Province Announces Next Steps to Support Renters, Landlords

In recent weeks LandlordBC had aggressively advocated for the reopening of our sector, and we are pleased that with today’s announcement the Province recognized the importance of ensuring rental housing providers were included in its “re-start” plans. An important aspect of this announcement was the extension of the BC-TRS (temporary rent supplement) for an additional two months, through August 2020. It is a very positive outcome for both renters and landlords, and a measure that LandlordBC had strongly encouraged.

LandlordBC had been consulted on the two-phased “re-start” for our sector that the Province announced today, and we understand the need to move forward as they have indicated.  Phase 1 (effective July 1, 2020) will certainly permit our sector to return to a significant degree of normalcy, which is good news. Phase 2 points to a legislated structure that will facilitate repayment of outstanding rents incurred during the COVID-19 period (March 17 to end of June 2020). We will need to see the details of this proposed structure before we can comment further. The continuation of the rent freeze remains a concern for our sector and we will continue to engage with the Province on this issue.

As of July 1st, landlords will be able to take their Orders to the courts and those landlords that already have a Writ of Possession can have them enforced as soon as the Emergency Order of Possession is in effect. Additionally, landlords will be able to serve a Notice of Entry without a tenant’s consent. This is an important step in the re-opening of our industry and will allow landlords to show suites to potential tenants and undertake needed repairs. We urge landlords to continue operating with an abundance of caution when considering the need to enter a tenant’s suite but refrain from doing so when at all possible.

When Ministerial Order M089 was introduced it allowed the temporary use of email as a method of service. Email will no longer be considered a method of service and serving in person will be allowed. Email as a method of service will likely return in the near future as a permanent fixture in the Residential Tenancy Act and Regulations.

The Province has worked diligently to protect British Columbians during this pandemic and is working with all sectors to re-start our economy in a measured and safe manner. LandlordBC appreciates the consultative manner in which the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and her team have engaged our organization as we work together to navigate this crisis for both renters and rental housing providers.