rental market, landlords being left with thousands of dollars worth of damage when renters move out,” Robinson said. “These broken relationships are symptoms of the same problem, a rental housing market that isn’t working for landlords or for renters.”

Robinson introduced the head of the Residential Tenancy Branch compliance and enforcement unit, Scott McGregor, who explained that his office is a second line of defence if branch hearings and orders do not make someone comply.

He gave the example of a Surrey landlord who had been subject to five hearings determining he had to make repairs to a tenant’s suite.

“Orders as a result of those hearings had actually resulted in a rent reduction down to zero, so the renter was no longer paying rent, but the repairs were still not being made,” McGregor said.

“The landlord did not do that. Therefore we levied the fine against the landlord.”

READ MORE: Landlord accused of pointing gun in rent collection

READ MORE: B.C. increases tenant rights in demolitions, renovations

Robinson said additional staff at the branch have reduced the wait time for callers getting through with their concerns about a landlord or tenants. A public information program is coming out to help people understand their rights and obligations for situations like arranging repairs.

Tenants should know they can arrange to stay in their homes while minor repairs are completed, and landlords should know the rules around having people move out for major repairs, Robinson said.

The province is still considering some of the recommendations of its rental task force, including a call to prevent strata councils from banning rentals in their buildings.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Canfor looking at possible repurposing of Vavenby sawmill site

Company open to suggestions on what the site could be used for

Lacarya ladies golf report for July 10

Weather gods kindly provided a dry afternoon so 15 ladies could play at Lacarya Golf Course

NDP candidate wants to make communities more affordable

Gina Myhill-Jones also counts rich volunteer experience as an asset to her potential as a politician

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Most Read