New Westminster — On Monday, February 4, 2019, New Westminster City Council adopted Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Amendment Bylaw No. 8085, a central component of the new Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative endorsed by Council on January 14, 2019. The amendment bylaw includes new regulations controlling how landlords and rental building owners can undertake renovations. It also includes new restrictions on evictions.
The Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative includes several components: a Rental Replacement Policy to slow the redevelopment of older purpose-built market rental buildings; a Rental Revitalization Tax Exemption to incentivize the maintenance and protection of existing rental buildings; and these newly adopted strong new business licensing requirements to prohibit renovictions.
“The adoption of the bylaw and the Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative as a whole are a direct response to the issue of affordable rental housing in New Westminster,” said Jonathan X. Coté. “We feel it’s important to take action on this initiative quickly, as we want to minimize the risk of further renovictions as soon as possible.”
The amendment bylaw adds strong new business licensing requirements to prohibit renovictions, making the City the first in the province to have municipal bylaws that impose restrictions and fines for renovictions. Strong fines have been established ranging from $500 to $1000, with some offences being able to be issued on a daily basis.