In a significant legal setback, Vancouver loses appeal on vacancy control for private SROs (single-room occupancy hotels). The city’s highest court has ruled that Vancouver’s attempt to limit rent increases between tenancies was unreasonable, siding with private SRO landlords who challenged the bylaw.
- B.C.’s highest court rules against Vancouver’s rent control bylaw.
- The bylaw aimed to regulate rent increases between tenancies in SROs.
- Appeal Court upheld the B.C. Supreme Court’s decision from August 2022.
- The city’s interpretation of the Vancouver Charter was deemed “unreasonable.”
- Potential for a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada remains.
Appeal Court Upholds Decision Against City Bylaw
The B.C. Court of Appeal’s decision confirmed the previous ruling that Vancouver’s bylaw, which sought to regulate rent increases between tenancies at private SROs, was not within the city’s jurisdiction. The bylaw was seen as an overreach into areas already covered by provincial legislation, specifically the Residential Tenancy Act, which does not limit rent increases between tenancies.
Implications for Vancouver’s Housing Strategy
The ruling is a blow to Vancouver’s efforts to protect low-income residents and address the city’s affordable housing crisis. Despite the city’s intentions, the court found that the bylaw duplicated provincial rent control measures, stepping beyond the city’s legislative authority as outlined in the Vancouver Charter.
|City’s Bylaw on Rent Control
|Unreasonable and Invalid
|Overstepped Vancouver Charter
|Impact on Rent Increases
|No Limit Between Tenancies
|Potential Next Steps
|Possible Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada
Vancouver loses appeal on vacancy control for private SROs, marking a significant setback in the city’s efforts to manage rent increases and protect low-income housing. The Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision highlights the challenges municipalities face in enacting regulations that overlap with provincial laws. The city now contemplates its next steps, which may include an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.