Many renters are still struggling economically due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Jobs have been lost, hours have been cut, and wages have been reduced thanks to the lockdowns necessary to get control over the virus.
Evictions are dangerous during a time like this, and the province of Ontario has several resources in place for tenants who are struggling to pay their rent. While you can still evict a tenant if you decide you want to live in the Oshawa rental property yourself or sell it, you may not have the opportunity to evict simply because rent has not been paid.
Landlords with CMHC-insured mortgages also have their own resources. If you’re facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic, you can access the same tools and relief as homeowners who occupy their properties. Look for mortgage payment deferrals if they’re available to you.
The government is pushing hard for owners to refrain from evictions until the pandemic has passed and the economy is back to normal.
If you have a tenant who is struggling, make sure they understand all their resources. Work with them to collect partial payments and agree to payment plans before you evict.
Eviction Moratorium in Oshawa and Ontario
In Canada, evictions and rental policy are set by province. In Ontario, there is a temporary pause on the enforcement of residential evictions to ensure that tenants are not forced to leave their homes while a stay-at-home order is in force.
We don’t know how long this eviction pause will be in place. If you are absolutely ready to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent, it may be some time before you can lawfully do so.
Housing Stability Program
The first resource for tenants who are behind in rent is The Housing Stability Program (HSP). Tenants who are at risk for being evicted because they’re behind in their rent can apply for the benefits available through this program. If you’re a landlord or renting out a property to a struggling tenant, it’s in your best interest to make sure those tenants know about this resource.
The following benefits are available to eligible tenants who have lost income:
- Rent arrears to a maximum of two months.
- Heat or utility arrears to a maximum of two months, as well as connection fees and security deposits
- Last month’s rent deposit.
- Moving costs to a maximum of $200.
This can be beneficial to landlords and tenants. If a tenant applies for the program and is denied, there’s still a review process. An appeal can be filed with the Regional Review Panel.
Eviction Prevention Workers for At-Risk Tenants
Landlords with tenants who are behind in rent may be contacted by an Eviction Protection Worker. This is another resource in place for tenants who are struggling to pay rent and are at risk for eviction. This program can often mediate between tenants and landlords. It’s a good resource if you’ve had trouble getting your tenants to agree to a payment plan or an arrangement that will at least give you some income while you wait for your tenants to catch up.
This is not an easy time for tenants or landlords. It’s a good time to access professional Oshawa property management if you’re struggling to collect rent or you’re not sure what your rights are when it comes to reclaiming your rental property. We can help. Contact us at Investor’s Choice Property Management.