Most of us probably haven’t even heard of the changes that took effect on December 11, 2017 with the introduction of Bill 16 enacted by the BC legislator and known as “The Tenancy Amendment Act, 2017”.
If you have ever signed a fixed term residential tenancy agreement in BC chances are there would have been a little tick-box where you would select what happens at the end of the tenancy, whether the tenancy ends, the tenant moves out or if the tenancy would continue on a month-month basis.
Majority of the time that little box would be set to the tenancy ending. The expectation of the parties would be that at the end of the tenancy term the tenant either vacates the property or a new lease is negotiated.
The purpose of the fixed term tenancy was mainly in place to protect the landlord from a ‘forever’ tenant, because in BC and as in most Provinces a tenant who rents on a month-to-month basis could essentially, with a few exceptions, remain a tenant forever if the tenant did not default on the lease.
What most people think of when they think of as a fixed term tenancy is a tenancy set for a specific period at a specific price and that period or price cannot be changed during the term.
While most people would be surprised that the Residential Tenancy Act in BC actually currently permits the landlord to impose rent increases (currently to a maximum of 4% once per year) even on a fixed term tenancy, as of the introduction of Bill 16, all residential tenancies in BC, regardless of the lease wording will automatically revert to a month-to-month or ‘forever’ tenancy.
The changes that officially took effect December 11, 2017 applies not only to new leases entered into after the enactment of Bill 16, but it also applies to all existing tenancies.
Now the there are still a few circumstances for which the landlord can still terminate a month-to-month tenancy, such reasons include the landlord or an immediate family member of the landlord moving into the property, sale of the property or a substantial breach by the tenant.
For most tenants this is very good news as most tenants worry about the prospect of constantly moving or being forced to pay significantly higher rents at the end of a fixed term tenancy.
For landlords on the other hand perhaps the news is not so great because if there are significant changes in the rental market or if the landlord wishes only to engage in a limited time the landlord essentially has little choice but to provide long term housing.
Alex Khalil is a private lender & Mortgage Broker with Dominion Lending Centres - Mortgage Evolution - Want to see more articles like this one? Like my Facebook page - Looking for a mortgage or mortgage advice? Request a Call Or Apply Now.
Published by: admin in Advice