Nov 08, 2021

Town drafts bylaw to protect Ladysmith renters against ‘renovictions’

Ladysmith Council continues to support solutions for supporting more inclusive housing affordability and a new draft bylaw will help further protect local renters facing possible ‘renovictions.’

Council previously directed staff to prepare the new regulations (“Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Bylaw 2021, No. 2093”), which will be considered as part of the Tuesday, November 9, 2021 Committee of the Whole agenda.  

The term ‘renoviction’ refers to circumstances when a landlord/property owner evicts a tenant(s) to complete upgrades to a rental unit/and or building. 

However, in some situations, the eviction may have been unnecessary and the new monthly rent is increased significantly above what was once paid by the occupant, or lawfully permitted if there had been no interruption in the tenancy.  

Ladysmith’s current vacancy rate is 0% and any evictions for the purposes of carrying out renovations has the potential to displace current residents.

Furthermore, according to the recently completed Housing Needs Assessment, close to half of Ladysmith households paying market rental rates contribute over 30% of their income to rent, and of that total, 11% are contributing 50% of their income.  

The Residential Tenancy Act establishes the rights and responsibilities of both property owners and tenants.  The Act applies to tenancy agreements in British Columbia and any amendments are solely the responsibility of the Province.

However, the Community Charter grants a municipality the authority to establish a bylaw that can further regulate “rental units and residential property” that are subject to the Act.

The proposed bylaw to be considered by Council at a future meeting focuses on two complementary components: building standards and renovations and demolitions.  Specifics of both these components can be found in detail within the Committee of the Whole agenda.

Ladysmith Council has made the development of comprehensive affordability strategies that reflect the needs within our community an ongoing strategic priority throughout its term.

‘Renovictions’ Fast Facts:

  • * As of July 1, 2021, a landlord must obtain an order of possession from the Tenancy Act that requires among other conditions, that the renovations be in good faith and require the unit be vacant.
  • * A dispute resolution proceeding involving an arbitrator will decide if ending the tenancy is the only way to complete the proposed renovations.
  • * Not all renovations by a landlord require the tenant to move out.Click here for a table of common repairs or improvements and whether they likely require the unit to be vacant.
  • * The Tenancy Act requires the landlord compensate a renter if they are granted an order of possession to carry out repairs. If a tenant receives a Four Month Notice to End Tenancy for demolition or conversion they are also entitled to receive one month’s rent.
  • * Instances of renovictions are not isolated to larger municipalities.


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