Big Changes for ‘Renovictions’

Big Changes for ‘Renovictions’

May 16, 2018 | Finance, Local, Real Estate

Many prospective homebuyers look to the Okanagan not only for family homes, but also for potential rental properties. The Valley has plenty to offer for families and bachelors alike – and with more young professionals from the Lower Mainland choosing to make Kelowna home, the rental market is booming. However, buyers looking for rental properties, especially ones who intend to renovate, should beware of changes made to the Tenancy Act last month regarding evictions for renovation purposes, also known as ‘renovictions’.

Under previous BC law, when a landlord chooses to renovate or demolish a property that is currently rented out, tenants must be given two months eviction notice, with a 15 day period where they can dispute the eviction. The new changes to the Tenancy Act will double both of these numbers, giving renters a four month notice period and 30 days to dispute. However, the biggest change for landlords takes place post-renovations. Previously, landlords weren’t required to offer the home to the evicted tenants once renovations were finished, but under the new legislation many must be given the ‘first look’, with an offer to continue their tenancy.

The government believes these measures will alleviate tenant exploitation and help them crack down on landlords who choose to use this as a loophole only to evict, rather than actually do the renovations. If a landlord chooses not to follow these laws repercussions could be hefty; homeowners could face a fine of 12 months rent paid to the evicted tenants if found guilty.

While it’s a big change, it’s only one of the many laws in place to protect landlord/tenant interactions and leases. Anyone considering becoming a landlord in the Okanagan should take a look at BC’s Residential Tenancy laws and make sure to keep up with any news that will affect their rentals. Staying informed is best for both you and your tenants!

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