Many people mistakenly think all tenants receive CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) equaling $2000.00 per month. This leads some landlords to create their payment plans based on this.
Recently there was an important report on Citynews called “ODSP recipients struggling to survive pandemic”. This has helped us educate landlords and created a flurry of discussion amongst our members.
-According to the report, tenants on ODSP get less than $1200.00 per month.
-Also, ODSP recipients are not eligible for the CERB ($2000.00/mo) and can be punished with claw-back of benefits if they apply.
-People are being left destitute with less than $50/week to feed themselves.
Let’s Get The Message Out
For over a decade the Ontario Landlords Association has always been about good landlords working together with good tenants for a win-win situation (or survival-survival situations during these challenging times).
Our members are working class people. These include carpenters, nurses, teachers, entrepreneurs, health care workers, police officers, fire-fighters, plumbers, seniors and others. We have invested to try to create some monthly cash-flow and prepare for their retirement.
Our members don’t live in mansions (and many of our members rent out their basements).
1. Landlords Make Sure You Are Aware Of The Real Challenges Your Tenants Face
Many of our members rent to ODSP recipients. Make sure you are aware of the financial reality your tenants face.
Talk with your tenants, work things out, understand each others concerns. Create a realistic payment or deferral plan based on real data.
2. The Provincial Government Needs To Help Tenants On ODSP
The provincial government needs to step up and help out ODSP recipients pay rent.
The Premier and the Minister Of Housing are aware of the challenges small residential landlords and tenants face and already reached out to the federal government (which refused to help).
With rising food and medical costs, tenants on ODSP need help from the province.
Landlords are helping but many small landlords need rent to survive and are struggling as well.
We don’t want to evict anyone (it’s the last resort) and many of us have strong, friendly relationships with our tenants.
We don’t hire property managers or lawyers to intimidate tenants. What we do is call and chat and try to work things out.
3. It’s time for an emergency “rent grant” to all tenants on ODSP or OW from the province
Small landlords aren’t rich and we have limits. We need the province to setp up to the plate.
The logistics of this will not be difficult. The province of British Columbia is already helping all tenants by paying landlords up to $500 per month to help cover tenant rent.
Let’s Stop Evictions…Here’s The Solution
Recipients on ODSP or OW can access a “rent grant” that will cover their rent for the next 6 months (which will be renewed if we are still in lock-down)
This payment will be sent to the landlord directly and the landlord will agree not to file for eviction.
Boom goes the dynamite – most evictions will be cancelled!
4. Let’s Extend This To All Residential Tenants in Ontario
-Want to avoid landlord-tenant conflict?
-Want to make sure their is no tsunami of evictions when the Landlord and Tenant Board eventually opens?
The province can easily step in and help tenants. If the government helps commercial landlords and tenants, why not help residential landlords and tenants?
The Province Needs To Help Tenants And Stop Putting The Financial Burden On Struggling Small Landlords Creating Unnecessary Conflict With Our Tenants
Airlines are getting a bail-out. Commercial landlords are getting a bail out.
What about tenants?
We need government to play a role and stop pitting landlords vs. tenants.
If this is too expensive, make the “Rent Grant” available to only tenants who are on ODSP, OW, rent from small landlords.
We think this rent grant should go to all tenants but if there are true budget constraints at least help out tenants on ODSP, OW, and tenants who rent from small landlords.
This will make corporate lobbyists angry. But those billion dollar REITS aren’t worried about being able to pay their property taxes in June like many small landlords are.
And while these corporate landlords can spend a lot of money to politicians, they are not the same as hundreds of thousands of voters who thought they were getting a pro-business leadership.
THIS CAN HAPPEN: No Evictions, Small Landlords Secure, Tenants Secure, And We Are A Team During This Pandemic…It’s Easy To Do!
Ontario can lead the way and be a role-model for the rest of Canada.
If millions of dollars can be invested on widening highways, money can surely be spent on saving the residential rental industry in Ontario.
…and saving hundreds of thousands of working class landlords and tenants from stress, conflict, trial dates, evictions…and worse.