Provincial Residency Tenants Act Removes Penalty – Strengthens Protection For Renters Experiencing Violence

Courtesy BBC

Victoria – Changes to B.C.’s tenancy law will provide greater protection to renters who are experiencing violence inside or outside of their home by allowing them to end their tenancy early.

“Everyone should feel safe in their home,” said Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity. “With these changes, anyone who experiences violence can make decisions about their housing that are right for them and their loved ones without having to worry about paying extra rent.”

There are existing provisions under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) that allow a renter, or their dependent, who has been a victim of family violence to end a tenancy agreement early without financial penalty. Changes are being made to the RTA to include all renters experiencing violence within or outside of the home. If staying in the rental home threatens their own safety or the safety of another occupant, such as a roommate, they will now be eligible to end their tenancy.

These changes are the result of a private member’s bill that was passed in 2019 and comes into effect on Saturday, May 30, 2020.

A list of authorized third-party verifiers can be found in the Residential Tenancy Regulations: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/477_2003#section39

For more information on the changes to the Residential Tenancy Act, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/ending-a-tenancy/ending-a-tenancy-in-special-circumstances/family-violence-or-long-term-care

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