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Province responds to housing task force with steps to protect renters, landlords…

In addressing the recommendations of the provincial Rental Housing Task Force, the BC government is moving ahead immediately with increased public education and bolstered enforcement to better protect the rights of both renters and landlords. Learn more: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019MAH0083-000903

VICTORIA, BC: In addressing the recommendations of the provincial Rental Housing Task Force, the B.C. government is moving ahead immediately with increased public education and bolstered enforcement to better protect the rights of both renters and landlords.

“To make renting work better for everyone, we need to make sure both renters and landlords know their rights under the law and have a place to go when there’s an issue with those rights,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Housing is the foundation of people’s lives. We want to create a rental market where there are no surprises, renters and landlords are treated fairly and there is better security for both sides.”

All of the task force recommendations will be addressed through three phases. Immediate Phase 1 actions focus on better public education, enhanced enforcement and improved co-ordination with local governments to address specific issues in their communities, including renovictions.

“Renters and landlords told us that, in many cases, problems could have been avoided if people had known their rights and responsibilities,” said MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, chair of the Rental Housing Task Force and Premier’s advisor on residential tenancy. “They also told us enforcement was key, as there are people who knowingly break the laws, and only strong enforcement will stop them.

Building on the Phase 1 actions underway, Phase 2 work will include further actions by the end of 2019. Recommendations that require legislative changes, additional resources, stakeholder consultations or policy work, such as rental restrictions in strata units, will be considered as part of Phase 3, with actions to come in 2020.

These steps build on long-overdue investments in the RTB that are beginning to address service concerns reported by the task force. For example, call wait times are now down to five minutes, well below the 45-minute average in 2017. The branch has also started recording information calls and is developing a new case management system to streamline its processes.

Action on housing and ensuring fairness for tenants and landlords are shared priorities between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and are part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Written and released by BC Government.

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PJXM News is a small citizen media out of Prince George, BC. PJXM dishes out Police news from BC's Central Interior and up to the Peace Region.
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