"Rent cut coming for thousands of T.O. tenants": TORONTO SUN, Dec. 10, 2010

 

FMTA's Executive Director talks to the Toronto Sun about Automatic Rent Reductions.

 

"Rent cut coming for 1000s of T.O. tenants":  TORONTO SUN, Dec. 10, '10

by:  ANTONELLA ARTUSO

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About 130,000 Toronto tenants will shortly get notices of an automatic reduction in their rent.

Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations, told torontosun.com that the City of Toronto is currently mailing out the notices to renters.

Last year, more than 128,500 tenants in Toronto were advised that they were eligible for a rent cut under provincial law.

Dent said many tenants have complained of being bullied by landlords who don’t want to give them the reduction.

“It’s been a nightmare ... landlords have been fighting these notices tooth and nail,” Dent said Friday. “Even though the tenant didn’t really have anything to do with this.”

Provincial rent legislation requires that tenants get a break on their rent if the property tax on their buildings has been lowered.

“When a landlord taxes goes down, because essentially tenants’ rent pays for everything... including their taxes, the tenants taxes have to go down as well,” Dent said.

According to a City of Toronto news release, the rent decreases amounted to $144 a year on a $1,200 monthly rent in a building where property taxes dropped 5%.

“Tenants of buildings with more than six units generally pay about 20% of their rent toward property taxes, so if taxes go down, they are entitled to reduce their rent by 20% of the reduction,” a 2009 city news release says.

“For buildings with six or fewer units, the percentage is 15.”