Despite federal and provincial government supports, a prolonged COVID-19 crisis and the resultant loss of jobs and income will make it difficult for some tenants to pay their rent.
As a landlord, it is important to know what type of supports you have in order to continue making mortgage payments and paying the bills. Both tenants and landlords alike need a more comprehensive solution through this crisis with the shared understanding that all Ontarians need a secure place to call home.
What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
Landlords should maintain an open line of communication with their tenants to ensure that both parties are aware of each others’ expectations during this time. Landlords should ensure that they comply with occupancy limits, increase sanitation of their properties and are able to comply with social distancing measures by providing video tours of properties.
As many have fallen on hard financial times due to COVID-19, it should be noted that the Ontario government has ordered a stop to all evictions during the State of Emergency.
Buying or selling a tenanted property?
If a client has an urgent need to buy or sell a home during the COVID-19 crisis, REALTORS® have the modern tools and knowledge at their disposal to do virtual showings.
REALTORS® should work with landlords and tenants to ensure that the health and well-being of Ontario’s home buyers, sellers and families remains a focus. REALTORS® and landlords are encouraged to use modern technology that facilitates remote interactions, such as virtual tours, video conferencing and digital signing.
Do tenants need to pay rent?
Tenants need to continue paying rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your tenants’ financial situation has been affected by the coronavirus, landlords should work with their tenants to come to an agreement surrounding rent payments, reductions and deferrals.
What financial relief is available for landlords?
Canada’s big six banks are offering deferred mortgage payments for up to six months on a case-by-case basis. Landlords may be eligible for mortgage deferrals on their non-principal residence, including a rental property. For more information, please see our detailed guide for homeowners and reach out to your financial advisor.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has extended the deadline for filing income tax returns to June 1, 2020, and the deadline for payment of income tax to September 1, 2020.
Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers
A Temporary Wage Subsidy is available for eligible employers, like landlords, that will allow for a reduction in the amount of payroll deductions require to be remitted to the CRA. Employers must see a 15 percent decline in revenue for March compared to January and February of 2020 to apply for the subsidy. Employers can apply through the CRA’s My Business Account portal.