Eviction Protection Ends May 31, 2020 - Questions and Answers
What happens now that May 31, 2020 has passed, and Landlords may request an eviction for non-payment of rent?
Landlords faced with a tenant’s failure to pay rent between March 19, 2020 and onward will be required to serve a Notice to Vacate for non-payment of rent. The Notice to Vacate forms can be accessed through the website at www.snb.ca/irent. Details on the proper service of these notices and the process to apply for assistance if required are outlined on the website.
What if a tenant cannot pay their rent due to financial loss directly related to Covid-19?
Tenants financially impacted due to job loss during the State of Emergency must work with their Landlords to come up with a payment plan. The Residential Tenancies Tribunal will continue to contact both parties to attempt a mediated agreement for rent payment when payment in full is not possible. Tenants must demonstrate that they are committed to paying down their rental debt.
Will exceptions be made considering the circumstances and the wide spread financial impact on citizens when it comes to tenants’ requirements to pay rent?
The Residential Tenancies Tribunal will consider the details of each individual case including; the amount of rent owing, the active engagement of both the Landlord and Tenant to seek an agreed upon payment plan, the availability and accessibility of financial support through provincial and federal programs during Covid-19, and other issues that may come to light while investigating each case. Should a tenant claim that they have been unable to pay rent due to financial strains directly related to Covid-19, they will be required to provide evidence to support this claim.
What type of evidence could a tenant be required to provide to substantiate their reduction in income due to Covid-19?
Examples of evidence that a tenant could provide to support their claim are: record of employment, letter from their employer, confirmation of receipt of the New Brunswick Workers Income Benefit, confirmation of receipt of the federal program (CERB) and other.
What happens when a tenant is successful in providing satisfactory evidence that their income was impacted directly by Covid-19?
If a Tenant has provided satisfactory evidence, they must then reach and follow through on a mediated agreement with their Landlord on a payment plan if full payment is not possible.
What if a Tenant was not affected financially by the pandemic and did not pay their rent?
Tenants whose rent is left unpaid for reasons other than those directly related to job loss due to Covid-19 will be required to pay their rent in full or may be faced with an eviction for non-payment of rent.
How will the Residential Tenancies Tribunal handle the influx of eviction requests now that he suspension of these has been lifted?
The Residential Tenancies Tribunal has a strategic plan to target all cases of non-payment of rent as of June 1 by reaching out to both parties to discuss the details of their case and mediate an agreement. Only cases where an agreement is not reached will the landlords have the option of proceeding with an eviction. Depending on the volume of cases and availability of sheriff services, unfortunately, we may experience some delays in comparison to our normal service delivery times.
Will a tenant be required to pay their rent in full to avoid being evicted?
It depends on the circumstances of their case and all cases will be investigated thoroughly. Tenants are required to propose and uphold an agreed upon payment plan with their Landlords if payment in full is not possible.
Why do landlords have the right to evict tenants while there is still a state of emergency in the province?
The suspension of evictions was a temporary measure aimed at providing tenants time to get their affairs in order if they were financially impacted by Covid-19. This time allowed them an opportunity to apply for financial assistance and receive funding they were entitled to. Now that these funding programs are in place and that applicants are receiving their funds; the expectation is that tenants pay their rent.
What happens if a tenant has come up with a mediated payment plan with their landlord and does not follow through with the agreement?
The landlord may apply to have the tenant evicted through the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. The Tribunal will then investigate the matter, contact both parties and proceed with an eviction if all other solutions have been exhausted.
Can a Landlord collect back rent for previous month’s owing now that the suspension of evictions has been lifted?
Yes, Landlords may proceed with collecting all rent owing. The Notice to Vacate served on tenants must indicate the total amount of rent owing and the Residential Tenancies Tribunal will proceed in addressing all rent amounts that have not been paid by the tenant. In some cases, to collect all rent owing agreeing to a payment plan may be necessary.