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Residential Tenancy Reforms: What You Need to Know

You may already be aware that significant changes are underway with the Residential Tenancies Act. The government has been gradually implementing these changes as they engage with various stakeholder groups to refine regulations.

The most recent amendments took effect as of March 1st, 2024. These changes encompass several key points:

  • Limiting rent increases to once every twelve months. Previously landlords were able to increase rent sooner than twelve months by mutual agreement with the tenant providing the tenant was receiving something ie. Installing solar panels.
  • Agents can no longer charge tenants a flat fee for subletting or assigning a lease. Rather an agency may charge an hourly rate for the processing involved in coordinating subletting or assigning a lease.
  • New and tougher penalties. The penalties involved in not abiding by the act have in some cases been increased by up to 10 times what they were previously. In most cases, expiation fees start at $1,200 and maximum penalties range from $20,000 to $50,000.

For more detailed information on maximum penalties and expiation fees, please visit this link.

It’s worth noting that these changes may not directly impact the majority of our clients. However, one penalty to be mindful of is the requirement for landlords to provide a 14-day notice to tenants or prospective tenants when selling their rental property. Failure to provide this notice incurs penalties, including a $1,200 expiation fee and a maximum penalty of $20,000. If you’re considering selling your property, please inform your property manager as soon as possible.

The government continues to work on regulations for additional law changes. While we refrain from speculating on future changes until we have seen the regulations, it’s essential to recognize that the devil is in the detail. We anticipate that future laws may impose restrictions on the information we’re allowed to collect during the application process. Rest assured, we will keep you informed once we have more clarity on these matters.

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