Many Quebec rents still not paid by April 6 due to COVID-19 layoffs: Survey

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On April 6, 46 per cent of property owners in Quebec had not received all their rents for the month, for a total of $148 million, according to a survey by the Corporation des propriétaires immobiliers du Québec (CORPIQ).

The survey indicates that more than 185,000 households were late. The average rent in Quebec is $800, and there are 1.3 million tenants in private housing, according to CORPIQ.

The corporation expects several tenants to pay in the coming days, once they will have received government assistance. 

The survey also revealed that 72 per cent of landlords have signed an agreement with at least one of their tenants whose April rent still hadn’t been paid after a week, to help them amid the crisis. Still, 47 per cent of owners who hadn’t been paid did not have an agreement with their tenants. 

Evictions across the province have been suspended by the Quebec government amid the pandemic, but housing rights groups worry tenants may risk being evicted once the rental board goes back to work. 

Rights group le Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain says evictions should be suspended until tenants restore their ability to pay their rent, beyond the actual duration of the pandemic. 

CORPIQ says the vast majority of property owners are employees or entrepreneurs, and that 43 per cent of them or their spouses have lost some or all of their personal income. As a result, 67 per cent of owners think they may have trouble paying their mortgage eventually. 

The survey was conducted from April 6 to 8, involved 2594 participants and has a margin of error of 1.9 per cent, 19 times out of 20. 

This report was originally published by The Canadian Press on April 10, 2020. 

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