Commercial evictions are still on hold in Ontario for qualifying tenants experiencing pandemic-related financial stress. A new regulation, enabled through 2020 budget legislation, retroactively extends protections for businesses and not-for-profit organizations that qualified for now-expired Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) to cover the period from Oct. 30, 2020 to January 31, 2021. It also introduces temporary protections for tenants that qualify for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) to forestall evictions up to April 22, 2021.
The new regulation prohibits the eviction of a tenant that would be eligible for CECRA, even though applications to that program are no longer being accepted, and prevents the seizure of tenants’ assets during the period from May 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. However, landlords may still go to court to secure eviction orders that could be enforced beginning February 1.
If landlords have already seized and sold contents of CECRA-eligible tenants’ premises, the proceeds of the sale must be applied to the rent deficit. If a new tenant has been installed in the premises, landlords will owe damages to displaced CECRA-eligible tenants.
In addition, tenants that have been approved for CERS will be protected from eviction for a 12-week period, which can be extended if qualifying tenants reapply for CERS after the initial 12 weeks. Tenants must supply proof they have been approved for CERS to their landlords.