Vancouver renters forced out by redevelopment will get more compensation under new rules

By: Lisa Coxon on June 13, 2019

Vancouver City Council approved new measures on Tuesday that will provide more protection to renters who end up displaced because of redevelopment and renovations.

The new measures are amendments to the city’s Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy, which council voted to amend the policy back in December. They’ll include more compensation and assistance in finding permanent housing to renters who are forced to move.

“Thanks to these new renter protection and compensation policies, Vancouver renters now enjoy the most generous and comprehensive package of protections in Canada,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a news release. “These new measures provide an aggressive but thoughtful approach and sends a strong message that Vancouver will do everything in our power to stand up for renters while encouraging the development of new rental stock.”

Renters will be entitled to compensation only in cases where a development permit is issued. The compensation will not, however, apply to renovations where only a building permit is issued.

Global News reports that this has caused disgruntlement among tenants rights groups, who say the rules are limited in scope and effectively exclude some residents if “unscrupulous landlords could forgo development and try to skirt the rules by only using building permits for some jobs.”

The amount of compensation renters receive will be based on the length of their tenancy.

Someone who’s lived in a unit from one to five years will be eligible for four months’ rent in compensation — double what it was previously.

Someone who’s lived in a unit between five and 10 years will get five months’ rent. Renters who have been there for 10 to 20 years get six months’ rent. Those who have lived in a unit for 20-30 years get 12 months’ rent. A 30-40-year tenancy entitles the renter to 18 months’ rent. Renters who have lived in a unit for more than 40 years are entitled to receive two years’ rent.

“Compensation should be higher overall for all renters to address the burden and costs of relocation,” the council’s report said.

“Longer term tenants are generally more affected by displacement due to having lower rents compared to current market… The proposed compensation scale is based on advice from experienced tenant relocation specialists.”