Legislation introduced to further support tenants24 November 2022
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Service New Brunswick Minister Jill Green said the provincial government has listened to concerns of tenants and introduced legislation to provide more protection.
Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act are intended to help tenants adjust to new market conditions in 2023 and give them more time to seek help from the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. Green, who is also minister responsible for housing, said the government will continue to assess the rental landscape and bring in other measures as required.
“Renters have been clear to us about their concerns, and we have listened,” said Green. “The amendments brought forward today will help tenants adjust to the rising cost of housing and inflation that is being experienced not only here in New Brunswick, but throughout Canada.”
The amendments include:
- extending the application period for the review of a rent increase from 30 to 60 days, and
- giving authority to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to phase in over a period of up to three years, rent increases that are within market value for the condition and size of the unit as compared to similar units in the same building or neighbourhood.
“Our province is growing, and we need to look at the bigger picture,” said Green. “We are working diligently on a new housing strategy which builds on the programs and services already in place. I am looking forward to sharing more details in the coming months.”
A temporary rent cap was implemented for 2022 as part of a provincewide approach to improving the affordability of housing. Several permanent protections were also introduced in December 2021 and March 2022.
- limiting a rent increase to once every 12 months;
- requiring six months' notice to increase rents; and
- giving authority to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to review and deny unreasonable rent increases.
Additionally, a tenancy can only be terminated for one of four legislated reasons:
- a relative will become an occupant of the unit;
- extensive renovations will be undertaken requiring the unit to be vacant;
- an employment contract to maintain the building has ended;
- the unit will be used for reasons other than a residential premise.
Further, tenants facing losses due to a tenancy being ended without just cause are able to apply for compensation from the landlord.
“There cannot be last-minute rent increases at the beginning of the new year, as any rent increase for Jan. 1 would need to have been communicated to tenants this past July,” said Green. “I am encouraging anyone who believes their rent increase is not fair to contact the tribunal so their dispute can be looked into.”
The Residential Tenancies Tribunal helps resolve conflicts between landlords and tenants while upholding and enforcing the Residential Tenancies Act.