During the past year, several changes were made to the BC Residential Tenancy Act. Below I highlight the key changes to be aware of:
- Fixed term tenancies no longer hold up except if a few specific conditions are met. To most landlords, the most useful of the conditions is that both the tenant and landlord agree that the tenancy will end. If a landlord wants them to vacate at the end of the fixed term, the only way to do this it to advise the tenant at the beginning and for both parties to sign a ‘Mutual Agreement to End Tenancy’.
- When increasing rent, 3 full calendar months notice must be given. The amount is a max of inflation plus 2%. The rental rate cannot increase more often than once every 12 months.
- Landlords must give tenants 4 months’ notice to vacate for demolition, renovation or repair, or conversion. If the landlord does not begin work within a reasonable amount of time after the tenant leaves, the punishment is 12 months rent to be paid to the tenant. If the complex has 5 units or more, then the tenant has first right of refusal to re-enter a tenancy agreement at the new market rent.