CORPIQ warns tenants about the propaganda messages on the Internet by activists trying to convince them to stop paying rent, since this would have serious consequences. As is already the case in normal times, landlords are open to helping tenants who are experiencing difficult financial situations. However, even with case-by-case agreements between tenant and landlord, rents are due.
In these extremely difficult times for many tenants and landlords who have lost their jobs and are waiting for government assistance, CORPIQ reminds them that the April rent will nevertheless remain due, as well as subsequent rents. They must avoid making the situation worse. This is why any agreement with the landlord is preferable for the tenant than the accumulation of important debt, that will eventually be claimed.
"Tenants have no reason to believe that unpaid rent will be erased. No assistance program to pay rent directly on their behalf has been announced, and as for landlords who are financially able and willing to generously forego an average rent of $800 per month, they are rare. This is the reality in a Quebec where 7 out of 10 landlords have only a duplex or triplex. They rely on this income to live and meet their obligations," explained Hans Brouillette, Director of Public Affairs at CORPIQ.
The emergency assistance programs for individuals announced by the governments, of both Quebec and Canada, must be used first and foremost for rent and food, as indicated by the authorities, reminds CORPIQ.
In addition, no program has been announced for landlords for unpaid rents. If their financial institution agrees, in certain cases, to defer part of the mortgage payments, the fact remains that they will have to be paid in full, including interest. The same applies to municipal taxes and other expenses related to the building that will have to be paid.
Although hearings at the Régie du logement and evictions for non-payment of rent have been suspended by the Government of Quebec, the court's activities will eventually resume. From a strictly legal point of view, delaying the payment of rent for more than three weeks allows the landlord to obtain the termination of the lease and an order to reimburse the amounts due, plus interest and related costs. The tenant then has a legal file in his or her name and can face debt recovery proceedings for years. Landlords can always file an application with the Régie du logement. This is why CORPIQ insists that it is better for the tenant to get along with the landlord, than not to pay.
"The only place in the world where tenants deprived of income, because of the crisis, find themselves without any financial cushion to pay the April rent is in Quebec. Everywhere else, landlords have a security deposit on hand to cover the next rent for each of their tenants. If requiring such a deposit had been legal at the signing of the lease, we would not be at such a critical point today. I can assure you that this will change in the future," concludes Hans Brouillette.