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A Solution to BC's Epidemic of No-Fault Evictions

By Emma White, TAPS Vacancy Control Campaigner

For the past five years, British Columbia has led the country in the number of household evictions. Now, a new report from the University of British Columbia has revealed that the vast majority of these evictions were at no fault of the tenants.

While many people believe that eviction notices are primarily used to deal with tenants who fail to pay rent or violate their tenancy agreement, in reality a vast majority – around 85% – of evictions in BC between 2016 and 2021 were no-fault evictions, meaning that tenants were evicted for reasons such as renovations or repairs, sale of property, or because the landlord themselves or a family member was planning to move in. A staggering 20% higher than the national average, not only is this statistic shocking, it affirms what many tenants and tenant organizations have been saying for years: BC’s lack of rent control in between tenancies (known as ‘vacancy control’) incentivizes landlords to evict their tenants.

At TAPS, we talk to hundreds of tenants facing eviction each year, a large portion of whom are loyal tenants paying below market rates because of within-tenancy rent control. Many of these tenants are targeted for eviction so that their landlord can re-rent their unit at a higher rate. With the average 2-bedroom unit in Victoria renting for 33% more than occupied units in the same building (citation + math on side with sticky note), many of the one-third of British Columbians who are renters would be priced out of their communities or face homelessness if forced to move.

In the short-term, we need to make it more difficult for landlords in BC to evict tenants in bad faith. We did this in 2021, when the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) made mandatory for landlords to apply to the RTB for approval when evicting tenants using 4-month eviction notices for renovations and repairs in response to the prevalence of bad-faith renovictions. This change prompted a dramatic reduction in the number of 4-month notices being served, so we know it works, but landlords are still sidestepping rent control on a large scale with 2-month evictions for landlord’s use.

By making all types of eviction possible only by landlord application, BC could reduce its number of evictions, and help ensure proper oversight and accountability in the eviction process. But if we want to get to the root of the issue, there’s a larger legislative fix that would fundamentally change our housing system by removing the financial incentive to evict, and that is vacancy control – the form of rent control that limits the amount a landlord can increase the rent when one tenancy ends and another begins.

TAPS and other groups have been calling for vacancy control for years. We know that the government is alive to it, but they’re afraid of how landlords and developers will react. But this is an emergency. The high cost of rental housing is hurting our residents and our communities by making it increasingly difficult for folks to live and work in British Columbia. Vacancy control would help prevent bad faith evictions, increase housing stability for tenants, and stop our already over-inflated rents from going even higher.

We're calling on the Provincial Government to act now and implement vacancy control, but we need your help. Visit to learn more about our campaign and how you can join the fight towards real rent control for BC!

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