Jordan Ramis pc. Attorneys at law
Vulnerable Renter Protections
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This article is intended to inform the reader of general legal principles applicable to the subject area. It is not intended to provide legal advice regarding specific problems or circumstances. Readers should consult with competent counsel with regard to specific situations.

BY SCOTT ANDERS
FEBRUARY 2016

This article originally appeared in the December 2015 edition of the HFO Real Estate Newsletter.

In response to rising rents and declining vacancies, the City of Vancouver enacted new rental property ordinances for residential landlords. The ordinances, which went into effect October 21, 2015, are summarized below.

60-Day Eviction Notice.

The new ordinance provides an affirmative defense to some residential month-to-month renters. In the case of eviction by a landlord who owns five or more rental units and gives 20 days’ notice, as required by state statute, the new ordinance gives the tenant the right to require a 60-day notice if the eviction is for “no cause”—so the total notice requirement can become 80 days. Landlords would be wise to give a 60-day notice at the beginning. The ordinance does not affect notices to terminate a tenancy “for cause.”

45-Day Notice of Rent Increase.

Landlords within the City of Vancouver must give 45 days’ notice if the landlord plans a rent increase of 10 percent or more. The 10 percent is calculated over the previous 12 months of rental history. Source of Income Protection. Landlords may not refuse to rent to a prospective tenant based on the legal source of the applicant’s income, including Section 8 rent vouchers. In addition, if the landlord uses income screening criteria, the landlord must subtract the amount of the voucher from the rent owed before applying these criteria.
 
These ordinances apply to all residential rental agreements entered into or renewed after October 21, 2015. Landlords should consult their attorney and include these provisions in their rental agreement forms.