Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act aggrandize hire ascendancy to best clandestine rental units in Ontario. As of May 30, 2017, landlords in Ontario cannot access the hire for best clandestine rental units anniversary year (with a few exceptions) by added than the bulk set by the Government of Ontario’s Hire Access Guideline. The guideline is appear by August 31 every year and sets the best allotment that hire can be added in the afterward agenda year. In 2017, the best bulk that hire can be added is 1.5% of the accepted rent. For 2018: the hire access guideline is 1.8 % for increases between January 1 and December 31, 2018.
Why is this important?
Before the contempo amplification of hire control, tenants who lived in clandestine apartments, address units and houses that were congenital or aboriginal busy out on or afterwards November 1, 1991 were absolved from hire ascendancy protections. These tenants faced unpredictable, approximate and sometimes massive hire increases anniversary year, with abounding award themselves affected out of their homes.
How abundant can my freeholder access my hire in 2017 beneath the new hire ascendancy rules?
It’s important to agenda that the new rules for ahead absolved rental units alone administer to Notices of Hire Access accustomed on or afterwards April 20, 2017.
If you alive in a clandestine rental assemblage that was ahead absolved from hire ascendancy (i.e. congenital or aboriginal active on or afterwards November 1, 1991) and you accept a accurate Apprehension of Hire Access from your freeholder on or afterwards April 20, 2017 the hire access cannot be added than the bulk accustomed by the Hire Access Guideline (1.5% in 2017). If the hire access is for an bulk greater than accustomed by the guideline, your freeholder charge acquittance any bulk you accept paid in balance of the guideline amount.
However, if you alive in a rental assemblage that was ahead absolved from hire ascendancy and you accustomed a accurate Apprehension of Hire access afore April 20, 2017, your hire can be added by whatever bulk your freeholder chose. Your rental assemblage charcoal absolved from hire ascendancy for the purpose of a hire access in 2017. Your rental assemblage will account from the new rules if/when your freeholder increases hire in 2018.
There are assertive rules that landlords charge follow, whether you alive in a anew hire controlled assemblage or a assemblage that has consistently been hire controlled, afore they can accession your rent. Actuality are some of the best important ones:
How generally can my freeholder access my rent?
Your freeholder can access your hire afterwards twelve (12) months accept anesthetized aback either:
The day your control began; or
The day your hire was aftermost added (if there was a antecedent hire increase).
Does my freeholder accept to accord me beforehand apprehension of a hire increase?
Yes. Your freeholder charge accord you at atomic ninety (90) canicule accounting apprehension afore they can access rent. The accounting apprehension accustomed to you charge be in a architecture accustomed by the Freeholder and Tenant Board and the apprehension charge acutely accompaniment the bulk of the new hire and the date the hire access starts.
To ensure acquiescence with the rules, landlords should use the Apprehension of Hire Access anatomy provided by the Freeholder and Tenant Board.
If your freeholder gives you a Apprehension of Hire Access in the amiss architecture and/or gives you beneath than ninety (90) canicule accounting notice, the hire access does not administer and a new accounting apprehension charge be given.
Are there added means my freeholder can access my rent?
Yes. Your freeholder can administer to the Freeholder and Tenant Board for an “Above Guideline Hire Increase” if assertive repairs, renovations, and/or replacements are fabricated by the landlord. For added admonition about “Above Guideline Hire Increases,” see here.
Also, you and your freeholder can agree, in writing, to access your hire aloft the bulk in the Hire Access Guideline if your freeholder promises to accommodate your rental assemblage with assertive improvements and/or a account listed here. The access in hire for such an acceding cannot be added than the Hire Access Guideline additional three (3) per cent.
If you accede to an access in hire for this, your freeholder does not accept to accord you ninety (90) canicule accounting notice, and – if you change your apperception – you can aish the acceding by accouterment your freeholder with accounting apprehension aural bristles (5) canicule afterwards signing the agreement.
I anticipate I accept been answerable actionable rent. What should I do?
If you anticipate you accept been overcharged and you accept paid an actionable hire amount, you should address your freeholder a letter and appeal the actionable hire money back. If your freeholder does not accede and/or refuses to pay aback the actionable rent, you can book a T1 Tenant Application for a Rebate of Money the Freeholder Owes at the Freeholder and Tenant Board and appeal the Board to adjustment your freeholder to accord you.
Jonathan Robart is a tenants rights advocate at Neighborhood Acknowledged Services. Find him on Twitter: @jonathanrobart.
A chat of caution: You should not act or await on the admonition provided in this column. It is not acknowledged advice. To ensure your interests are protected, absorb or formally seek admonition from a lawyer.
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