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Province introduces changes to rules governing landlords, renters

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The province will make it easier for landlords to boot out lawbreaking tenants who pose a risk to other renters, while protecting tenants from needless displacement due to building renovations.

The Selinger government will also seek a more transparent process for setting annual rent increases, possibly linking them to the Consumer Price Index or some other prescribed formula.

Today, the government introduced Bill 40 (The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act). It said the amendments will better protect tenants while reducing paperwork and red tape for landlords.

Proposed changes would include:

  • allowing landlords to kick out tenants whose illegal activities affect the security and well-being of other renters or damage property;
  • requiring landlords to compensate tenants for moving costs, as well as for the expense of higher rent, when landlords have purposefully created an undesirable living environment during renovations to displace a tenant;
  • reforming the appeals process to allow for more expedient implementation of rulings where tenants have not paid their rent; and
  • allowing landlords to charge a higher pet damage deposit for new tenants to encourage more of them to allow pets in their buildings.

Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Rondeau said the province will also strengthen requirements from landlords seeking an exemption to boost rents above government guidelines due to renovations. It will also limit the frequency in which landlords can apply for such exemptions.

Rondeau said the government will also be revisiting the amount landlords are allowed to charge in extra rent to pay for renovations, with an eye to reducing rent increases.

In the April 16 provincial budget, the government announced a new affordable rental housing construction tax credit for developers and a commitment to build 1,000 new social and affordable housing units over the next three years. It also boosted funding to the RentAid shelter benefits for tenants.

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