AS CERS FUNDS TAPER OFF BUSINESSES FACE POSSIBLE EVICTION

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) is a federally funded subsidy that provides financial assistance to commercial tenants to assist with commercial rent and/or property expenses for the period of September 27, 2020 to September 25, 2021. CERS qualification periods still open for application are as follows:

  • Period 6: February 14 to March 13, 2021 (deadline to apply: September 9, 2021);
  • Period 7: March 14 to April 10, 2021 (deadline to apply: October 7, 2021);
  • Period 8: April 11 to May 8, 2021 (deadline to apply: November 4, 2021);
  • Period 9: May 9 to June 5, 2021 (deadline to apply: December 2, 2021);
  • Period 10: June 6 to July 3, 2021 (deadline to apply: December 30, 2021);
  • Period 11: July 4 to July 31, 2021 (applications open on August 1, 2021);
  • Period 12: August 1 to August 28, 2021 (applications open on September 1, 2021); and
  • Period 13: August 29 to September 25, 2021 (applications open on October 1, 2021).

CHANGES IN CERS

The federal government has implemented changes to the eligibility criteria for CERS in Periods 11-13. For these periods, tenants must indicate a revenue drop of more than 10% for each period. Furthermore the 2021 federal budget indicates the tenants can only receive a maximum 65% of their eligible expenses until the end of qualifying period 10 (June 6 to July 3, 2021). Following this the rate will drop to:

  • 60% for Qualifying Period 11 (July 4 to July 31, 2021);
  • 40% for Qualifying Period 12 (August 1 to August 28); and
  • 20% for Qualifying Period 13 (August 29 to September 25).
Ontario commercial tenants who qualify for CERS have been protected from eviction by Ontario Regulation 763/20.  A commercial tenant is able to be protected by the moratorium if they satisfy the following criteria:
  1. the tenant has been approved to receive Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS);
  2. the tenant provided proof of the approval to the landlord; and
  3. no more than 12 weeks have passed since the day the tenant was approved
To learn more about this moratorium on commercial evictions read our pervious article here.

With the abovementioned changes in CERS qualifications and the reopening of most businesses, many tenants will no longer be eligible to receive CERS and as a result lose the protection from eviction provided by Ontario Regulation 763/20.  The moratorium on commercial evictions will remain in force until 12 weeks following the CERS period the tenant qualified for. If the tenant does not requalify for CERS upon expiry of this 12-week period, commercial landlords will be able to exercise their rights of eviction and distraint against tenants who have defaulted in rent payments. Furthermore, 12 weeks following the end of the CERS program, the moratorium for evictions will end.

 
LANDLORD RIGHTS

Landlords have the right to terminate and evict tenants with any sum of rent arrears following the 12-week moratorium period, even those who have been providing a portion of rent payments throughout the CERS program, unless the Landlord agreed to accept a lesser amount of rent which the Tenant satisfied. Landlords may not be required to provide notice to the tenant prior to eviction if the lease does not specifically require notice be provided.

 
TENANT RIGHTS

Tenants who have written agreements with their landlord for mutually agreed reduced rent payments during the CERS periods may be protected from eviction. Tenants who have any existing arears should ensure that all payments are made to the landlord prior to the end of the 12-week period following CERS qualification. Tenants may speak with their Landlord if abatement is required and ensure proper documentation of amendments to rent. A Tenant cannot be evicted prior to the end of the 12-week period if they qualify for CERS and have provided proof of approval of CERS to the Landlord.

 
Please feel free to contact the experts at Frank Feldman Law for advice concerning commercial Landlord and Tenant law.

Call today to learn more (647) 347-9573, ext. 1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *