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Rent and COVID-19: Support for Canadian tenants
Struggling to pay rent because of coronavirus? Learn what measures your province has put in place.
Updated . What changed?
We’ll continue updating this page with resources and information as new details emerge on how Canadian leaders and businesses are responding to COVID-19.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people have lost their jobs and now find themselves without income and they’re struggling to pay their bills. For many, not being able to make rent and worrying about possible evictions can be understandably unnerving.
Does my provincial government offer rent support?
Many provinces have put support measures in place. Check out the table below to learn more and find out where you can go for financial help during this time.
|Province||Rent support||Rent increase||Evictions|
|British Columbia||BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program (ended Aug. 2020)||Annual rent increases temporarily frozen (extended until July 10, 2021)||Halted except for exceptional circumstances (ended Aug. 18, 2020)|
(financial support for loss of income may be found here)
|Frozen while the provincial state of emergency is in effect (ended in mid-June, 2020)||Previously frozen for missed payments before May 1st (no longer frozen); landlords can still pursue evictions unrelated to health emergency|
(financial support for self-isolation may be found here)
|N/A||Non-urgent evictions frozen as of March 26, 2020 (no longer in effect)|
|Manitoba||N/A||Rent increases suspended from April 1st to May 31st (no longer in effect)||Non-urgent evictions frozen until May 31, 2020 (no longer in effect)|
(financial help for shelter may be available through Ontario Works program)
|Freeze on most rental rates in effect until Dec. 31, 2021||Was temporarily suspended (regular evictions laws are back in effect)|
(financial support for loss of income may be found here)
|N/A||Suspended during provincial health emergency|
|New Brunswick||N/A||N/A||Frozen until May 31, 2020 (no longer in effect)|
|Nova Scotia||N/A||Capped at 2% per year.||Suspended for 3 months as of March 19th for those who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19 (no longer in effect).|
Landlords no longer permitted to get eviction orders for renovations.
|PEI||Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit||N/A||Suspended until the end of June, 2020 (no longer in effect)|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||N/A||N/A||Tenants who can’t pay rent directly due to COVID-19 can’t be evicted (tenants can request an extension to their notice of termination)|
Is there rent support for Canadian business owners?
The Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy program provides rent subsidies of up to $75,000 per business location and up to $300,000 per business group (including any affiliate entities). Eligible businesses include for-profits, non-profits and charities. There is no minimum revenue drop required to qualify.
The actual amount businesses will receive is a base rate percentage that will vary depending on how much revenues have dropped. Businesses located in areas affected by public health restrictions may also qualify for an additional 25% through the Lockdown Support program. You can apply through your CRA My Business Account or through the Government’s “Represent a Client” service. Visit the Government of Canada website for more details.
Note: In October, 2020, the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) was introduced to replace the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program. New applications for CECRA stopped being accepted as of September 30, 2020.
Tips for tenants who can’t afford rent because of coronavirus
If you’re currently struggling to pay rent because of unemployment or lost income here are some basic steps to take:
- Know your rights as a renter. Read up on tenancy laws where you live and check your rental agreement for specific details covering what you and landlord can and can’t do.
- Talk to your landlord. If you can’t make repayments you should communicate this to your landlord. Most provinces are actively encouraging landlord and tenants to make payment agreements during this time.
- Get financial support through your province or the CERB. Most provinces have programs in place to offer some kind of financial support to individuals who have experienced loss of income due to the pandemic. You can also find out more and apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) here.
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