AUTOMATIC RENT REDUCTION 2015: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This year, several  thousand rent reduction notices are going out to tenants in the City of Toronto.

Go to the City of Toronto's website to learn more and see if you qualify for a rent reduction.

You can also call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494. 

The following are the most common tenant questions on automatic rent reductions:  

 

1. Do I need to ask my landlord to take the reduction?

No. The reduction is automatic. You do not need to ask your landlord or obtain their permission. You can simply pay them less when you pay your rent. The reduction applies to all charges for services and facilities, such as parking. .  

2. My landlord is not giving me the reduction. How can I get them to do so?

Your landlord does not give you the reduction, the reduction is automatic. You can simply reduce the money off your rent and you do not have to ask their approval.  

3. The notice I got says that my rent has been reduced to $800, is this true?

There is an example in the notice which assumes a rent of $800. This is only an example. Your reduction is based off of whatever your rent was last month. 

4. How do I calculate what my new rent is?

There are several ways to calculate your new rent.

a) You can call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494 and we can do the calculation for you.

b) Use the hand written formula available on your rent reduction notice.

c) If you have a calculator with a % button, you can simply punch in your current rent, hit the minus button, punch in the reduction percentage and hit the % button.

d) Go to the City's rent reduction website 

5. I got notice of a rent increase a few months ago and notice of a rent reduction recently. How can I have a rent increase and rent reduction at the same time?

Provincial law allows landlords in Ontario to increase the rent once every 12 months. In 2015, landlords will be able to increase rent by 1.6%. Provincial law also forces all municipalities to reduce a tenant's rent when a landlord's taxes go down by 2.5% or more. It is quite common for tenants to receive a rent increase and rent reduction in the same year, and sometimes even on the same day. In these cases, a tenant's rent will go down by the rent reduction percentage and then go up by the rental increase percentage.  

6. My landlord says that they will be challenging the reduction and I therefore should not take it. Is this true?

All landlord's are able to apply to challenge rent reductions at the Landlord and Tenant Board. They have until March 31, 2015 to apply, though the case may not be heard until much later in the year. Until the Landlord and Tenant Board says otherwise, you can take your reduction immediately if you wish.

You can also choose to pay your old rent and then claim your reduction (and any money owed to you) retroactively at any point in 2015. So you could choose to wait and see if your landlord will challenge the reduction before you take it.

Remember, you must claim the reduction before the end of 2015.  

7. The Landlord says I have to give them a copy of the rent reduction notice before I can claim the rent reduction. Is this true?

No. The landlord received notification of the rent reductions in September. You are not required to give them a notice even if they demand it. You can simply reduce your rent by the amount on the notice.  

8. The Landlord says the notice doesn't apply to me. Is this true?

No. The notice does apply to you. If you are a tenant in a long term care home, if you receive a rent subsidy, or if you live in a non-profit building, the rent reduction may affect you differently then other tenants. For more information please call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494.  

9. How do I check to see if I got the rent reduction myself?

All tenants can call the FMTA tenant hotline at 416-921-9494 to calculate their rent reductions. In addition, tenants can find out more information about rent reductions and search for their rent reduction on the City rent reduction website. 

10. I have lost my notice of automatic rent reduction. Where can I get a copy?

You can phone Revenue Services at the City of Toronto and they can send you a copy. You can ask to be referred to the Revenue Services Customer Services line by calling 3-1-1.

For more information, visit the City of Toronto website.