Father holding their baby on an apartment balcony in Vancouver

Protecting renters and rental housing

Renters

Have you received notice that you will have to move because the building you live in is being redeveloped? Find out your rights and how to get help.

Owners and developers

Does your redevelopment project affect your renters? Learn what you must do to help them, and access applicant checklists and templates.

What's happening

Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to improve security for tenants

As of May 17, 2018 the 2 month notice to end tenancy for renovation, demolition, and conversion is no longer valid. 

Landlords must give 4 months' notice to end tenancy for demolition, renovation or repair, or conversion, and renters have 30 days to dispute the notice. Learn more on the Province's website external website.

Additional changes to the Tenancy Act include right of first refusal and enhanced compensation requirements. These requirements may apply to renters who are not eligible for additional compensation and assistance under the City of Vancouver Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy pdf file (251 KB).

More information is available from the Residential Tenancy Branch external website, in the Tenant Relocation and Protection Guidelines pdf file (451 KB), and in the renter's section above.


Changes to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan

On June 5, 2018, Council approved changes to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan (ODP) pdf file (50 KB) and the associated zoning districts and guidelines to further protect and retain Vancouver's existing rental housing stock. Council enacted the new bylaws on June 6, 2018, and they take effect September 1, 2018.

Key changes include:

  • Simplifying and updating the Rental Housing Stock ODP
  • Lowering the “trigger” for when rental replacement is required to developments of three or more units
  • Requiring rental replacement for new developments with three or more residential units
  • Requiring 35% family-size units to be included in replacement units
  • Clarifying requirements for the replacement of sleeping or housekeeping units
  • Clarifying that rental replacement will not be required for developments involving hotels or strata buildings going through dissolution and redevelopment

Documents

Why we protect renters and rental housing

Renters make up over half of Vancouver households and are crucial to the city's social, cultural, and economic vibrancy. Rising housing costs and low rental-housing vacancy rates mean that renters may have difficulty finding and affording suitable housing. This difficulty increases when they have to move because their building gets renovated or redeveloped.

Keeping Vancouver's neighborhoods accessible and diverse means ensuring that renters have stable and affordable housing choices with access to jobs, schools, and community services.

To help do this, we focus on:

  1. Preserving and renewing the city's rental housing supply using our Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan PDF file (50 KB). This regulation requires redevelopment projects with three or more rental housing units in zones with a high proportion of rental housing (RM, FM, and CD-1 zones) to replace every demolished rental unit.

    note icon See above for details on recently approved changes to the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan.
     
  2. Protecting renters who are displaced due to redevelopment using our Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy.

Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy

The policy gives protection and assistance to renters who must move if their building is redeveloped.

Owners or developers need to provide a tenant relocation plan or tenant impact statement when they apply to the City for rezoning or for development permits. City staff are responsible for reviewing this plan as part of the application process to ensure it meets the standards set in the policy.

  • A tenant relocation plan describes how a landlord or developer must help renters who need to move.
  • A tenant impact statement commits a landlord or developer to completing renovations while renters remain on the site if they don't expect the work will require their displacement. If the work requires renters to be displaced, then the landlord or developer must provide a tenant relocation plan.

The policy was approved by City Council on December 10, 2015, and took effect on February 15, 2016. It replaces the Rate of Change Guidelines PDF file (90 KB). Rezoning and development permit applications received before February 15, 2016, will be processed under the Rate of Change Guidelines.

The policy supplements the BC Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) that sets out legal rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants in BC. The BC Residential Tenancy Branch resolves disputes between landlords and tenants under the RTA.

RentersOwners and developers