Creston town council has adopted a bylaw that prescribes minimum standards for rental housing, in a move they say is intended to support renters in a limited market.
The bylaw includes regulations to ensure the quality, safety, and livability of rental units addressing standards related to water leaks or damage, provision of heat, fire safety, functionality of doors and windows, pests, and mold.
“We realize that rental housing costs are at an all-time high here in the Town of Creston and the Creston Valley,” Mayor Ron Toyota said in a news release.
“We want to make sure that people aren’t living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions because that’s all they can afford. We can’t allow people to be taken advantage of.”
The bylaw applies to all rental properties within town limits covered by the Residential Tenancy Act, including apartments, condos, secondary suites, garden suites, and unauthorized suites.
It provides a detailed description of the landlord’s responsibility for repairs and maintenance of rental properties. and provides detail on minimum standards for heating systems, hot water, infestations, exterior walls, roofing, elevators, fire escapes.
The town says if a landlord refuses to make certain repairs, a complaint can be filed with the town and bylaw enforcement may inspect the property and work with the landlord to fix the problems. They have the power to issue warnings and fines to enforce the bylaw.
The bylaw could also be used as evidence for a repair order at a Residential Tenancy Branch dispute resolution hearing, they added.
“Everyone has the right to live with basic necessities such as heat, hot water, and a home free of mold,” Toyota says. “That’s what this bylaw is all about. We now have a way to protect people
from living in unsafe conditions.”
The town doesn’t expect any significant impacts to most landlords, the release said.