Ravi  Thakur

Ravi Thakur

BA, LLB, SRS®, ABR®, CIPS® BROKER

Right at Home Realty Inc., Brokerage*

Mobile:
416-917-6523
Office:
905-565-9200
Email Me

COVID-19: Real Estate News Roundup - Key developments and considerations

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a new reality for all of us, at least temporarily. Chances are you’re dealing with many new challenges, both personally and professionally. We all are.

Now, it’s up to each of us to do our part so we can get through this as quickly as possible. Remember, we’re all in this together. Stay positive and know that things will get better.

Good information and advice are often the antidote to stress, especially during challenging times. So, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. In a climate that is constantly evolving and changing, this Update presents key developments and considerations to assist real estate investors, landlords, tenants and other interested parties.

Realty Tax Relief

In response to COVID-19, municipalities across Canada have begun instituting property tax relief measures in order to aid businesses. Below is a non-exhaustive summary of relief granted by municipalities that have implemented these measures. Please refer to the applicable municipality’s publications with respect to any relief provided before relying on such relief, as there may be conditions to the applicability of the relief that are not covered by the brief summaries below.

Ontario

City

Relief Measure

Toronto

A 60-day grace period for property tax payments and payment penalties has been implemented as of March 16. Any pending automated withdrawals that have been scheduled within that 60-day period but not yet withdrawn have been suspended.

For property owners on the three-instalment payment plan, payments for the interim property tax bill due April 1 will be deferred until June 1.

For property owners on the 11-instalment payment plan, payments for interim 2020 instalments will be extended for a period of 60 days.

See here for more details.

Barrie

Payments for interim property tax bills will not be subject to any new late payment fees until June 30.

See here for more details.

Brampton

A five-month grace period has been granted for property tax payments and payment penalties for interim property tax bills due during the five-month period from March 18  to August 19.

See here for more details.

Caledon

Payments for the remaining interim property tax bills due in 2020 will be deferred for a period of two months.

See here for more details.

Clarington

Payments for the interim property tax bill due in April will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest for a period of 60 days.

See here for more details.

London

Payments for the interim property tax bill due March 31 will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest for a period of 60 days.

See here for more details.

Mississauga

A 90-day grace period has been granted for property tax payments for interim property tax bills due April 2 and May 7.

For property owners on monthly pre-authorized tax payments, withdrawals planned during the three-month period from April to June will be deferred for a period of 90 days.

See here for more details.

Newmarket

Payments for the interim property tax bills due March 26 and April 28 will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest. Further details are to be provided.

See here for more details.

Orangeville

A 90-day grace period for property tax payments and payment penalties has been granted.

See here for more details.

Oshawa

Payments for interim property tax bills due April 27 will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest until June 30.

See here for more details.

Ottawa

Payments for interim property tax bills due March 19 will not be subject to any late payment fees until April 15.

A property tax hardship deferral program for qualifying property owners has been created, which will extend the interim property tax and final property tax deadlines for qualifying property owners to October 30.

See here for more details.

Sudbury

Payments for the interim property tax bill due April 2 will not be subject to any late payment fees until June 4.

See here for more details.

Uxbridge

A two-month grace period has been granted for property tax payments for the interim property tax bill due in April. Payments for the first instalment of the final property tax bill due in July will be deferred until August 17.

See here for more details.

Vaughan

Payments for the interim property tax bills due March 26, April 27 and May 27 will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest until June 1.

See here for more details.

Whitby

Payments for interim property tax bills due in April will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest for a period of 60 days. Payments for the final property tax bill due in June will be deferred until July.

See here for more details. 

Windsor

Payments for the interim property tax bill due in March 2020 will not be subject to any late payment fees or interest until June 30. Payments for the interim property tax bill due April 15 will be deferred until June 30.

See here for more details.

 

Landlord/Tenant Matters

As Canadians continue to face uncertainty, both landlords and tenants alike have been closely monitoring developments. With major Canadian banks having already stated a willingness to provide flexible solutions for mortgage payments, momentum both online and in social media has picked up, calling for legislative intervention aimed at regulating both residential and commercial leasing, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Ontario

While rental tenancy advocacy groups have been calling for similar payment relief to apply to the rental market, that hasn’t yet become a reality. However, there have been some protections announced for renters at various provincial levels across Canada.
In Ontario, a freeze has been placed on all evictions, with Premier Doug Ford stating that while those who can afford to pay rent should continue to do so, those who are unable due to COVID-19-related reasons will not be removed from their homes, and that financial resources should prioritize medical and essential services.

On March 19, the Landlord and Tenant Board, the tribunal in Ontario responsible for resolving disputes between residential landlords and tenants, announced the suspension of eviction orders and all hearings related to eviction applications unless the matter relates to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or a serious impairment of safety. See here for more details.

Latest Government Supports and Information

  • The Bank of Canada Makes 2nd Emergency Rate Cut in March The Bank of Canada (BoC) cut its Overnight Lending Rate by 50 basis points on March 27 from 0.75% to 0.25% – the lowest it has been since April 2009 – as further response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the Canadian economy. 
  • Real Estate Named an Essential Service in Ontario In the evening of March 23, the provincial government released a list of businesses and industries deemed as “essential” as part of the current State of Emergency, and included real estate agent services, moving services, and land registration services among those that did not have to close operations. However, as both provincial and municipal real estate boards and associations have made clear, this does NOT mean it’s business as usual for the industry.   

    The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), a provincial lobbyist group, has urged brokerages and agents to stop all face-to-face business. This includes:

    • Holding open houses
    • Having public office hours
    • Having agents come in person to a brokerage office
    • In-person showings and inspections

As well, it has been strongly recommended that homes with rental tenants  dwelling there not be shown or listed for sale as long as current health advisories are in force.

In the meantime, you might have immediate concerns about the real estate market. For example, you might be wondering if you should put off moving. Or, you might need to move but are worried about all this uncertainty.

If so, give me a call. As a real estate professional, I have the latest market information, insights and tools - and can give you sound advice how to tide over such rough time.

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