COVID-19 - Tenant Info
COVID-19 - Tenant Info
Alert - Subpage Covid 19 DO NOT CHANGE
Content - RES - COVID - Tenant Info
Residential renting changes
The Province of Ontario has introduced a number of changes to residential rental rules and processes, in response to COVID-19. Learn more about the rental changes, and how they impact you. For ease, we’ve included some of their key messages below.
What assistance is available to me, as a tenant?
If you are a tenant and you need financial help, you can:
- apply for COVID-19 emergency assistance
- access federal government programs
- see how your City and Utilities Kingston are working to ease your financial burden (more below)
Please note that in response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, no new eviction orders will be issued until further notice and sheriff’s offices will postpone any scheduled enforcement of current eviction orders. Tenants must pay rent while an eviction order is not being enforced.
Concerned about not making rent due to COVID-19?
- Negative treatment of tenants who have, or are perceived to have, COVID-19, for reasons unrelated to public health and safety, could be discriminatory and prohibited under the Human Rights Code.
- The Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Policy on human rights and rental housing says that before initiating eviction proceedings, or any other measure that may affect a tenant in a negative way, a housing provider is expected to consider whether a Code-related need exists, and whether that need has been accommodated appropriately. For example, if a tenant fails to make his rent payment on time because he is in the hospital, the housing provider allows the tenant to pay his rent late as it is not an undue hardship to do so.
- Tenants and landlords also have rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act. Visit the Ontario government website for more information.
If you require legal counsel, you may wish to consult Legal Aid Ontario to find local legal aid clinics.
What to do if you’re locked out
It is illegal for a landlord to change the locks to a rental unit or the building, without giving the tenant a key for the new locks. If you are a tenant and a landlord has locked you out, or is threatening to lock you out, contact the Rental Housing Enforcement Unit:
- Phone: 416-585-7214
- Toll-free: 1-888-772-9277
Business owners who rent
On April 24, the Province of Ontario announced it would be working with the Government of Canada to provide financial relief to small business tenants impacted by COVID-19. Learn more about this new program, being called the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA).
If you require access to emergency food or meal programs, or information about Housing and Social Services, consult the City’s COVID-19 resource page. Your City is at work with community partners to provide residents with the support they need, during this difficult time.
Utilities Kingston is taking additional steps to help customers with their water and sewer bills. These include extending the Conservation Rate for water bills, and extending payment arrangements for customers who are experiencing hardship.
They are also assisting customers by:
- Temporarily suspending disconnecting customers for non-payment.
- Offering flexible payment terms and arrears payment agreements for water, sewer, gas and electricity bills, in order to provide customers with more time to pay outstanding balances on their account, if needed.
- Supporting Ontario’s decision regarding off-peak time-of-use prices for electricity customers.
If you are concerned about paying your bill, please call us to extend payment arrangements for your water and sewer bill. Contact our credit department by email email@example.com or phone at 613-546-1181, ext. 2278, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.