Rent freeze put in place because of COVID-19 pandemic extended in B.C.
VANCOUVER -- A B.C. rent freeze that was put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended until next summer.
Originally, the rent freeze was going to expire on Dec. 1. But now, it's been extended until July 10, 2021, the province announced Monday.
"We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging. For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases to provide more security for renters during the pandemic," said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson in a news release.
"We are all in this together, and it is important for both renters and landlords that people can stay in their homes."
Extending the rent freeze first put in place in March was one of the NDP's campaign promises in the B.C. election. But the promise said the freeze would go until the end of 2021, not just until July.
During a news conference Monday afternoon, Premier John Horgan explained that the current rent-freeze timeline is "an interim measure."
"This was the extent of the order that could be issued," he said, adding that more increments in the rent freeze "remains the plan."
During the campaign, the NDP also promised a renter's rebate of $400 a year for households with an income of up to $80,000 a year.
Anyone who already got a notice of a rent increase from a landlord can disregard it and pay their current rent amount until next July, the province says.
However, the moratorium on evictions because of unpaid rent ended in August.
Landlords or renters who have questions should contact the Residential Tenancy Branch.