For all of you who are currently renting, thinking about renting, or are currently a landlord, this one's for you.
Every year the province of Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board publishes the allowable rent increase for the coming year. For 2013, the allowable rent increase is 2.5%, so if your monthly rent is $1,000 it would increase by $25/mth to $1,025/mth.
But there is one very important catch to be aware of.
If you live in a rental unit that was built or first occupied prior to November 1, 1991, you are protected by rent control and your rent can legally only be increased by the province mandated percentage every year (ex: 2.5% for 2013).
If you live in a rental unit that was built or first occupied after November 1, 1991, you are not protected by rent control and your landlord can increase your rent annually by as much as he/she wants.
In both instances, your landlord must give you 90 days notice before a rent increase can take place.
With a high demand for rental units, especially in the downtown Toronto core, we are seeing more and more landlords take advantage of this situation by jacking their rents up, sometimes significantly. With many rental properties still receiving multiple offers and renting out in less than a week, if you don't like the rent increase the landlord knows they can easily find another tenant to replace you.
So this means all of the new condo developments in the Toronto core that are now largely be renting out to students, 20 somethings and young professionals are not protected by rent control guidelines.
However, finding a good tenant is a landlord's biggest job which is why many landlords choose not to raise their rents to avoid driving away a respectful tenant. If you show your landlord that you are a responsible tenant who is looking to stay for the long term, this could help convince your landlord to keep your rent as is. However, if you are a less than ideal tenant, don't be surprised if your landlord chooses to enforce a substantial rent increase in an effort to push you out.
Think you might want to buy instead of rent? Check out my 8 step guide for How To Buy Your First Home.
Questions about renting or whether you are protected by rent control? Drop me an e-mail anytime. Karly@KarlyMoore.ca