Commercial Rent Assistance open to some mixed-use buildings
The federal government has created the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program (CECRA) to help small businesses and commercial landlords. The government has reached an agreement in principle with all provinces and territories to implement the program.
CECRA will be of interest to landlords with commercial properties, or with properties with a commercial component. (However, in Ontario, the commercial component of each property must be at least 30%. Whether that is 30% by area or by rent, or either, is not clear.)
Provided the amount of the commercial use meets the tests, it appears that the owner can choose to apply for some eligible tenants, leaving others outside the program.
Special rules in Ontario
Based on the federal agreement with the government of Ontario, mixed use properties are eligible if the property has at least a 30% commercial component, but clearly only for the commercial tenants.
In addition, the government funding, and the portion of rent covered by the tenant, are not to be applied to pay any of the Ontario property owner’s normal profits from rental income. Therefore, the property owner must set the commercial tenants’ rents at the level necessary to forego that profit for the relevant three-month period. While not certain, it seems likely that the owner can earn profit from tenants whose tenancies are not put into the program.
Applications for Ontario’s CECRA are to be available until Sept. 30, 2020, one month later than the deadline in other provinces.