British Columbia Updates Eviction Policies

by Chris on July 20, 2020

British Columbia’s Residential Tenancy Branch has announced that some eviction cases can move forward after being stalled since March.

Landlords now can issue eviction notices for reasons other than non-payment of rent or late rent payments. Tenants can be served personally pursuant to existing service rules.

Those landlords with orders entered prior to the moratorium now can go to the courts for enforcement. A tenant who owes rent from before March 18, 2020 can be issued a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent, according to the RTB.

The ban on evictions for non-payment of rent will be lifted sometime prior to September 1, according to the RTB. Renters will be required to pay full monthly rent beginning September 2020. If a tenant has outstanding rent or utilities from March 18 forward, the landlord will be required to enter into a repayment plan for the arrears. A landlord will not be able to issue a Notice to End Tenancy for outstanding amounts from that period unless the tenant defaults on the repayment plan.

The repayment plan will need to be in writing and properly served. It should include:
The amount of rent still owed from the emergency period;
The date each installment is due;
The amount of each installment, split equally;
The date the first payment is due.

Landlords cannot charge late fees for the “emergency” period — from March 18 forward. Likewise, late payments during the pandemic will not be grounds for an eviction.

A Notice to End Tenancy can be issued if the tenant fails to pay full rent and utilities September 1, 2020.

Notice may be served for rent increases, but no increase can take effect until December 1, 2020.

Landlords now can enter a unit without a tenant’s consent after providing 24-hours’ notice. However, landlords must follow current health recommendations for social distancing, masks, and sanitation.

Any restrictions on access to common areas currently in place for public health can remain in effect. The moratoriums on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent remain in place.

Landlords facing unresolved tenant disputes are encouraged to seek mediation services through Mediate BC.

The province will continue to offer a temporary rental supplement through August of this year. Tenants can apply for the supplement, which is $300 for households with no dependents and $500 for households with dependents. Tenants who already have applied do not need to re-apply for July and August. New applications will be accepted through August 31, 2020. Rental supplement payments are provided to the landlord.

This information may be updated in the upcoming weeks. For more, visit the Residential Tenancy Branch.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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