Landlords, tenants left on their own in Alberta's eviction ban

Landlords, tenants left on their own in Alberta's eviction ban

Landlords, tenants left on their own in Alberta

Alberta’s ban on commercial rental evictions will be among Canada’s longest, leaving landlords and tenants to essentially fend for themselves.

The ban will now last until the end of August, and covers tenants who are unable to make payments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It will also prevent the eviction of tenants who have suffered revenue losses of more than 25%, those who have been forced to close, and those under landlords who did not apply for federal rental support.

The Alberta policy has no provisions for rent reductions nor specific payment guidelines – for all intents and purposes, leaving it to landlords and tenants to agree upon terms of rent repayment.

“It’s important to emphasize that both commercial landlords and their tenants are facing unprecedented circumstances. Landlords are also struggling,” said Tanya Fir, Alberta’s economic development, trade, and tourism minister. “So we have to also help ensure that landlords don’t miss out on deferred rent by requiring that landlords and tenants work together to develop a rent payment plan for missed payments.”

John Duda, president of real estate management services for Colliers Canada, said in a recent analysis that eviction bans are not likely to significantly affect commercial landlords, however.

“There aren’t a lot of new tenants out there, so landlords aren’t running out there trying to evict people,” Duda said. “What we think [a ban] actually does do, is the tenants who were doing badly before [COVID-19], and are simply doing way worse now, it means the inevitable is just going to get delayed. … At the end of the day, the landlords want people to be paying rent.”