BC renters will have to pay up again soon after temporary evictions ban

Aug 14 2020, 12:00 pm

The BC government has offered more details regarding the end of its temporary rental evictions ban, which is set to come into effect on August 18.

Originally introduced in March, the ban was brought in as a way to support those who found themselves unable to pay rent due to job loss during the pandemic.

Last month, the province announced renters will be expected to pay rent in full on September 1, 2020, as the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent will end on August 18. Renters in arrears on rent due during the specified period of March 18 to August 17 will have until at least July 2021 to pay back any rent they owe, with the first repayments not starting until October at the earliest.

On Friday, the province released further details on the new repayment framework, which is also available on the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) website.

The rental framework will protect renters by ensuring they cannot be evicted for a missed or late rent payment from March 18 to August. 17, unless a renter defaults on their repayment plan.

The terms of the repayment plan must include the following:

  • amount of outstanding rent
  • start date of the repayment plan
  • amount of each instalment
  • dates for each instalment

The province said repayment instalments must begin at least 30 days after the date the plan is given by the landlord to the renter. It also must give renters until July 2021 for the final repayments to be made, unless the landlord and renter agree to a longer period. And while it will still be paid in equal instalments, renters and landlords have the option of agreeing to smaller amounts being paid each month at the beginning of the repayment process.

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due. For example, if a repayment plan is delivered to the renter on August 29 and rent is due on the first of each month, the first instalment is due October 1.

While the moratorium is coming to an end, the provincial government said is still supporting renters by continuing to temporarily prohibit landlords from charging rent increases until December 2020.

“A renter who has been issued a notice of rent increase for an earlier date should not pay the increase and continue to pay their current amount until then,” the province said.

The Temporary Rental Supplement also remains available to people until August 31, 2020.

Renters who are still experiencing a loss of income may also be eligible for either the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs, which provide ongoing rental subsidies for low- and moderate-income families and seniors, the province said. Details on these programs are available through BC Housing.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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