Declaration of a State of Emergency - Evictions

The right of landlords under section 19 of the Residential Tenancies Act to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent, and the authority of residential tenancies officers under section 22 of that Act to evict tenants for the same reason, are suspended, until May 31, 2020, in connection with rent that came due on or after March 19, 2020.  For greater clarity; this paragraph does not excuse any tenant from their obligation to pay rent and does not disturb any other rights or obligations of landlords or tenants, other than landlords’ right to effect eviction for non-payment of rent that came due on or after March 19, 2020.

Tenants will still be required to pay their rent when due.

The federal government has announced several programs to assist citizens financially during these challenging times.

The latest version of the state of emergency declaration is available online.

 

Will the Residential Tenancies Tribunal continue to accept applications for evictions?

The Residential Tenancies Officers authority to evict tenants for non-payment of rent that came due on or after March 19, 2020 has been suspended until May 31, 2020. Landlords may apply for assistance by selecting failure to pay rent as the issue and our office will attempt to mediate a solution.

 

What if a Tenant does not pay their rent?

Landlords may apply for assistance and select failure to pay rent as the issue.  Our office will then contact both parties to attempt to mediate a solution.

 

Why bother applying for assistance if evictions are suspended?

You may apply for assistance and select file type – Tenant’s Failure to Pay Rent opposed to Tenant Eviction.  The Residential Tenancies Tribunal will then contact both parties and attempt to mediate an agreement.

 

What happens with current cases that are already open?

The Residential Tenancies Tribunal continues to work on cases to the best of their abilities given the circumstances. Cases will continue to be active unless you are told otherwise.

 

I am a tenant and I received a Notice to Vacate for non-payment of rent from my Landlord, do I have to vacate on the date indicated?

If you receive a Notice to Vacate for non-payment of rent and you have in fact not paid your rent, you must contact your Landlord to discuss how you may make payment.  Rent must continue to be paid.  If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the State of Emergency, you may contact the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to discuss your obligations in paying rent.  They may intervene to mediate a payment plan agreement with your Landlord if you are unable to reach an agreement together..

 

What if on-going tenancy is posing a health and safety risk to a resident or residents?

The Residential Tenancies Officers continue to have the authority to terminate a tenancy for matters other than non-payment of rent.

 

I am a Landlord and want to know, can I serve a notice to vacate for non-payment of rent?

The State of Emergency Declaration item #20 reads as follows:

The right of landlords under section 19 of the Residential Tenancies Act to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent, and the authority of residential tenancies officers under section 22 of that Act to evict tenants for the same reason, are suspended, until May 31, 2020, in connection with rent that came due on or after March 19, 2020.  For greater clarity; this paragraph does not excuse any tenant from their obligation to pay rent and does not disturb any other rights or obligations of landlords or tenants, other than landlords’ right to effect eviction for non-payment of rent that came due on or after March 19, 2020.

Given that the right of landlords to require tenants to vacate for non-payment of rent has been suspended until May 31, 2020, Landlords must wait until after this date to present a Notice to Vacate for non-payment of rent if rent came due on or after March 19, 2020.

 

 What about a tenancy that was terminated by way of a notice of termination?

The expectation would be that the tenant vacates the premises as previously scheduled.

 

What if I paid a security deposit to hold an apartment that I am moving into in the next month or so, but the current tenant refuses to vacate?

If you can provide us with a receipt showing a security deposit has been paid to your Landlord and complete an application for assistance, we will reach out to them to discuss the matter.  The application for assistance forms can be submitted through our website at www.snb.ca/irent or you may send information through our email address at irent@snb.ca.

 

What will the government do to help Landlords since they cannot evict for non-payment of rent and will be missing out on rent money to pay their bills?

The Residential Tenancies Tribunal is mandated to intervene in tenant and landlord disputes.  Our office does not however participate in nor manage any programs as it relates to the ability for a tenant to pay their rent nor funding for landlords suffering financial loss due to the on going pandemic. 

We are getting many inquiries on whether the Residential Tenancies Tribunal is managing programs to assist either Landlords and/or Tenants financially and we are simply not an office that gets involved in financial assistance programs.

The service that our office can provide at this time is to act as a mediator between both parties when dealing with non-payment of rent.

Our office is focused on assisting and guiding tenants and landlords through the various challenges they may face given certain restrictions within the province.  We are utilizing our mediation expertise to play an active role in alternative agreements during these unprecedented times.

We are actively engaged in working with tenants by clarifying the expectations that rent continues to be due and by offering alternative approaches to rent payment, such as negotiating an agreed upon payment plan with the landlord, if possible.

 

Will I be able to recoup the lost rent money once the suspension for evictions has been lifted?

The authority to evict tenants for non-payment of rent has been suspended until May 31, 2020.  This does not absolve tenants from the responsibility nor the requirement to continue to pay rent.  It simply means that the Residential Tenancies Tribunal will not be enforcing eviction orders.  The Residential Tenancies Tribunal continues to receive applications for assistance from landlords faced with non-payment of rent issues.  Currently, the Residential Tenancies Tribunal is contacting both parties to attempt to mediate a solution.  They are actively engaged in working with tenants by clarifying the expectations that rent continues to be due and by offering alternative approaches to rent payment, such as negotiating an agreed upon payment plan with the landlord, if possible.

Therefore, once the suspension order is lifted, yes, you may proceed with collecting any rent owing.  Should you require assistance from the Residential Tenancies Tribunal in resolving these or other tenancy matters you may contact their office via email at irent@snb.ca or complete an application for assistance through their website at www.snb.ca/irent or call 1-888-762-8600.

 

What if a Tenant is unable to move out of their premises as previously planned due to Covid-19?

We understand that there are many challenges within tenancies during the State of Emergency.  As it relates to moving, it would be difficult to make one simple statement for all situations, however, we recommend that anyone facing challenges in vacating their premises on the date previously scheduled seek assistance from our office, so we may intervene and attempt to mediate a solution for both the landlord and tenant.

The suspension of evictions announced with the State of Emergency is for non-payment of rent.  However, any other type of request for eviction would be administered through our office and given the current circumstances, we are working with both parties to reach an agreement as we understand the difficulties each citizen face.  For example, if a landlord would apply to evict a tenant for not vacating their premises on the date of termination, our office would play a mediating role and are not actively enforcing orders of evictions, in general.

We welcome all inquiries from anyone facing this situation or others relating to tenancies and encourage people to contact our office directly.  Our team has the expertise and experience in negotiating agreements and can assist in mediating a solution.  We are actively responding to all inquiries received via email irent@snb.ca or by phone received through 1-888-762-8600.

Our office is providing the most information possible through this site, but unfortunately given the many nuances of tenancy relationships, it would not be possible to have one specific protocol for tenants and landlords for all scenarios during the COVID-19 crisis.  We continue to develop Questions and Answers and add them regularly to our website.  We also remain committed to responding to customer inquiries promptly.