Importants Changes Coming for Tenants, Landlords and Strata Property Owners in Greater Vancouver, BC

The BC governmetn this month introduced Bill 40. This legistlation proposes some changes to Residential Tenancy Act and Strata Property Act. It reflects consultation with and wide support of landlord and tenant groups as well as condominium owners’ associations.

There are two proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act:

  1. Tenants can terminate a fixed-term lease: In case if someone fleeing violence or headed for long-term care will be able to terminate a fixed-term lease early without any financial penalty. Tenants will be permitted to give their landlord only one month’s written notice, accompanied by written third-party verification from a professional. In the coming months, the government will draft a regulation that defines “qualified professionals.” They'll likely include victim services workers and justice system and healthcare professionals.
  2. Electronic funds transfer: In keeping with government’s goal to reduce red tape, landlords will be able to repay security deposits electronically.

An important change to the Strata Property Act

The BC government is also proposing to allow strata corporation members to terminate the strata corporation by an 80 per cent vote and a court order.

Currently, a unanimous vote is required, which can make it harder to wind up a strata corporation when a building is at the end of its life cycle. Needing a unanimous vote is also challenging when strata members face expensive repair bills and want to sell their property for redevelopment.

“This will be a welcome change for condo owners struggling with aging buildings,” said Tony Gioventu, executive director, Condominium Home Owners Association. He explained that a unanimous vote is virtually impossible in most strata corporations as it requires every owner to vote in favour of termination.