Real Estate and COVID-19 – HELP FOR LANDLORDS
We are all going through this difficult time together. And I believe we all have to do whatever we can to help one another. Tenants who have lost their jobs and can’t afford to buy food need help. But that burden shouldn’t fall on their Landlord who may also be struggling to make ends meet. Where is the help for landlords?
With April 1st now upon us, there is a lot of anxiety building for many Landlords. On March 1st, 2020, the Landlord and Tenant Board announced that they were Suspending the Issuing of New Eviction Orders. On March 26th, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford tells Tenants, “If you can’t pay rent, and you’re just in an absolute crisis, then you don’t have to pay rent.” there was more in that statement that seems to have been overlooked by many Landlords and Tenants alike. Ford also said, “If you have a job then we expect you to pay rent, this is for the people that just can’t afford it.”
So where does that leave Landlords? There are no new policies or guidelines in place. Your mortgage, utilities and taxes still have to be paid. And evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent isn’t an option.
5 Steps Landlords Can Take To Help Get Through This Crisis:
- Check with your lender to see if you have the option to skip a Mortgage Payment without penalty.
- Look into the possibility of Mortgage Payment Deferral.
- Check with the Municipality to see if there is the option to get Relief From Property Tax Payments.
- Check to see if you qualify for any federal government programs.
- Help your Tenants!! Direct them to where they can get assistance. There are multiple programs available but they need to apply. You may not qualify for any of the programs that are available yourself, but if you can help your tenants navigate through the system it may help them pay rent. Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html and https://www.ontario.ca/page/ministry-children-community-and-social-services
Alright, you have done what you can and hopefully, all your tenants pay their rent. But what if they don’t?
On Friday, March 28th, 2020 the province published a bulletin titled Renting: Changes During COVID-19. I suggest you take the time to review it. There are no posted changes regarding giving the tenant notice for non-payment of rent. “COVID-19 update: Landlords can still give eviction notices, however, landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.”
I AM NOT SUGGESTING THAT YOU TRY TO EVICT YOUR TENANTS DURING THIS COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
I do suggest that you create a paper trail that documents what rents are owed and any amounts that are paid. Try to work with your tenants to make things easier for them and yourselves. Use the “Form N4” and try to explain to your tenant that you may both be able to use it to get help in the future.
If you NEED to buy or sell you we are here to help. I must emphasize that NEED is not the same as want. If you need help with Mortgage Relief, or Property Tax Relief we may be able to give you some guidance.
If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below or contact me directly at 905-718-0173, and I will provide you with the most up to date information available.
And just as a reminder, PLEASE take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. For the health and well being of everyone, listen to the health professionals and maintain social distancing.