Stop renovictions, strengthen the penalties when landlords or tenants don’t play by the rules and allow strata property owners to rent their vacant suites.

Those are some of the 23 final recommendations from the Rental Housing Task Force submitted to the province after visiting 11 communities around B.C., receiving 430 written submissions and more than 1,400 responses to an online survey.

Spencer Chandra Herbert, chair of the Task Force says they want to enforce the rules to end the games unscrupulous tenants and landlords play.

“We heard stories of serial rent cheats, people who damage suites and skip out on rent. We are making recommendations to strengthen the law, to strengthen penalties so that people who do take advantage, and that includes landlords too, who serially try to evict just so that they can double rent, there are penalties there so that they see there’s no gain anymore.”

Chandra Herbert says there’s also almost no reason why tenants have to be evicted so renovations can be done and they should be given the option to work with contractors so the improvements can be done.

“Unfortunately, there are a number of landlords who will push people out, say you have to move out because I am doing renovations. What we are suggesting, and of course the implementation will be up to the government, would be that a landlord be obligated to communicate to their tenant. The tenant would have the opportunity to say I want to continue to live in my home, I will do what I can to accommodate the renovation.”

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will review the task force’s recommendations over the coming weeks to consider how they might be implemented and discuss the recommendations with key stakeholder organizations.