The past year has been difficult for all of us, in expected and unexpected ways. Many have lost loved ones, lost jobs, or struggled with financial stability. This has caused repercussions throughout our society and economy, and help from any source is greatly appreciated.
For both renters and tenants, the Ontario and Canadian governments have instituted temporary changes to the residential rental process, hoping to provide help through this time. To help understand these changes, we have a quick overview of each update.
Rent Price Freezes
As we move into 2021, one of the first things is to know that rent prices are frozen at 2020 levels. Because of legislation passed by the government of Ontario, most renters will not have their rent increased in 2021. This freeze is currently set to end on December 31, 2021, but there is always a possibility for extensions of this policy.
There are two major exceptions to the policy:
- The above guideline increases approved before October 1, 2020, can also be applied to 2021 rents.
- If there is an agreement between tenant and landlord for a rent increase in exchange for extra services or facilities, this can be introduced in 2021 as well.
Tenants who can pay their rent must continue to do so, but it’s understandable that some might not be able to. It is encouraged that landlords and tenants work together during this time to agree on fair arrangements in situations where a tenant might have difficulties.
Eviction During COVID
For the most part, the standard eviction procedure is still in place with slight modifications. The first step is giving notice to the renter about wanting them to move out. When the Board is considering an eviction order for rent arrears, they will now consider whether or not the landlord tried to work with the tenant for another arrangement during this time.
As usual, the next step is for the landlord to file an application with the Landlord and Tenant Board to end the tenancy. Because of COVID, the counter services are closed, so this application must be submitted online.
If your region is under a stay-at-home order, be aware that enforcement of eviction orders is temporarily paused. For urgent situations, the Board can request the Sheriff’s Office to expedite enforcement, but in most cases, evictions will have to wait until the stay-at-home order is lifted in your region.
A landlord must give 24-hour written notice to enter a property. This notice must state the day and time they’ll enter, as well as the reason for entering. Exceptions do exist, for example, in case of an emergency.
To stop the spread of COVID, landlords are encouraged to enter properties as little as possible. They should attempt to work with tenants over video/phone for most issues. And as always, everyone should be following public health guidelines.
For landlords that are currently looking for tenants, the Real Estate Council of Ontario recommends the following:
- Prioritize alternatives to in-person viewing
- Limit amount of viewings and number of people allowed
- Follow public health guidelines to make showings as safe as possible
Assistance for Renters
- Connect with your local service manager
- Apply for emergency assistance
- Check federal government programs
Assistance for Landlords
Del Condominium Rentals: Property Management for You
If you have Del Condominium Rentals providing rental property management for your unit, we are here to help you through this time. We stay up-to-date with all procedures and make sure all properties are following COVID-19 guidelines as they change.
If you’re looking for property management services, contact us today by phone at 647-952-3644 or by email at email@example.com to see how one of the leading property management companies in Canada can help you.
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