Today the Minister of Justice, R.J. Simpson, announced new regulations under the Residential Tenancies Act to replace those put in place on April 9, 2020 to help tenants impacted by COVID-19. The new regulations will allow for the establishment of rent repayment plans to ensure tenants have a reasonable timeframe to pay back rent that has accumulated from March 18, 2020 to January 31, 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
Beginning February 1, 2021, landlords and tenants have one year to enter into a repayment plan. This will allow tenants to maintain their housing and provide them with at least 12 months to repay their rental arrears.
Under the regulations, either landlords or tenants may initiate a repayment plan, and tenants will not have to make their first payment until at least 30 days after the date a repayment plan is given.
Repayment plans must set out:
- the date the repayment period starts;
- the total amount of rent still owed;
- the amount the tenant must pay each month, with the total owing divided into equal instalments; and
- the due date of each instalment.
Recognizing that many tenants and landlords worked together to make arrangements during this crisis, prior repayment agreements that cover the total amount of rent owing remain in place and are not cancelled by this new regulation. The regulations leave some flexibility for landlords and tenants to make changes to the standard terms that are otherwise included in all repayment plans. For example, allowing lower payments in the beginning of the agreement and gradually increasing the payment amounts over time or extending the duration of the repayment process past the 12-month period.
“COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our lives and our economy. In April, we announced regulations to allow tenants to defer rental payments if their incomes were negatively impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we want to take a measured approach to tenancy rules and give people advance notice so they can plan to pay back any owing rent. These changes will help tenants maintain their housing and provide them with a 12 month period to gradually pay back any unpaid rent. We encourage landlords and tenants to work together during this difficult time.”
- R.J. Simpson, Minister of Justice
- In the Northwest Territories, the relationship between tenants and landlords is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act which lays out the responsibilities and rights of both tenants and landlords, and establishes a process for resolving disputes.
- The new regulations deal with situations where tenants were unable to pay their rent because they lost their job or had their income significantly reduced due to COVID-19, and who have now accumulated arrears of rent that they owe.
- Residential Tenancies COVID-19 Regulations
- Residential Tenancies Act
- Residential Tenancies Act Regulations Q&A
Media Requests, please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Department of Justice
Government of the Northwest Territories
Phone Number: 867-767-9256, ext. | poste 82083