Renters are more likely to be evicted in BC than any other province

May 16 2023, 5:50 pm

BC continues to lead the country for the highest eviction rate and most of the renters were evicted through no fault of their own, according to a new report by the University of British Columbia.

Researchers found that 85% of the tenants were forced to leave due to the landlords’ own purposes. That’s significantly higher than the national average of 65%.

british columbia eviction tenant renter

University of British Columbia/Provided

Report co-author and associate director of the UBC housing research collaborative Dr. Craig Jones said the finding challenged the assumption that tenants were usually ousted for being irresponsible.

“Traditionally we think of evictions being caused by not paying your rent or not being a good tenant, but what the survey suggests is that tenant behaviour has very little to do with evictions in BC It’s more about the real estate market,” Jones said in a news release.

The study was based on self-reported data from 41,000 tenants from the 2021 Canadian Housing Survey.

“No-fault evictions explain the entire gap between British Columbia’s overall eviction rate and the national average eviction rate,” said the report.

At-fault eviction rates are very similar across the country, ranging from 1.4% to 2.1% in the four largest provinces, Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, and Alberta.

The report noted previous research suggested at-fault economic evictions used to be the most common recorded eviction. However, that has changed.

Financialization of housing by repositioning a suite in the market at higher rents through renovation, as well as landlords’ actions in creating the conditions for eviction, have increasingly been brought to light.

The report also revealed BC still holds the title of eviction capital of Canada.

More than 10% of BC renter households were evicted between April 2016 and April 2021, as opposed to only 5.9% nationally.

“Sale of the property” was the most common reason for evictions in Canada, making up around 33% of all evictions.

“Landlords wanting the property for their own use” came second, accounting for a quarter of evictions.

Seven-and-a-half per cent of the landlords took the property back for renovation or demolition.

Meanwhile, at least 38,900 renters households were served an eviction notice during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic despite eviction bans.

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