Ontario's Fair Housing Plan was announced on April 20th and includes a whole host of changes to tenant laws. Below are answers to some common questions that the FMTA has recieved since the Provincial announcement.
Q: When do the proposed changes take effect?
A: This isn't 100% clear yet, though the government has publicly said they hope to pass the bill by June 2017. The government has also said that changes that would end the 1991 rent exemption would take effect retroactively as of April 20th.
Q: If I'm in a building built after 1991 and I got a rent increase notice before April 20th that takes effect after April 20th, do I still have to pay it?
A: Under the current proposed legislation, yes. A landlord must give 90 days written notice (not verbal, email or text) of a rent increase. If your landlord gave notice before April 20th for a rent increase that takes effect after that date, then it will be valid notice and you will have to pay the increase (or move out).
Q: When the legislation passes, how much of a rent increase will landlords be able to charge in buildings built after 1991?
A: Under the proposed legislation, landlords will be limited to the Guideline amount (1.5% for 2017). The Guideline amount is based off of inflation and changes every year, but it can't go above 2.5%.
Q: Can my landlord still apply for above guideline rent increases (AGI's)?
A: Yes. Under the new changes proposed AGI's based on utility costs have been eliminated by the Province, though AGI's for taxes and major capital work remain. The Province is proposing new rules that would limit a landlords ability to apply for capital expenditure AGI's in some situations, though those rules have not yet been outlined and the date they will take effect is not clear. Additionally, when the new changes become law, landlords will not be able to apply for an AGI if they have an outstanding elevator work orders from government bodies.
Q: Can a landlord still evict me for if they (or their family member) want to move in?
A: Yes, however the governmnet is proposing changes that will make it more difficult. First, when the new changes become law, landlords will be required to compensate the tenant with at least a month's rent. Second, when the new changes become law, if a landlord rents out a unit less than a year after a tenant has been evicted, the landlord could have to prove to the courts that they acted in good faith for the eviction.
If you have any other questions about the governments new proposed changes, call our tenant hotline at 416-921-9494 or email [email protected].