Victoria – To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.
This is part of government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan to provide income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.
There has yet to be a timeline announced for this financial rollout.
This will only be for three months and a link through BC Housing will be set up.
The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship.
This comprehensive package supports renters by:
- halting new and active evictions, except for exceptional circumstances, so that no one is evicted because of COVID-19 and people can remain in their homes during this crisis;
- helping renters pay a portion of their rent each month through a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, building on other federal and provincial financial supports;
- freezing annual rent increases to ensure that landlords cannot apply an annual rent increase for existing tenants during the COVID-19 crisis;
- supporting tenants in social distancing and self-isolation by providing them the right to prevent landlords from accessing rental units without the tenant’s consent (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where access is needed to respond to urgent health and safety concerns or to prevent undue damage to the unit;
- restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email; and
- allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.
The new changes support landlords by:
- providing a new temporary rental supplement of up to $500 per month, which will be paid directly to landlords, ensuring they continue to receive rental income during the pandemic;
- preserving the ability for landlords to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for permission to issue a notice to end tenancy in exceptional circumstances, for example when the safety of landlord or other tenants is at risk;
- allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19; and
- restricting methods of service for Residential Tenancy Branch disputes or notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no in-person service) and allowing service by email.
For information on B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan and other government resources and updates, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19