Ontario passed legislation Thursday, to help keep rental housing affordable and predictable by protecting tenants from unfair rent increases.
The Rental Fairness Act, 2017 expands rent control to all private rental units, including those occupied on or after November 1, 1991. Effective April 20, 2017, landlords cannot raise rents more than the rent increase guideline, which is 1.5 per cent in 2017. Any rent increase notices above this amount given on or after April 20 must be reduced to 1.5 per cent.
The legislation also introduces additional protections for tenants, including:
- Enabling a standard lease to help both tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities, while reducing the number of disputes
- Protecting tenants from eviction due to abuse of the “landlord’s own use” provision
- Ensuring landlords can’t pursue former tenants for unauthorized charges
- Prohibiting above-guideline rent increases in buildings where elevator maintenance orders have not been addressed
- Removing above-guideline rent increases for utilities, to protect tenants from carbon costs and encourage landlords to make their buildings more energy efficient.
Landlords can continue to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for above-guideline rent increases where permitted, and can also determine rent levels for new tenants.
Expanding rent control and strengthening protections for tenants are key components of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan, to help more people find an affordable place to call home.
Making the rental housing system fairer is part of Ontario’s plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario is also strengthening its transitional housing system by exempting transitional housing providers – like those that provide mental health and addiction supports – from the Residential Tenancies Act for up to four years, as long as participants are protected by written tenancy agreements. This will help more people successfully transition to longer-term, stable housing.
- There are approximately 1.2 million private rental households in Ontario.
- The annual rent increase guideline is capped at a maximum of 2.5 per cent.
Story Source: Ontario Press release