Important 411- info for Landlords and Tenants
As we all try to cope with the current situation going on in the world it is important now than ever for Landlords and Tenants to work together during these troubled times to help keep people in theirhomes and not create financial instability for both parties.
There is thousands of people out of work and many more small business owners who have no income coming in at the moment which will make it more difficult for many tenants and landlord alike. As a renter for many years and now a landlord of a few properties I can understand how these uncertain times can be. This means we must show empathy towards each other and keep honesty and integrity in the system.
We have provided a few important points and helpful ideas for both sides to consider during this time and hopefully can assist both tenants and buyers to have a conversation:
- Communicate to your tenant with a letter or email regarding current situation ( I have sample letter that you can use and have shared with my clients and friends that are landlords to use) Be compassionate during these times and work with your tenant to find a solution
- If your tenants can’t pay all the rent because of because of work then make an arrangement for what they can pay and make a plan of action for repaying back the difference for when things get back in order…Ask for proof of no income or being laid off and be patient and understanding
- Contact your bank or lender to see if you can skip or defer any mortgage payments…If you do get approved then please pass that savings or deferment onto your tenants also as they will need it during this time…Make it understood in writing that deferred or part payment still needs to be repaid at future date as your bank will make you pay for any deferred mortgage payments and with interest most likely
- If you are not qualified for a deferment then please communicate this to your tenants that this option is not available to you
- Most Property taxes can be deferred at the moment and the City has made a program that can allow you to defer the interim and final property tax bill until October 30th if you qualify , utilities and insurance can be pushed back by a month or so possibly( call them to get a payment plan) and that savings can be put towards the tenants cost if they are having difficulty paying
- If you are selling your property with tenants and the tenant has an immune-compromising situation then you are not permitted to have any showings for the safety of the tenant and community.
- Any increase in rents that have been granted or coming up are suspended for time being
- No landlord can evict any tenants during this time but you are allowed to fill the forms ( N4) and have them submitted so that you at least have the process started in case you do not get re-payment back in the future
- Put off any projects for the property and preserve cash where possible
- If cash is low and you have a lot of equity consider taking a line of credit against the property to assist for now but only if needed
- Build up a 3 to 4 month rent savings for your property to be used in times like this( If you don’t have any now that is ok but now you know and can start building towards that for the future)
- Communicate to your Landlord with a letter or email regarding your current situation if you have been laid off or think you will have trouble paying the rent but if you are able to pay then it is important that you do pay your rent ( I have sample letter that you can use and have shared with my clients and friends that are tenants to use and send to their landlord) Be compassionate especially if you are living in a single home or small place where the owner is a small “ mom and pop” landlord where they might not be able to afford to pay the mortgage for you or might not qualify to get a deferred payment as most will not qualify for it from what we are seeing…a lot of seniors own properties and rely on the rental income to live …If it is a large building or property holding company then yes they might have more flexibility for partial payments and deferred rent but not all landlords are made the same ( 40% to 50% percent of landlords are small ‘mom and pop” landlords we assume)
- If you have been laid off from your work then it is important to show proof to your landlord and communicate with them the financial situation of what you can or can’t do. You should start the process of applying for EI or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit ( CERB) which can provide individuals with approx. $2000 monthly for up to 4 months
- Electricity is now being charged at the lowest rate possible 24/7 Ontario government has advised so you should hopefully see some savings, Most can’t have electricity turned off for nonpayment up until July 31st -
- Some utilities such as water/sewer from city have allowed for 30 days payment for bills with no interest ….You should contact your providers and see about a payment plan if you are having trouble paying them but most will work with you to get a resolution
- City of Ottawa has a full list of ways the government is helping with links…check below for more info
- Your Landlord can not evict you from the home during this time but he can still serve you the papers
Helpful Links and info:
- https://www.ontario.ca/page/renting-changes-during-covid-19 ( info for tenants regarding rules and changes during this time)
- https://ottawa.ca/en/living-ottawa/taxes/covid-19-property-tax-relief#2020-property-tax-hardship-deferral-program ( Property tax deferral program)
- https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#eased_rules_registered_retirement_income_funds ( City of Ottawa economic response to help and links for seniors, families, owners, businesses )
- https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html ( links and how to for applying for Financial assistance )
We hope this information helps you in some way please reach out if you have any questions regarding any of the information. If you are a tenant or landlord and you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of then please reach out and can help guide and answer questions you have about your situation. We are in this togeather!
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and stay Inside!
Sorin Vaduva – Human, Investor, Realtor, Entrepreneur
Sorin@capitalrealestate.ca – 613-262-9562