When the Canadian Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (“CECRA”) Program was first revealed, two issues were highlighted by the public concerning eligibility:
- The requirement that the relevant commercial property had been used to secure a mortgage loan; and
- that commercial tenants were at the whim of their respective landlords to apply for the Program.
The former concern has recently been addressed by the Federal Government by eliminating the requirement for a mortgage to be registered and, as of today, it appears the latter issue has also been remedied.
This morning, the Provincial Finance Minister, Carole James, announced a new emergency order whereby commercial landlords will be barred from:
- evicting tenants;
- suing for unpaid rent; or
- seizing the tenant’s personal property,
in the event such landlords are eligible for the CECRA Program but have elected not to apply.
The order is aimed at compelling landlords to take advantage of the CECRA Program and to seek compromise with their tenants before moving ahead with a more draconian remedy. This prohibition will remain in effect for the duration of the Program which is currently set to expire at the end of June unless it is extended by the government.
As per our previous blog posts, the CECRA Program offers forgivable loans to eligible landlords who agree to reduce their eligible tenant’s gross rent by at least 75% under a “rent forgiveness agreement.” Pursuant to the Program, the landlord would effectively forgive 25% of its current rent, the tenant would only have to pay 25%, with the remaining 50% to be covered amongst the Federal and Provincial Government. Applications for the Program officially opened last week.
For questions regarding the CECRA Program or other issues with your lease please contact us: