VANCOUVER ISLAND, B.C – Residents in British Columbia who are facing evictions due to renovations or demolitions are getting more security from the government.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, changes to the Residential Tenancy Act officially came into effect as of May 18th.    

The changes are aimed at providing tenants better compensations and protections should they be facing an eviction as a result of a landlord renovating or demolishing their residence.  

Among the new protections are rules that provide renters more time to find a new residence or to dispute an eviction if the landlord requires it to be empty.

The changes will also increase the amount of compensation a landlord must pay a former tenant if they end a tenancy for renovation/demolition and then do not follow through on their plans.

This compensation would also apply in situations where the landlord uses a “vacate” clause because they had plans to move back in, but then re-rented the unit to someone else.

A first right of refusal for tenants will be given to tenants in multi-unit buildings who are evicted because of renovation or repair.

According to the ministry, the requirement to offer units to the original tenant will also help address improper uses of this provision by allowing tenants to confirm that the renovations did, in fact, occur.

All updated forms and guidelines and information about the amendments, including questions and answers can be found online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=8BDF58F680E34E83A15F706D3BAB4113