Changes to B.C.’s tenancy law will provide greater protection to renters who are experiencing violence inside or outside of their homes by allowing them to end their tenancy early.
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.
Under the new legislation, violence includes activities that have or are likely to have a negative effect on the security, safety or physical well-being of a renter, their dependents or another occupant, if they remain in the rental homes. For example, a person living in a rental home who is being harassed or threatened by someone they know, or a stranger, may be able to end their rental agreement without financial penalty.
Secure housing and ensuring fairness for renters and landlords are shared priorities between government and the BC Green Party caucus and are part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Did you know?
- According to this website, one woman in Canada dies every six days as a result of domestic violence. Violence against women costs taxpayers and governments about $7.4 billion per year to deal with the aftermath of spousal violence alone. Don’t like the cost? Stop the typically male-perpetuated violence. And start attaching gender to not just the victim (most commonly female) but also to the perpetrator (most commonly male).