Advice for Tenants impacted by COVID-19
Canadian tenants are enduring high levels of uncertainty when faced with the Covid-19 crisis. As governments take urgent actions to protect public health and flatten the curve, restrictions on businesses and social distancing are fuelling a rise in employment insecurity and loss, leaving tenants worried about being able to pay rent.
Landlords across Canada are being encouraged to have an open dialog with the tenants and maintain good communication as new relief and support initiatives are being rolled out.
Unless an agreement has been made with your landlord, tenants are expected to make their rent payments in full and on time.
Some property management firms have pledged fund to support their tenants who are unable to pay their rent. While the province of British Columbia has pledged a $500/mth rent subsidy paid directly to landlords.
And, nearly across the board, provinces are suspending eviction hearings and enforcement in the short-term for any filings related to non-payment of rent.
Federally there’s financial relief available that is up to $2000/mth. However, these payments may not begin flowing until mid-April causing a period of uncertainty related to cash flow.
If you’re facing challenges associated with paying your rent, you are encouraged to speak directly to your landlord. Some tenants are asking for payment deferral, reduced rent, or payment programs, while other tenants are offering property improvement services in exchange of rent to work off a portion of their monthly balance.
Of course, LOCNEST Lease Guarantees do cover our clients in case of non-payment of rent.
In any case, the agreement you make must be made directly with your landlord and should not be assumed.
Beyond rent, tenants need to be aware that their landlord or property management firm may be implementing changes to amenity access or restrictions, such as on how many people can ride in an elevator at once, as a way to curb the spread of virus within their properties. These notices will often be posted visibly if not emailed to residents.
Tenants should conduct themselves with appropriate care when moving through common areas and help prevent the spread of the virus.
In all, the cornerstone to tenants and landlords successfully working together during this crisis hinges on good communication. If you need any more advice or want information on how a LOCNEST Lease Guarantee can help support you or your existing tenants, please reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-833-LOCNEST.