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What are the options for filing BC Residential Tenancy Branch applications and evidence during the COVID-19 state of emergency?

Category
Updated
27, 07-2020

Parties are encouraged to stay home and to file applications and evidence online.  Parties should make reasonable efforts to file within the timelines set out in the legislation. While concessions will be made when possible, there are some timelines that cannot be extended. Refer to Policy Guideline 36: Extending a Time Period to make sure you’re not missing any important deadlines. Documents that cannot be filed online can be emailed. If you don’t have access to email, contact the BC Residential Tenancy Branch for assistance. Go HERE to learn more ways to get in contact with the RTB. 

In-person services are no longer available at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) Office. However, a drop-box at the Burnaby RTB Office is available to submit paper applications, evidence and payment. Notice of Hearing packages can still be picked up in person at the Burnaby office and kiosks are available.

Check out the Residential Tenancy Branch website for the most current guidelines.

Do I have to tell my landlord if I have the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Date:
July 27, 2020

According to the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA): 

“You do not need to provide your medical information, including COVID-19 Coronavirus diagnosis, to your landlord. Tenancy or continued tenancy can not be contingent on the provision of medical information.”

To learn more about tenant rights during the coronavirus pandemic, see the BCCLA’s COVID-19 and Tenant Privacy Rights fact sheet or LandLord BC’s Balancing a Tenant’s Privacy Rights with Health and Safety Risks During COVID‐19.

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What are the options for filing BC Residential Tenancy Branch applications and evidence during the COVID-19 state of emergency?

Date:
July 27, 2020

Parties are encouraged to stay home and to file applications and evidence online.  Parties should make reasonable efforts to file within the timelines set out in the legislation. While concessions will be made when possible, there are some timelines that cannot be extended. Refer to Policy Guideline 36: Extending a Time Period to make sure you’re not missing any important deadlines. Documents that cannot be filed online can be emailed. If you don’t have access to email, contact the BC Residential Tenancy Branch for assistance. Go HERE to learn more ways to get in contact with the RTB. 

In-person services are no longer available at the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) Office. However, a drop-box at the Burnaby RTB Office is available to submit paper applications, evidence and payment. Notice of Hearing packages can still be picked up in person at the Burnaby office and kiosks are available.

Check out the Residential Tenancy Branch website for the most current guidelines.

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I received a notice of a rent increase. Is that allowed in BC during the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Date:
July 27, 2020

BC landlords are still able to give notices of rent increases, however the increase will not come into effect until December 1, 2020. If your landlord does collect on the increased rent, you can deduct the extra amount from future rent payments. See HERE for more information.

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Where can I get current information on BC tenants rights and responsibilities during COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Date:
July 27, 2020

The BC Residential Tenancy Branch has provided answers to common questions about the changes in housing policies during the crisis. Information is available for landlords and tenants. See COVID-19 and Tenancies for up to date information. 

You can also call the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre’s Tenant Infoline at 604-255-0546 or 1-800-665-1185.

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I can’t pay my rent right because of COVID-19 Coronavirus. Can I be evicted?

Date:
July 27, 2020

You should pay rent whenever possible and take advantage of all the programs being offered now to assist renters. Currently, however, evictions are not allowed for the non-payment of rent. A landlord can now issue a Notice to End Tenancy for any reason (other than unpaid or late payment rent). A tenant who has not paid rent could face eviction once the state of emergency is over.

NOTE: The BC Government plans to lift the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent ahead of September 1, 2020. Landlords will be able to issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities if the tenant fails to pay full rent September 1, 2020. To assist in repayment, the province has developed a Rent Repayment Plan.

There are temporary rent supplements available for eligible households. Applications are made through  BC Housing. The BC Temporary Rental Supplement has been extended for July and August 2020.

If you were evicted before March 18th, 2020 your eviction still applies and you can either dispute it at the Residential Tenancy Branch, or accept it and move out. 

See the Residential Tenancy Branch’s website for up to date information.  You can also call the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre’s Info line at 604-255-0546 or 1-800-665-1185 to speak to one of their staff members.

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Can a BC tenant be evicted during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis?

Date:
July 27, 2020

As of June 19, 2020, the Province is maintaining the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent. However, other notices to end tenancy may resume effectively immediately. Landlords with existing orders for eviction can take them to the courts beginning July 2, 2020, for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately. To see the update click HERE.

The BC Government plans to lift the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent ahead of September 1, 2020. Landlords will be able to issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities if the tenant fails to pay full rent September 1, 2020. To assist in repayment, the province has developed a Rent Repayment Plan.

See the Residential Tenancy Branch for more information.

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I'm in BC. Can I get help paying my rent during the COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Date:
July 27, 2020

You should try to pay for rent whenever you can. The  BC government has set up a program that will provide a  BC temporary rent supplement program of $300 for households with no dependents and $500 for households with dependents from April to August 2020 (which will go directly to landlords) to those who qualify. 

To learn more about the program see www.bchousing.org/BCTRS or call 778-452-2836 or 1-877-757-2577. To apply see HERE.  Also, see BC Housing’s BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program FAQ

You should still pay your rent if you can.The BC Government plans to lift the ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent ahead of September 1, 2020. Landlords will be able to issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities if the tenant fails to pay full rent September 1, 2020. To assist in repayment, the province has developed a Rent Repayment Plan.

Go to the Residential Tenancy Branch for more information on housing and COVID-19. 

If you have lost your job as a result of COVID-19 Coronavirus, you may be eligible for financial assistance from the provincial and federal governments. See HERE for a list of BC programs designed to provide financial support. 

See HERE for a list of federal programs.

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My BC landlord wants to come into my unit. Are they allowed to during COVID-19?

Date:
July 27, 2020

As of June 19, 2020, Landlords can enter a rental suite with 24-hour notice and do not need the tenant’s consent. They are expected to follow health guidelines like physical distancing, cleaning and wearing masks when appropriate. See the update HERE

BC landlords may only enter a tenant’s unit without notice if there is a risk to life or property. See the Residential Tenancy Branch and BC Housing for more information.

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I've lost my job, what are my options for paying my mortgage during COVID-19 Coronavirus?

Date:
July 27, 2020

If you've lost income because of COVID-19 Coronavirus and can't pay your mortgage, you may be able to defer (postpone) payments. The most important first step is to talk to your lender. But it's important that you don’t stop making mortgage payments before you confirm with your lender that you qualify.

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has provided some guidance on the Mortgage Deferral Program. Be aware that interest will still be charged during the deferment period. You should contact your lender for details about their policy and options.

See MyLawBC’s COVID-19 Mortgage and Rent FAQs for more details.

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