Know Your Rights: the information webinar for New Brunswick tenants

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For the last few months, the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights (NBCTR) has hosted a series providing tenants in the province information on their rights as renters.

(New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights/Website)

This webinar series is online and ongoing until October. There are eight webinars in the series, and each is held in English and French.

Lack of protection for renters in New Brunswick

New Brunswick, out of all the provinces in Canada, has no rent controls, no eviction prevention or protection programs, and no requirements for landlords to be licensed. The NBCTR was formed for this exact reason.

The Tenants Coalition uses its platform to demand renters’ protection and more investments in not-for-profit social housing.

Sarah Hetherington, intern with NBCTR

To learn a little more about the initiative and the webinar series, The Baron spoke with Sarah Hetherington, a student at St. Thomas University. She is currently an intern with the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights.

(Website/CBC)

The tenant’s coalition’s primary goal with the “Know Your Rights” webinar series is to educate tenants on their rights and help them navigate the system with information otherwise not provided freely to them.

The overall purpose is to provide tenants information about what obligations their landlord has, how and when to make a complaint to the Tribunal, what is essential to know about your lease agreement, what to do if you ever get an eviction notice and more.

For tenants to have legislation and processes explained to them with an opportunity for questions is hopefully very beneficial. Education surrounding tenants’ legal rights and resources will continue to be provided throughout the webinar series.

As quoted by Hetherington, “…going past education, I think the Coalition also wants to empower New Brunswick tenants to realize they deserve more protection than is currently being provided to them by the government and fight for change alongside the Coalition.”

The coalition is teaming up with lawyer Jael Duarte, who is also the New Brunswick Tenant Advocate, facilitating all the webinars hosted by the association. Durant will continue to provide information to help tenants navigate the legal side of renting.

As part of the Tenant Advocate role, Durant is also available to contact if any tenant needs help and guidance with a specific situation.

Why are these webinars important?

Photo from a 2021 protest organized by ACORN NB and the NBCTR. (@tincanfire/Twitter)

When asked about the importance of the webinars being hosted right now, Hetherington said:

“The webinar series includes many topics covering issues tenants in NB are currently facing. It is important right now for tenants to attend the webinars and educate themselves on their rights because NB is in the midst of a housing crisis. New Brunswick has the fewest protections for tenants compared to almost anywhere else in Canada.

For tenants’ rights to be fully protected, education is extremely important. Tenants must be aware of the protections they do have and be aware of what protections they do not have so they can join the cause to change the status quo.”

Hetherington stated that bringing awareness to the housing crisis in New Brunswick through this webinar series strengthens individual knowledge of housing rights. When tenants know what to do and how to respond to situations such as rent increases or eviction notices, knowing what obligations their landlord must provide them, and how to navigate complaints through the Tribunal helps each individual in their own crises.

Awareness and education through this series are crucially important to facilitate a province of empowered tenants to come together and join the cause of demanding better protections for everyone in New Brunswick.  

Register for the webinars and learn more

(New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights/Website)

To register for the webinars and see the complete list, you can go to the events tab of the website. All events also get posted and promoted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter  

For more information on the housing crisis and tenants’ rights, tenants can follow NBCTR on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletters by providing your email on our website under the ‘Join Us’ button.  

Lastly, if people cannot attend the webinars in real-time, they are recorded and posted to their Facebook Page and YouTube. The channel is called NB Tenants / Locataires NB and the videos are made available a few weeks after the live webinars are hosted.