Full text of Mayor Stewart’s recommendation motion to City Council:
1. Affordable rental units across Vancouver are being lost due to the practice of renovictions, leaving tenants with limited options in finding a similar unit at the previous rent, particularly after many years living in the same rental home;
2. The practice of renovictions disproportionately impacts elderly, low income families and new immigrants, creating housing insecurity, loss of affordable rental units and potential homelessness;
3. The British Columbia Rental Housing Task Force from December 2018 recommends stopping the practice of renovictions, identifies the current Residential Tenancy Act as having a lack of clear guidance and leaving “renters vulnerable to misinterpretation or abuse of the Act”, and identifies an opportunity for local governments to amend legislation and recommend policies; an
4. In February 2020, BC’s Supreme Court upheld New Westminster’s by-law aimed at discouraging renovictions, concluding that municipal governments can pursue by-laws to discourage bad faith renovictions and fine landlords.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
A. THAT the Mayor advocate to the Provincial Government, asking it to fulfill its
commitment to clarify and prevent renovictions under the Residential Tenancy
Act (RTA) with appropriate legislative changes.
B. THAT, if there is no Provincial commitment to address renoviction by end of
December 2020, Council direct staff to prepare a report in 2021, that outlines a
framework to protect renters during renovations or repairs on rental homes, that
a. Requirement that owners arrange alternative accommodation for tenants
during major repair or renovation on their unit;
b. Requirement that owners honour original tenancy agreement terms when
tenant returns to the unit;
c. A structure of penalties for owners who fail to meet the above
requirements, including fines;
d. Exploring financial mechanisms to support owners by incentivizing the
maintenance and renovations of rental units;
e. Defining the scope of staffing, resources and budget required to fulfill this
f. Determining if Vancouver Charter or other legislative changes are
required to ensure the City has proper authority to enforce the framework.