Metro Vancouver: Vancouver MLA attacks B.C. for doubling dispute fees for tenants and landlords

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Metro Vancouver | Emily Jackson | January 07 2015

Quoted from the article:

NDP Vancouver-Point Grey MLA David Eby criticized the Liberal government for making the changes without an announcement (there was no press release) and called the hike another “hidden tax” on top of fee increases for B.C. Ferries, Medical Service Plans and B.C. Hydro.

“When everyone is talking about making housing more affordable, this government is now increasing the costs for landlords and tenants,” Eby said Wednesday.

The dispute resolution process, which both tenants and landlords use to get an arbitrator to resolve fights over repairs or evictions, already doesn’t work well for anybody, Eby said.

“Now a process that was pretty crappy to start with costs twice as much,” he said.

He believes the increased cost won’t deter frivolous complaints, as he thinks the process itself is so cumbersome that only a fraction of aggrieved parties actually apply for dispute resolution. Rather, he worries the higher fees will further deter tenants from complaining in a market where renters are already fearful of losing their homes due to extremely low vacancy rates.

“There’s already a huge reluctance on the part of tenants to go to the RTB with landlords because of the scarcity of housing,” he said.

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