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Evictions to resume

Landlords with existing orders can file for enforcement on July 2nd
As of July 2nd, landlords can once again enforce orders of eviction after the rental rules were changed during the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing said. Seen here is B.C. Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson (B.C. government)

Tenancy laws are changing again. Rental rules that were shut down in a March 30th moratorium, at the beginning of the pandemic, are now being restarted as the province enters it’s own restart.

The ban on evictions for many reasons has now been lifted, except for the ban on late or non-payment of rent,” the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MMAH) said, in a statement released on June 24.

This means that tenants who like parties or are prone to annoying their neighbours, or are threatening toward the landlords, among a myriad of other reasons can now be issued a Notice to End Tenancy.

“I think a lot of tenants are still unclear about the rules,” Tom Chang, Prince Rupert landlord said. “Both sides need a clear understanding of the changes.”

Tenants need to know landlords with existing orders for eviction can take them to the courts beginning July 2, 2020, for enforcement and can enforce a writ order effective immediately, MMAH said.

Chang said he is sure there are tenants who are taking advantage of the current pandemic situation.

“For a short term the moratorium was good, but now it is time for landlords to able to enforce,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. extends COVID-19 rental supplement, alters moratorium on evictions

Tenants also need to note, that a landlord can once again enter a rental unit without permission, by providing a 24 hours notice upon proper service. In many circumstances, if the notice is not handed personally to the tenant, proper service is three days allowance of acceptance. The changes also allow for personal service of documents to resume.

“The 24 hours notice of entry is absolutely important. Landlords need to go into units to check the condition because for the past 90 days landlords have been blinded by the rules,” Chang said.

A landlords’ ability to restrict access to common spaces for COVID-19 related health reasons remains.

“As announced June 19, 2020, the Province is maintaining the moratorium on rent increases and evictions for non-payment of rent. However, other notices to end tenancy may resume effectively immediately,” MMAH said.

“The Province is committed to giving people advance notice before lifting the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent at a future date. A framework will be put in place that will require landlords to work with tenants to repay rent that is owing over a reasonable period of time,” MMAH said.

The Northern View reached out to the Tenant Advocate who was unavailable for comment.

READ MORE: Rent freeze, no evictions and money to tenants