Business Owners Struggles to Pay Rent and is Requesting Financial Assistance

Business Owners Struggles to Pay Rent and is Requesting Financial Assistance

    April 7, 2020

    We’re close to one month into the pandemic without and sign of improvement from the devasting coronavirus. Unlike residential tenant will be receiving a rental assistance from the federal government, business owners continue to struggle. Business is suffering greatly from the lack of revenue because there aren’t any customers and some closed prioritizing health concerns. The operating costs astronomical particularly for small businesses.

    Landlord and Tenants of commercial property are seeking for rent relief from big companies and the government to help these vulnerable smaller business that does not have the resource to endure the outbreak: retail outlets and service providers such as restaurant, clothing store, barbershops, and specialty stores.

    These small businesses are pushed to the brim of survival and considering to collectively not pay rent on April 1 and requesting for prolonged waivers or deferrals. Adding fuel on fire, large corporations are also asking for financial assistance, including Canadian Tire Corp.Ltd and A&W Canada. Anonymous sources said the corporation are seeking a six-month abatement on rent and operating costs starting May 1st for its non-Canadian Tire branding: sport chek, mark’s and etc.

    Many commercial landlords object large corporation making these requests. “When a company that is well capitalized that has a legal obligation to pay rent, doesn’t pay rent, I think it is bad behaviour,” said Michael Cooper, CEO of Dream Office Reit. Landlord themselves are suffering from the pandemic and would need much fund as possible to endure like others. Corporation that can afford should pay so funds can allocate to those really in need. Corporation with branding power already has received better rate and terms when renting because they can attract people to the location.

    This is a chain reaction. If tenants cannot pay their bill, the landlord will not be able to pay theirs as well. Therefore, tenants and landlords should not threaten with not paying rent and eviction. When the economy does recover, landlords loses their tenants and will need to search, and business does not have a location to recover their loses.

    British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Alberta have halted eviction for all residential hurt by the pandemic, but the same policy is not in place for commercial tenants. Landlord has the right to lock the tenant out if the tenant does not pay rent because it defaulted on its lease. We don’t suggest taking advantage of the pandemic to not pay rent. It will be recorded and hurt the tenant in the long run. Tenant should negotiate with landlord and find a way to get through the pandemic together.

    Large landlords are willing to defer rent for some struggling tenant, but many landlords are strictly enforcing tenants to pay. Many small businesses simply cannot afford to pay. Cheques given to landlord just bounces due to lack of fund. Takaaki Masuda, owner of Kamei Royale, is monthly rent of more than $150,000 was due. His family has been trying to negotiate has received different result. Local landlord is allowing a deferral while foreign investor landlords are not.

    This is a fight for survival because deferral has a time limit, not all landlord has the fund like large corporation/landlord to have room for negotiation. Without government intervention and financial assistance, they cannot hang on. Help is needed, but when?

    Yoyoe Lu

    Founder and managing principal

    Yoyoe is the founder and managing principal of Claridge. She was ranked one of Vancouver’s top real estate agents. Currently, Yoyoe is our strategic mind leading the team to success. Her affiliation with industry professionals put her ahead of our competitors. Yoyoe is also part of the Rotary Club of West Vancouver, Canadian Homebuilders Association, Urban Land Institute and Urban Development Institute.

    Ashley Osborn

    Development Site and Investment Specialist

    Ashely is our lead land and investment advisor. He has been consistently featured in the annual top 100 real estate deals of British Columbia ranking. With over $15 billion worth of domestic and international real estate investments under his belt, Ashley is one of the top agents in the province. His 20 years of real estate and financial experience make him a master in negotiation and acquisition.

    Patricia Wong Chong

    Investment and Leasing Specialist

    Patricia is our investment and retail leasing advisor. Her experience in brokerage and market research analysis has helped her comprise over $550 million in commercial real estate transactions. Patricia is responsible, detail-oriented, and professional. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude have led her to surpass all her competitors.

    Schumann Li

    Land Assembly & Residential Specialist

    Schumann is a top-producing realtor in the Lower Mainland with more than 30 years’ experience. Over the years, Schumann hasn’t just garnered awards, but the trust of countless customers. Her clients continually refer to her outstanding professionalism, work ethic and poise.

    Wendy Kaip

    Sales Associate

    Whether it’s decoding city policies, strategizing relocation plans, home sellers looking for a trustworthy advisor to unlock their property’s maximum potential- Wendy is here to help every step along the way.

    Prior to real estate, Wendy spent over a decade in the mining industry with her attention to detail, keen negotiation skills, extensive network and strong reputation for getting the deal done, bringing endless value to her current real estate clients.

    Whether you are thinking about selling to a developer, or have more questions about commercial real estate, Wendy invites you to connect, to see how she can utilize her expertise and team to help create value and maximize your real estate goals.

    Simon Chan

    Managing Broker

    Simon is the managing broker of Claridge Real Estate Advisors Inc. His expertise has helped our agents resolve many difficulties. Not only is Simon knowledgeable with real estate legislation, but he is also very detail orientated. With Simon on our team, our agents are confident to conduct businesses and will always get the support they need to ensure they’re not walking on dirty water.

    Frank Zhou


    As the analyst of the company, my key job is to help brokers to find marketable clients and locate feasible development sites by collecting and analyzing up-to-date market transaction data and conducting target market and property-level research. Meanwhile, I am also in charge of maintaining the company’s property database to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness and continuously upgrading the level of knowledge by staying up to date with hot topics, and market trends, and incorporating findings into everyday work. Before joining the company, I worked for CR Group as a real estate investment manager, focusing on capital raising, equity and debt financing, acquisition and renovation. I hold 2 master’s degrees, one in Housing Management and the other in Economics.