Some renters got relief from the provincial government when the pandemic began, but things are slowly returning to normal. Starting in September, residents who weren't able to pay their rent in B.C. will need to start making payments again. However, they'll have an entire year to pay back those months of rent missed during the pandemic.
In mid-March, around the start of the province's state of emergency, B.C. housing announced a ban on evictions for low-income renters. For the next six months, affected tenants were not required to pay their monthly rents to keep their housing.
However, the provincial government announced on Thursday, July 16 that those who owe rent money must start paying their full monthly rent again beginning in September. Plus, the ban on evictions due to non-payment of rent ends that month, too.
Residents have until July 2021 to gradually repay months of rent that they missed at the start of the public health emergency as long as they keep making their monthly rent.
According to the release, it's up to the landlord to come up with a repayment plan 30 days before their first payment.
For many renters, that first date to start making repayments will be Thursday, October 1.
The new changes and payment extension is in addition to the extended Temporary Rent Supplement Program.
It helps people who were financially affected by the pandemic with their rent, covering up to $500 of their monthly payments. Started in April, it was recently extended all the way until the end of August.
As of Thursday, July 9, almost 85,000 people are using the program — and you can still apply for funding.
According to the release, 97% of all renters continued paying throughout the pandemic, with 85% paying in full and 12% making partial payments.
The province is also continuing a pause on rent increases until December of 2020, a policy that they started over the pandemic.
With so many people affected financially over the pandemic, the payment extension could help out a ton with missed fees — even though we'll have to start paying rent again.