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Province extends ban on rent increases, will allow some evictions amid continuing health crisis

Last Updated Jun 19, 2020 at 8:47 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

B.C. is extending a moratorium on rent increases and its rental supplement program

The province has announced a ban on evictions due to non-payment of rent is also being extended

Changes include allowing notice of eviction for reasons other than missed rental payments

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The B.C. government says it will extend the current moratorium on rent increases as well as evictions related to missed rent payments.

However, other notices to end tenancy will resume starting later this month. These measures were brought in amid the COVID-19 pandemic as more people were put out of work due to the health crisis.

“COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our lives and our economy. While we are seeing good success at limiting the spread of COVID-19 thanks to everyone’s joint efforts, it has been a difficult time for many,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson says.

Many landlords have raised concerns about not being able to evict tenants under specific circumstances. The province’s changes address some of those concerns.

“We’re continuing to protect renters as we also ensure landlords are receiving some income during this time,” Robinson adds in a statement.

The ban on evictions has been in place since the end of March. Starting later in June, landlords will be able to serve a tenant notice to vacate for reasons including the sale of a property with intentions to move in, landlord or purchaser use, as well as for cause. That can include when a tenant is putting the landlord or others at risk, or has sublet their property without permission, the province says.

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“Depending on the type, these will require a notice period of between one and four months,” a release reads.

“As we move forward with carefully restarting the economy and look to a new normal, we are taking a similarly phased approach to rental housing,” Robinson said. “We’re recognizing that there are situations where it is safe and reasonable to return to normal processes, but we’re also continuing to protect people who have lost income because of the pandemic from losing their homes.”

Rental supplement extended

Meanwhile, the rental supplement is also being extended through August.

Anyone who has already been approved fro the provincial temporary rental supplement won’t have to reapply. They’ll receive an email asking if they plan to continue living at their same address through July and August, the province explains.

“New applications will also be accepted until Aug. 31 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and all subsequent months,” the province adds.

Between April 9 and June 15, the province says BC Housing received more than 90,000 applications for the temporary rental supplement program, with a total of nearly 82,500 eligible applications confirmed.

Under the rental supplement, eligible households with dependents receive $500 a month while those without dependents receive $300 a month.

The supplement is part of B.C.’s $5 billion COVID-19 Action Plan and is separate from federal funding as well as the $1,000 B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers.