The Manitoba government is working with community leaders and landlords to help ensure they are aware of the tools and resources available to help deal with drugs, criminal activity and other issues that negatively affect neighbourhood safety, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.
“The province has a number of options available to help tenants, landlords and other concerned citizens identify, report and respond to unlawful activities,” said Cullen. “By working together, we will make our communities safer for all and help to reduce crime.”
There are several ways that landlords and tenants can address public safety concerns with the support of the provincial government:
In situations where a tenant is engaged in unlawful activity that poses an immediate risk to others, a landlord can evict a tenant with only five days’ notice. If this is disputed by the tenant, the Residential Tenancies Branch (RTB) can schedule a hearing within five days.
Tenants and landlords can request voluntary, legally binding mediation through the RTB on issues such as owing rent, repairs or evictions.
Any Manitoban can file a confidential report with Manitoba Justice’s Public Safety Investigations (PSI) unit about properties where threatening or disturbing activities regularly take place, such as unlawful drug use, prostitution, unlawful use or sale of intoxicating substances, child exploitation, or participation in a criminal organization. Following an investigation, the province can issue a warning letter to the property owner, resolve the problem out of court, or apply for an order to close the property or remove the tenants involved.
Since 2016, the PSI unit has responded to 435 complaints about properties with chronic, problematic behaviour. Of these, 425 were confirmed to have drug-related activity. Because of PSI investigations, 375 properties were closed.
“Police cannot deal with crime on their own and landlords need to be part of the solution,” said Sel Burrows, chair of the Point Douglas Residents Committee. “We are very pleased to work with the RTB and the province and that they’re committed to working with the community and landlords to speed the eviction process for tenants involved in criminal behaviour out of their rented property.”
Information about provincial resources for landlords and concerned community members has been developed in consultation with the Point Douglas Residents Committee and will be distributed over the next several weeks. The minister noted this information will also be shared with landlords at a workshop hosted by the Winnipeg Police Service on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at William Whyte School, 200 Powers St. Pre-registration is required by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about resources available to landlords and tenants is available at www.gov.mb.ca/rtb, by calling 204-945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403 (toll-free), or by emailing email@example.com. To learn more about the public safety investigation unit and how to file a confidential complaint, visit www.gov.mb.ca/justice/commsafe/scna.html or call 204-945-3475 or 1-800-954-9361 (toll-free).