Rental Management Alert: British Columbia’s COVID-19 Response for Landlords and Tenants

British Columbia’s COVID-19 Response for Landlords and Tenants [Updated June 26, 2020]


Alex J. Chang, Associate
Phone:  604-685-1255



The economic fallout from COVID-19 has put massive financial pressures on those in the rental market. On June 19, 2020, the BC provincial government announced an update to its response to COVID-19 for residential landlords and tenants. These changes include:

  1. The Temporary Rental Supplement (TRS) program will continue through July and August. This is in addition to the rent supplements that were available from April to June. The TRS provides $500/month for eligible households with dependents and $300/month for eligible households with no dependents. Eligible roommates may also apply for the TRS separately. Applications can be made retroactively up until August 31, 2020.
  2. The moratorium has been lifted on evictions for reasons other than non-payment of rent. Landlords that already have orders of possession will be able to enforce those orders through the court as of July 2 and can now enforce a writ of possession. The province has said that it will give advanced notice before lifting the continuing moratorium on giving notices for non-payment of rent and will put in place a framework that will “require landlords to work with tenants to repay rent that is owing over a reasonable period of time.”
  3. The moratorium on annual rent increases that began on April 1, 2020, will continue.
  4. Landlords are now allowed access to rental units for showings or routine maintenance after giving the standard 24 hours’ written notice. However, landlords and tenants are encouraged to follow all public health guidelines and practice social distancing if such access is necessary.
  5. Email will no longer be considered a method of service. Only the standard methods of service will be permitted. However, in this author’s view, it seems inevitable that email as a method of service will return in future Residential Tenancy Act and Regulation amendments.
  6. Landlords shall still be able to restrict access to common areas like gyms or laundry rooms for COVID-19 related health reasons.

The province also repeated its reminder that tenants will “be responsible for outstanding rent when the ban on evictions for non-payment is lifted.” Tenants that do not pay rent or reach an agreement with their landlords will be able to avoid eviction for now. However, tenants that want to avoid eviction or judgements against them after this crisis passes should apply for the TRS and reach an agreement with their landlords.

These changes are very recent, and more details are still being released. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to seek legal advice on their current situation and how these changes may affect them.

WHAT WE DO:  Lesperance Mendes would be pleased to assist you with more information or to schedule an appointment with a lawyer regarding a rental property matter, please contact Alex J. Chang, Associate, or Paul G. Mendes, Partner.


THIS ARTICLE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE:  This article provides general information and should not be relied upon without independent legal advice with respect to the specific facts of your case.