Province encouraging commercial landlords to apply for rent relief for their tenants
The Province has announced it will be allowing all commercial landlords to apply for rental assistance for their small-business-owning tenants.
Financial aid will be provided through the Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA), to which the Province has committed $241 million to support small businesses.
“We know that some of the necessary measures put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 have created significant financial hardships for small businesses,” Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, said in a news release.
“That’s why we’ve partnered with the federal government to deliver urgent rent assistance and help both small businesses and commercial landlords make ends meet. I encourage all commercial landlords to take advantage of this benefit as soon as possible in order to provide some certainty for our small businesses,” he continued.
The Province claims this will help small businesses that are struggling to pay rent due to forced closures during the pandemic. However, many entrepreneurs have been critical of the program due to the fact it allows landlords to decide whether to apply, rather than the tenants themselves.
Doug Ford talking tough about commercial landlords but refusing to bring in a moratorium on evictions or fix CECRA. "My heart breaks for these businesses"— Greg Denton (@gsdenton) May 15, 2020
Then do something maybe?
The program will reduce the amount tenants are paying in rent by 75 per cent—the government will cover 50 per cent, the tenant will cover 25 per cent, and the landlord will have to agree to forego the remaining 25 per cent—something many small-business owners have said their landlords simply aren’t willing to do.
Further, participating landlords will have to sign an agreement not to evict their tenants during the length of the CECRA program.
I am a tenant in a commercial building owned by Reliance Properties. I have just been informed that Reliance will not be participating in the CECRA program, meaning that its commercial tenants will not be able to access the federal government's subsidy.— Frances Mahon (@francesmahonlaw) May 21, 2020
The program will help businesses pay rent for the months of April, May, and June—in the case of April and May, the assistance will be applied retroactively.
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