Hello, my fellow Albertans,
As you know we are in the scariest time that the whole world has faced in living memory.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by COVID-19. We acknowledge everyone around the world that is doing what they can to contain the virus. We want to express our profound gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, urgent care, and emergency room staff working around the clock in all this chaos.
As your property management company, we not only represent the owner's interests we advocate for you and your needs to the owners. We are blessed to have great owners who share our core values. Our owners want to assist you any way they can so you can pay the rent on time. They need to pay all the expenses required to provide housing in addition to the mortgage payments.
Media has perpetuated the "bad landlord" narrative because good landlord stories don't attract viewers. Historically the title "landlord" conjures an image of a callous and wealthy man collecting cheques each month and doing little else. The truth is that the majority of housing providers are hard-working family people just like you. They are not the one percent and our clients are not corporations. Our clients range from single moms who had to move for work and was not able to sell her house to elderly people who were no longer able to live in their homes. After spending 30 years paying down the mortgage they rely on the rental income from that house so they can stay in an assisted living old folks home. Some owners have inherited a second house after losing a family member and can't bear to sell the house. Others saved and toiled for decades to buy an income property so they could invest in their own community rather than corporate cronies and wall street financial institutions.
The other common misconception is that the rent always pays more than the expenses to provide housing. This is not the case. Many owners come out of pocket each month to provide a house for someone else to live in. Many of our clients have to make up the difference that the rent doesn't cover. The mortgage payment comparison to rent that people often make is not inclusive of maintenance, vacancy, taxes, damage, condo fees, insurance etc.
It's never as simple as the headlines make it seem.
Dispite what you have heard your landlord might not be able to defer mortgage payments.
So far the verdic from Scotiabank is no releif for landlords. We are still learning about other lenders.
With this mutual understanding, I hope that it does not seem insensitive to require rent as agreed by our contracts. Grocery stores are not expected to hand out food and utility suppliers are not offering payment breaks either. We do want to help where we can and if you have mitigated the situation by going down every other avenue then there are things we can do to help. We are able to accept credit card payment and there are some government resources you can access to ensure that you can pay for shelter.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID 19 and you have Disability and or Critical Illness Insurance please contact your insurance provider. If you don't want to be caught without it in the future I recommend you speak to Paula Adamitz from www.adamitzfinancial.com
If you are facing an unexpected emergency, you can apply for emergency financial assistance.
You can get help when:
a situation is caused by unforeseeable circumstances beyond your control, and
it presents a severe health risk, and
you cannot access other resources or wait until your next pay-cheque or Income Support benefit cheque.
This allowance can cover costs for:
Here is the link for the application https://www.alberta.ca/emergency-financial-assistance.aspx
For general information on Income Support benefits, you can call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre:
Hours: 7:30 am to 8:00 pm (Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Here is the link and dedicated COVID-19 number for E.I. Sickness Benefits. Now that businesses are forced to close please contact EI to see if they will be extending coverage.
Telephone: 1-833-381-2725 (toll-free)
Here is a list of steps that you can take to limit the downside if your income has been affected by the COVID 19 outbreak
Take steps to replace your income Your employer may be able to offer you modified work or remote working opportunities. Ask your HR department about benefits and sick days and even vacation pay. (in the meantime there are plenty of places you can bring in money. For example, home delivery is in demand right now. https://couriers.skipthedishes.com/application or https://www.uber.com/ca/en/drive/delivery/ offering online services on www.Etsy.com or www.UpWork.com handyman services, or any other skills you can offer locally)
Your employer or someone you know might see a break in operation as a great opportunity? For many business owners, this break may be an opportunity to tackle some of the tasks that have been on the backburner due to the everyday hustle and there could be opportunities for you to step up and show some initiative in this challenging time.
Reduce and/or Eliminate expenses - Dining at home and not paying for transportation cost is an advantage of being quarantined. What other expenses can you reduce?
Sell unnecessary goods - it is amazing how decluttering increases the enjoyment of our homes. This could be your chance to get a jump on the spring cleaning and make a few bucks getting rid of items you rarely use anyway.
Call your creditors and ask for interest-only payments or a payment break. Financial institutions can print money in the form of debt. Your landlord cannot. If you're wondering if you should make your car payment or pay your rent the answer is to pay your rent
If you have savings that you hoped to use for a trip or something, unfortunately, everyone's plans have changed and a withdrawal from your RRSP's may be your only option if you don't have credit Available.
This is not a time to be proud. Having a family to ask for help is a blessing.
If you ignore your lease commitment and do nothing to avoid not being able to pay your rent. You leave us very few options.
If you have done all you can and still need help – Let us know so we can work together to come up with other solutions. If you talk to us before a payment is missed there are things we can do to help.
Sincerely Tony and Melanie Sera
Avail Properties Inc.