We value our relationship with you and wanted to reach out in these difficult and uncertain times.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures being taken to reduce transmission of the virus, will mean adjustments and challenges for all of us.
We understand that many Canadians are facing uncertain economic times as we all experience the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. To help, we would like to offer a few suggestions to help with upcoming rent payments. Please remember we can help with rent deferrals and payment plans, but we cannot offer free rent as owners of properties still must cover the property’s costs (mortgage payments, utilities, property taxes, maintenance):
- Credit Card: We will cover the additional 3% charge on any credit card payments. There are many tenants who are paying rent this way to stay out of arrears. This way you can pay the rent over several months while earning points on your credit card. Some banks are offering temporary credit card relief in the form of payment deferrals – letting you postpone monthly minimum payments and automatically reducing interest charges. (Please contact your bank directly to see what options they offer)
- Payment Plan: We are open to a payment plan for your rental obligations. If there is any rent that is deferred, please understand it will still be owed eventually so paying what you can towards rent now until your financial situation normalizes will assist towards any arrears owed in the future.
In addition, we want to alert you to potential aid that may be able to help you through various government programs. (*these programs change quite often, so this list may not represent ALL available programs):
- Defer personal tax payments until after August 31, 2020 (this applies for any income tax owed between March and September 2020). No penalties or interest will accumulate on the amounts owed during this period. This is automatic, no application required.
- Student Loan relief info. CLICK HERE
- Employment Insurance (EI): If you lost your job due to COVID-19 fall-out, apply for Employment Insurance benefits (or EI sickness benefits) CLICK HERE.
- Own a small business. CLICK HERE
For Western Students there is now a relief fund: CLICK HERE
Recommended Option (at this time):
- CERB – You can apply for The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) which offers income support for up to 16 weeks to those who lost pay because of the pandemic. This new program collapses two previously announced benefits – The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit – into one. This simpler and more accessible program will cover Canadians who lost their jobs, got sick, are under quarantine or have to stay home because of school closures. APPLY HERE
The benefit will be available to workers:
- Residing in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
- Who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job;
- Who had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
- Who are or expect to be without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period. For subsequent benefit periods, they expect to have no employment income
- Can still apply if you are making an income of $1000 per month.
** You can apply for the CERB benefit right from your My Account and if you do not yet have one, it is in your best interest to set an account up as this is the most efficient way to apply to Government Financial Programs.
The Salvation Army, Centre of Hope and Housing Stability Bank may also be able to assist in financial aid.
Keep in mind, as well, that you may automatically qualify for special top-ups, such as:
- The GST credit top-up payment for low-income individuals and families
We want to help you during these tough times. As we go forward, we ask that you continue to keep the lines of communication open. Let us know if you continue to experience difficulty with your ability to pay your rent. At any time, please contact us to discuss your options. In these uncertain times, we want to work with you to ensure your housing is secure and we wish you and your loved ones all the best.
Due to higher than usual call volume we ask that if you are calling our office please leave a message and we will have one of our staff return your call. Many of our team members are working remotely during this time so we appreciate your patience.