Open letter to Elaine Taylor, minister of community services:
The Yukon Status of Women Council has been following with interest the Landlord and Tenant Act Review and now the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. We have made submissions to the review and participated in consultations regarding the act.
We are pleased with the modernization and improvements to the act. However, our strongest recommendation was an end to terminating tenancy without cause. We are pleased that the notice period has been extended to two months but are urging you to end termination without cause.
All other jurisdictions in Canada, except New Brunswick, have legislated against termination without cause. In order to provide security of tenure, the law must define the ways a tenancy ends and include a list of causes of termination. Ontario provides an excellent example of this legislation.
We were also pleased to see that limits have been placed regarding the timing of rent increases. However, we are disappointed that no cap or limit was placed on the amount of increase allowed.
In a rental market such as Yukon is experiencing now, where rental accommodation is scarce and rents are high, this puts tenants at risk for rent gouging. Rent increases should be tied to the costs associated with providing the rental unit, not on whatever the market will bear.
We hope that you will act to make our Residential Landlord and Tenant Act one of the best in the country by eliminating eviction without cause and setting a reasonable cap on rental increases.
Co-ordinator, Yukon Status of Women Council