Paying Rent During COVID-19
Despite COVID-19, tenants are still contractually obligated to pay their rent, and landlords are still legally entitled to serve notices of termination on their tenants for non-payment of rent.
If you are losing income due to COVID-19 and are unable to pay all or some of your rent, speak to your landlord about entering into a payment plan, based on what you can afford. Even if you can only afford to pay a portion of your rent, you should do so and discuss with your landlord options for paying the remaining balance in due course. Whether or not you reach an agreement with your landlord, keep a written record of your discussions, especially if you ultimately agree on a payment plan.
For financial assistance, the Toronto Rent Bank Program provides interest-free, repayable loans to low-income households facing eviction due to short-term, financial difficulties: http://www.nipost.org/toronto-rent-bank.
Depending on your circumstances, you may also qualify to receive financial assistance from the Federal Government through Employment Insurance (“EI”), or the newly created Canada Emergency Response Benefit (“CERB”).
Presently, the Landlord and Tenant Board (“LTB”) has suspended all eviction hearings for non-payment of rent because of COVID-19. However, once this pandemic is over and the LTB starts holding eviction hearings again, tenants who chose not to pay their rent may have a harder time at the LTB than those who could not afford to pay their rent because of COVID-19, or those who tried to reach an agreement with their landlord.
For more information and answers to frequently asked housing questions regarding COVID-19, please contact our Intake Team by phone, or visit Steps to Justice: https://stepstojustice.ca/legal-topic/covid-19/housing-law.