Canadians are worried about the being unable to pay rent due to loss of income.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued an executive order regarding rent payments, but financial hardship regarding rent payments is expected.
Ontario has issued a Covid-19 Eviction Ban, so no new eviction notices will be processed until further notice.
Help For Renters in Ontario
Many landlords in the province have mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC). This regulating body has offered mortgage payment deferrals, and these savings are expected to be passed along to their respective tenants. For those Canadians who are unable to pay their rent due to small business closures, cut hours, or social distancing, this can be a welcome relief.
It’s not just the anxiety surrounding rent due – many Canadians also have problems paying for utility bills, as well as other financial obligations. In addition, some property managers include utilities with monthly rent. These property management companies have bills to pay too, and often depend on income from tenants to ensure that they can maintain a liveable community. Nonpayment of rent also affects property operations: even if they don’t wish to evict a tenant, they may be put in a position where this is the only option, meaning some tenants may face eviction regardless.
Government Support For Renters
Depending upon location, many local governments have extended the Covid-19 eviction ban for another few weeks. Tenants may also be eligible for deferral of utility payment and hardship assistance.
While there aren’t specific rental support payments available, local governments and city council have frozen evictions. However, this isn’t a perfect solution; it’s intended to help many Canadians get through the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic safely.
There are other options for those facing financial hardship. At this time, the Candian government hasn’t announced specific financial support for those unable to pay rent.
However, these benefits can help replace lost income and reduce the chances of a rent strike.
Here are some packages that may become available to renters:
$2,000 per month for workers who have experienced a loss of income due to Covid-19 from the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB). Eligibility restrictions here are fewer than for other benefits
People with student loans may receive a 6-month interest-free reprieve
Money owed to the Canadian Revenue Agency are deferred until August 31
Those eligible for the Emergency Care Benefit (ECB) will receive a bi-weekly payment of $900 for up to 15 weeks
The Canada Child Benefit increases by $300 per child for the remainder of the year
Rent Relief Versus Mortgage Deferrals
Deferring mortgage payments may be simpler than rent freezes, as many lenders simply adjust the amortization for their borrowers while still charging interest. However, policies for renters vary significantly from landlord or landlord.
Many mortgage holders are also only offering mortgage deferrals for homes occupied by the owner, not rental properties. Therefore, landlords are still responsible for the mortgage of their income property, and may experience significant financial strain from rent relief initiatives.
Finding Help During the Coronavirus Pandemic
If you’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19, your first step is to talk to your landlord directly.
Explain your situation and include any back-ups documents, where needed and applicable. You may be able to work out a payment plan or payment arrangement with your landlord while you wait for your benefits to arrive.