Support for Landlords and Tenants
Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS)
The Government of Canada has opened applications for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS). Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021. This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
The Government of Canada has announced details on Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA). The program will seek to provide loans, including forgivable loans, to commercial property owners who in turn will lower or forgo the rent of small businesses for the months of April, May, and June. Several details have been made available:
- The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will administer and deliver the CECRA, a collaboration between the federal government and provincial and territorial governments, which are responsible for property owner-tenant relationships.
- Under a rent forgiveness agreement, which includes a moratorium on eviction, the mortgaged commercial property owner would reduce the small business tenant’s monthly rent by at least 75 per cent. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25 per cent, the property owner 25 per cent, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50 per cent. The forgivable loans would be disbursed directly to the mortgage lender.
- The program will focus on working with commercial property owners to lower the rents of their small business tenants payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, and for June.
- Further details on CECRA will be shared in the near future once final terms and conditions are available. The federal government and provincial and territorial governments urge property owners to provide flexibility to tenants facing hardship in this uncertain time.
- Applications will open on May 25. Applicants are encouraged to visit the site in advance, download the pdf applications, and prepare required documentation before the date that applications open.
- July 2020 update: The federal government announced it will extend the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent (CECRA) program to cover eligible small business rents for July.
Rent Deferral Agreement
The Province of Nova Scotia is encouraging landlords to consider defering rent for their tenants through a drafted template for a Rent Deferral Agreement. The rental agreement is a template of a legal agreement between a tenant and landlord. The hope is that the tenant can engage the landlord in discussion, come to an agreement on rent deferral and use this form to put it on paper. The agreement as presented defers rent for April, May, and June and spreads it over the remaining period of the lease commencing on July 1st, 2020.
May 2020 Update: The deadline for landlords already registered for the provincial COVID-19 Rent Deferral Guarantee Program to submit their application has been extended. In order to be included in the provincial guarantee, landlords must send their full applications to the Department of Business by June 26 to NSRentDeferral@novascotia.ca
DOWNLOAD RENT DEFERRAL AGREEMENT TEMPLATE PACKAGE
VIEW RENT DEFERRAL SUPPORT PROGRAM GUIDELINES
Canadian banks have committed to work with their customers on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to help them manage hardships caused by COVID-19. Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. This allows flexibility to be available − when needed − to those who need it the most.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has compiled a thorough Frequently Asked Questions list around understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral for Canadian homeowners. Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden and application can be made at any time during this outbreak.