More than a decade after Surrey MLA Harry Bains called for better protection for mobile home park tenants facing eviction, new regulations took effect Wednesday to increase their compensation.
Changes include requiring 12-month notice to end tenancy when owners want to close or convert a mobile home park to another land use. That’s one of the changes called for in a private members’ bill Bains tabled in the B.C. legislature in March 2007.
Compensation for evicted tenants is now set at $20,000, an increase from the previous requirement that the landlord pay 12 months worth of pad rental fees.
Mobile home tenants have been affected by rising property values and redevelopment, and in many cases long-term residents are unable to relocate their units. The new regulations also require additional compensation if a home can’t be moved, and tenants are not responsible for disposal costs.
The compensation is payable if the home can’t be moved to another site within a “reasonable distance,” and if the tenant does not owe any tax in relation to the home.
An earlier change in the Residential Tenancy Act also tightened rules for fixed-term tenancy, allowing eviction only if the tenancy agreement is a sublease, or if a landlord’s close family member intends to move in.
The B.C. housing ministry says it has retained measures to allow landlords to protect themselves from problem tenants.