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NDP pushes renters' rights bills

Provincial New Democrats have proposed three bills that, if passed, would strengthen tenants' rights.

"Renters deserve to feel secure in their homes and shouldn’t fear eviction at a moment’s notice," MLA Shane Simpson said in a release.

The three private members' bills propose to amend the Residential Tenancy Act and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act.

* Coquitlam-Maillardville MLA Diane Thorne proposed amendments that would increase the notice that a landlord must give a tenant in the event of renovation evictions, and give tenants the right of first refusal following renovations or conversion into a strata unit.

* Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert proposed a 'Long Term Tenants Protection Act' that would protect tenants from large rent hikes under the geographic area increase clause, and from eviction under the pretext of conversion for landlord use when other suites are available.

* Vancouver-Hastings MLA Simpson proposed amendments that would protect the rights of manufactured home park residents who face eviction when parks are redeveloped.

"There is an imbalance of power between landlords and tenants," Thorne said in a statement, "particularly when you examine the many avenues available for landlords to evict tenants with little notice and less compensation."

Many New Democratic Party private members bills die on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, where Premier Gordon Campbell's BC Liberals party holds 49 of 85 seats.

Monte Paulsen reports for The Tyee.

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