April 1, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Tenants of rooming and boarding houses are now protected under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Amendments to the legislation ensure that roomers and boarders and their landlords now have similar rights and obligations as any other tenant or landlord in the province.
"Every tenant has a right to live in a place that is clean and in a good state of repair," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau, who is also the minister responsible for Service New Brunswick. "And, as with every other tenant, roomers and boarders have a responsibility to keep their rental units in good shape and to pay their rent on time."
Under the amendments, landlords of rooming or boarding houses also have the right to contact the Office of the Rentalsman for information and help with rental issues.
Comprehensive new regulations were developed to support the amendments, including major changes to improve both customer service and to streamline office procedures at the Office of the Rentalsman. The most significant change involves the redesign of the New Brunswick residential lease which now includes detailed tenancy information for landlords and tenants to review prior to entering into a contractual agreement.
"We are pleased to be investing an additional $285,000 annually into the Office of the Rentalsman to ensure that the most vulnerable New Brunswickers are protected in a more meaningful way," said Boudreau. "We have restructured the rentalsman services, we are upgrading the technology, and we are hiring four people into new permanent positions to ensure that this new legislation is well supported. This is a big step forward for the rentalsman program."
In April 2008, the Office of the Rentalsman became a part of Service New Brunswick. The office now provides tenants and landlords with the option of making security deposits and requests for refunds of security deposits at any service centre in the province.
Adding protection for roomers and boarders is a commitment made by the government under the Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan. The plan was adopted in November 2009 by the 50 members of the Final Forum representing government, the business and community sectors, and residents who have experienced living in poverty.
For more information on renting, visit the Office of the Rentalsman online.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Information on rooming and boarding houses follows. MEDIA CONTACT: Brent Roy, communications, Service New Brunswick, 506-453-6775.
What are rooming or boarding houses?
Rooming houses include accommodations that provide some shared facilities such as a kitchen and a bathroom. Some rooming houses may also provide additional services.
Boarding house is defined as a rooming house that also includes some or all meals.
Rooming and boarding houses do not include living accommodations such as: