British Columbia Sun

B.C. Supreme Court stops Vancouver bylaws restricting rent increase between single occupancy housing-tenancies

BC

Key takeaways: 

  • The ruling settled with two owners who claimed the city didn’t have the power to restrict rent increases.
  • In January, two-property landlords independently got lawsuits against the city, claiming that the town overreached its power. 
  • The two petitions were heard together in April.

An order from the Supreme Court of B.C. stopped bylaws set in place by the City of Vancouver in December restricting how much property landlords could raise the rents of single-room housing (SRA) between tenancies.

A ruling given this week by Justice Karen F. Douglas saw that the city, under its Vancouver Charter, does not have the power to set how a property landlord changes to lease for what is also known as SROs — single room occupancy housing — when a renter moves out, because of disputes with the regional Residential Tenancy Act.

The new rent rules from Vancouver were enacted late last year. They were meant to keep rents down for housing designed to provide affordable housing for people with meager earnings who face substantial obstacles. As of 2019, about 6,680 open SRA rooms across 157 SRA facilities in the downtown core.

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An order from the Supreme Court of B.C. stopped bylaws set in place by the City of Vancouver in December restricting how much property landlords could raise the rents of single-room housing (SRA) between tenancies

In January, two-property landlords independently got lawsuits against the city, claiming that the town overreached its power. The two pleas were heard jointly in April.

“I blend with the petitioners that the City is forbidden from legislating, by using its business licensing authority, to control persons who are already subject to regulation by the Province, run at the same dominant purpose, even if it is likely to yield with both legislative schemes,” wrote Douglas.

Councilor Jean Swanson brought the initial motion to the council and said the actions were meant to prevent owners from doubling or even tripling costs for mostly three-by-three-meter spaces with no kitchen and shared bathrooms.

Source – CBC News

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