On October 8th, the BC government introduced Bill 40. The proposed legislation changes were for Residential Tenancy Act and the Strata Property Act. The proposed changes were to reflect consultation with and wide support of landlord and tenant groups as well as condominium owners’ association.
Residential Tenancy Act: Two Proposed Changes are
- Tenants can terminate a fixed-term lease: Anyone fleeing violence or headed for long-term care will be able to terminate a fixed-term lease early without a financial penalty. Tenants will be permitted to give their landlord 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.
- Electronic funds transfer: In keeping with government’s goal to reduce red tape, landlords will be able to repay security deposits electronically.
The Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing, Rich Coleman stated that their goal with proposed changes is to support the personal safety and health-care needs of residents with fixed-term tenancy agreements, and also reduce red tape for landlords.
Strata Property Act’s Important Change:
Tony Gioventu, executive director, Condominium Home Owners Association, stated that a unanimous vote is virtually impossible in most strata corporations as it requires every owner to vote in favour of termination.
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.
In proposed changes to the Strata Property Act by the BC government, it will allow strata corporation members to terminate the strata corporation by an 80 per cent vote and a court order.
“This will be a welcome change for condo owners struggling with aging buildings. The provisions for an 80 per cent vote that require the approval of the courts will ensure that the minority interests are still protected and the liquidation is beneficial for the strata as a collective, not just a focused interest group,” Gioventu said.