Skip to main content

N.B. government’s rent cap 'guarantee' is full of holes: Tenant group

A guarantee from the New Brunswick government that landlords won’t be able to get around rent control rules is full of holes, according to a tenants' rights group.

In March, Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservatives announced a one-year rent cap at 3.8 per cent retroactive to Jan. 1.

Matthew Hayes, a member of the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights, said there have been several reports in May of eviction letters being sent due to alleged "renovictions."

“It has really pushed unscrupulous landlords to find ways around the incoming rent cap,” said Hayes. “And there are ways around it because the legislation is weak.”

Service New Brunswick Minister Mary Wilson said her department wouldn’t allow any gaps in the province’s rent cap legislation to be taken advantage of.

“I can guarantee you, right here today, that the small percentage of landlords who are trying to find loopholes to circumvent this system are not going to be successful,” said Wilson in the legislature during Tuesday’s question period.

Hayes said Wilson’s guarantee would be difficult to uphold under the current legislation, which isn’t expected to become law until June.

“I’d be pleased to hear from Minister Wilson exactly how she’s going to guarantee that there won’t be any ‘renovictions’,” said Wilson. “That’s a tall order. I don’t see how she can do that.”

Advocates for tenant rights have pointed to legislation in other provinces as being stronger and more effective in preventing landlords from getting around rules, arguing New Brunswick’s plan left too much room for interpretation.

Wilson said there were four reasons why a landlord would be able to terminate a rental agreement under New Brunswick’s legislation:

  • If a relative to the landlord was going to occupy the unit
  • if extensive renovations warranted a unit being empty
  • if an employment contract related to the maintenance or management of the unit had ended
  • if the unit was being converted for non-residential reasons

Wilson said tenants had several avenues to file a complaint if they felt any eviction was unjust.

“The only caveat for tenants is that once you’re in receipt of a termination notice, you have to reach out to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal,” she said. “There are several ways to do that and you have to do it within 15 days of that notice.” Top Stories


LIVE UPDATES Polls now closed for Election Day in Manitoba

Polls are closed and results will be coming in shortly in what will be a historic election for the province. The Progressive Conservatives' Heather Stefanson is looking to become the first woman elected premier, while the NDP's Wab Kinew is looking to become the province's first First Nation premier. Follow along for live updates on candidates, voting information and results.

Stay Connected