B.C.’s new measure of banning rental evictions during the COVID-19 crisis has left the real estate industry in chaos, as landlords and home buyers scramble to assess what the rules mean for them.
One question mark is whether the no-eviction rule applies retroactively to tenants in recently purchased homes, where the new owner intends to occupy the property, or whether existing eviction notices served before the announcement have been grandfathered in.
Now, a leading real estate lawyer in Vancouver has offered clarification on this issue, following advice he received directly from the B.C. government.
Richard Bell of Bell Alliance told Glacier Media Real Estate on Monday, “Up until today [March 30], if an eviction notice has already been given to the tenants to vacate because the buyers are to take possession, that eviction still stands. However, any new home purchase contract, from today onwards, you will not be able to evict the tenant, under any section of the legislation.”
He added, “That was a big concern for us, as we [at Bell Alliance] are working on lots of purchase contracts where the notice of eviction for tenants had already been given. Those purchases can now go ahead.”
However, the eviction ban may significantly affect sales of currently tenanted homes, now that any new buyers wouldn’t be permitted to evict sitting tenants from March 30 onwards, until the ban is lifted.