By: Nicolas Di Nardo
Under Ontario law, rent increases can not exceed 2.5 per cent. However, under the new housing reforms, the Liberal government extended their rent control to buildings since 1991 and landlords are required to apply to authorities if they are seeking to increase rent by more than 1.8 per cent next year. This will be done under what is known as The Rental Fairness Act, 2017.
The Rental Fairness Act, 2017, will effect all privately-owned rental properties across the province, which is looking to help cities like Barrie from soaring rental prices. The Ontario Ministry of Housing has set the rate at 1.8 per cent, basing it on the provincial consumer price index, in the hopes of providing better housing to Ontarians.
Barrie is in need of this cap. Based on data collected from PadMapper at the end of January, Barrie is the eighth most expensive city to rent in, when just three months prior it was sitting at 15th. It is now one of the most expensive cities in Canada to rent in. For example, recent rental rates have the average price of a two-bedroom unit sitting around $1,500 per month plus utilities. Renters are having trouble trying to find anything lower than that, even with a budget of $1,000 a month (inclusive), prospective renters are spending months searching for a place they can afford.
With the new reforms in place, it will allow renters to afford to get into an apartment, and live there year after year, without the fear of rent being increased to an amount they will struggle to afford – it will be more predictable which can help renters get their finances in order.
These protections come after a series of “unreasonable” rent increases and tenants being evicted from their units by their landlords. Landlords will now face a penalty if they evict tenants for personal reasons such as moving in a family member. Additionally, Premier Kathleen Wynne implemented this as part of their housing reforms in order to cool down the then-overheated housing market in April, when units built after 1991 were showing evidence of rent and sale price increases.
There are exceptions to this cap. The cap does not apply to:
- Vacant units
- Social housing
- Nursing homes
- Commercial properties
If a landlord makes improvements to their units, they have the option to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for increases (no more than 2.5 per cent).
As a result, 250,000 tenants will be protected and 1.2 million private rental units will have to follow the new rent cap.
If you are in need of a Barrie Real Estate lawyer, please visit our website and contact one of our Barrie Real Estate lawyers today. If you are in need of any other services or have any questions, you may also contact our Barrie office directly at 705-812-2100.