(COVID-19) Canada – Update For Landlords and Tenants
Updated: May 6, 2020
During these uncertain times we all have many questions how best to adapt to the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are doing our best to act as mediators between tenants in need of financial relief and owners with payments that have to be made.
If you are a tenant of a property we manage who anticipates being unable to pay your April rent: Please reach out to us as soon as possible so that we can start planning together how best to adapt. We have provisions for modified payment dates, split payments, and deferred payments on a case by case basis for those in need.
If you are an owner worried about being able to collect this month's rent or make your property payments: Please give us a call or send us an email. We are here to help! Some lenders are making deferred mortgage payment arrangements possible, in addition to working with tenants on your behalf to compromise on payment terms.
Check out the following article for advice & tips for landlords, owners, renters, apartment hunters and more! Excerpts from the article are below:
Let's each do our part! Let’s all practice social distancing, but not loose our sense of community, a little kindness goes a long way!
For landlords, what are your responsibilities to your tenants and your rental property during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis? For tenants, how should you respond?
Here are some quick answers to the top questions people have been asking:
As a landlord, what are my responsibilities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
Make sure you keep open communication with your tenants and strata council. Ensure you comply with the occupancy limits. Increase sanitation. Provide video tours of available properties and use online, digital contract signing and payments. If a tenant tests positive for the coronavirus, keep the information confidential and allow the regional health authority to inform your neighbours.
As a renter, what actions can I take during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?
If you are struggling to make rent payments, review the relief initiatives outlined by the government for any that applies to your situation (e.g. Emergency Care Benefit for workers who don’t qualify for paid sick leave or EI, Emergency Support Benefit for those who are unemployed and don’t qualify for EI). Make sure you end your tenancy properly and understand the rules around rent deposits.
How to manage your rentals during a pandemic
Communication is key. Keeping open communication with your tenant and strata council during these uncertain times is crucial.
Do your part. As part of the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA), landlords and property managers are responsible for maintaining a safe rental unit and residential property. In these circumstances, safety should most definitely apply to cleanliness throughout all common areas of a residential property.
Increase Sanitation. Some ways to help promote cleanliness:
Install hand sanitizer dispensers near doors and elevators
Post signage promoting handwashing
Practice Social Distancing. Some ways to help #FlattenTheCurve:
Post signage encouraging tenants to take the stairs for exercise and to avoid confined elevator space. Close shared amenity spaces like gyms, pool, saunas etc.
Promote going digital. Offer video tours of available properties for prospective tenants and encourage online, digital contract signing and payments.
Practice compassion. While everyone’s situations and circumstances are different, we are all in this together. This is not the best time to consider eviction. Work with your tenant to come up with a solution to any rent payment challenges and keep your ears open for government relief offered to tenants.
Renter Tips on Navigating the COVID-19 Outbreak
Take advantage of unprecedented government assistance. If you are struggling to make rent payments, review all of the relief initiatives outlined by the government on March 18th for any that may apply to your situation.
Rely on digital communications. Avoid in-person interactions with your landlord by making digital rent payments and communicating via text or email.
Help Flatten the Curve. Follow the instructions set forth by your government and health professionals. Practice social distancing and proper hygiene, washing your hands and sanitizing surfaces frequently.
Landlords & Tenants: Stay informed
Yes, we are being inundated with information from a wide variety of sources. We strongly recommend narrowing your sources to official government health sites and credible news sources. This will allow you to stay up-to-date with scientifically-sound updates and advice.