The tightening of Toronto’s rental market, which has reached record-low vacancy rates, is being felt most acutely by the residents of newly built condos, which are exempt from rent controls. There is no yearly rent cap for properties built after 1991 because of a controversial exemption in the province’s Residential Tenancies Act that was designed to spur the development of rental properties. The law accomplished its goal but has drawn the ire of housing advocates who say it has created two classes of renters in Ontario: those who have rights and those who have none.
“You got a tier of renters that are covered under the law who are able to enforce their rights and get stable rent increases that they can try to navigate. And then you have this other tier that have no understanding of what their rents are going to be next year,” said Geordie Dent, executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations. “That second group? It’s growing and it’s going to keep growing.”
Recent data from Urbanation Inc., a consulting and market research firm that focuses on the GTA’s condo market, shows that average rents for condos rose 11.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 over the same period a year earlier. In the city’s core, condos rented for an average of $2,134 a month in the last three months of 2016.
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