A quick update on the Residential Tenancies Act during COVID-19
Via ZOOM March 31st with Christina De Palma, of De Palma & Associates Legal Services (para-legal specialist in Ont Res Tenancies Act) … my main take-aways were:
- The Landlord and Tenant Board is closed and not hearing cases. Always slow and backlogged, once life returns to some semblance of normal, the LTB will be months (years?) behind. Any notices you serve on a Tenant MUST be done properly to a TEE in order to avoid any further delay when your case reaches the Board.
- Rents ARE due and payable on April 1st. If not paid, the Tenant is to be served with the proper overdue notice so that the process is legally begun. If a Landlord gives a Tenant any kind of lenience in rent payment, a signed agreement is prudent of the exact terms including a statement that it is strictly due to the COVID-19 crisis period and reverts to normal rental terms once the crisis is deemed past.
- Tenants expecting maintenance of their unit must be aware that ONLY emergency types of maintenance will be performed.
- Tenants MAY refuse showings of their units to future renters and/or buyers if they feel unsafe.
- A Tenant who believes s/he does not need to pay rent because the Landlord can have his/her mortgage payments deferred needs to know that said deferral is not usually applicable to a rental property, and that deferral still means the Landlord has to pay that mortgage eventually.
- Although not her area of expertise, Christina believes that commercial leases are not enjoying the same easing, and a Landlord can still lock the doors for non-payment.