OTTAWA -- Minto Apartments has announced new details about its rent deferral program for tenants who may have difficulty paying because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the landlord said they would pause all scheduled rent increases until July.

Now, the company says it is offering three different options to tenants who may not be able to pay a full month's rent in the coming months.

Tenants must show their property manager proof they need assistance, either in the form of a note from an employer – or former employer – indicating reduced hours or a lost job, a statement from Service Canada regarding employment insurance or other benefit payments, or a record of employment.

"If you are unable to provide one of these documents, please discuss with your Minto representative," a note to tenants said.

Rent will be cut in half for those tenants who cannot pay the full amount right away, but will be deferred over a period of time. Minto says it will not charge interest on deferred rent payments.

Tenants who defer 50 per cent of April's rent will have a portion of the remaining 50 per cent added to May, June, and July's rent.

Tenants can also choose to defer rent for April and May, paying the remaining cost back in monthly installments between June and November, or they can have April, May, and June's rent cut in half, paying it back over nine months from July through March, 2021.

Several provinces and territories, including Ontario and Quebec, have banned new evictions due to an inability to pay rent during the pandemic.

In a sheet of frequently asked questions sent to tenants, Minto those who cannot pay their rent on April 1, but may be able to do so before the end of the month, should do so.

"We understand that many people are waiting for support to begin. As long as you pay during April, it's fine. Just let us know when you will be able to pay."

Minto said it must still meet its many financial obligations, which is why it's not reducing rents by 100 per cent.

"This unprecedented crisis does not change the obligation Minto has to pay its own bills for which tenants' rents cover. This includes power, water, and pay for employees in our buildings," the note said.