News Release Archive

BUSINESS/CONSUMER SERVICES-Amendments-Residential Tenancies Act
Effective immediately, residents of mobile home parks will have a
process for a review of lot rental increases, the Department of
Business and Consumer Services announced today.

Due to changes in the Residential Tenancies Act, park tenants can
request a review of any notice of rent increase issued since
December 20, 1996. In such cases, lot rental increases must be
justified by the mobile home park owner.

"Since rent control ended in 1993, there has not been a process
for mobile home park tenants to appeal lot rental increases,"
said Business and Consumer Services Minister Wayne Gaudet. "Now
our residential tenancies officers, acting in the name of the
director, will be authorized to approve or roll back a proposed
rent increase."

This move is not a return to rent control or a rent freeze.
Increases will be permitted and there will be no ceiling, but
they must be justified. Rent review is in recognition that mobile
park tenants have completely different circumstances than
apartment tenants. Prior to this change a mobile home owner faced
with a rent increase had to choose between paying the increase or
moving the home, which can cost up to $5,000.

The other major change to the act eases the resolution of
landlord/tenant disputes. From now on, residential tenancies
officers are authorized to make decisions which were previously
made by the Residential Tenancies Board.

Once the landlord and/or tenant files a complaint, it is up to
the officer to gather all the relevant information and attempt to
mediate a resolution. A hearing date is established as soon as an
application is filed. If mediation efforts do not result in a
resolution that is acceptable to both parties, the scheduled
hearing will go ahead.

The Residential Tenancies Board, which used to hear cases and
make recommendations to the Supreme Court, will now hear appeals
on decisions made by the department and the result will
automatically be made a Supreme Court order.

"Under the old process, either party could go directly to the
Residential Tenancies Board for a ruling on the dispute without
first participating in mediation," said Mr. Gaudet. "The board is
a quasi-judicial body and its process made no allowances for
mediation between the two parties. This change will hopefully
resolve many disputes before they reach the judicial stage.

"Essentially, this change is making remedies more accessible to
the public," said Mr. Gaudet. "Our staff have many years of
experience in dealing with landlord/tenant disputes and are well
qualified to render decisions based on the facts presented."

The entire Residential Tenancies Act, which came into effect in
1970, is currently under review.


Contact: Louise MacDonald
         Department of Business and Consumer Services

ngr                October 1, 1997                 10:25 am