Repayment Plan Framework, Unpaid Rent and/or Utilities from March 18 to August 17, 2020

In an announcement on August 14 the Provincial Government released the full details on the Residential Tenancy Branch’s Repayment Plan framework. This announcement brings with it a significant change to the timing of the end date of the moratorium on ending tenancy for unpaid rent. It was previously announced that this would end when the Provincial State of Emergency is lifted, the updated regulations have changed this to a fixed date; August 17. LandlordBC fully supports this change as it removes the significant uncertainty surrounding the previously announced framework.

The changes are part of an update to the Residential Tenancy Regulations which set out a clear process landlords must follow to address rent due but unpaid between March 18th through to August 17. The updated regulations also provide guidance regarding late fees and rent increases.

Unpaid Rent and/or Utilities from March 18 to August 17, 2020

Please Note: Do not serve the repayment plan until August 18th. Use the RTB Repayment Plan form. See below for our guide and the repayment form.

Landlords with tenants that have not paid all or partial rent from the start the state of emergency through to August 17 must offer their tenant a repayment plan which gives the tenant until July 2021 to pay in full the arrears. We recommend landlords serve a repayment plan to their tenant by August 31, 2020 to ensure the first payment date is October 1st, 2020. Tenants who default on their repayment plan may be subject to a Notice to End Tenancy. If you have already entered into a prior agreement it can be replaced with a new plan that calls for rent and utilities owing.

Additionally, landlords may not charge an administration or late fee for rent unpaid during the affected period of March 18 to August 17. Tenants who have already paid a late fee for this period may deduct that amount from their next month’s rent.

Unpaid Rent and/or Utilities from September 1, 2020 and Onward

Tenants are required to pay rent and utilities in full as of September 1. Tenants that do not pay their rent and/or utilities in full on the day it is due may be subject to a 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy. As always, we encourage landlords to communicate with their tenant to avoid the need to end a tenancy. LandlordBC members should review the guide on how to utilize the 10 Day Notice to End Tenancy in the members only section of the LandlordBC site.

Rent Increases

Any rent increase with an effective date of April 1, 2020 onward, has had its effective date delayed by Ministerial Orders M089 and M195 and again by the updated Residential Regulations. The most recent change has delayed the effectiveness of rent increases until December 1, 2020. This means that any rent increase previously served between December 2019 and August 2020 will now have an effective date of December 1, 2020.

Landlords who have already served a Notice of Rent Increase do not need to serve a new notice. It is also important to note any rent increase contemplated for 2021 must consider this delayed effective date. As rent increases cannot be effective less than 12 months from the last time the rent was increased meaning that tenants who will see a rent increase in December 2020 will not be subject to another increase until December 2021. Members should review our full guide to rent increases in the members only section of the LandlordBC website.

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