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

Category
Updated
07, 07-2021

The BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program ended as of August 31, 2020.

Renters who are still experiencing a loss of income may also be eligible for either the Rental Assistance Program or the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs, which provide ongoing rental assistance for lower income families and seniors.

Details and full eligibility requirements can be found on the BC Housing Rental Assistance page, or call BC Housing at 604-433-2218 or toll-free from anywhere in B.C. at 1-800-257-7756.

The BC Government’s ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent officially ended on September 1, 2020. Effective July 10, 2021, the requirement for landlords to give their tenants a repayment plan for unpaid rent or utilities due between March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020, is repealed. All unpaid rents and utilities should be repaid by July 10, 2021, unless the parties agreed to an alternative arrangement to extend payments beyond July 10, 2021. If there are unpaid rent or utilities and there is no repayment plan in place to extend payments, a landlord may issue a 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities.

 

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, 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.

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

Date:
September 27, 2021

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 7, 2021

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 consultation 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. For detailed contact information, go HERE.

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 7, 2021

The rent increase freeze has been extended to December 31, 2021.

Annual rent increase notices with an effective date after March 30, 2020 and before January 1, 2022 are canceled. Do not pay the increased amount.

If your landlord does collect the increased amount between December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021, you can deduct the additional amount from future rent payments.

See COVID-19 and tenancies and the Ministry for Municipal Affairs and Housing announcement for more information. 

 

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

Date:
September 27, 2021

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

Date:
September 27, 2021

The COVID-19 provincial state of emergency declared under the Emergency Program Act ended at 11:59 pm on June 30, 2021.

This means that tenants can now be evicted for any acceptable reason under the Residential Tenancy Act. To read more about the acceptable reasons for eviction, see the Tenant Resource and Advisory Center.

Effective July 10, 2021, the requirement for landlords to give their tenants a repayment plan for unpaid rent or utilities due between March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020, is repealed. All unpaid rents and utilities should be repaid by July 10, 2021, unless the parties agreed to an alternative arrangement to extend payments beyond July 10, 2021. If there are unpaid rent or utilities and there is no repayment plan in place to extend payments, a landlord may issue a 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities.

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

Date:
July 7, 2021

The BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program ended as of August 31, 2020.

Renters who are still experiencing a loss of income may also be eligible for either the Rental Assistance Program or the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs, which provide ongoing rental assistance for lower income families and seniors.

Details and full eligibility requirements can be found on the BC Housing Rental Assistance page, or call BC Housing at 604-433-2218 or toll-free from anywhere in B.C. at 1-800-257-7756.

The BC Government’s ban on issuing evictions for non-payment of rent officially ended on September 1, 2020. Effective July 10, 2021, the requirement for landlords to give their tenants a repayment plan for unpaid rent or utilities due between March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020, is repealed. All unpaid rents and utilities should be repaid by July 10, 2021, unless the parties agreed to an alternative arrangement to extend payments beyond July 10, 2021. If there are unpaid rent or utilities and there is no repayment plan in place to extend payments, a landlord may issue a 10-day notice to end tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities.

 

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, 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 7, 2021

Landlords can enter a rental suite with 24-hour notice and do not need the tenant’s consent. See HERE for information on landlord’s access and entry. They are expected to follow health guidelines.

Masks are recommended in indoor public settings for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated. The mask mandate order under the Emergency Program Act was lifted July 1, 2021. Masks in public indoor settings are a personal choice. No proof of vaccination is needed.

Some people may not be comfortable with accessing common areas or rental units without some modifications. Landlords and tenants should work together to find solutions, where possible.

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 7, 2021

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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