Government of British Columbia extends Temporary Rental Supplement until August

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VICTORIA, B.C. – The Government of B.C. is extending the temporary rental supplement (TRS) until the end of August 2020 to help support renters and landlords.

It will also maintain the suspension of rent increases or evictions for not paying rent.

People who’ve already been approved for the TRS do not need to reapply. They’ll receive an email asking them to confirm if they plan on living at the same address for July and August.

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New applications will also be accepted until August 31 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and subsequent months.

The suspension on evictions for not paying rent has been in effect since March 30th. With the province moving forward with B.C.’s Restart Plan, the ban on evictions for other reasons will be lifted later this month.

“As we move forward with carefully restarting the economy and look to a new normal, we are taking a similarly phased approach to rental housing,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re recognizing that there are situations where it is safe and reasonable to return to normal processes, but we’re also continuing to protect people who have lost income because of the pandemic from losing their homes.”

Once the changes come into effect, landlords will be able to serve new notices for eviction like landlord or purchaser use, when a new owner has purchased the property and plans to move in, and for cause, like the tenant is putting the landlord or other tenants at risk or, has sublet the apartment without permission. Depending on what type, these evictions will require a notice period of one to four months.

The Province is committed to giving people advance notice before lifting the suspension on evictions for not paying rent when that happens at a future date. It will put in place a framework that requires landlords to work with their tenants to repay any rent that is owing over a reasonable period.

The Government has been clear that tenants who have not experienced financial difficulties are still expected to pay rent. The tenants will also be responsible for any outstanding rent when the ban on evictions is lifted.

When the order comes in later this month, landlords will be allowed to have access to units to do repairs, maintenance, and to show the unit, following the standard notice period. Landlords and tenants are expected to maintain physical distancing at all times and to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks.

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The rental supplement is an addition to the federal government and the $1,000 BC Emergency Benefit for Workers. It’s part of the province’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan to provide income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people and businesses, and to support the services people count on.

For more information you can visit the BC Housing website.

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