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COVID Rent Relief

A short blog post, to make sure that you are aware of the details of proposed relief available to certain tenants and their landlords. This program is called “Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance”

It is squarely focused on those businesses which have suffered the most from having to shut their doors to the public: restaurants, retailers, health facilities, and similar. These businesses can benefit from a rent reduction of at least 75% for April, May, and June.

The program’s aimed at smaller businesses (not large chains – businesses with more than $20m in sales aren’t eligible).

The key criterion is that the company must have suffered a 70% revenue drop (so, that likely allows restaurants who are still doing takeout, etc. to still be eligible). You measure the revenue drop using the same periods and metrics as for the wage subsidy.

CMHC is administering this program, and working with commercial landlords to roll it out to their tenants. There are different vehicles depending on whether the landlord has a mortgage on the property or not, but that shouldn’t affect the tenant.

In short form: the government will cover half the gross rent, the tenant will cover up to a quarter of it, and the landlord covers the rest. There are of course restrictions.

We know many landlords have been very supportive of their tenants; others may not be in a position (or willing) to do so. Either way, to this point, any relief has been agreed on a case-by-case basis between the landlord and tenant.

This program should help. Here’s a link to the official source:

https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business

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