Rent and COVID-19: Support for Canadian tenants

Struggling to pay rent because of coronavirus? Learn what measures your province has put in place.

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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.

Lost your job? Check out your support options

ProvinceRent supportRent increaseEvictions
British ColumbiaBC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) ProgramAnnual rent increases temporarily frozenHalted except for exceptional circumstances

(financial support for loss of income may be found here)

Frozen while the provincial state of emergency is in effectFrozen for missed payments before May 1st; landlords can still pursue evictions unrelated to health emergency

(financial support for self-isolation may be found here)

N/ANon-urgent evictions frozen as of March 26th
ManitobaN/ARent increases suspended from April 1st to May 31stNon-urgent evictions frozen until May 31st

(financial help for shelter may be available through Ontario Works program)

N/ASuspended until further notice and scheduled evictions postponed

(financial support for loss of income may be found here)

N/ASuspended during provincial health emergency
New BrunswickN/AN/AFrozen until May 31st
Nova ScotiaN/AN/ASuspended for 3 months as of March 19th for those who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19
PEITemporary Rental Assistance BenefitN/ASuspended until the end of June
Newfoundland and LabradorN/AN/ATenants who can’t pay rent directly due to COVID-19 can’t be evicted

Is there rent support for Canadian business owners?

Under the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) plan, property owners can get loans to cover 50% of monthly rent payments for April, May, June, July and August (2020), as long as those payments are owed by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship.

If property owners agree to a rent forgiveness program that reduces eligible small business tenants’ rent by at least 75% during April, May and June, their CECRA loans will be forgiven.

Eligible small business tenants (which includes nonprofits and charities) must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Businesses must be paying $50,000 per month or less on rent.
  • Businesses must have temporarily closed or have had revenues decrease by at least 70% compared to pre-coronavirus earnings.

Applications are now available on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.

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.

More guides on Finder

  • Emergency loans to pay for rent

    Compare lenders that can help you get a loan for rent but you’ll want to make sure you consider all your financial options first.

  • What Canada’s coronavirus response plan means for you

    Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan provides support for individuals, businesses and industries. Find out which benefits you might qualify for and learn how to apply with this handy guide.

  • Coronavirus

    Finder’s comprehensive guide to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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