Here's how Toronto renters feel about the new mortgage deferrals in Canada
Now that banks in Canada have announced that they will allow homeowners to defer their mortgage payments for up to six months in light of the current novel coronavirus pandemic, tenants are wondering why they still have to keep up with rent payments in a time that is financially precarious for most.
@Canada Mortgage deferrals without rent deferrals along side them makes no sense. If my landlord isn't paying their mortgage, why should I have to pay rent? 1/2— 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐞 ₿𝐞𝐥𝐥𝐚 🗝 (@satoshiswife) March 18, 2020
The concern is especially pressing in Toronto, where rent is a shocking $2,500 per month on average and many tenants' rent money helps landlords to pay off the mortgages they may now no longer have to make payments on.
Honest question here: as a renter in Toronto, how do I find out if our landlord has taken the offer to defer mortgage payments for 6 months? If they take the offer can they legally still charge us rent?— Jim Finney (@JimFinney4) March 18, 2020
Some find it a bit counterintuitive that those who have been lucky enough to have the financial means to purchase a house — an option unavailable to most of us, especially in Toronto's market — are getting a break, while many renters in Canada live paycheque to paycheque (and many paycheques won't be coming in during our current state of emergency).
@fordnation how are mortgage payments deferred for 6 months and nothing has been said about rent!! Especially for those of us paying up the roof in Toronto for rent!? EI won’t cover our costs!— Mary Catherine (@marydn__) March 18, 2020
A few are going as far as to call it class warfare — such as popular social media account parkdalelife, which aptly tweeted: "working class people will continue supporting a capitalist class that amasses wealth through income from capital during mass layoffs and a global pandemic."
There is the fact that those who defer their mortgages will eventually have to pay them off in full, while it may be difficult for landlords to retrieve deferred rent later on from a tenant who, say, moves at the end of their current lease agreement.
Still, the situation does feel unfair, and people have pointed out that it may lead to further evictions and cases with the Ontario Landlord Tenant Board.
47% of Toronto households rent (2018); The Premier must act. There can't be deferral for mortgage-holding landlords alone. Evictions will skyrocket & ONLTB is running on fumes. @SuzeMorrison @JoshMatlow @fordnation @CityNews @JustinTrudeau @kristynwongtam https://t.co/SWAk4ZMblS— TDot 🇨🇦 (@TDot_Deb) March 18, 2020
Before the mortgage news broke, more than 400,000 people had signed an online petition calling for both rent and mortgage payments to be cancelled for all Canadians during this unprecedented time.
Though it's good to see that some change on this front was enacted to ease many residents' financial burden, a huge portion of the population is still worrying about how they will make ends meet in the coming months.
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