Understanding Ontario’s Moratorium on Commercial Evictions

In early December, the government enacted Bill 229 replacing the Canada Emergency Rent Assistance Program or CECRA with the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Program or CERS. In accordance The Ontario government enacted Ontario Reg. 763/20, creating non-enforcement period of Section 79 of the Commercial Tenancies Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.L.7 or a moratorium on commercial evictions in Ontario until April 22, 2022.

 

How are Commercial Tenants Protected?

The Bill 229 Moratorium protects commercial tenants from evictions by prohibiting:

  • Judges from ordering a writ of possession based on arrears of rent
  • Landlords from exercising any self-help rights from re-entry or termination
  • Landlords from exercising any rights of distress for arrears of rent

 

How do Commercial Tenant’s Qualify?

In accordance with Ontario Reg. 763/20, the moratorium is active provided that:

  1. The Tenant has been approved to receive CERS,
  2. The Tenant has provided proof of the approval to their landlord and,
  3. No more than 12 weeks have passed since the day the Tenant was approved

 

Impact on Landlords and Tenants

It is important to note that the protection afforded by the moratorium only applies to rent arrears and not to other lease defaults. Landlords are still able to exercise remedies, including evictions, for other lease defaults.

It is also important to note that if a Tenant does not provide the Landlord with proof of their CERS approval they are not awarded protection under the Bill 229 moratorium and the Landlord is able to exercise their any remedies available under its lease, including eviction and distress, as a result of the Tenant’s default payment.

Tenants should note that they only received protection for up to 12 weeks following approval but are able to apply for more than one CERS approval. The moratorium would simply extend 12 weeks from the most recent CERS approval date.

 

To stay up to date please visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/

For information about qualifying for CERS:
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/subsidy/emergency-rent-subsidy/cers-how-apply.html

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