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New tenancy laws will overhaul both renter and landlord rights

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The province’s Residential Tenancies Amendment Act officially changes Aug. 1.

That’s when the Act will be proclaimed to bring in new protections for renters and reduce red tape for landlords, Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux said in a statement today.

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"We consulted landlords and tenants on this bill to ensure fairness and transparency, and I feel confident these changes address long-standing grievances from both sides," Lemieux said.

The new rules mean tenants must be compensated for moving costs and higher rental fees when landlords carry out renovations that create a major inconvenience, and are intended to drive tenants out.

Plus, the annual rent increase guideline must now be linked to the Consumer Price Index for Manitoba and must fall within the Bank of Canada's inflation-control target range.

The changes will also allow landlords to kick out law-breaking tenants if it affects the security and well-being of other tenants or causes damages.

The province says there are also changes to the appeals process so landlords can act faster on rulings where tenants have not paid their rent.

Landlords will also be allowed to charge a higher pet damage deposit for new tenants to encourage more landlords to allow pets in their buildings.

The province also says regulatory changes coming into effect Jan. 1, 2015, will strengthen requirements for exemptions from rent regulation due to renovations and limit how often landlords can apply for those exemptions. The changes will also spread the cost of some improvements over a longer period, which could result in smaller rent increases.

For more information go to www.manitoba.ca/rtb.

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