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New N.B. legislation aimed at helping renters falls short, advocates say


With both rent and the cost of construction rising, New Brunswick has introduced legislation for renters and landlords, which includes rent increases being limited to once every year and banning them for the first year of tenancy.

Other changes introduced include tenants getting 30 days to apply for a rent increase review, the rent increase notice period increasing from three months to six, and allowing the Residential Tenancies tribunal to review all rent increases.

"The idea here is, we can't have people living in accommodations and all of a sudden get forced to leave because of a massive increase," says Premier Blaine Higgs. "There has to be some notice, and it has to be timely, and have rationale behind it."

The legislation follows a 90-day review of the rental landscape in New Brunswick, which was announced in January of this year, and resulted in a report which was published in May.

Housing advocacy groups who were calling for rent control and for eviction protection for tenants in the province, however, say that the new legislation falls short.

"(Rent increases) only being limited to once per year could be helpful, but it could backfire" says Jill Farrar of ACORN NB, "in the way that people just start getting yearly large rent increases, because there's still no limit on how much rent can be increased."

The New Brunswick Coalition For Tenants' Rights is also expressing disappointment that they were not consulted as part of the new legislation.

"It's not addressing the real point," says tenant advocate Jael Duarte, it's even increasing the problem, so it's showing that we're addressing the rent increases, but it's not true – because there's not a cap." Top Stories

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