Status: Bill 23 received royal assent July 23, 2020 and took effect retroactive on March 17, 2020
Ministry responsible: Jobs, Economy and Innovation

Overview

The Commercial Tenancies Protection Act and regulation protects eligible commercial tenants experiencing financial challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new measures help address gaps in the federal government’s Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program by protecting a wider range of tenants than are eligible for the program and tenants whose landlords have decided not to apply.

The act's protections apply from March 17, 2020 to August 31, 2020 and allow government to create a regulation to extend the dates.

Key changes

The act and regulation:

  • protect eligible commercial tenants from having their leases terminated if they can not pay rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • prevent landlords from raising rent and charging late fees and penalties on missed rent
    • any late fees, penalties, or rent increases imposed on a commercial tenant by their landlord between March 17, 2020 and August 31, 2020 would need to be reimbursed

Protections apply to:

  • commercial tenants with tenancy agreements eligible for the CECRA program, but whose landlords have chosen not to participate
  • commercial lease agreements where tenants have had to close their business due to public health orders or have had their business revenue decline by 25% or more as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering protections to tenants who do not meet the eligibility criteria of a 70% revenue decline required under the CECRA program
    • in order for a tenant to be eligible for protection under the act, monthly rents must also be less than $50,000 per location and the tenant's business must have less than $20 million in revenues (at the parent level)

Tenants and landlords need to work together to develop a rent payment plan for missed payments. If a tenant’s actions violate any lease provisions other than those covered by the act, the tenant may be evicted or penalized in accordance with the terms of the lease.

The legislation does not apply to:

  • commercial premises where the landlord has received a forgivable loan under the CECRA program for that commercial premises
  • evictions or lease terminations that happened before the legislation was tabled on June 16, 2020

Next steps

Upon receiving royal assent on July 23, 2020, the act took retroactive effect starting on March 17, 2020.

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