The B.C. government has announced it will be lifting the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent ahead of Sept. 1.
This means renters will need to pay their monthly rent in full beginning in September.
The government said a repayment framework will be put in place later this summer for tenants to pay rent they are owing.
“We know that COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our lives and our economy. As we carefully move forward with restarting the economy, we are taking the same measured approach to tenancy rules and giving people advance notice so they can plan,” Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said on a statement.
“These changes will build on the extension of our Temporary Rent Supplement (TRS) program and give renters until next summer to gradually pay back any unpaid rent to help them maintain their housing, while also continuing the ban on rent increases until December.”
The framework will apply once the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted. It requires the landlord to give the tenant until July 2021 to repay any outstanding rent, as long as monthly instalments are paid.
The repayment framework is designed so renters will not have to make their first installment payment until the first rent due date following 30 days of notice from the date of the repayment plan. This will be Oct. 1 for most renters, assuming their landlord provides them with a repayment plan before the end of August.
For example, a renter owing $2,000 in unpaid rent will receive a repayment framework that sets out:
- the total amount of rent still owed ($2,000);
- the amount the renter is expected to pay each month, with the total owing split into instalments (e.g., $200 each month from October 2020 to July 2021);
- the date of the first payment is due (Oct. 1, 2020)
The government said as some tenants and landlords made rental payment arrangements during the eviction ban issued in March, there will be flexibility for landlords to work with renters to further adjust the payment amounts
For example, a landlord could lower payments in the beginning of the agreement and gradually increasing the payment amounts over time or extending the duration of the repayment process past July 2021.
Renters can continue to apply for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement until the end of August.
Two other emergency measures related to rentals will also be extended, the government said.
In the early stages of the pandemic response, landlords were temporarily prohibited from charging rent increases as part of the government’s efforts to help people financially impacted by COVID-19. These rent increases will continue to be restricted until December 2020.
And landlords will continue to have the ability to restrict access to common spaces when required for COVID-19 related health reasons.
In June, the government began allowing landlords to once again issue notices to end tenancy for reasons other than late or non-payment of rent.