Yukon may revisit protections for mobile home owners

The Yukon government is willing to reconsider protections for mobile home owners under the Landlord and Tenant Act, says Brad Cathers, the minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation.

The Yukon government is willing to reconsider protections for mobile home owners under the Landlord and Tenant Act, says Brad Cathers, the minister responsible for the Yukon Housing Corporation.

On Monday Cathers responded to a petition signed by about 350 mobile home residents calling for increased protection against pad rent increases and evictions.

He pointed out that mobile home owners do have some special protections, compared to apartment tenants.

Under the updated Landlord and Tenant Act that was passed two years ago, but has yet to come into force, tenants can be evicted with two months notice without cause.

But mobile home owners must be given more than a year’s notice of an eviction, and cannot be evicted in December, January or February.

Pad rent can be raised an unlimited amount with three months notice, no more than once a year.

If a mobile home owner does not wish to pay the increased rent, he or she can opt instead to vacate the property within a year and pay the current rent for the remainder of the tenancy.

“I recognize that mobile home owners, who did not, in most cases, participate in the public consultation that developed the act, have expressed an interest in seeing changes made to the legislation,” said Cathers.

Any reconsideration of the act would have to take into consideration the rights of trailer park owners as well, he said.

“I would like to thank all of the Yukoners who brought forward their concerns to the government’s attention and again, would state our willingness to take another look at that specific section of the act through consultation, considering the interest of all affected parties.”

The NDP’s housing critic, Kate White, said Cathers’s response was pretty much what she expected.

“It still leaves people in mobile homes pretty much where they were before, which is, not very protected.”

The limited additional protections in the act don’t mean much to a mobile home owner facing eviction, she said.

“There’s still no place to move them. At least if you’re in an apartment and you get an eviction notice you can find another apartment. But where is someone going to take a trailer?”

Moving a trailer is expensive in some cases and impossible in others, she said.

“They’re essentially walking away from the asset, because they can’t afford to move them.”

White spent three months this summer knocking on doors and talking to mobile home owners about their concerns.

A lot of people had no idea that they were so unprotected, so for Cathers to fault them for lack of participation is “complete and utter bullshit,” she said.

Even though they own their home, they are worse off in the case of an eviction than an apartment renter, said White.

She mentioned the case of a resident of the Benchmark trailer park who faces eviction this March.

Because she can’t move her trailer, she’ll lose it, said White.

“To add insult to injury, she’s going to have to pay to have it taken down.

“I just can’t even imagine how that feels.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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