Coronavirus

Rent payments ‘remain as-is’ as Northview closes on-site offices


Northview, landlord to many residents and businesses in the Northwest Territories, is closing its on-site offices as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

In a letter published to its website this week, Northview said its “top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents, employees, and communities.”

The company said it had established a Covid-19 response team and was “taking the most stringent actions possible.” It warned tenants that may mean changes in their buildings with little or no notice.

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Only emergency repairs will be carried out in units “until normal operations are resumed,” the company said.

While Northview’s message on its website makes no mention of rent, a separate letter issued to commercial tenants in Yellowknife states “rent payments remain as-is” for people paying by e-transfer or pre-authorized debit. Tenants paying by cheque are told to switch to pre-authorized debit.

There is no guidance for those who may be unable to pay if, as commercial operators, their businesses temporarily cease trading due to Covid-19 and associated restrictions.

Northview has established an emergency line – (844) 556-6784 – which it says tenants should use to report suspected or confirmed cases of the virus.

The company says it will “enact protocols to mitigate the spread of the virus” if such a case is confirmed in a building. What those protocols are is not clear.

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Northview says cleaning schedules are being maintained with more disinfecting of high-trafffic areas, though two tenants in the YK Centre mall – operated by Northview – on Thursday said they had seen no such measures in place.

Stacie Smith, a city councillor and owner of Flowers North in the mall, asked Northview by email shared with Cabin Radio: “The cleaning schedule needs to be amped up. This mall is filthy.

“At what point will [Northview] close its mall to the public because it cannot keep up with a decent cleaning regiment?”

Smith, questioning the ethics of demanding continued rent as business close for economic reasons or over public health concerns, asked Northview to “allow some leniency.”

Northview did not respond to requests for comment.

“We wish everyone the best during this time,” the company’s message to tenants concluded.

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