Province announces improved protection for tenants, landlords


Changes to the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act will be proclaimed on Aug. 1 and will offer new protection for renters, while reducing paperwork and red tape for landlords, Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Minister Ron Lemieux announced on Thursday.

"We consulted landlords and tenants on this bill to ensure fairness and transparency, and I feel confident these changes address long-standing grievances from both sides," said Lemieux in a release.

The minister noted under the new rules, tenants must be compensated for moving costs and higher rental fees when landlords carry out renovations that create major inconvenience and are intended to drive tenants out.  In addition, the annual rent increase guideline must now be linked to the Consumer Price Index for Manitoba and must fall within the Bank of Canada's inflation-control target range.

The changes coming into effect Aug. 1 will also allow landlords to end tenancies in response to unlawful activity if it affects the security and well-being of other tenants or causes damages. There are also changes to the appeals process so landlords can act faster on rulings where tenants have not paid their rent.

"Renters deserve to feel safe in their homes," said Minister Lemieux.  "That's why we've introduced changes that will make it easier for landlords to evict tenants who break the law and put other tenants at risk."

Landlords will also be allowed to charge a higher pet damage deposit for new tenants to encourage more landlords to allow pets in their buildings.

Regulatory changes coming into effect on Jan. 1, 2015, will strengthen requirements for exemptions from rent regulation due to renovations and limit how often landlords can apply for those exemptions.  The changes will also spread the cost of some improvements over a longer period, which could result in smaller rent increases.

For more information on the changes, visit here


Manitoba news release