1. "Why did I get this notice?"
- Your apartment building was assessed for lower property tax by the City than the previous year
- Under provincial law, because of this lower tax, you can automatically reduce your next month's rent starting Jan.1st.
2. "Why didn't I get a notice?"
- Your landlord probably did not get a reduction in taxes that was greater than 2.5%, which is the threshold for the automatic rent reduction.
- If you think your building qualifies for a reduction or you think you should have recieved a notice, call the tenant hotline at 416-921-9494 for more information.
3. "So how do I claim this?"
- You do not have to ask your landlord for permission to take the reduction. You can simply take the reduction on your next months rent in January.
- You have until Dec 30th, 2010 to take the reduction.
4. "What happens if I don't take the reduction in January?"
- You have until Dec 30th, 2010 to take the reduction, you can reduce your rent at any time before then.
5. "My landlord is saying the reduction doesn't apply to me, that I can't take the reduction, that they are appealing, etc."
- If you recieved a notice from the City of Toronto, then most likely you can take the reduction.
- You do not have to ask your landlord for permission and you do not have to apply.
- Your landlord may challenge the rent reduction in court with a "variance" application, however there is no guarantee they will apply or win.
- In the meantime, you can still take the reduction if you wish or you can wait to see the outcome of the hearing before taking the reduction.
6. "Is there any reason why I should not take this reduction?"
- The landlord can make a request for a "variance" to the Landlord and Tenant Board, reducing a portion or all of the rent reduction
- If the landlord succeeds, you will have to return all or part of the reduction going back to Jan 1st.
- If the landlord does not succeed you can still keep the reduction.
7. "What exactly is a variance and can I fight it?"
A variance app allows a landlord to challenge the rent reduction.
This application usually takes the form of a written hearing.
- The landlord must apply for a variance by March 31st, 2010.
- You will be notifed by the court if your landlord has applied.
- You have the right to enter a written submission to counter the landlord's application of variance.
If you have recieved a notice from the LANDLORD AND TENANT BOARD about a hearing, call the hotline at 416-921-9494.