We want to keep you updated on the Government rules and protocols as well as our policies and implementation of those new protocols.   

Office Policies:

Below you will see the steps that we have taken as well as links for additional information.  

  • We have been sending out messages to all residents regularly with updated information.   

  • We have created this website page  

  • We understand that now more than ever, every dollar counts. Therefore, we have waived all late fees for the foreseeable future.  

  • We are offering payment plans to those who are unable to pay their rent in full and on time. Please contact your property manager to request the payment plan documentation.  

We ask that all of our clients be cautious about how their actions affect others. Right now, we all need to work together, be patient, considerate and understanding. Many owners are carrying costs for tenants where they can until the tenants can afford to pay them back. On the other hand, many owners are also struggling to make ends meet. We implore you to not take advantage of this situation. Please be kind and understanding to others.  

Tenants, we ask that you pay your rent in full if you can. If you can’t please pay what you can. Our landlords are at the mercy of the financial institutions that have not halted all mortgage payments, or if they have, interest is still accruing on those mortgages. Many of our landlords have also been laid off. Please also don’t take advantage of the subsidies if you do not need them. Many of our tenants are truly desperate and in need. Please save those funds for them.  

Owners, please be patient and understanding for your tenants who can’t pay their rent in full or on time. If you can afford to help by temporally carry the costs we ask that you do what you can.  

The government has also frozen rent increases. This means that if you have received a rent increase that will be effective April 1st or later it is no longer valid for that date. All rent increases will be reviewed with the owners after the pandemic passes.  

We ask that all of you activate your Buildium accounts as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Tenants, we ask that you reconsider using Buildium to pay your rent if you are currently using cheques. This is because the virus can live on the cheques for days afterwards and some of our staff who must handle the cheques have compromised immune systems. One of them is also pregnant. Therefore, we will be changing the way that we process cheques. By submitting them directly to the bank to process, we do have concerns that there may be a few errors.  If this does happen, please let us know immediately and we will contact the bank to have the issue corrected. Again, I will ask that those who are using cheques convert to Buildium at least until this pandemic is over. 

Owners, If you are not already moved over to direct deposit we request that you speak to our accounting department and organize that. We also ask that you activate your Buildium account as soon as possible in order to ensure efficient communication and to access your online statements.  

Those of you who live in properties with multiple suites; please be aware that we've been instructed to restrict common areas. Therefore for your safety and the safety of the other residents, we ask that only two people enter a laundry room at any one time and maintain at least 6 feet distance apart, or whatever is allowed for the room. Please also restrict the number of people in the elevator to one person or one household. We also ask that there be no visitors allowed to enter the building. We are sorry to implement these restrictions and hope that all residents understand that it is strictly for your safety and the safety of the other residents. 

 

 

Government Policies: 

The Province is implementing a number of additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health. The full list of immediate measures includes: 

  • Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit. 

  • Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email). 

  • Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19. 

Renters, Homeowners and People Experiencing Homelessness 

Funding for housing supports are increased to ensure people can maintain their housing in the event of job or income loss. 

  • Eligible households with dependents can receive up to $500 per month 

  • Eligible households without dependents can receive up to $300 per month 

  • The supplement is paid directly to landlords 

  • Applications for the supplement are open on the BC Housing website  

BC Hydro 

  • BC Hydro rates have been reduced by 1%, effective April 1, 2020 

  • BC Hydro residential customers who have lost their job or are unable to work as a result of COVID-19 will receive a bill credit of three times their average monthly bill 

  • Small businesses in BC Hydro’s small general service rate category forced to close due to COVID-19 can have their power bills forgiven for electricity used between April and June 2020, with no repayment required 

  • Residential and commercial customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program 

  • Customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants up to $600 to pay their hydro bills through the Customer Crisis Fund 

B.C. Student Loans 

  • Starting March 30, 2020, B.C. student loan payments are automatically frozen for six months. 

ICBC 

FortisBC 

  • A repayment schedule, free of interest or additional fees, will be set up and payments can be spread over a full year 

  • For small businesses that have been forced to close, FortisBC will issue bill credits to offset any charges to their account while they have been unable to continue operating their business as usual 

  • Businesses that are still open, but facing a slowdown in revenue, will not receive bill credits but can also receive bill deferral for the same 90-day period 

Climate Action Tax Credit 

A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families: 

  • An adult will receive up to $218.00 (increased from $43.50) 

  • A child will receive $64.00 (increased from $12.75) 

  • People need to file their income taxes to be eligible for the B.C. Climate Action Tax Credit 

B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers 

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a one-time $1,000 payment to people whose ability to work has been affected due to COVID-19. 

  • B.C. residents who receive the new federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) are eligible, including people who have run out of employment insurance (EI) benefits and now qualify for the CERB 

  • People will need to state that they have filed or will file a 2019 B.C. income tax return to complete the application for the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers 

  • Applications for the one-time payment will open soon 

  

I have included a link from the government for those who are interested. 

Stay healthy! 

Century 21 Team