How COVID-19 is affecting landlords and tenants
As of June 2020, there is still a province-wide ban preventing landlords from evicting residential and commercial tenants in Ontario. On top of that, the Government of Ontario has postponed scheduled evictions for now, as many tenants have lost their jobs or have minimized hours during the pandemic and cannot afford to pay their rent. There has been no public announcement on whether this ban will lift anytime soon. Keep reading to learn about rent relief in Ontario and Toronto, and how the virus if affecting commercial landlords and tenants.
Financial relief for residential tenants and landlords during the coronavirus outbreak
Mortgage deferrals for six months
As long as your mortgage is insured, there are options for mortgage payment deferrals for landlords and tenants. Landlords who have tenants that cannot afford to pay their rent due to job loss during the pandemic can request six months of payment deferral from their mortgage broker or bank. The bank will take them through the eligibility process and will let them know if they are eligible for six months of financial relief. Remember- your mortgage is being deferred, but you will still have to pay the principal amount and the interest back in six months.
Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
Tenants can also apply for CERB, which is the government’s emergency relief funding for citizens during the pandemic. The funding was originally only going to be eligible for a maximum of sixteen weeks with, $2000 every four weeks. However, the federal government has realized the severity of job loss and recessionary times in Canada, and Trudeau has extended the benefit to a maximum of twenty-four weeks for individuals who have lost work due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This funding goes until October 3, 2020, and that will be the last block of four pay periods lasting until December 2, 2020.
Commercial tenants can apply to CECRA for rent relief
Applying for CECRA
If your small business has taken a hit during the pandemic, you can apply for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance, also known as CECRA, for rent relief. CECRA is giving out forgivable loans to assist commercial tenants with percent of their commercial rent from April to June 2020. The rent relief works like this. The rental payment is lowered by 75 percent until September 2020. The tenant will cover up to 25 percent of the rent, the landlord would cover the other 25 percent, and the government will cover the remaining 50 percent. You can learn more about eligibility here.
The Ontario government released a statement in early June stating that they are pushing through legislation that will make changes to the “Commercial Tenancies Act,” which will make eviction illegal. This bill ensures that the tenant’s assets will not be seizable. The commercial eviction ban will be in place until August 31, 2020, to give small business owners a chance to survive.
Rent relief and no eviction permitted during the COVID-19
Fortunately, the province and the federal government have worked together to make these relief packages available during the pandemic. You can always check the government of Ontario website, the CMHC website, and the City of Toronto website for the latest updates on rent, eviction, and the state of the pandemic.