Q&A — Mortgage and rent

If you've lost income because of COVID-19 and can't afford to pay your mortgage, you may be able to defer (postpone) payments. The most important first step is to talk to your lender. But it's important that you don’t stop making mortgage payments before you confirm with your lender that you qualify.

Deferring your mortgage payments is a short term emergency measure only. And if you are eligible to defer your mortgage, you will have to pay interest on your deferred payments.

Contact your lender and find out what your options are. Find more information on their website instead of calling or visiting.

The situation is changing quickly, so try to get the most up-to-date information. Check your lender's website regularly. These other resources might also be useful:

Landlords can't evict you during the state of emergency if you don't pay your rent. But they can give you a notice to end tenancy once the state of emergency is over.

For resources, see the question: What can I do if I can't afford my rent?

Please see the Provincial Government's COVID-19 and Tenancies page for more questions and answers about evictions.

Try to talk to your landlord to work together regarding reasonable options, including repayment plans if you can't pay your full rent.

Landlords can't evict you during the state of emergency if you don't pay your rent. You should pay your rent if possible, as the law says you must till pay your rent in full and on time. And if you haven't paid your rent, you could be evicted (given a notice to end tenancy) after the state of emergency is over.

The BC Housing'sTemporary Rental Supplement is a benefit for eligible low- and medium-income renters who have lost income because of COVID-19, but don't qualify for existing rental assistance programs. The rental supplement, which is up to $500 per month, will be paid directly to your landlord. You're expected to pay the difference between the supplement and your full rent. Online applications begin mid-April.

The BC Emergency Benefit for Workers will give eligible BC residents a one-time tax free $1,000 payment. Apply if you're eligible for EI or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit will give eligible residents of Canada a taxable benefit of up to $2,000 a month. 

Please see the Provincial Government's COVID-19 and Tenancies page for more questions and answers about rent.

Rent increases are frozen during the state of emergency in BC. Landlords are allowed to increase rents up to 2.6% in 2020, but any rent increase won't come into effect until the state of emergency is over.  If you're in subsidized housing and have questions about rent increases after the state of emergency is over, contact your housing provider.

Please see the Provincial Government's COVID-19 and Tenancies page for more questions and answers about rent.

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Page last updated: Thursday, April 9, 2020, 15:40 hrs

Help is available

The COVID-19 pandemic affects every aspect of life, including housing. Although things are stressful, it's important to remember that this situation is temporary, and that life will become more normal in time. 

Canada Emergency Response Benefit

Provincial government: COVID-19 and Tenancies

Government of Canada: COVID-19 Economic Response Plan