2019 Property Law Canada – What’s New? - Property Vista

August 13, 2019

2019 Property Law Canada – What’s New?

One of the toughest jobs for landlords is to stay on top of the changing local, provincial and federal property law. Canada is a huge country, and in general most laws affecting them fall to the provinces. While we can’t cover every change, here are some of the more recent property laws that have an impact on landlords.

Nova Scotia

A few changes to the property law include:

  • Landlords can now dispose of tenants’ abandoned property after 30 days with permission from the Residential Tenancies Program. Before, they had to store it for 60 days.
  • Tenants can now give notice in order to change a yearly lease to a month-to-month agreement.
  • Landlords and guarantors (co-signers) can now enter into agreements on a tenancy (lease).
  • Landlords should provide the time and date they want to enter the rental premises when submitting a notice of entry.
  • The Residential Tenancies Act now specifies that a tenancy (lease) ends at the end of the month following the month a tenant passes away when there are no other tenants in the residential premises. For example, if a tenant passes away on 15 June, the tenancy (lease) automatically ends on 31 July.

Go here to get more in-depth information and to see other changes.

Newfoundland/Labrador

A few changes to the property law include:

  • Victims of domestic violence can now terminate a fixed-term and month-to-month rental contract without penalty by providing a termination date of 30 days.
  • Another major change that is in line with how people communicate today, is the ability to deliver and receive documentation electronically.

To get more information visit here.

Ontario

A few changes to the property law include:

  • The rent increase guideline for 2019 is 1.8%, unchanged from 2018, and it applies to rent increases that come into effect between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019.
  • Looking ahead, the Ontario government set the 2020 rate to 2.2 % as the maximum percentage a landlord can increase most tenants’ rent without approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board — the highest increase since 2013.
  • Rental units first occupied for residential purposes after November 15, 2018 are now exempt from the rules that limit rent increases to the guideline amount. There are also exemptions for new buildings, new mobile home parks and land lease communities. A landlord still needs to serve a notice of rent increase 90 days in advance.

Alberta

Some changes that could be on the horizon:

  • Condo Boards and condo property managers should keep an eye out for changes to regulations and amendments to the Condominium Property Act. These include new obligations for document delivery prior to Annual General Meetings, as well as caps on maximum fees chargeable for document delivery.

Read more here.

British Columbia

A few changes to the property law include:

  • Effective January 1, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase will be 2.5%.
  • BC has created a new compliance and enforcement unit within the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) to investigate complaints and take action against landlords and renters who are repeat or serious offenders. The new team has 21 active investigations and recently issued its first administrative penalty against a landlord. Learn more here.

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Jack Beaton Sterling Karamar, Property Management
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