On June 24, 2020, the Minister of Public Safety issued a new ministerial order pursuant to the province’s Emergency Program Act relating to residential tenancies (the “New Order”). The New Order replaces the prior ministerial order dealing with residential tenancies, which we summarized in our blog here.
The New Order will impact Landlords and Tenants as follows:
- The New Order applies commencing June 24, 2020 and ends on the date on which the state of emergency (or its extension) expires or is cancelled.
- A landlord can now issue a Notice to End Tenancy for any reason, other than unpaid rent or the late payment of rent.
- Landlords with existing orders of possession may now file them in court beginning July 2, 2020. The Landlord may then enforce a writ of possession immediately afterwards.
- Rent increases that are effective after March 30, 2020 will not be effective during the period of the New Order.
- Landlords will still be able to restrict access to common areas in a shared building, like laundry rooms or games rooms, to protect the health, safety or welfare of individuals, and/or comply with government orders and health guidelines. This New Order adds that orders reducing rent and/or granting monetary compensation due to the restriction of such access cannot be granted.
- In a change from the previous order, there are no provisions in this New Order limiting a landlord’s right to enter a unit, assuming the landlord complies with the lease and the access provisions contained in the Residential Tenancies Act. Landlords are expected to follow health guidelines like physical distancing, cleaning and wearing masks when appropriate.
- The Residential Tenancy Branch will continue to be the forum to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. The New Order also allows for the personal service of documents to resume.
If you have any questions about these measures, please contact any member of our Real Estate Group.
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