By Michelle McElroy
In response to the unfolding emergency situation and to support renters during this challenging economic time, the BC Government has issued a moratorium on evictions.
But what does that mean in practice? In this post, we’ll try to break it down for you.
Evictions are on hold. For official government information, click here.
Landlords cannot evict for:
- unpaid rent or utilities,
- landlord or purchaser use (this would be if the house was sold)
- end of employment as a caretaker
- end of employment if your housing was attached to your employment
- demolition, renovations and conversion
- failure to qualify for a rental unit in subsidized housing.
However, landlords can make a request to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB) to allow an eviction. Although landlords can make the request for all concerns below, the RTB is mostly granting approvals only to requests for 1 and 2.
The tenant or a person permitted on the residential property by the tenant has:
- Significantly interfered with or unreasonably disturbed another occupant or the landlord of the residential property;
- Seriously jeopardized the health or safety or a lawful right or interest of the landlord or another occupant;
- Put the landlord’s property at significant risk;
- Engaged in illegal activity that
- Has caused or is likely to cause damage to the landlord’s property,
- Has adversely affected or is likely to adversely affect the quiet enjoyment, security, safety or physical well-being of another occupant of the residential property, or
- Has jeopardized or is likely to jeopardize a lawful right or interest of another occupant or the landlord;
- Caused extraordinary damage to the residential property, and it would be unreasonable, or unfair to the landlord or other occupants of the residential property, to wait for the emergency order to end
- The rental unit must be vacated to comply with an order of a municipal, provincial or federal authority
- The rental unit is uninhabitable, or the tenancy agreement is otherwise frustrated.
The RTB can make a decision that the landlord can evict the tenant with 30 days notice or that the landlord’s request for eviction is granted, but that the tenant does not have to move until after the current State of Emergency. The RTB can also rule in the tenant’s favour, as in any dispute resolution, and rule that the Notice of Eviction is not warranted.
Here is what you should know about eviction notices:
- Landlords are not to give notice of evictions unless approved by the RTB.
- Tenants need to know that if THEY gave a notice that they were moving, this may still be upheld. The tenant needs to communicate with their landlord if they are no longer able to move on the date specified in their notice.
- Due to the need for social distancing in the state of emergency, notices should not be hand delivered. Other methods of delivery are still valid. However please note that Canada Post will not be delivering Registered mail and will request the recipient to go to a Canada Post site to sign and pick up mail.
- On March 30, 2020 the government of BC stated that notices could be served by e-mail. For more information, please read here.
Disclaimer: Any information provided here is current as of the date posted.