Seeking Feedback on Proposed Changes to Help Protect Tenants from Bad Faith Renovation Evictions
Bill or Act:
Residential Tenancies Act, 2006
Summary of Decision:
Bill 97 received Royal Assent on June 8, 2023, and amends the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to:
-Require landlords provide tenants with written notifications about the status of renovations/repairs without delay, including estimated completion date, any date changes, and notification when the unit will be ready for occupancy.
-Require landlords provide a minimum 60-day grace period after the rental unit is ready for occupancy.
-Permit a tenant to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a remedy, regardless of length of renovations/repairs, if the landlord fails to meet the above noted requirements (up to the later of two years after the tenant moved out, or six months after renovations/repairs are completed)
-Require landlords provide, along with the eviction notice, a report from a qualified person stating renovations/repairs are so extensive that they require vacant possession.
-In support of the amendments, enable the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations identifying qualifications of persons providing reports, and setting report requirements.
The changes come into force on Proclamation.
Feedback on the changes was mixed. Some raised concerns about creating new costs/burdens for landlords, potentially leading to reduced rental supply. Some recommended contractors as qualified to provide reports on vacancy.
Some feedback focused on other renovation/repair eviction rules, including that renovated units be rented at the same rate to returning or new tenants. Some advocated for expanded rent control and increased tenant compensation to reduce incentives for bad faith evictions. Some noted tenants are often unaware of their rights and may not benefit from the changes.
Municipal sector feedback recommended further municipal consultation to ensure alignment with local renovations initiatives. Some requested better resourcing to existing support services for displaced tenants.
The government is considering feedback to inform any future regulations.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
The requirement for landlords to provide tenants evicted due to renovations/repairs with a document stating that the rental unit must be vacant would have financial impacts on landlords in the future, once this requirement is in force. This requirement would not come into force until such time as the appropriate persons authorized to provide the documents are determined and set out in regulation. Work on future regulations would consider the administrative burden and costs to landlords, which would depend on the types of persons authorized under regulation to provide the documents, and their associated fees.
The changes, once proclaimed, also require landlords to provide new written notifications to tenants regarding the status of renovations.
April 6, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
The government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) intended to protect tenants from bad faith evictions due to renovations/repairs.
S.50 of the RTA allows a landlord to evict a tenant for renovations/ repairs, if they are so extensive they require a building permit and require the unit be vacant.
The Act requires landlords to provide tenants with the 'right of first refusal.' This means the tenant has the right to move back into the unit when renovations/repairs are done, provided they give the landlord notice in writing before vacating the unit and inform the landlord of any change in address.
A landlord cannot refuse a tenant's request to re-occupy the unit and cannot charge more rent than the tenant would be paying had they not moved out. If a landlord fails to provide a tenant right of first refusal, the tenant can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) for a remedy up to two years after they vacate the unit.
Currently, the RTA does not require landlords to provide tenants with information regarding status of renovations/repairs and completion date. The Act also does not require landlords to give tenants a 'grace period' to re-occupy the unit once renovations/repairs are complete.
To provide clarity to landlords and help protect tenants, the government is proposing to amend the RTA to support tenants in exercising their right of first refusal and returning to their rental units once renovations/repairs are completed. The Act would be amended to:
-Require landlords to provide tenants without delay - in order to preserve the integrity of their right of first refusal - with written notifications about the status of renovations/repairs, including estimated completion date and any changes to this date, as well as a final notification, once the renovations/repairs are completed stating when the unit will be ready for re-occupancy.
-Require landlords provide tenants with a grace period of at least 60 days after the day the rental unit is ready for occupancy for the tenant to move back in. This will help enable the tenant to provide the required 60-day notice to end their tenancy in their temporary accommodation, if they are renting elsewhere while renovations/repairs are completed
-Permit a tenant whose landlord fails to provide, or delays, written status notifications and/or grace period to apply to the LTB for a remedy for the landlord's failure to provide right of first refusal
-Permit a tenant whose landlord fails to provide right of first refusal to apply to the LTB for a remedy regardless of length of renovations/repairs (i.e. up to the later of two years after the tenant moved out, or six months after renovations/repairs are completed)
The Act would also be amended to require landlords obtain and provide, along with the eviction notice, a report from a qualified person stating the renovations/repairs are so extensive they require the rental unit to be vacant.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing would be provided with authority to make regulations that identify qualifications of a person who could provide reports, and set other requirements related to the reports.
1 What feedback, if any, do you have on the legislative proposals above?
2 What types of qualifications should individuals who provide these reports be required to have? Are there specific professions that have these qualifications?
3 What information should reports be required to include?
Royal Assent Date:
June 8, 2023