Considerations for Landlords During the Pandemic

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Considerations for Landlords During the Pandemic

Residential landlords are some of the most affected by the pandemic. With the sudden drop in unemployment, many renters are struggling to pay their monthly bills. Prior to May 1, 2020, landlords were unable to evict tenants on the grounds they couldn’t pay their rent. As the economy opens back up, the rules are changing and it’s important that everyone stay in the know. This week we are going to take a look at some of the current conditions that landlords and tenants are dealing with, and the considerations that come along with them.


Entry of Premises

With social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation being realities for all of us, entering a property can pose new challenges for landlords and tenants. Like before, landlords must give proper notice before entry for a select number of reasons including repairs, pest control, or showing the property to other potential renters or buyers. That being said, there are new exceptions. For example, if the tenant who occupies that space is quarantining, the landlord cannot show the space. Concerned tenants should discuss safety measures with their landlord, like cleaning high traffic surfaces before and after a viewing or requesting health information from prospective tenants.


Common & High Traffic Areas

COVID-19 spreads rapidly in high traffic areas. To combat this, landlords need to take the Public Health Act and its regulations very seriously in order to ensure their safety and the safety of all the tenants in their building. Shared spaces should be consistently disinfected. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer should be well-stocked in these areas as well. Furthermore, landlords can use signage to outline information about the pandemic and best practices, ie: washing hands regularly.


How to Handle COVID-19 Cases in Buildings

If a landlord suspects one of their tenants has COVID-19 and is not taking the proper precautions even when reminded about public health guidelines, they are within their rights to file an online complaint. In the case that there is a confirmed instance of COVID-19 in the building, the landlord should reach out to Alberta Health Services for guidance. The Personal Information Protection Act limits a landlord’s ability to disclose that person’s status to the rest of the building. Oftentimes, they may be able to notify residents that there is a confirmed case, just not any personal or identifying information about the person.

With the pandemic landscape constantly evolving, it’s hard to say when the next change will come. Keeping up to date with the laws for landlords and tenants in Alberta is the only way to stay on top of these shifts. If you’re a landlord in the Calgary area and have questions about your income property’s mortgage or financing, we can help. Contact us today.

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