COVID-19 Update: Province Implements Mandatory Mask Policy

Masks are Mandatory as of November 19, 2020

BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has officially mandated that masks must be worn in all public spaces, including apartment and condo building common areas. This is effective as of November 19th and will be in place until at least December 7th.

LandlordBC has created a sign you may print off to post in your buildings. Click here to view

Do my staff need to wear masks when in common areas of buildings?
Yes, this order applies to any person in common areas of a residential or condo(strata) buildings.

What do I do if I have a tenant that is not complying with this new order?
Under the Government’s Emergency Program Act, some orders can be enforced by police. Additionally, people who do not follow these orders could be fined. We recommend that in the event you need to contact our local authorities you do so through their non-emergency line.

May I enter my tenant’s unit?
While there are currently no restrictions on entering a tenanted unit with proper notice, we encourage all landlords to only enter a tenant’s unit if absolutely necessary.

Rent Increase Freeze in BC extended until July 10, 2021

If you received a notice that your rent was set to increase on December 1, 2020, don’t pay the increased amount. Continue to pay your current pre-increase rent amount until July 10, 2021.

If your landlord does collect the increased amount between December 1, 2020 to July 10, 2021, you can deduct the additional amount from future rent payments.

Requirements for landlords

Landlords cannot combine 2020 rent increase and 2021 rent increases. The maximum rent increase amount in 2021 cannot exceed 1.4%.

For further details, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/covid-19

Minimum Wage Increases for Resident Caretakers in BC as of June 1, 2020

A resident caretaker is a person who lives in an apartment building that has more than eight residential suites, and who is employed as a caretaker, custodian, janitor or manager of that building. There may be more than one resident caretaker in a building.

Coverage under the Act and Regulation
Although most parts of the Employment Standards Act (the Act) and Regulation apply to resident caretakers, a different minimum wage applies. Resident caretakers are excluded from the hours of work and overtime provisions of the Act.

Minimum wage
The minimum wage for resident caretakers is a monthly wage based on the number of suites in the building.

For a building with nine to 60 residential suites:

• June 1, 2020 – $876.35 per month plus $35.12 for each suite;
• June 1, 2021 – $912.28 per month plus $35.56 for each suite.

For a building with 61 or more residential suites:

• June 1, 2020 – $2,985.04 per month;
• June 1, 2021 – $3,107.42 per month.

Where a resident caretaker works less than a full month, wages are pro-rated based on number of days worked.

Hours of work and overtime
Resident caretakers are not entitled to daily or weekly overtime. Resident caretakers are entitled to 32 consecutive hours free from work each week. If a resident caretaker is required to work during this time they must be paid one and a half times their regular wage.

Statutory holidays and annual vacation
Resident caretakers are covered by the statutory holiday and annual vacation provisions of the Act.

Suite Rental
Resident caretakers can assign part of their wages to be paid as rent by way of a written authorization to their employer.

Employer to post work schedule
An employer must post a notice in the apartment building specifying the resident caretaker’s hours of work and days off, and give the resident caretaker a copy of the notice.

Definition of apartment building
Any building that has the appearance and characteristics of an apartment building, such as a common entrance and hallways, and is a predominantly vertical structure, is considered to be an apartment building under the Act. Buildings that are predominantly horizontal with separate outside entrances, such as townhouse units or row housing, are not considered to be apartment buildings.

The Act applies to resident caretakers regardless of whether a building has one owner and the units are rented to tenants, or the building is strata-titled and the units are owned individually.

The government has announced that the minimum wage will further rise to $14.60 on June 1st, 2020 and to at least $15.20 on June 1st, 2021.

Ending a Tenancy – Residential Tenancy (Covid-19) Order

The Honourable Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor, issued a ministerial order which puts much of what Premier John Horgan, and Housing Minister Selina Robinson announced last Wednesday into legislation. This order is in place as of March 30, 2020 and will remain in effect until the Provincial State of Emergency is lifted.

For full details on this ministerial order click here

Resident Managers, Caretakers Identified as Essential Services

Resident Caretakers and other professions crucial to keeping a rental building running have been identified as essential services.

Non-health essential service providers:

Plumbers, electricians, elevator maintenance providers, exterminators, property management services, custodial/janitorial workers, cleaning services, fire safety and sprinkler systems, building systems maintenance and repair technicians, engineers, mechanics, smelters and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and daily essential operation of residences and commercial buildings.

For further details click here

COVID-19 Important Information

Important Information for Resident Managers, Building Caretakers & Building Superintendents.

Keep your tenants, strata owners, contractors and employees safe during this pandemic.

Post signage in your building to ensure everyone is informed about proper hand washing, social distancing and any facility closures such as gyms, pools and playgrounds.

PROPER HAND WASHING POSTER: Click here

ELEVATOR & PUBLIC AREA POSTER
Post in the lobby areas, elevators and other areas where your residents and owners often gather such as community mailboxes and laundry rooms. Example letter below:

Att: All Residents, Owners and Guests

In order to maintain the recommended social distancing of 2 metres (6 ft) between persons, please limit the number of people using the elevator to 1-2 people or those living in the same household as well as all public areas.

We have increased the cleaning schedule and disinfecting of all common areas.

Thank you,
Resident Manager/Building Superintendent

JANITORIAL CLEANING & DISINFECTING
Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Regular household cleaning products are effective against most viruses, and you can also use 1/50 solution of bleach and water (e.g. approximately 20 ml of bleach per litre of water or 2 1/2 ounces per gallon) as an effective disinfectant.

VIEWING RENTAL SUITES WITH PROSPECTIVE TENANTS
General advice from Landlord BC is to not show tenanted suites currently; where possible, limit showings to already vacant suites. When showing any suites, use extra precautions to prevent transmission. These recommendations include:

  • Avoid shaking hands and keep your distance
  • Instruct potential tenants/purchasers to not touch anything
  • Wipe down door handles and anything that you touch when showing the unit
  • Wash your hands before and after showing the unit

COLLECTING RENT
BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued rules and recommendations regarding social distancing. This means people must keep a minimum distance of 2 metres and avoid going out in public unless absolutely necessary. Payment of rent poses a unique problem as some tenants pay rent in cash or cheque. Wherever possible landlords and tenants should attempt alternative methods of payment that do not require either party leaving their home or having direct contact.

Alternate methods for paying rent:

  • E-Transfer/online bank transfer
  • Online Payment Systems
  • Pre-Authorized Debit

IN SUITE MAINTENANCE
As a safety precaution, Landlord BC recommends landlords review their delivery of in-suite maintenance and repairs to occupied units, to reduce risk to staff, contractors and tenants. To reduce exposure, landlords should prioritize urgent repair requests and defer non-urgent in-suite repairs and maintenance.

COMMUNICATING WITH RESIDENTS/TENANTS
Communication via telephone, text and email is recommended. When necessary use skype or facetime if you require a visual to asses a situation in a suite/unit.

More Opportunities for RMTI Graduates with Recent Increase in Rental Construction

Rental construction is starting to boom again, but it won’t be enough to satisfy big-city demand.

After decades in the doldrums, rental housing construction is starting to pick up again in Canada.

Statistics Canada data shows an increase in the number of purpose-built rental (PBR) units under construction in urban regions, where the demand for rental housing has been high.

The increase in PBR construction is led by the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), where the share of renter households is the highest among the major cities in Canada. The Vancouver CMA follows Montreal with the second largest number of PBR starts.

To read the full article visit:
https://business.financialpost.com/real-estate/rental-construction-is-starting-to-boom-again-but-it-wont-be-enough-to-satisfy-big-city-demand