Planned Residential Tenancy Changes

, Planned Residential Tenancy Changes

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.

Rent Increases

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.

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