The provincial government created an online FAQ to help the public better understand the emergency changes to the Residential Tenancy Act announced last week that ban rent increases and evictions, and limit a landlord’s access to rental properties.
Here are some key points from the FAQ:
During the state of emergency, landlords cannot issue new Notices to End Tenancy and existing orders are not enforceable. This includes situations where a new buyer has required vacant possession. Tenants who had intended to move and have now decided to remain in their unit during the state of emergency should let their landlord know as soon as possible.
A landlord can issue a notice of rent increase in accordance with the Residential Tenancy Act, however, the rent increase can not come into effect until the state of emergency has ended.
If a notice of rent increase has already been issued, it remains valid. However, the rent increase will not come into effect until after the state of emergency has ended. If a tenant has given their landlord post-dated cheques, the tenant should request that the cheques be returned to them and they can issue new cheques. If a landlord collects the additional amount during the state of emergency, the tenant can deduct the additional amount from future rent payments.
Landlords are not permitted to enter the rental unit without the consent of the tenant (even if proper notice has been served) unless there is risk to personal property or life. A landlord cannot enter the rental unit for open houses or to show the unit to prospective tenants without the consent of the tenant.
If the notice to end tenancy was given before March 30, 2020, tenants may:
Dispute the notice by making an application for dispute resolution
Accept the notice, and the tenancy will end
A notice issued before March 30, 2020 is a valid notice, and statutory timelines are in effect. If a tenant fails to dispute the notice within the appropriate timeline, the tenant will be deemed to have accepted that the tenancy is ended, and may be evicted after the state of emergency has ended.
The FAQ also contains details on when a landlord can end a tenancy during the current state of emergency.
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, 2433 Spruce Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 4C8