PEI

P.E.I. landlord waiving rent for tenants amid COVID-19 pandemic

P.E.I. landlord has told his tenants not to worry about their rent for April.   Beaton owns three rental properties in Alexandra, P.E.I., and says with many businesses closing and cutting hours in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, he's just doing his part to help. 

'A lot of these folks don't have a lot of money in their pockets, so it was a pretty simple decision'

While the P.E.I. government has suspended evictions at its own public housing buildings, the premier said Tuesday it doesn't have the authority to force private landlords to take any actions in the face of covid-19 pandemic. (David Donnelly/CBC)

An Island landlord has told his tenants not to worry about their rent for April in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

Wade Beaton owns three rental properties in Alexandra, P.E.I., and says with many businesses closing or cutting hours in the face of the pandemic, he's doing his part to help. 

"Renters tend to be front-line staff for the most part. And as we've been seeing, a lot of the restaurants and whatnot have been closing down across the province," said Beaton.

"A lot of these folks don't have a lot of money in their pockets, so it was a pretty simple decision to make."

Beaton's decision follows an announcement by the provincial government Tuesday that it is suspending evictions by the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, the largest landlord in the province. 

Wade Beaton, who owns three rental properties in Alexandra, said waiving April's rent for tenants was "an easy decision to make." (CBC)

Premier Dennis King said he also plans to speak with private landlords, and that while the province doesn't have the authority to order them to suspend evictions, he'd be "trying to appeal to the better nature of all Islanders in this difficult time."

Rent subsidy? 

Beaton's said while he may end up eating a month's rental income, he's hoping it doesn't come to that. 

"I'm hoping the provincial [government] will step up and put in a subsidy for the months that we're locked down," he said.  "And I talked to my tenants about it. And if there is a subsidy, they'll throw it my way in order to pay back the rent."  

The province has announced a financial relief package, aimed at supporting vulnerable Islanders. 

The United Way, the Salvation Army, Island food banks, and a contingency fund for non-profits will be getting a portion of $500,000. 

Beaton said in the meantime, his tenants appear grateful for the break on their rent. 

 "I'm hoping it helps them budget their way through the next two months," he said.

"We don't know how long this is going to last, so whether they need to put more food in the cupboard or buy more diapers, they can just do what they need to do."

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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