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Town of Creston adopts rental standards bylaw

The bylaw protects renters by defining the minimum standards for safe, healthy housing
Creston Town Hall. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Town council has recently adopted a new bylaw outlining the minimum standards for rental housing, in an effort to support renters in Creston’s limited market.

“We realize that rental housing costs are at an all-time high here in the Creston Valley,” said Mayor Ron Toyota in a press 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 Rental Standards of Maintenance Bylaw includes regulations to ensure the quality, safety, and livability of rental units with standards related to water leaks or damage, provision of heat, fire safety, functionality of doors and windows, pests, and mold.

These standards apply to all rental properties within the municipal boundaries under the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) including apartments, condo units, secondary suites, garden suites, and unauthorized suites. The town does not anticipate any significant impact to most landlords.

The bylaw also includes a detailed description of the landlord’s responsibility for repairs and maintenance of rental properties, as well as the minimum standards expected for heating systems, hot water, infestations, exterior walls, roofing, elevators, and more.

If a landlord refuses to make certain repairs, then a complaint can be filed with the Town of Creston. Then, a bylaw enforcement officer will inspect the rental property and work with the landlord to correct identified issues. In some cases, warnings or fines may be issued.

The bylaw also could be used as evidence for a repair order at a Residential Tenancy Branch dispute resolution hearing.

“Everyone has the right to live with basic necessities such as heat, hot water, and a home free of mold,” said Toyota.

“That’s what this bylaw is all about. We now have a way to protect people from living in unsafe conditions.”

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Kelsey Yates

About the Author: Kelsey Yates

Kelsey Yates has had a lifelong passion for newspapers and storytelling. Originally from Alberta, she graduated from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program in 2016.
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