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Posted: August 14, 2020

Renters have until July 2021 to repay arrears

Details on the new repayment framework for renters with outstanding rent from April to August 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic are available on the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) website, with the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent ending ahead of Sept. 1.

As announced on July 16, renters will be expected to pay rent in full on Sept. 1, as the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent will end on Aug. 18.

Renters in arrears from rent due during the specified period of March 18 to Aug. 17 will have until at least July 2021 to pay back any rent they owe, with the first repayments not starting until October at the earliest.

The rental framework will protect renters by ensuring they cannot be evicted for a missed or late rent payment from March 18 to Aug. 17, unless a renter defaults on their repayment plan.

The terms of the repayment plan must include:

* amount of outstanding rent;

* start date of the repayment plan;

* amount of each instalment; and

* dates for each instalment.

The repayment instalments must begin at least 30 days after the date the plan is given by the landlord to the renter. It also must give renters until July 2021 for the final repayments to be made, unless the landlord and renter agree to a longer period. Similarly, while it will be paid in equal instalments, renters and landlords have the option of agreeing to smaller amounts being paid each month in the beginning of the repayment process, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing explained today.

Each monthly instalment must be paid on the same date the rent is due. For example, if a repayment plan is delivered to the renter on Aug. 29 and rent is due on the first of each month, the first instalment is due Oct. 1.

The province is also continuing to temporarily prohibit landlords from charging rent increases until December 2020. A renter who has been issued a notice of rent increase for an earlier date should not pay the increase and continue to pay their current amount until then.

The Temporary Rental Supplement also remains available to people until Aug. 31. To date, the supplement has assisted more than 86,000 households with paying their rent during the pandemic.

Renters who are still experiencing a loss of income may also be eligible for either the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs, which provide ongoing rental subsidies for low- and moderate-income families and seniors.

Details on these programs are available through BC Housing at 604 433-2218 or toll-free from anywhere in B.C. at 1 800 257-7756.

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