B.C. Imposes Moratorium on Evictions
These days there are so many questions around paying rent and evictions. Just this week Premier John Horgan announced protective measures imposed a moratorium on residential evictions and will provide renters with up to $500 per month for the next four months to meet rent payments.
The B.C. government has taken these protective measures Wednesday amid the ongoing financial crunch of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“B.C. is suspending current and future evictions until this crisis has passed,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria.
These rental rebates will be available April 1, 2020 and will be paid directly to landlords through BC Housing.
“We’re helping renters pay rent and giving them the peace of mind that they have a stable home in these unprecedented times, and ensuring that landlords can count on some rental income right now to keep them afloat too,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson.
By now, we are all aware of the impact the COVID-19 outbreak has had on our Provence and communities, leaving thousands of British Columbians without work or reduced hours and wages. Government-ordered closures of businesses has left several renters without the means to pay their rent. More businesses including the tourism sector, are about to or have laid off thousands due to reduced demand for services.
That has had a trickle down effect to landlords who are suddenly struggling to make mortgage payments with reduced rental incomes.
The Rental property-owner association LandlordBC had asked the province not to impose a moratorium on evictions in the province, saying the move could have “huge unintended consequences and put the entire rental housing ecosystem at risk.” The industry group instead encouraged landlords and property managers to delay any planned rent increases.
New measures announced also include provisions to restrict tenant and guest accessing common areas to protect against the COVID-19 transmission.
The B.C. government previously announced one-time payments of $1,000 for British Columbians whose work has been affected by the spread of COVID-19, either because of direct loss of employment or the need to care for a loved one at home.
“Homes should be a place of comfort and security,” Horgan said. “We don’t want people to think that they may lose that home as a result of this pandemic.”
Under the new rules, landlords will still be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch to evict renters in extreme cases where there are health and safety concerns.
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