New Renoviction Laws - What We Know


It’s been three years since the provincial government’s Rental Housing Task Force delivered their report calling to “Stop Renovictions”. Since then, the government has been slow to make this happen.

Earlier this year, the new Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby introduced Bill 7 - the Tenancy Statutes Amendment Act which will come into effect on July 1, 2021. 

Bill 7 includes the most significant change we’ve seen to Renoviction laws so far, but stops short of outlawing them altogether.

What we know:

  • BC will no longer have a legal eviction form for the purposes of Renovations or Repairs

  • Not all types of renovictions are banned, but your landlord must apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) with proper evidence before they can evict you
  • The government has a list of what types of repairs might require you to move out (see chart at the end). 


  • Landlords could serve tenant with an RTB-29 eviction form “Four Months' Notice to End Tenancy For Demolition, Renovation, Repair or Conversion of a Rental Unit” with no prior warning. Many have no merit but are so easy to serve that they can be used to induce tenants into taking buyouts or leaving “voluntarily”.

  • If a tenant is aware of their rights, they can dispute the eviction at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB)

  • The RTB arbitrator decides if the eviction is in "good faith

  • If the eviction is struck down, the landlord can usually keep trying over and over and over

NEW LAW (Starting July 1, 2021):

  • Landlords can no longer issue an eviction notice for "Renovation or Repair" directly to tenants (likely this wording will removed from the RTB-29 Eviction form)

  • In order to evict a tenant, a landlord must submit an application to the RTB with evidence that:
    • They have necessary permits and approvals
    • The renovations or repairs are necessary to prolong or sustain the use of the rental unit or the building in which the rental unit is located
    • The only reasonable way to achieve the necessary vacancy is to end the tenancy agreement.

  • If an RTB arbitrator determines that the landlord’s proposal for work would require “vacant possession” (the tenant moving out permanently), then the RTB will give the landlord an “Order of Possession”
    • This will still give tenants 4 months notice with the last month free
    • Tenants will still be able to dispute the eviction, but exactly how this process will look is not yet known


The Good:

  • Short of outlawing all renovations completely, this is a good added layer of bureaucracy that could disincentivize landlords from trying to make frivolous renoviction attempts, and should allow the RTB to catch any that have absolutely no merit.

  • Tenants have some new grounds to argue with. Bill 7 adds a new subsection that makes it so landlords can only evict for renovations that are “necessary to prolong or sustain the use of the rental unit or building.” Tenants can now challenge renovictions by arguing that the renovations are not necessary. This should, in theory, put an end to the practice of renovicting for cosmetic or other minor changes. 


The Bad:

  • Fundamentally, these changes will not end renovictions. Renters should watch very carefully to see what RTB arbitrators are allowing landlords to get away with.

  • Renovicted tenants still only get 1 month’s rent as compensation. Landlords who do not actually do the renovations may have to pay 12 months’ rent, but can get out of it for “extenuating circumstances”. It always has been, and will continue to be, difficult for tenants to prove that they are entitled to this compensation.

  • The economic incentive to renovict remains because rents can be jacked up drastically when a tenant moves out - vacancy control would be a more effective way of preventing renovictions, because it removes a big part of the incentive for landlords

  • As ever, a major problem is that renters do not know their rights. These new rules are a significant shift in the way renovictions are handled, at a time when development is only accelerating. Landlords can continue to renovict by tricking tenants who don’t know their rights, or using pressure tactics like buyout offers and various forms of harassment. VTU members have seen first-hand that these tactics disproportionately displace low income, elderly and racialized renters. The Province and City should be working very hard to deliver this information clearly in multiple languages.

The province created these a tables from RTB Policy Guideline 2b, which shows what kind of renovations may require an eviction:

A text grid laying out:Type of Renovation or Repair; Disruption to tenants; Requires Vacancy?  The following types of repair are usually minimal disruption and unlikely to require vacancy: Electrical service replacement; Replacing receptacles and switches; Rewiring a circuit; Boiler/furnace replacement; Hydronic heating system upgrades; Electric baseboard heater replacement; Mechanical Elevator modernization; Plumbing Re-pipe; Replacing faucets and fixtures; Replacing bathtubs/toilets; Structural/Exterior Exterior window/glass door replacement; Roof replacement; Building envelope repair/remediation; Exterior painting; Balcony repair/remediation; Seismic upgrades. The following repairs may be significant and may require vacancy: Demolishing load bearing walls; Full rewire of the rental unit; Fire sprinkler installation/replacement.A text grid laying out:Type of Renovation or Repair; Disruption to tenants; Requires Vacancy?  The following types of repair are usually minimal disruption and unlikely to require vacancy: Replacing cabinets/vanities/countertops; Replacing backsplashes; Interior painting; Replacing interior doors; Replacing flooring/baseboards; Replacing appliances; Adding appliances; Demolishing a non-load bearing wall; Minor asbestos remediation, The following repairs may be significant and require vacancy: Full interior wall and ceiling demolition.



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