Owners and Tenants Worried About April 1

As the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, another wave may sweep in the coming days when the time comes for several tenants to pay their rent.
The e April 1 is stressful for tenants and owners because the new coronavirus keeps people at home and farm businesses, leaving tens of thousands of unemployed Canadians.

“It reminds me of a film” Mission: Impossible “, where tick, tick, tick, time is short and someone must try to save the day before everything explodes, illustrated William Blake, a representative of the Association from homeowners in Ontario. This is what many tenants and owners think about the April 1 deadline. ”

Landlord and tenant advocacy groups are asking the federal and provincial governments to offer some kind of relief before April 1.

Thus, the Popular Action Front in Urban Redevelopment and the Regroupement des committees logement et associations de loceneurs du Québec on Wednesday called “urgently, for concrete measures from the Legault government to help tenant households that will not be able to to pay their next month’s rent. ”

Both groups are requesting a special emergency rent supplement program for those on low incomes. For those who are not entitled to it because of too high previous income, they propose as a complementary measure the creation of a breakdown fund dedicated to the payment of rent.

In addition, “in order to reassure the hundreds of thousands of tenant households who are expected to move on or before July 1, they are asking the Legault government to consider that all existing leases be extended for a period corresponding at least to the duration of the contract. ‘health emergency’, read a press release.

Finally, they propose that the one month period available to tenants to respond to the lease renewal notice be extended by one month.

Two petitions posted on change.org – one from Quebec and one from across Canada – collected more than 600,000 signatures. The Quebec petition calls for the immediate cancellation of the payment of rents in Quebec; a moratorium on any eviction related to the inability to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether now or later; and the opening of vacant accommodation to house people who are homeless or currently living in dangerous, unhealthy or abusive housing conditions.

In his daily press conference on Wednesday, Mr. Legault asked the landlords to show understanding towards the tenants who would not be able to pay on April 1, as help from Ottawa must arrive a few days later. . However, he also asked tenants who are able to pay on time to do so.

The Manitoba government on Tuesday suspended all rent increases effective April 1 in response to the economic fallout from COVID-19.

The province has joined others, including Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island, to suspend all non-emergency hearings before their landlord-tenant proceedings, thereby prohibiting any evictions resulting from the non- -rent payment.

But other provinces and territories have gone to teleconference hearings, with the Saskatchewan Residential Tenancies Office noting on their website that rents are still due.

Popular movements have sprung up in several cities in the past two weeks, calling on tenants to stop paying their rent – either out of necessity or in solidarity with those who cannot make ends meet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that federal officials are looking for ways to relieve community housing providers and tenants across the country.

Another government source, who was not authorized to detail the talks behind the scenes, said a new initiative involving at least six provinces to prevent the eviction of hundreds of thousands of tenants.

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