The province is looking to close a loophole in the Residential Tenancy Act that allows for renovictions. Neil Corbett/The News

New government takes aim at renovictions loophole

Maple Ridge MLA says tenants at risk of becoming homeless

The province will close the loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act that allow renovictions to happen.

As seniors and other tenants in the 22 units at the Esme Manor apartments in Maple Ridge look for new homes, Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare said the provincial government is aware of the issue.

“We’re very concerned by these evictions,” said Beare, who was recently named to the new NDP government’s cabinet as the minister of tourism, arts and culture. “And they’re at a time when Maple Ridge is facing challenges with homelessness.”

Tenants in eight units on the three-level building’s top floor have been evicted to make way for renovations, and told that they can return in two months, but with their former $750 per month rents hiked to the $1,000 range.

Some, like Robert and Gail Halliday, say they have nowhere to go, and they will refuse to leave.

Others say they may be left homeless. One resident at a press conference outside the building on Monday said he just got two months eviction notice, and has rented a storage locker.

“If I can’t find a place at the last minute, my stuff goes into storage and I’m homeless again,” he said.

The press conference was called by the Alliance Against Displacement. Spokesperson Tingchun Chen called on the provincial government to take action.

“The provincial government needs to be accountable for the policy decisions they have made that have created the housing crisis, and step up and fix it, operating with municipal governments as well,” she said.

Beare said the renovictions have been discussed with the premier’s office, and Housing Minister Selina Robinson has a mandate to amend the Residential Tenancy Act.

“It’s clear the law does not do enough to protect tenants,” said Beare. “We’re planning to close the loophole and make sure tenants are better protected.”

That loophole allows landlords to evict tenants for renovations, then raise rents beyond the annual maximum. For 2017, the maximum allowable rent increase is 3.7 per cent. For a unit renting at $750 per month, the maximum increase would be approximately $28 per month.

Beare said BC Housing staff were on site meeting with tenants on Monday, and the province will work with the landlord and the city to ensure no tenants are left homeless.

Just Posted

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Girls provincial volleyball hosted at NVSS

Viqueens and locals treat visitors like royalty

Snowbirds, F-18s, Skyhawks at 2018 Vanderhoof Airshow!

Demonstration teams confirmed at Council of Airshows convention

Some visitors to Northern Health facilities asked to wear a surgical mask

The new flu policy is in effect at all Northern Health facilities

Climate change could help producers in northern B.C.

Agriculture coordinator brings excitement and vision to the region

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Strong economy fuels housing sales in B.C.: report

Economist says demand for houses is being supported by a large number of millennials entering the market

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

B.C. polygamous leader argues charge should be dropped in charter challenge

Winston Blackmore argues some of the evidence shouldn’t be used against him

LETTER: Proportional representation makes votes count

Fair Vote Canada representative responds to Tom Fletcher column

Most Read