Landlords and tenants across Canada are worried as due date for April rent approaches
April rent is due on Wednesday, and in the famous words of Pitbull, "I knew my rent was gon' be late 'bout a week ago."
With an astonishing number of Canadians out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, landlords and tenants alike are worried about the upcoming monthly rent payment.
The Canadian government is introducing a number of financial measures to help Canadians that are sick, quarantined or unable to work due to the pandemic, but the money won't be available until April — leaving many Canadians stuck in limbo.
It is absolutely bananas that while ⅓ of all Canadians #rent, that the ON government has not acknowledged the rent issue except for, to temporarily ban evictions. If you want people to stay home, ensure they have one to stay in.#onpoli— LA Legault 🇨🇦 (@LALegault) March 31, 2020
"If you have a choice between putting food on your table or paying rent, you're putting food on your table," Ford said. "And if you can't pay rent, and you're just in absolutely crisis, then you don't have to pay rent."
The Ontario Real Estate Association echoed his words, writing, "The Province of Ontario has an obligation to help the situation: allowing tenants security in their homes during the crisis is the right thing to do."
However, OREA clarified that if tenants can afford to pay their rent, then they should do so.
On March 25, B.C. premier John Horgan announced that a moratorium will be placed on evictions and rent increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said that the provincial government will be providing up to $500 in rent supplements for those whose income was affected by the pandemic.
However, Horgan added that he can't "guarantee it will be in their pockets by April 1."
Not only are we halting evictions so BC renters can stay in their homes, we’re helping tenants to pay their rent with financial support.— John Horgan (@jjhorgan) March 27, 2020
Because no one should lose the roof over their head because of COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/f3lsI8Tcfg
Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have similarly banned evictions and are actively encouraging tenants and landlords to find a solution to the complex April rent situation.
No provincial government, however, has yet to freeze rent — leaving many Canadian tenants worried.
CANADA’s stimulus:— — Alexia Chanel 👸🏽🧜🏽♀️ (@AMermaidPrinces) March 31, 2020
$8,000 ($2,000 for 4 months)
Average rent in Canada:
$2,000 / 1 bedroom
lol yall not slick https://t.co/kJvjIXWFHj
More than 750,000 Canadians have even signed a petition asking the federal government to freeze rent.
Rent is almost due across Canada. Many people have recently been laid off or had work hours decreased. Over 724,000 have asked that rent and mortgages be cancelled during #COVID-19 https://t.co/vEJkacsMIV— Change.org Canada (@CdnChange) March 29, 2020
And many tenants are pointing out that the provincial government's advice to simply come to an agreement with their landlord isn't exactly helpful.
Politicians and landlord advocacy groups: We urge landlords to reach out to tenants with compassion. We’re all in this together!— David (@dsherwoodb) March 31, 2020
Actual landlord: “We are moving back in as of May 1. That's it or you guys can stay in Jail if you don't have a place Canada has a great Jail system!” pic.twitter.com/fkb8NpSt11
But it's not just tenants that are worried.
Canadian landlords that rely on rent for income are anxious that their tenants won't have the means to pay April rent, leaving them unable to put food on the table.
Amen ! I have not heard a word about ensuring landlords needs are met ! Some folks out there are retired and rely on the rent to pay bills and put food on the table— FA (@YycSocial) March 27, 2020
The bottom line? If Canada freezes rent, then it should also freeze mortgages.
I unerstand the sentiment behind #CancelRent, but then you have to also #CancelMortgages that the building owner still has to somehow pay without the rent. And why should only renters get relief? Ppl w/#mortgages deserve it just as much. World's not as simple as slogans.— Ed the Sock (@EdtheSock) March 31, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously said that Canadians should not have to worry about their ability to pay rent, buy groceries, or pay for extra child care due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Hopefully, the Prime Minister continues to take steps to accomplish that.
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