Ron Bragaganolo REC Canada Team  Tenants & Landlords Need To Know About Rent

What Tenants And Landlords Need To Know About Rent During COVID-19

Sunday Apr 05th, 2020

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COVID-19 continues to have a negative influence on the livelihood of workers of essentially every industry.
People all over the planet are growing more concerned about how they’re going to pay off their rents.
Property owners are becoming concerned as well, due to the policies possibly impacting their financial
wellbeing. As of writing this article, 44% of Toronto residents are either without work or suffering from
diminished hours. Many businesses are also suffering a depleted income as well, exacerbated due to
mandated closures. This is a sensitive time for everyone on the spectrum of real estate. 

There are laws enforced to ensure that people won’t be evicted from their homes at this time in Ontario.
There will likely be alterations in the coming days that benefit tenants, but we currently have been given
little instruction from the provincial government. Landlords have been urged to be more lenient when it
comes to tenant payments. Different provinces are offering different rules when dealing with these issues.

If you're working and can comfortably pay your rent, it's recommended that you do so. The remaining
debt is going to accumulate, while the payment structure remains to be unseen. There is concern that
not paying your rent in its entirety or not at all will affect your credit. Naturally this would, but it is quite
possible that government policy could forego any damage to it at this time. No N11 (Agreement To
Terminate Tenancy) or N12 (Landlord Requires The Rental Unit) can be enforced at this time. No matter
what is filed to the government or the Landlord Tenant Board, it will be dismissed by the court. The only
exception is if the tenant is damaging the property or has demonstrated to be a danger to the property
owner.

Compassion is the greatest tool you can have right now as a property owner. If you are having an issue
with your tenant, ensure that you have a conversation with them. They should be made aware that
eviction is something that you absolutely do not wish to proceed with. If the tenant refuses to cooperate
with no opportunity of remedy, you can issue an N4 (Notice To End Tenancy For Non-Payment). But
ensure that this is only done after you've had a conversation, then you can file the L1 (End Tenancy
and Evict Tenant) application, in order to remove them after the new rules of eviction have been lifted.
The conversation should dictate that both parties are mutually agreeing upon terminating the residency.
It is beneficial to have written or video documentation that this agreement has taken place in case it must
go before a judge. If you do end up evicting your tenant for unpaid rent, it's unlikely that you will receive
the money owed in Small Claims Court. If you keep the tenant, they will have to pay the rent. Keep in mind
that potentially all N4 forms served during this period will be invalid when produced to the Landlord
Tenant Board. If the tenant is struggling and you wish to assist them by lowering the current costs, tell
them that you will "defer" the rent. If you state you are reducing their rent, that could remain the norm
after COVID-19 is no longer a concern. 

Landlords should be looking after the benefit of their own tenants, it's a business after all, and this will
encourage them to remain with you for the foreseeable future. Tenants should not be afraid to reach
out as it's very likely the property owner will want them to remain as comfortable as possible during and
after this pandemic. This is a difficult time for everyone, so we're all going to need to support and
cooperate with one another in such trying times. Ensure that you stay educated on the laws that apply
to your province, remaining informed is how you keep the most secure. Tenants and landlords should
keep an open communication at all times, but  now more than ever. People everywhere are struggling
due to this pandemic, and so many have this strong inclination to aid others.


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