JOIN IN THE FIGHT TO STOP RENOVICTIONS ONCE AND FOR ALL!
On November 1 of this year (2023) the temporary moratorium on evictions will come to an end. The
moratorium has provided tenants with a temporary reprieve but we should expect applications to renovict to pick up again as landlords recognise that a path to getting rid of their current tenants and raising rents by large amounts has been reopened.
Now is the time to demand that government end renovictions altogether and extend the moratorium until that is done!
The PEI FAH believes that the need to do repairs and renovations should never be a ground for eviction. If a landlord really needs vacant possession in order to do repairs (and this will happen only very rarely) they should be required by law to satisfactorily rehouse the tenant in the same community until the work is completed. The tenancy would continue and the tenant would move back into their apartment at their old rent.
The PEI FAH also proposes the establishment of an Office of the Provincial Planner. This office will require landlords to create written plans for temporarily rehousing tenants when tenants need to move out to enable necessary repairs.
What can you do?
Here’s three things you can do (and we can help you with any of them):
- Organize tenants in your building to talk to your MLA. (Or meet with your
MLA individually if you rent in a house rather than a building). You can find
your district here and your MLA contact information here:
- Write a letter to the Editor of the Guardian at firstname.lastname@example.org They
like letters to be not too long and on just one topic!
- Phone or email the PEI Fight for Affordable Housing if you are willing to
help out in any way!…. artwork, phoning, writing, talking to your
neighbours or speaking out. Reach us at 902-894-4573 or housingpei
PEI’s new Residential Tenancy Act has made the process of renovicting more lengthy. Landlords must first apply to the Director for permission to serve eviction notices on the tenants. If permission is granted the tenants must receive a 6 month notice. However, the Act continues to enable renoviction regardless of whether repairs and upgrades are needed. These provisions must be removed from the new Act and replaced with provisions which set out the obligations of the landlord to ensure a tenant is rehoused while the apartment needs to be empty.
More about renovictions
Renovictions have become a prime strategy for landlords to get rid of tenants and hike the rents so no ordinary worker can afford them. They are a key tool in “gentrifying” our neighbourhoods – driving out residents of modest means and creating non-inclusive elite neighbourhoods for the better off.
A landlord’s responsibility under a tenancy agreement is to maintain the premises in a good state of repair. If major work is required to fulfill this obligation, such as new windows or updated electrical systems, it makes no sense that a tenancy be ended. It’s like a boss saying to a worker that in order for us to fix the ventilation in the workplace so that we can meet health and safety standards we’re going to have to fire you!
Tenant organizations across the country are demanding an end to renovictions.
The Vancouver Tenants’ Union is taking exactly the same position as the PEI Fight for Affordable Housing. They say: “It doesn’t really make sense that a renovation should be a reason to break a tenancy agreement in the first place,”…… “but it’s been enshrined in B.C. law for a long time.”. https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/03/04/BC-Anti-Renoviction-Reform-Too-Weak/
Renovictions are not allowed in Quebec
A core principle of landlord tenant law in Québec is the “Right to Maintain Occupancy”. This principle simply means that tenants who comply with the law can stay in their dwelling as long as they wish. It embodies a societal belief that tenancies must be protected in law to keep them secure, stable and permanent.
Québec’s law which is consistent with this principle does not allow terminations of tenancy for renovations and major repairs. It allows for a temporary vacancy where necessary, but the tenancy agreement continues and the tenant moves back in when the work is done at the previous rent. The tenant has the right to compensation which must cover their moving costs, any storage fees, any difference between the cost of their temporary accommodation and the rent they were paying at their original home and any other additional costs.
For example, a Quebec Court has ordered a landlord to ensure that a tenant is relocated in the same neighbourhood as the tenancy in order that the tenant can continue to visit their aged father everyday. The Court ordered the landlord to cover the cost of a hotel room at a cost of up to $250 a day.