Residential Tenancy Branch offers service in more than 200 languages
June 11, 2023
By BC GOV NEWS |
The Province’s Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) is offering real-time interpretation services in more than 200 languages for dispute resolution and other information.
“Renters and landlords have been clear that the former residential tenancy dispute-resolution services, offered only in English, were not adequately addressing their needs,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Housing. “We’ve heard those concerns and are taking action to provide assistance to people in multiple languages so both renters and landlords can get the fair treatment and timely support they deserve.”
Interpretation in multiple languages, offered free as of April 1, 2023, encourages more British Columbians whose first language is not English to access the RTB’s services.
Previously, people requiring interpretation in a different language were advised to engage a family member or friend, potentially preventing them from accessing the RTB’s services.
“This change will help bring greater access for everyone involved in a tenancy inquiry or dispute,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, chair of the Rental Housing Task Force and MLA for Vancouver-West End. “Offering these services in multiple languages responds to feedback received by the Rental Housing Task Force to ensure greater assistance for people with English as a second language so they can access the services they need at the RTB.”
Some of the more-common languages in which these services are being offered are Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi (Persian), French, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu and Vietnamese. Services are also being offered in many of the Indigenous languages spoken in the province.