View Royal mulls bylaw that sets minimum and maximum temperatures for rental homes


View Royal council is considering creating minimum and maximum temperature standards for all rental units so that landlords ensure their tenants are not only staying warm in winter, but cool in the summer.

Coun. Don Brown, who tabled the motion, is suggesting a 21 C minimum and 26 C maximum.

“Several municipalities have regulations that regard keeping the temperature 21 C in the winter, but nobody seems to have anything for cooling,” said Brown.

In 2021, 619 people died in B.C. between June 25 and July 1 due to intense heat.

“I think it’s time for all levels of government and other agencies to see what we can do to alleviate this problem,” added Brown.

The bylaw would apply to all rental units, not just new builds, and enforcement would be complaint-driven, which, according to advocates, means municipal officials might not have to get involved at all.

“By creating the rule, by making the standard, it actually gives tenants the power to take that to the residential tenancy branch,” said Douglas King, the executive director of Together Against Poverty Society.

He added, “If a landlord is not providing the adequate cooling, if they’re starting to get their suite up to that level, the tenant can actually take that to the residential tenancy branch and say the landlord is not meeting the minimum requirements.”

RELATED: B.C. to provide up to 8,000 free air conditioners to low-income, vulnerable people

If the motion goes through, View Royal residents could expect to see the bylaw in place by spring.

King says View Royal is the first municipality in B.C. that he’s heard of to consider the temperature standard bylaw, and he encourages more to step up, not just on the municipal level.

“This should be a provincial thing. We would love to see the provincial government take more of an active role in setting those minimum standards and properly resourcing local governments so they can deal with it as well,” he added.

In a statement to CHEK News, B.C. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon said changes are coming in the province’s next building code update, which is expected to be brought into force in December.

He says the province is “proposing that all new homes in B.C provide one living space that is designed not to exceed 26 degrees Celsius.”

Kahlon says he has also asked the ministry “to review its policies around air conditioning.”

RELATED: As B.C. temperatures soar, advocates call for rules to keep rental housing cool

Hannah LepineHannah Lepine

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!