The B.C. government is ending its pandemic emergency restrictions on evicting tenants for unpaid rent as of Sept. 1, with allowances for people to catch up on rent owed until next summer.
As long as tenants keep up current rent as of September, they will have until July 2021 to pay the arrears in instalments, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson announced July 16. A ban on rent increases during the pandemic is extended until December 2020.
“Recognizing that many renters and landlords worked together to make arrangements during this crisis, the framework will also leave some flexibility for landlords to work with renters to further adjust the payment amounts,” the ministry said in a statement. “For example, allowing lower payments in the beginning of the agreement and gradually increasing the payment amounts over time or extending the duration of the payment process past July 2021.”
Along with the ban on rent increases, an emergency provision allowing landlords to restrict access to the common areas of rental buildings to protect residents from virus contamination.
The ministry reports that nearly 85,000 people have qualified for B.C.’s temporary rent supplement program for people who have lost income during the pandemic. The program provides $500 per month for eligible households with dependents, and $300 for renters without dependents.