Apartments in the Vancouver's West End

Tenant relocation resources for owners and developers

Clear, consistent, and frequent communication is vital to ensure a smooth redevelopment process for you and for your tenants.

Reduce the impacts of redevelopment on your tenants

Redevelopment and renewal of Vancouver's existing rental housing is important so that tenants today and tomorrow can live in safe, suitable homes. However, redevelopment can displace and stress tenants, especially vulnerable tenants with fixed or low incomes.

If you apply to redevelop or do major renovations on your rental building, you need to support your tenants during the process by following our Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy PDF file (432 KB).

Specifically, you need to create a tenant relocation plan that covers how you will:

  1. Determine if your project requires tenants to move
  2. Communicate often with your tenants 
  3. Compensate and help eligible tenants to move out (and back in with a discounted rent, in some cases)

You also need to follow all requirements set out in the BC Residential Tenancy Act External website .

Is your property designated as a single room accommodation (SRA)?

Learn about the steps involved to renovate or redevelop your property

What's in a tenant relocation plan

When you apply for a development permit or rezoning that could impact your tenants, you need to provide a draft tenant relocation plan. The City needs to approve this plan, as part of the application process, before issuing your permit or approving your rezoning.

At minimum, the plan must provide the following to each tenant who has rented in your building for one year or more at the time you apply for redevelopment:

  1. Free rent or equivalent financial compensation based on how long your tenant has lived in your building:
    Years of tenancy Minimum compensation for the tenant
    1 up to 5 2-months' rent
    5 up to 10 3-months' rent
    10 up to 20 4-months' rent
    20 and over 6-months' rent
  2. 2-months' notice to end tenancy after all permits are issued, including associated building and trades permits (this requirement comes from the BC Residential Tenancy Act External website)
  3. Assistance with your tenant's moving expenses
    Unit your tenant rents Minimum compensation for the tenant
    Studio and one-bedroom $750 or arrangement of insured movers
    Two-bedroom $1,000 or arrangement of insured movers
  1. Help finding 3 places to rent, if your tenant asks for assistance, that are:
    • Leased at no more than the average rents for the area (based on CMHC data)
      • View a map of average rents
      • If your tenant has very low income and pays low rent compared to average rents in the area, we may require that you offer them 1 option within 10% of their current rent.
    • Located in Vancouver, with one in their current area
  2. In some cases, the opportunity to rent a unit in your redeveloped building, at a minimum discount of 20% off the unit's new market rent. This applies when the project:
    • Proposes new, secured market rental housing
    • Requires replacement rental housing as set out in the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan PDF file (20 KB)
    • Proposes new social housing or replaces existing rental housing with social housing (for example, in certain locations as set out in the West End Community Plan)
  3. Additional support and compensation for vulnerable tenants or tenants with special circumstances. Support may include:
    • Hiring a tenant relocation consultant with experience helping vulnerable tenants
    • Helping tenants apply for rental assistance or social housing
    • Partnering with Vancouver Coastal Health or other mental health services

For details, read the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy PDF file (432 KB).

Map of average rents

Source: CMHC

How the tenant relocation process fits into redevelopment

1

Before you apply for a rezoning or development permit

Best practices

  •   Carefully consider if your project can avoid relocating tenants. Many major upgrades can be done with only minor disruptions or temporary relocations, and may not require your tenants to move permanently.
  •   Identify tenants who may need extra help relocating, including seniors and people with disabilities or mental health. Work with a tenant relocation specialist if necessary.
  1. Learn about the City's development process.
  2. Review the following policies:
  3. Contact your tenants to inform them of your intent to redevelop and encourage those with special circumstances to identify themselves as soon as possible. You should clarify to tenants that eviction notices won't be issued until all permits are approved. Keep copies of your communications with tenants.
  4. Consult with a tenant relocation specialist for assistance with the relocation process on larger projects, especially if most of your tenants are vulnerable (seniors or people with disabilities or mental health issues) or pay very low rents compared to the area average.

2

Apply for a development permit or rezoning

Best practices

  •   Submit a Tenant Relocation Application Form as part of your redevelopment application.  
  •   Communicate early and often with your tenants. Let them know when you intend to redevelop or do major renovations that could impact them. 
  •   Give tenants a primary contact person to ask questions about your project and tenant relocation plan.
  1. If your project is covered by the Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy, provide a completed Tenant Relocation Application Form Word document (159 KB) with your development permit application.
  2. We'll review and comment on your draft tenant relocation plan. After the staff assigned to your application approves the terms of the plan, do the following:
  3. Before your rezoning or development permit is issued, provide the notarized declaration and copies of your communications with tenants.

3

Carry out your tenant relocation plan and report on its outcomes

Best practices

  •  Start early to help tenants relocate.
  •  If possible, work with your tenants to stagger move-out dates so it’s easier to find alternate places to rent.
  •  Check for vacancies in your other buildings when finding alternate places to rent.
  •  Check if tenants are eligible for housing assistance programs that can help them pay for their new rents.
  •  Compensate tenants as they move out, even if they move out before your issue a formal notice to end tenancy. 
  •  Log your tenants' contact information in case we ask you to follow up with them after they move out.
  •  Only issue a formal notice to end tenancy after all your permits are issued.
  1. Provide us with a final tenant relocation report that documents the result of your tenant relocation process. The report is a condition for you to receive your occupancy permit at the end of your redevelopment or renovation. In your report, summarize:
    • The names of eligible tenants covered by your tenant relocation plan (the same names from your tenant relocation application)
    • The total monetary value of compensation and assistance provided to each tenant
    • The outcome of your search for 3 places to rent for tenants who asked for help
    • The starting discounted rents you offered to tenants who asked for a replacement unit in your redeveloped building, where applicable
    • The situation for any tenants still renting when your development permit was issued, including copies of related communication with tenants

    View a final tenant relocation report template Word document (31 KB)

  2. If we ask you, provide copies of your communication with your tenants.

Questions?

Contact your rezoning or development planner.