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COVID-19 and Landlord Tenant Relations

LANDLORD TENANT (residential tenancies) board

The Residential Tenancies Board administers and enforces the Residential Tenancies Act in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Board can hold hearings on disputes between landlords and residential tenants, make orders (with or without a hearing), and provide both landlord and tenants with direction on various issues.

Due to the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic, the Residential Tenancies Board is operating at reduced capacity. However, the Board is conducting hearings by teleconference. As a result, please expect delays in having your matter addressed. You may contact the Landlord Tenant Board at 1-877-829-2608.

For new applications the Residential Tenancies Board accepts e-mail applications to landlordtenant@gov.nl.ca , or faxed applications at (709) 729-6998. You may also mail your application to your district centre. You can find the relevant contact information for your district centre at the bottom of this page.

changes to the residential tenancies act due to covid-19

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Provincial Government recently passed An Act Respecting Certain Measure in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This law included several changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, found below.

New Residential Tenancies Act Sections – Extended Termination Period:

(5)       Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a tenant suffers a loss of income due to loss of employment or a reduction in work hours as a result of the Public Health Emergency declared in the province on March 18, 2020, the period in which the tenant is required to vacate a residential premises under subsection (1) is extended for a period of not less than 30 days after the notice is served on the tenant.

(6)       A tenant referred to in subsection (5) shall provide to the landlord proof of loss of income in the form of

(a)       written or electronic documentation from the tenant’s employer confirming the loss of employment or reduction in work hours; or

(b)       a statutory declaration of the tenant.

(7)       Notwithstanding subsection (5), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may, by order, extend the period referred to in subsection (5).

(8)       An order made under subsection (7) is subordinate legislation for the purposes of the Statutes and Subordinate Legislation Act .

(9)       The Crown is not liable for damages caused to a person as a result of a time period extended under the authority of subsection (5) or (7).

Tenants who lost employment income because of the COVID-19 Pandemic can receive an eviction extension of 30 days from when a notice of eviction was served on them. However, tenants must provide their landlord proof of loss of income from their employer for an extension of eviction. This can be done either through a written or electronic means of communication. This proof of loss of income must confirm a loss of employment or reduced hours. You can find a request for an extension of eviction time here: https://www.gov.nl.ca/snl/files/landlordtenant-form-notice-extension-request.pdf.

Alternatively, a tenant may make a “statutory declaration”. This is a sworn document that must be sworn by a notary public, commissioner of oaths, or lawyer. This document states that the tenant has lost income as a result of COVID-19. You may find a copy of an example statutory declaration here: https://www.gov.nl.ca/snl/files/statutory-declaration-tenants-seeking-extension.pdf.

If a tenant did not lose employment income as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic and has not paid rent on time, normal notice and eviction timelines still apply.

additional legal assistance

Contact the Public Legal Information Association (PLIAN) for help finding a lawyer or to obtain legal advice about your residential tenancies matter. PLIAN’s Legal Information Line and Lawyer Referral Service remain operational. Anyone with questions about landlord-tenant relations or any other legal matters can contact us for more information at 1-888-660-7788 or info@publiclegalinfo.com.