As promised, we are providing industry related updates as the COVID-19 situation unfolds in our community.
The provincial government has just announced that they will restrict owner access to tenanted properties. This means that landlords will now need consent of the tenant to show properties (or for routine maintenance). If you have a tenanted property currently listed be aware access to the property for showings can only occur with the consent of the tenant. The prior notice provisions for access in the legislation are not enforceable for property viewings.
The government has also announced a halt to evictions. Sellers under existing contracts of purchase and sale for tenanted properties should be advised to seek legal advice concerning the enforceability of any existing Notices to End a Residential Tenancy served upon their tenants, or that are scheduled to be served upon tenants as per existing contracts of purchase and sale. Any seller of a current listing of a tenanted property should be advised to seek advice as to their ability to provide vacant possession at completion. We will have more updates for you as they are available.
These measures are temporary and are intended to keep our community safe and healthy.
From the Province:
The Province is implementing a number of additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health. The full list of immediate measures includes:
- The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords.
- Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason. However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
- Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. The smaller number of court ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
- Freezing new annual rent increases during the state of emergency.
- Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
- Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email).
- Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.