I am pleased to see public consultations have begun for the proposed Residential Tenancy Act. This is the most significant update to PEI residential rental legislation in decades, and when government first shared with me the draft legislation, I was adamant they undertake a full public consultation before bringing it to the legislature.
The former Rental of Residential Property Act is woefully out-of-date and the Official Opposition has been calling for it to be updated or replaced. I appreciate that government considered the Official Opposition Housing Strategy as well as further submissions made by the Official Opposition during its drafting of the legislation.
Among the Official Opposition recommendations government included are:
- Strengthening measures to prevent renovictions and unwarranted rental rate increases, including protections for tenants with school-aged children and the introduction of right-of-first-refusal provisions;
- Expanding the ability to terminate a rental agreement for those in special need, including domestic violence terminations and a change in a person’s health or accessibility needs;
- Clarity around subletting practices; and
- Stronger mechanisms to enforce the Act.
These measures provide greater protections to Islanders who rely on rental accommodation, which is especially important as our Province grapples with the worst housing crisis in its modern history.
With its expanded rights and regulatory clarity, I believe the draft legislation is a solid starting point to improve the housing situation and the oft-fraught relationship between both tenant and landlord. I encourage every Islander to engage in this important consultation so all viewpoints are presented and understood.
Together, we will create an environment in PEI’s rental market that is fair and equitable to all.
Hannah Bell, MLA
District 11 Charlottetown-Belvedere
Official Opposition Shadow Critic for Social Development and Housing