Many property investors, like yourself, are feeling concerned about the health and safety of your tenants as well as the financial implications of missed rent payments.
Late last week, the Alberta government announced restrictions regarding civil enforcements of evictions. Effective immediately, landlords cannot evict a tenant for non-payment of rent in April or tenants who missed rent payments over the last few months. This eviction protection will be in place for the duration of the public health emergency for tenants who are proactively working with landlords to put reasonable payment plans in place. Until further notice, landlords are prohibited from raising rental rates. For the period from April 1 to June 30, 2020, landlords are not allowed to charge late fees.
There are a few things in place to help landlords continue to protect their properties, physically and financially. The restrictions currently in place are void if a tenant commits a crime or causes damage to the property. Landlords can contact their lending institution to defer mortgage payments for at least six months. This takes pressure off landlords and tenants alike so that the focus can remain on staying home and continuing to practice social distancing.
Consider contacting your bank or mortgage broker to discuss the benefits of refinancing, if this is an option for you. Taking advantage of lower interest rates, changing payment frequency, and extending the term of your mortgage can significantly adjust your mortgage burden.
All Canadians whose income has been negatively affected by COVID19, including landlords and tenants, can apply for additional financial support through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and Employment Insurance (EI).
Beginning in early April, eligible Canadians can apply for CERB. CERB is a taxable benefit that pays $2000 per month for up to 4 months. The benefit is available to
- People who must stop working due to COVID19,
- People who are sick or quarantined,
- Parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who can no longer attend school or daycare,
- Workers who are employed but not being paid, and
- Wage earners or self-employed individuals who are not eligible for EI.
Click here to learn more about CERB.
EI benefits may be payable to people who have lost their jobs due to COVID19. This benefit is available to anyone who was employed in insurable employment, has been without work and pay for at least 7 consecutive days, and worked the required number of insurable hours during the last 52 weeks. Click here for more information on EI, eligibility, benefit amounts, and how to apply. People forced to stay home due to quarantine requirements can apply for EI sickness benefits. The normal one-week waiting period will be waived for COVID19 related applications. Learn more about EI sickness benefits here.
As you know, this is unchartered territory for all of us. There are benefits and supports available to help. If you are feeling unsure of how to move forward, please contact me! I am happy to chat and problem-solve together.