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Small-Ownership Residential Landlords in Ontario (SOLO) Need Solutions from the Premier

TORONTO, June 24, 2020 /CNW/ – A group of small-ownership residential landlords in Ontario (SOLO)— one of several independent landlord groups from across the province are planning an afternoon of protest at Queen’s Park Friday June 26, at 1 p.m.

“The majority of SOLO members own fewer than 10 properties, many just one or two, but play an important part of the housing crisis throughout the province,” said member Donna Gareau. “These small-business owners have suffered greatly since the Emergency Order was declared by Premier Doug Ford in March, as the order halted evictions with the exception of those that are illegal or have safety issues.”

While the majority of tenants and landlords have worked together throughout the difficult time during the pandemic, some “professional tenants” have taken the opportunity to intentionally withhold rent and/or damage the homes in which they live. Evictions that were already in the beleaguered Landlord and Tenant Board’s (LTB) system and scheduled to be invoked were also halted in March. Many of these cases date back to mid-2019 and those working-family landlords have been supporting tenants with their personal incomes. Incomes they too no longer have due to the pandemic.

Almost all of Canada’s workforce is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payment of $2000/month. This financial assistance is to support people during the pandemic, for expenses such as rent.

Across the country other small businesses have received financial assistance. Ontario Commercial landlords received financial aid, while residential landlords support tenants with their own pay or CERB. Additionally, it’s a misconception that all financial institutions that hold mortgages will allow for deferral of mortgage payments. And even if they do, this creates further debt to the home owner, expenses that will never be recouped from the tenant.

Real estate deals in the province are affected as tenants don’t follow through after agreeing to vacate upon possession causing a ricochet effect on families left scrambling when the sales/purchases aren’t competed.

The dire financial distress landlords are in, is the direct result of the provincial government’s unilateral decision to halt evictions, without any consideration for them.  With no legal options or right to due process— a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights—1000s of emails and phone calls have gone unanswered by the MPPs, and the Premier.

The Premier has not informed landlords what is planned for re-opening the LTB or about financial assistance. With the original backlog at the LTB, landlords are terrified that they are expected to continue to financially support their tenants indefinitely.

SOLO Ontario


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