The B.C. government will lift the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent on Sept. 1.
In March, the province announced a moratorium on evictions, a ban on rent increases, and a rental benefit worth up to $500 a month due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The government is implementing a repayment framework to ensure renters have a reasonable timeframe to pay back any rent they owe. Landlords have to give tenants until July 2021 to repay any outstanding rent, as long as monthly instalments are paid.
The plan will come into place once the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted.
The ban on rent increases will remain in place until December.
“These changes will build on the extension of our Temporary Rent Supplement program and give renters until next summer to gradually pay back any unpaid rent to help them maintain their housing, while also continuing the ban on rent increases until December,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said.
Renters will need to pay their monthly rent in full beginning in September.
Tenancy groups have expressed concern about tenants’ ability to pay unpaid rent amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Vancouver Tenants Union has asked the province to cover the unpaid rent and send it directly to landlords.
The rental supplement program originally ran from April to June, but was extended to the end of August.
The rental supplement provides $500 per month for eligible households with dependents and $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents. Eligible roommates are also able to apply for the supplement.
The repayment framework is designed so renters will not have to make their first payment until the first rent due date following 30-days’ notice from the date of the repayment plan.
This will be Oct. 1 for most renters, assuming their landlord provides them with a repayment plan before the end of August.
The framework offers some flexibility, allowing landlords to work with renters to gradually increase payment amounts over time or extend the duration of the repayment process past July 2021.