Advocates for Vancouver renters are calling on the B.C. government to increase funding to the Residential Tenancy Branch in the wake of huge fee hikes for both tenants and landlords seeking dispute resolution.
“Asking landlords and tenants to pay a higher fee is really creating a barrier to accessing justice.”
Jane Mayfield with the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre says the cost has gone up from $50 to $100, and that’s is unacceptable.
“Especially for tenants who clearly tend to be lower-income than landlords. The lowest income applicants don’t need to pay a fee and that will continue, fortunately, but there are a lot of people who fall about that income cut off and still have a difficult time.”
Mayfield says the branch is underfunded and understaffed, prompting long wait times for issues like disputing evictions or getting security deposits back.
She says the extra funding to hire more arbitrators should come from the province, not the tenant or landlord.