CAN A LANDLORD INCREASE MY RENT?
Your landlord can only increase your rent once every 12 months. They must also give you written notice at least 90 days before the rent goes up.
Published by Hillfield Properties on 23rd September, 2021.
When you enter a rental agreement for the first time, the landlord can decide how much rent you will pay and what services such as hydro parking, etc. are included. You may be able to negotiate what bills will be included in the rent but it is ultimately their decision. Although rental housing prices are based on current market prices in Ontario, there are no limitations to what a landlord may ask for rent.
There is no maximum amount of rent that a landlord can charge a new tenant, with the exception of non-profit housing like: rent-geared-to-income (RGI) or subsidized, co-ops, and some student housing. The market price for a unit can be significantly higher than what the previous tenant may have paid. If you are unsure of what the market has to offer contact Hillfield Properties for advice on how to go about the process.
Once you’ve completed the first 12 months on the lease, your landlord can only increase your rent by a limited percentage. This maximum increase amount is based on the yearly guideline limits set out by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and it is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.
An example of this is:
2020 – the limit was 2.2%
2021 – the limit was 0% due to the pandemic
2022 – the limit will be 1.2%
Landlords can apply to The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) for approval to raise your rent above the guide limits. The LTB could approve a higher increase if your landlord has made significant repairs or installed a security or other system. Contact our legal professional to act on your behalf to inquire if your landlord can increase your rent
Ontario is a rent-controlled province for the most part with a few exceptions. New residential apartment buildings, condos or houses that were occupied for the first time as of November 15, 2018 are not rent controlled. Landlords can increase the rent year-to-year to whatever they want and they are not required to follow any guideline. They must however, wait 12 months before they can request an increase. Rent freeze exceptions apply for 2021.
This rule also applies to residences that were newly built and occupied as of November 15, 2018 like:
- apartment additions to existing buildings or houses
- basement apartments
- mobile home parks and land lease community
- a self-contained unit in a house that already had up to two residential units
Always read your lease carefully before you sign. You may not understand the language in your contract, so let a qualified professional property expert review your contract on your behalf. Ask questions about when the unit was built and first occupied to determine if the place will be rent controlled or not. Some landlords are more flexible and you can negotiate specific terms ahead of time to be listed into the rental contract.
The Government of Ontario passed legislation to freeze rents at 2020 levels and will not increase in 2021 for the majority of rented units covered under the Residential Tenancies Act. This will be in effect until December 31, 2021. Consult Hillfield Properties for further information concerning the rent freeze.
The rent freeze applies to most tenants living in:
- rented houses, apartments and condos (including units occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018)
- basement apartments
- care homes (including retirement homes)
- mobile home parks
- land lease communities
- rent-geared-to-income units and market rent units in community housing
- affordable housing units created through various federally and/or provincially funded programs
For rent increases that will take effect in 2022, landlords can give full 90 days’ notice beforehand. Except where:
- special considerations increases were already approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board before October 1, 2020
- tenants and landlords can still agree on rent increases in exchange for an extra service or facility like air conditioning or parking
Contact our certified professional at Hillfield Properties to review your tenancy agreement before you sign. We will get the answers to any questions you may have concerning your contract.