P.E.I. rental office not anticipating wave of evictions once hearings start again
'We're not getting the sense that that flood gate scenario is really happening'
The Office of Residential Rental Property says it doesn't anticipate a wave of evictions once rental hearings commence again.
The office hears disputes between landlords and tenants, but hearings have been on hold since March 30 due to COVID-19, except for urgent cases.
Eviction notices can still be given to tenants, but sheriffs are not enforcing them due to physical distancing rules.
Andrew MacDonald, a rental property officer, said the office is staying on top of the number of hearings it will eventually have.
'There's a bit more calm'
MacDonald said it's encouraging that the office is not overwhelmed with applications right now.
"We're triaging right now, trying to be as organized as possible," he said.
"We're not getting the sense that that flood gate scenario is really happening which you know, is a good sign."
MacDonald said the office has received about 45 applications since hearings were suspended, which he said is on par with the office's usual workload.
"I don't think we knew what to expect, and we had some days that were really busy," he said.
"It's nice that we're getting back to normal, so we'll take that for sure, because I think really that's a sign that there's a bit more calm — both for landlords and tenants out there."
Rent is not being forgiven and it is coming. May 1st is just around the corner- Andrew MacDonald, rental property officer
Wade Beaton, a landlord with three properties in Alexandra, P.E.I., waived his tenants' rent for the month of April on the condition that if a subsidy was introduced by the government, it would be applied to that month.
He said he was worried about the situation going forward, but said a combination of government programs, plus the fact that his tenants would be returning to work, has allowed him to manage his finances.
"The CERB helped. I actually had to return a little bit of money to one of my tenants today," he said.
"That makes it a lot easier for us to look forward and to plan for the next couple of months."
Planning for the next few months is something MacDonald said landlords and tenants should keep in mind.
He encourages people to take advantage of the government programs, but said even with the pandemic, those who can afford to pay rent, should.
"Rent is not being forgiven and it is coming. May 1st is just around the corner," he said.
MacDonald said anyone who may have questions about their living situation, should contact the rental property office.