Guide to Municipal Tenant Protections in the Lower Mainland

Over the last year, some municipalities have begun to take action to protect tenants against the wave of renovictions and demovictions that are pushing low-income people out of their homes and communities. This is an encouraging development, since provincial government has done very little to address this issue.

How does does the City of Vancouver's tenant protections stack up against other municipalities?

 

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Tenant Relocation Policy

A formal process that forces landlords who want to redevelop their property to help re-house their tenants and/or compensate them for having to leave

Penalizing Renovictions

Policies, such as fines, that discourage landlords from “renovicting” tenants in bad faith in order to raise rents on a suite

Right of First Refusal

Landlords must offer a renovicted/ demovicted tenants the right to return to their suite after work is complete - ideally at a similar rent as before

Vacancy Controls

Limited annual rent increases (rent control) is tied to the unit, instead of the tenant

Rental Only Zoning

Designating parts of a city so that any new development must be for rental housing

Provincial (applies to all municipalities in B.C.)

Limited;

- Four month Notice to End Tenancy for Renoviction/Demoviction

- Two month Notice to End Tenancy for Landlord use of property

- Final month is rent-free

- No moving costs, no relocation assistance. 

No;

- Landlords must only give four months' notice (on proper form[1]) to end tenancy for demolition, renovation or repair, or conversion. Tenants have 30 days to dispute the notice

Limited;

- Only applies if building containing 5 or more units

- Landlords must offer this if renovicting or demoviction, but they do not have to offer an affordable rent; New rent can be  determined by the landlord

No;

Annual Allowable increases set by the Residential Tenancy Branch are only tied to a tenancy. If a  tenant moves or is evicted, landlord has no limit on rent increases

No; 

In 2018 the Province gave municipal governments the authority[2] to enact rental only zoning, but the province cannot legislate local zoning laws

Vancouver

Limited;


-
Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy (TRPP)[3] applies to buildings with 6 or more units in specific geographic areas  and to land assemblies.

- Compensation for tenants to leave ranges from 4-24 months rent, depending on the length of tenancy

- Assistance relocating tenant to comparable unit in size and rent in the same neighbourhood 

- Does not apply to renovations involving building permits (small scale reno’s)

Limited;

- Collaboration with provincial Residential Tenancy Branch to penalize illegal behaviour

- Landlord must disclose of scope of work to to city to provide clarity on whether the unit must be vacated

- Notifying tenants of their rights in cases where a building is sold

Limited;

In cases where the TRPP applies, tenants are entitled to a 20% discount on starting market rents on the new unit

Limited;

- Vacancy controls will apply to 20% of the units in new private rental developments that are built under the Moderate Income Rental Housing Pilot Project[4]  (MIRHPP) - These vacancy controlled suites are priced at rents meant to be affordable to household  incomes of $30-$80K

Limited;

- Preservation of existing rental stock is ensured through 1:1 replacement under Rate of Change bylaw[5] and RHS ODP

- Only applies to about 78% of the rental housing stock. Rentals along arterials excluded. No affordability requirement for replacement units.

 

Burnaby[6] [7]

Yes;

- Applies to buildings with 5 or more units

- Offers a rent "top up" on a privately owned unit during reno's or construction.  Upper limit of top up determined by CMHC median rent +30%: $1545 for a one-bedroom and $1840 for a two bedroom.

- Moving expenses of $900 1 Bdrm and $1400 for 2 Bdrm

Yes;

(Further analysis required to enforce through Business Licenses)

Yes;


- Right of first refusal to a replacement unit at the same rent as if tenancy was uninterrupted

- Priority placement in unclaimed replacement units on other properties

- Applies to tenants evicted up to 24 months prior to rezoning application submittal (which means all of the people displaced through developer buyouts will be eligible)

Limited;

On new private rental developments only.

Yes;

- New developments must have 20% of their units as rental.

 - Density offsets can be used to achieve affordability of 20% below CMHC

- 1:1 replacement of rental units lost in demolition

New Westminster

Yes;

Tenant Relocation Policy[8] (for Demovictions)
- Applies to buildings with
6 or more units
- Compensation is
three months rent, regardless of the length of tenancy
Bylaw 8085, 2019 (For Renovations)

- Landlord must also provide alternate accommodations for the tenant during the renovations

Yes;

Bylaw 8085, 2019

- Fine ranging from $500 - $1000 for eviction without permits; eviction without relocating tenant; failure to provide relocation agreement; failure to provide relocation documentation or an excessive rent increase

Yes;

Bylaw 8085, 2019[9]

- Following renovations, Landlord must allow the tenant to return to the renovated unit without a rent increase, (beyond provincial annual increase)

No

Yes;

Bylaw 8078, 2019[10]:

- Currently applies to 6 properties 12 city-owned properties

- Ban on strata conversion[11] (turning rental buildings into condos)

Port Coquitlam

Yes;

Business Bylaw 3725:
As an alternative to right of first refusal, landlords may relocate displaced tenants to a comparable unit in the building at the same rent.

Yes;

Business Bylaw 3725:
- Fines for violating Bylaw 3725 are up to $10,000

Yes;

Business Bylaw 3725:

- Applies to buildings with 5 or more units

- Landlords who require their tenants to vacate a unit for renovations must provide alternative accommodation and let tenants move back in without a rent increase.

No

No


[5] City of Vancouver Rate of Change regulation bylaw: https://council.vancouver.ca/20070417/documents/p4.pdf