The BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) was launched earlier this month. The program is administered by BC Housing and they have also provided several robust resources including Landlord and Tenant factsheets. We have received many questions on this new supplement and have compiled the most common questions as a quick resource for landlords.
1) How much support does the BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) provide?
Individuals and couples with no dependents are eligible for $300 per month while households are eligible for $500. The supplement is currently available for up to three months, specifically the supplement is open for April, May, and June.
1) I have a non-conforming (not legal) rental unit, is my tenant still eligible to apply for the BC-TRS?
Yes, tenants living in illegal or non-conforming rental units and meet all other criteria are eligible to apply and should do so. Landlords must complete the application process to receive the subsidy. BC Housing has indicated that they will not share landlords’ information with other government bodies.
3) To ensure that I receive this supplement to cover a portion of my tenant’s rent should I start the application on their behalf?
No. While landlords complete the application process, the tenants must start the application. We recommend that landlords communicate with their tenant(s) to ensure they have all the necessary documentation to complete their application. As tenants sometimes misplace their tenancy agreements, landlords should have a copy ready in case the tenant requires it. Landlords with tenants who are not willing to apply for the BC-TRS are encouraged to communicate that any rent not paid will be recorded and will be addressed once the Provincial State of Emergency is lifted.
4) My rental unit is occupied by roommates do they apply as a household or separately?
Roommates are not considered a household and should apply separately. Applicants will need to meet all other eligibility criteria. Renters who reside with roommates need to remember that to eligible for the BC-TRS, the amount of rent due per individual must be more than 30% of the applicant’s income.
5) My tenant is not a Canadian citizen/permanent resident, are they eligible?
Many renters in British Columbia are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents and some landlords may be concerned about their eligibility for the BC-TRS. The BC-TRS is generally accessible to these individuals and households so long as they meet all eligibility criteria. Along with the standard criteria, tenants who are considered temporary residents must be either an international student or be able to legally work in Canada.
The first batch of cheques to landlords is scheduled to go out after midnight, April 16th.