It’s no secret that renters in British Columbia don’t exactly have it easy. From high rent costs to low vacancy rates, we’ve got it rough. Not only do we have to worry about finding somewhere to live in the first place, but we also have to worry about keeping it. As it turns out, B.C. eviction rates are the highest in Canada.
New data from Statistics Canada shows that British Columbia is the eviction and foreclosure capital of Canada. The province has the highest rate of forced moves compared to the rest of Canada. In fact, B.C. residents are 70% more likely to be forced out of their homes than Canadians in other provinces.
The report shows that 81,200 B.C. residents were forced out of their homes due to eviction or foreclosure in the last five years. Other common reasons for moving in B.C. include relocating for work, moving to be closer to family, change in family size, and reducing housing costs.
Nathanael Lauster, a sociology professor at the University of British Columbia told The Tyee that this report represents the housing problems in B.C.
According to the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, evictions in B.C. fall under for main types: "Day notice for non-payment of rent," "one month notice for cause," "two-month notice for landlord’s use of property," and "four-month notice for landlord’s use of property."
Foreclosure means that a bank or a private lender can take possession of a home if the owner cannot make payments. If the owner has tenants living in their property at the time of foreclosure, the tenants would be forced to move as a result.
If you've ever been forced to move, you know it can be extremely inconvenient and stressful. The possibility of getting evicted makes it difficult to feel at home, even if you have signed a lease.
Another phenomenon that’s plagued B.C. renters is something that is casually referred to as “renoviction.” This occurs when tenants are given the boot because a landlord would like to renovate.
According to The Tyee, 315 households faced renovictions in the City of New Westminster alone in 2018. Both New Westminster and Coquitlam have since passed bylaws to avoid this sort of eviction.
Though finding somewhere affordable and stable to live in B.C. can feel impossible sometimes, it's not all bad news. The upcoming 2020 rent increases in B.C. aren't as bad as you may have expected.