Ministerial Order

Today the Honourable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor, issued a ministerial order which puts much of what the Premier, John Horgan, and Housing Minister Selina Robinson announced last Wednesday into legislation. This order is in place as of March 30th and will remain in effect until the Provincial State of Emergency is lifted. Today we will focus just on the implications this order has for ending tenancies. Further detail on the topics of rent increases, access to common areas, landlord’s access to rental units, and service methods to be released tomorrow. You can find the ministerial order here.

End of Tenancies

While this order is in effect landlords are prohibited from serving any end of tenancy notices. Additionally, if a landlord were to serve a Notice to End Tenancy while this order is in place an arbitrator must not issue an Order of Possession

If a Notice to End Tenancy was served prior to this order coming into effect (March 30, 2020) the landlord may still apply for and be awarded an Order of Possession from an arbitrator. However, the enforcement of any Order of Possession through obtaining a Writ of Possession and the enforcement of an existing Writ of Possession is prohibited.

There are two exceptions to this. The first is that an arbitrator may issue an Order of Possession and the Order of Possession may be enforced if there is an emergency were the safety of the landlord or other tenants of the residential property are at risk.  Additionally, the Residential Tenancy Branch may issue an Order of Possession if the rental unit must be vacated to comply with a Federal, Provincial, Regional or Municipal order and that it would be unreasonable to wait until this order is no longer in effect.

Q: I served a 2 Month Notice to End Tenancy last month, can I obtain an order of possession?
A: Yes, notices served prior to March 30, 2020 are still effective and the RTB is still able to issue an Order of Possession. The tenant should vacate based on the effective date of the end of tenancy or Order of Possession. However, if they do not the landlord would not be able to enforce the Order of Possession through a bailiff

Q: Can I serve a Notice to End Tenancy if rent is not paid on April 1st?
A: No. While this Ministerial Order is in effect landlords are prohibited from serving any form of Notice to End Tenancy.

Q: Should I apply for an order of possession for a Notice to End Tenancy I served last month?
A: Landlords can apply for an Order of Possession for based on a Notice to End Tenancy served before March 30, 2020. It may be advisable for landlords that have reason to believe their tenant will not vacate the rental unit after our current State of Emergency is lifted to apply for an Order of Possession to be enforced once the Ministerial Order is lifted.

Q: Does this affect applications for a monetary order?
A: No. Landlords are still able to apply for and enforce monetary orders.

Q: My tenant has assaulted another tenant. Am I able to apply for an Order of Possession and would an Order of Possession be enforceable?
A: Yes, Landlords can apply for and enforce an Order of Possession in situations where the safety of the landlord or other tenant of the residential property is at jeopardy.

More details can be found through the RTB’s COVID-19 page.

We know that you will have more questions and LandlordBC is committed to continuing our efforts to bring you regular updates as more information becomes available.