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Moratorium on tenant evictions ends along with B.C. rent supplement

Last Updated Sep 1, 2020 at 4:30 pm PDT

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Summary

The provincial moratorium on evicting tenants ends Tuesday, along with the rent subsidy program

As of Sept. 1, landlords will once again be able to issue eviction notices for unpaid rent and create payment plans

Tenant advocates fear property owners will push thousands of people into homelessness

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — B.C.’s moratorium on evicting tenants ends Tuesday, along with the rent subsidy program.

As of Sept. 1, landlords will once again be able to issue eviction notices for unpaid rent and create payment plans for renters to pay back arrears.

The province is also ending a temporary rent supplement that gave $300 to $500 a month to nearly 85,000 people as of July 9, according to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

Tenant advocates fear property owners will push thousands of people into homelessness. Housing activists also want the rent subsidy of up to $500 a month continued as long as the pandemic keeps people out of work.

Landlord BC, however, says most of its members are willing to work with tenants who can’t yet pay rent before issuing an eviction notice.

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The provincial government hasn’t indicated it will make extensions, but has created a program giving tenants until next summer to pay rent owed from the past five months.

The majority of renters in B.C. continued to pay their full rent the past six months, but 12 per cent have been making partial payments, according to the province.

With more than 600,000 rental households in B.C., that could mean nearly 75,000 households owe their landlord money.

Landlords cannot end a tenancy for missed payment between March 18 and Aug. 17. Instead, they can give tenants a repayment plan with monthly payments between Sept. 1 and July 10, 2021.

Housing ministry spokesperson Marielle Tounsi has said the repayment plans can include smaller payments in their early months and deadlines that stretch past next summer – but landlords don’t have to offer plans with those features.

Tounsi also said tenants losing the rental supplement introduced during the pandemic may qualify for existing housing benefits offered by BC Housing.