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Ontario landlords facing dilemma with possible unpaid rent on April 1
Published Wednesday, March 25, 2020 2:30PM EDT
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Some Ontario landlords are concerned about how they will pay their bills if tenants don’t pay their rent.
As layoffs and closures continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said during a news conference on Friday, “We don’t want you to worry about your job, we also don’t want you to worry about how you’re going to make rent this month.”
“That’s why I’ve directed all eviction orders be suspended until further notice,” added Ford.
This announcement may have been a sign of relief for many renters, but it sparked worry for some landlords who rely on tenants for their monthly income.
“Bills are plenty for these property owners,” said Marla Coffin, CEO of Marda Management, a Windsor property management company. “It’s just not their mortgage, there are property taxes, water bills, repair bills.”
The Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) represents more than 2200 landlords who own or manage over 350,000 households in Ontario. CEO Tony Irwin says he’s heard concerns especially from smaller landlords.
“This is perhaps money they’ve saved to put a down payment on a property and maybe this is part of their retirement plan,” said Irwin.
Irwin is appreciative of the action the federal government has taken to support those affected by the COVID-19, but says a dedicated solution for rent will be needed.
The FRPO has proposed a plan to the ministry of housing.
“We are suggesting that there also needs to be a program that would financial assistance for the direct purpose of paying rent,” said Irwin.
In the meantime, Marda Management is focusing on working alongside tenants to come up with a solution.
“We’re asking people to stay at home. How can we ask them to stay at home to prevent the spread of this (COVID-19) and possibly addition deaths if were looking to kick them to the curb?” said Coffin.
They’re asking tenants to first apply to every financial assistance program they qualify for before arranging a payment plan.
“Call us back once you’ve applied,” said Coffin, “So then what can we work out for you to pay now and then lets look to have paid when you get that money.”