CFAA-FRPO Lobbying Success for Mixed-Use Landlords
Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)
Of interest to landlords with ANY commercial tenants anywhere in Canada
The federal government created the CECRA to help small businesses pay their commercial rents. With costs divided between them, the federal government and each provincial government will provide forgivable loans paid to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50% of the April, May, and June rent payments for eligible small business tenants. The relief can be applied retroactively.
Under the program, the tenant would pay at most 25% of rent, and the landlord must forego at least 25%. If more than 25% has already been collected a landlord and tenant may agree that the excess will be applied to rent after June. That can help in situations where the business has re-opened but is not achieving its normal revenue, which will presumably be common.
Eligible businesses are those paying less than $50,000 per month in rent, with less than $20 million in gross annual revenue, and who temporarily ceased operations or experienced a drop in their revenue of at least 70% due to COVID-19. The program is also available to certain non-profit and charitable organizations.
CECRA loans will be forgiven if the property owner complies with the program’s terms and conditions, including not seeking to collect the applicable rent abatements after the program is over.
The program is to open today, May 25, with CMHC administering CECRA across Canada. The current deadline to apply is August 31, 2020. For program details and more information, visit: https://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/finance-and-investing/covid19-cecra-small-business.
Correcting a special limitation in Ontario
Originally, mixed use properties in Ontario were only to be eligible if the property had at least a 30% commercial component. CFAA alerted the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario to the issue, and FRPO lobbied the Government of Ontario to lift that restriction, and encourage the federal government to agree. CFAA drew the attention of CMHC and the federal government to the issue, and the negative impact the proposed rule would have on businesses renting in multi-residential building (and landlords of mixed used buildings). The restriction has been lifted.