British Columbia is extending its temporary rental supplement payments, or TRS, until the end of August. The moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent will continue, as will the restriction on rent increases.
The rental supplement is $500 per month for households with dependents and $300 per month for those with no dependents. Roommates may be eligible for the payments.
“Recognizing the financial challenges faced by many people, our government is extending the TRS and maintaining the rent freeze and the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent. We’re continuing to protect renters as we also ensure landlords are receiving some income during this time,” Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing explains.
According to the Ministry, tenants who already have been approved to receive TRS payments do not need to apply for July and August payments. Those tenants will receive an email allowing them to confirm that they live at the same address through those months. New applications will be accepted through August 31.
The Ministry reports more than 90,000 applications for the rental supplements have been received so far, and around 82,500 have been approved.
While the moratorium on evictions for nonpayment will continue, the Province is expected to announce later this month when it will lift the ban on evictions for other reasons. Those cases include landlords who wish to move into the property and for cause, such as tenants who are a safety concern or those who have sublet without permission. Notice requirements for these evictions will range from one to four months.
Later this month the Province is expected to order that eviction notices that were served before the moratorium was enacted will be allowed to move forward and those filed with courts will become enforceable. Landlords wishing to have an existing notice of eviction enforced may be able to apply to begin that process July 1.
In a statement, the Ministry explains that it will provide advance notice before lifting of the eviction ban to encourage landlords to continue to work with tenants who are experiencing financial difficulties from the pandemic. When the eviction moratorium is lifted, tenants will be required to pay outstanding rent.
It is anticipated at that time that landlords will have expanded access to properties including showings and routine maintenance. However, social distancing practices will be required. Landlords who restricted tenants’ access to common areas likely will be allowed to continue the practice where it serves the health and safety of tenants, according to the Ministry.
For information about the temporary rental supplement visit: http://bchousing.org/bctrs and for updates on evictions check https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/covid-19
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