Canada COVID-19: B.C. bans evictions by commercial landlords who refuse rent assistance

00:50  02 june  2020
00:50  02 june  2020 Source:   vancouversun.com

Doug Ford warns landlords of 'consequences' as small businesses fret evictions on June 1

  Doug Ford warns landlords of 'consequences' as small businesses fret evictions on June 1 CALGARY — Small- and mid-sized businesses across the country are worried about making their next commercial rent payment and are reaching out to provincial governments to protect them from evictions. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, Restaurants Canada and Canadian Federation of Independent Business released a joint-letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford on Monday calling for a “temporary commercial eviction protection” for businesses such as restaurants worried about making their June 1 rent payment this week.

Renters who are experiencing a loss of income during the COVID - 19 pandemic can now apply for the Province’s new temporary rental supplement. The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to 0 per month, paid directly to landlords . Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a

Information on eviction moratoriums and tenant protections being enacted due to outbreak of COVID - 19 . Sources of Coronavirus Assistance for Landlords and Tenants: A list of federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sources of financial assistance and other resources for both tenants and

Carole James standing in front of a flag: B.C.'s Finance Minister Carole James is set to share the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Action Plan in a news conference on Monday. © Postmedia News Files B.C.'s Finance Minister Carole James is set to share the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Action Plan in a news conference on Monday.

VICTORIA — Commercial landlords that refuse to apply for the federal assistance program to give their tenants a break on rent will be forbidden from evicting those tenants for at least the next month, says B.C.’s finance minister.

Carole James made the announcement Monday, saying members of the provincial economic recovery task force — made up of business leaders across the province — have told her they are concerned that some landlords are refusing to work with their small business tenants and instead choosing to evict them.

Rental market suffering twin hit from COVID-19, oil price crash

  Rental market suffering twin hit from COVID-19, oil price crash As the dual impacts of COVID-19 and the oil price crash hit Calgary’s residential rental market, analysts say renters can expect to see landlords offering some of the same perks and incentives they did during the height of the 2015-16 economic downturn. “We’re not forecasting directly a reduction in rent, at this point. That will happen probably on a longer-term basis if the economic pain is sustained,” said Matthew Boukall, vice-president of product management at Altus Group, a Canadian real estate software and data company. “But it’s more like we’re going to see more short-term incentives being offered.

This will alleviate the pressure on landlords , who will be concerned about meeting mortgage payments themselves, and will mean no unnecessary pressure is put on their tenants as a result. COVID - 19 and renting : guidance for landlords , tenants and local authorities.

Rent relief for those impacted by COVID - 19 is available, provided you know where to look. Rent forbearance is available through some of the same programs that have suspended evictions . Additional rent assistance is offered by various social service agencies as well as state and local

“There are landlords who have not applied for the relief, and unless the landlord applies for the federal program, the program isn’t available for small business tenants,” said James.

“Preventing landlords who are eligible from the program from evicting tenants can encourage landlords to apply for the program.”

The province will use its emergency powers to put the ban in place effective immediately, said James. It also means commercial landlords cannot seize the property of tenants.

The prohibition on evictions will remain as long as the federal commercial rent relief programs is in place, said James. It’s currently set to expire at the end of this month but can be extended if Ottawa extends the program as well, she said.

Finance minister to update B.C. job numbers

  Finance minister to update B.C. job numbers Previously, the B.C. government announced it will protect commercial tenants from being evicted due to nonpayment of rent under the COVID-19 pandemic when the landlord hasn’t applied for the federal rent supplement.You can watch it live above starting at 9:30 a.m. and on BC1.

The Mayor’s Order temporarily bans all residential evictions . This includes evictions currently in progress. You can still be evicted for reasons of If your landlord tries to evict you before then, you will have protection under the Order if you can show that you are unable to pay due to COVID - 19 .

The moratorium on evictions is for renters who are unable to pay their rent because of financial distress due to COVID - 19 . Renters not affected by the financial impacts of COVID - 19 can be evicted for choosing to stop paying rent and refusing to talk to the landlord about how rent arrears are going

The Canada emergency commercial rent assistance program reduces the rent owed by small business tenants by 75 per cent. Under the program, a commercial landlord can get a non-repayable loan for up to 50 per cent of their monthly costs, if they agree to cut the rent for a tenant by 75 per cent and promise not to evict them. The small business tenant then pays the remaining 25 per cent of the rent.

The program applies to small businesses that pay less than $50,000 a month in rent and have revenue declines of at least 70 per cent due to COVID-19. Charities are non-profit organizations are also eligible.

Critics have said the program leaves tenants at the mercy of their landlords, because only landlords can apply to start the assistance program.

James said there’s no figures yet for B.C. to show how many eligible landlords have applied.

“We’ve been hearing that a number of landlords have applied on behalf of their tenants and obviously that’s the best direction, we want that relationship to be built,” said James.

Finance minister updates B.C. job numbers

  Finance minister updates B.C. job numbers Previously, the B.C. government announced it will protect commercial tenants from being evicted due to nonpayment of rent under the COVID-19 pandemic when the landlord hasn’t applied for the federal rent supplement.Finance Minister Carole James speaking about job numbers now. Says BC saw an increase in jobs, but more people were searching for jobs so unemployment has gone up.

CHICAGO — The economic impact of the COVID - 19 crisis is about hits home for many whenever the landlord comes looking for rent . All evictions and utility shut-offs due to lack of payment are banned throughout the duration of Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order, which he recently

Residential landlords are facing mounting pressure to ease or defer rental charges as the COVID - 19 pandemic results in widespread Canada’s labour market is experiencing historic layoffs as COVID - 19 forces the shutdown of major industries. Nearly one million Canadians have applied for unemployment

“We know there are other businesses that actually have agreements with their tenants around rent deferrals. But I have to say it’s been an issue that’s been raised by members on the economic task force, we’ve heard it from small businesses and from MLAs around the province, that there are certainly some tenants who their landlords have been very clear they don’t want to bother. They don’t want to take the time to apply for the federal program.

“And that then hurts the tenants because the tenant doesn’t have the opportunity to have the relief to help them.

“So I expect it will, I hope, make a difference in encouraging landlords to apply now that they won’t be able to evict those tenants. So we’ll be watching those numbers as we go along.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business praised the move, noting B.C. stands out among other provinces that have resisted putting in such an eviction ban.

“We’ve been asking for it since March so I think it’s really good news and hopefully will show the way for other provinces to follow,” said Laura Jones, CFIB vice-president.

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A landlord who refused to allow a struggling family pay a portion of their rent through rent Commercial landlord Hibernia Reit sees city centre office demand outpacing Covid - 19 'speed-bump'. However, after opening the envelope the couple discovered that it was an eviction letter.

If you' re a worker who has been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, you might qualify for At the same time, many landlords face financial stress as well, and also need to know what their rights and COVID - 19 : Eviction Bans by State. Emergency Bans on Evictions and Other Tenant Protections

“It’s a common sense move, really. A lot of landlords and tenants are working it out with each other and many are struggling through the administrative nightmare that seems to be the CECRA (federal rent assistance) program.

“But there are a few stories, more than a handful of stories we’ve heard about, where landlords are being unreasonable with tenants. And this just gives a little bit more breathing space for tenants and landlords to work it out.”

Part of the issue is that the federal program is cumbersome and suffers from long wait times for assistance from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, which is administering the program, said Jones.

“There’s a lot of paperwork involved,” said Jones. “We’re hearing some serious nightmare stories.”

There’s also the threshold of 70 per cent lost income for eligibility, which is a much higher amount than the 30 per cent lost income that employees need to show to be eligible for personal federal financial aid. The result is many small businesses struggling to pay rent aren’t captured, said Jones.

There’s also the power imbalance of only the landlord being eligible to apply. “It gives them all the power,” said Jones. “So what B.C. did today helps balance that out a little bit because it gives the tenants back some of that power.”

COVID-19: About 16 per cent of commercial tenants did not pay rent in May

  COVID-19: About 16 per cent of commercial tenants did not pay rent in May Canadian businesses continue to struggle with commercial rent, as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps its hold on the economy. According to the latest Colliers Canada survey, about 16 per cent of Canadian commercial tenants did not make rent last month. Of those who sought rent relief in April, 39 per cent did not make rent for May, while 19 per cent paid partial rent and 42 per cent were able to pay their rent in full. The survey asked 7,100 commercial tenants across the country about their ability to pay rent this past spring, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to ravage the economy around the world.

The B.C. Chamber of Commerce said it also supports the eviction ban.

“Taking that option off the table for a temporary period hopefully can bring the two groups together and get some good relief going to small businesses,” said Dan Baxter, director of policy.

There are some businesses that have been able to pay their rent so far, but have now exhausted their resources, he said. “Businesses are starting to run out of cash,” said Baxter. “Most only have one to three months of operating expenses. If they are paying right now, that might not last in the future. Helping them with their rent is a good business decision most landlords would want to take advantage of.”

The Opposition Liberal party called for the eviction ban in a letter to Premier John Horgan last month. Leader Andrew Wilkinson said while the NDP has acted in this one area, it has ignored other suggestions such as a three-month pause on the provincial sales tax, hotel tax and employer health tax.

“We’ve proposed a full slate of real workable solutions for small business and the NDP have cherry picked one of them,” said Wilkinson. “But all they are planning to do is support a federal program that’s not working.”



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Kits apartment building's final tenant in last stand against renoviction .
Carol-Ann Lang is not ready to abandon her home of 37 years. “I’m not moving,” said the 68-year-old Vancouver resident, who was served an eviction notice in February, more than a year after her new landlords first tried to push her out. “As long as we have that COVID emergency, they cannot take possession, and I will at least hold up construction.” Lang has lived in her small apartment at 1875 Yew St. since 1984. She had planned to stay at the Manoa Yew for the rest of her life. Then VS Rentals, a company linked to Coltric Properties, took possession of the building in September 2018. Within weeks of the sale, Lang and her neighbours received monetary offers to leave .

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