(From the files of Catherine Garrett MYPGNow.com staff)
BC is making some changes when it comes to the dispute resolution process for landlords and tenants.
Email will now be allowed as a method of communication, the BC Government says, aiming to make it easier and more accessible for people.
The change will take effect March 1, fulfilling a recommendation by the Rental Housing Task Force.
The task force heard from renters and rental housing providers that there is a desire to use modern forms of communication, such as email, as an acceptable form of notification.
With this change, landlords and tenants may serve documents via email, after previously being required to exchange physical documents by personal service, mail, leaving a copy with a person or in a mailbox, or posting to a door or by fax.
While electronic service methods, such as email, have not been permitted, arbitrators have accepted them in situations where other methods were not possible.
As a result, they have been accepting service by email with supporting evidence without issue for several years.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when personal service was not available to landlords and tenants, the director of the Residential Tenancy Branch issued an order allowing them to serve documents by email.
With this regulatory change, email service will be available to landlords and tenants permanently.
Government is also extending an order allowing strata corporations in B.C. to hold meetings electronically, including their annual and special general meetings, during the current provincial state of emergency.