Commercial Rent Evictions To Be Banned For Small Businesses In Ontario

Commercial Rent Evictions

Commercial Rent Evictions
Covid-19 has been especially tough for small businesses trying to survive during the pandemic. Despite the federal and provincial government’s attempt to assist small businesses with the introduction of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program, announced back in late April, some landlords are still not budging. One of the main issues with CECRA is that the onus is on the landlord to apply for the program, even if the small business and landlord meet the eligibility requirements. Unfortunately, not enough landlords are applying for the CECRA program, and as a result, some small businesses have already had to close up shop.

Various stakeholders from small businesses to councillors and mayors of cities and towns across Ontario have been calling for the province to create a moratorium against commercial rent evictions, similar to the ban against residential rent evictions which came into effect earlier in March.

On Monday, June 8, after repeated warnings urging commercial landlords to do their part in assisting their small business tenants, Premier Ford announced a proposed change to the Commercial Tenancies Act to ban small businesses from being evicted. The proposed moratorium, if approved, would apply retroactively from June 3 and continue until the end of August, 2020.

Eligible commercial landlords in Ontario, with or without a mortgage, are encouraged to apply for the CECRA program through CMHC.

Program details on how to apply.

Why it makes sense for Commercial Landlords to apply:

  • Doing your part to assist small businesses and their families.
  • Interest-free loan will be forgiven provided landlords comply with all applicable program terms and conditions.
  • Ensures landlords receive a minimum of 50% of your rent covering April, May, and June of 2020.
  • The proposed eviction ban will likely be approved and maybe possibly extended past August 31, 2020.
  • Eviction and new rental process (post moratorium period) can be costly.

Contact our Business and Corporate lawyers to assist with drafting the required Rent Forgiveness/Reduction Agreement.

Hummingbird Lawyers LLP

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