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Tenant Assistance

In Burnaby, tenants are protected from displacement due to rezoning redevelopment through the City’s Tenant Assistance Policy. The policy is one of the most progressive in Canada, with four pillars of support for tenants:

  • Help finding a new place to rent, if requested; 
  • Rent top-up payments, if needed, to bridge the gap between rent for the new unit and existing rent level; 
  • Financial support with moving; and
  • The right to return to the new development at the same rent (plus any Residential Tenancy Act rent increases) in a suite with the same number of bedrooms.

The policy was developed in response to recommendations made by the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing, which included the largest public engagement in Burnaby’s history. The Task Force recommended the City develop a robust Tenant Assistance Policy, and the revised policy delivers that framework.

Tenant Assistance Policy 

Who is protected?

Renters living in a building with five or more units that requires rezoning as a result of redevelopment or renovation are protected. It does not apply to community housing that is operated as below-market rental by non-profit housing societies, housing co-operatives or government authorities.

Help finding a new place to rent

Renters have flexible options to choose where they live while their building is redeveloped. They can find their own accommodation, or have their landlord provide three suitable accommodation options. The landlord will make every effort to find a location within the same area of Burnaby.

Help with moving

Moving can be stressful. Landlords will help relieve the burden of moving by providing a moving service, or financial support if a renter wants to arrange the moving themselves. 

The landlord will provide:

  • An insured moving company, arranged by the landlord; or
  • A cash payout based on the unit (studio/one bedroom: $900, two-bedrooms: $1,200, three or more bedrooms: $1,400).

Financial support while in interim housing

While waiting for the new building to be completed, renters will receive a rent top-up while in interim housing. Rent top-ups are provided one of two ways. If they choose to live in interim accommodation provided by the landlord, they will continue to pay the same rent. 

If they choose to find their own accommodation, the top-up rate (paid by the landlord) is capped at the difference between the tenant’s current rent plus 15%, or at 30% above the median rent paid for a similar unit in the same neighbourhood as determined by the federal housing agency, CMHC, whichever is greater. 

Tenant Relocation Coordinators 

When a landlord is rezoning their building for a renovation or to build new, they will hire a Tenant Relocation Coordinator to assist tenants and deliver on all the items in the Tenant Assistance Policy.

Tenant Relocation Coordinators are responsive and available to answer questions by phone or email at regular and consistent hours. Their contact information will be posted in the building.

New building, same rent

A key pillar of support is that a renter has the right to return to the new development at the same rent (plus any Residential Tenancy Act rent increases) to a suite with the same number of bedrooms.

More Information

Burnaby’s Tenant Assistance Policy builds on the rights of landlords and tenants established by the provincial Residential Tenancy Act. More information is available about the Tenant Assistance Policy by contacting the City of Burnaby’s Renters Office at 604-294-7750 or

Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

Council Reports