Government is planning the following changes to residential tenancies.
- Renters will need to pay their monthly rent in full beginning September 2020
- A landlord whose tenant has unpaid rent or utilities during the emergency period would be required to enter into a repayment plan for those arrears
- A landlord would not be able to issue a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent or utilities during this period unless the tenant has defaulted on their repayment plan
- A landlord would be able to issue a Notice of Rent Increase, but it will not come into effect until December 1, 2020
Evictions for Unpaid Rent
The Province 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
A landlord cannot charge a late fee for any unpaid rent during the emergency period.
- Late payments during the emergency period are not considered “cause” for eviction
A tenant cannot be issued a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent during the emergency unless they have defaulted on their repayment plan.
- A tenant that owes rent from before March 18, 2020 can be issued a Notice to End Tenancy for unpaid rent
Rent Repayment Plan
To give renters a reasonable timeframe to pay back any rent they owe from the emergency, the Province is introducing a repayment framework.
- Landlords are required to enter into a repayment plan with a tenant for unpaid rent and/or utilities due during the emergency period (March 18, 2020 and ongoing)
- If the landlord and the tenant entered into a prior agreement for unpaid rent it can be replaced with a new agreement for all arrears
How Does the Repayment Plan Work?
Under the framework, a repayment plan would have to be in writing and would have to be served using specific methods under the Residential Tenancy Act.
For example, a renter owing $2,000 in unpaid rent would receive a repayment plan that sets out:
- The total amount of rent still owed from the emergency period ($2,000)
- The date each installment would be paid (for example, the first of each month until July 2021)
- The amount the renter would have to pay each month, with the total owing split into equal installments ($200 each month)
- The date the first payment would be due (for example, October 1, 2020)
The landlord and tenant would be able to amend the agreement but only to:
- Extend the end date
- Change the monthly installment amount to allow earlier installments to be less
- Extend the date that repayment begins for longer than 30 days
If the tenant defaults on this repayment plan, the landlord would be able to give a Notice to End Tenancy.
A landlord can give a notice for rent increase. The rent increase will not come into effect until December 1, 2020.
- For example, if your rent was set to increase on April 1, 2020, continue to pay your existing, pre-increase amount until December 1, 2020
- If a tenant has given their landlord post-dated cheques, the tenant should request that the cheques be returned to them and they can issue new cheques
If a landlord does collect the increase amount during the period that rent increases are not allowed, the tenant can deduct the additional amount from future rent payments.