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Understanding Rent Increases in Ontario

Clarifying rules and regulations around rent increases for tenants.

Rent increases are a common topic in the rental landscape. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the rules and regulations surrounding rent increases in Ontario, ensuring both landlords and tenants are informed about their rights and obligations.

Rent Increase Guidelines in Ontario:

In Ontario, landlords must follow specific guidelines when increasing rent. We’ll explore the allowable percentage increase, notice periods, and the circumstances under which a landlord can increase rent.

How Much Can my Landlord Raise my Rent?

There’s a common belief that all rentals are alike, which is not the case. If you are renting a property built before November 15th, 2018, the rent rules below apply to you, if you’re renting residential space in a property, a finished space, or an addition to an existing building that was built after that date, these rules do not apply to you … more later.

For those who fall under rent rules and regulations, the Landlord and Tenant Board limits the annual rent increase to a prescribed amount that’s announced at the end of August each calendar year. The prescribed amount is based on the consumer price index.

The calculation is very straight forward; if the prescribed amount for the year is 3% and your current rent is $2500, your new rent is $2,575 ($2,500 X 1.03).

How Often Can Rent Increases Occur

Your Landlord is permitted to raise your rent once every 12 months.

How Much Notice is Required for Rental Rate Increases?

Tenants are required to be provided with 90-days of notice. The standardized Landlord and Tenant Board forms make most of this very clear, so, if you have a landlord or tenant who is questioning this information, most questions should be answered directly on the forms.

How Can Notice of the Rent Increase be Served?

Landlords are able to provide notice using the following options:

  • Email (if the tenant has agreed to receive notice by email in writing)
  • Regular mail (the rent increase notice must be sent earlier to offset the length of time this method takes. See the LTB website for details)
  • Courier
  • Placing the notice in the place where mail is regularly received (ie. private mailbox or mail slot in a door)
  • Fax

Note that for email notices, the tenant must have agreed, in writing, to receive notices by way of email, with the email listed. The email must also include a name and telephone number of the person submitting the notice so that the recipient has a way to contact them by phone.

Can my Landlord Raise my Rent Above the Prescribed Amount?

There are circumstances where the Landlord can raise the rent above the prescribed annual increase amount. Examples include if their property taxes rise more than a set amount, if a new service is provided to the tenant that provides value to the tenant, among other reasons. Review the Residential Tenancy Act to confirm specific information.

Understanding the intricacies of rent increases is crucial for maintaining a positive landlord-tenant relationship. This blog post aims to clarify the rules, promote transparency, and empower landlords and tenants. Stay tuned for more insights into Ontario’s rental landscape.

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