Further to our article from July 17, 2020, the provincial government has released requirements of the new repayment framework applicable to residential tenants with outstanding rent from April to August, 2020 in accordance with the COVID-19 (Residential Tenancy Act and Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act) (No. 2) Regulation (the “C19 Regulation”).
The C19 Regulation is designed to protect tenants by ensuring that a landlord will not be entitled to evict a tenant for a missed or late payment of “affected rent” (being rent that became due between March 18, 2020 to August 17, 2020), unless the tenant defaults on their repayment plan. Landlords must give a tenant a repayment plan if the tenant has unpaid affected rent and the landlord and tenant did not enter into a prior agreement before July 16, 2020.
The terms of the repayment plan must include the amount of outstanding rent, the start date of the repayment plan, the amount of each installment, and the dates for payment of each installment which must be paid on the same date the rent is due, unless the landlord and tenant mutually agree to alternative payment dates. In addition, if the landlord and tenant agree, installments do not need to be equal, and can, for example, be for smaller amounts in the earlier months of the repayment plan, and increase throughout the term. However, installments cannot be “frontloaded” and amounts must not decrease over time. Installments must begin at least 30 days after the date the plan is delivered by the landlord to the tenant, and must not be issued until August 18, 2020 or later. Tenants will have until July 10, 2021 for final repayments to be made unless the landlord and tenant mutually agree to a longer repayment period.
The C19 Regulation specifies that a landlord may not need to provide a repayment plan if the parties have entered into a prior written agreement that has not otherwise been cancelled. However, if there is a prior agreement, either a landlord or a tenant can unilaterally opt to cancel a prior agreement by giving the other party a repayment plan for the full amount of the unpaid affected rent in accordance with the requirements of the C19 Regulation.
If the tenant defaults on the repayment plan, the landlord will then be entitled to give the tenant a Notice to End Tenancy. However, a landlord will not be entitled to pursue an eviction unless they have already given the tenant a valid repayment plan that meets the requirements of the C19 Regulation, or there is a valid prior agreement still in effect that covers the full amount of unpaid affected rent.
The provincial government’s template repayment plan is available at the following link.