The province of Ontario has specific guidelines that dictate the maximum amount a landlord can increase a tenants’s rent —without approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board — during a year. Every January they release a specific percentage landlords can increase rent by that year.
Renters may be surprised to find out these guidelines don’t cover everyone: they don’t cover renters in residential units constructed on or after November 1, 1991.
Under the this year’s guidelines, the allowed increase is 1.5% per year. But a growing number of apartment buildings and other residential units throughout the city of Brampton are exempt, and some renters have been slapped with increases well above what is mandated by the province for buildings older than November 1991.
Calls have echoed for some time asking the province to close this loophole which has created a two-tier system for renters.
Now New Democrat MPP Peter Tabuns is introducing a private members’ bill Monday that aims to close the loophole that exempts buildings constructed after 1991 from the annual rent control guidelines.
“With prices for rental units rising just as house prices are, there are bidding wars in some cases. Too many are at risk of homelessness, too many are couch-surfing and its time to do something about it,” said Tabuns in the Legislative Assembly.
The bill would amend the Residential Tenancies Act and extend rent-control protections to all Ontarians by requiring all landlords to abide by the current rules, regardless of when properties were built.
If passed, the bill would level the playing field and prevent landlords from raising rent to outlandish amount, further fuelling the region’s growing lack of affordable housing.
Private members’ bills rarely pass, but can still influence government policy.
The Wynne government is also working on a plan to address the unfair rise in rental costs through an ongoing review of the Residential Tenancies act, but haven’t yet brought forward any actionable ways to remedy the problem.
Bramptonist will continue to follow the story in the coming months and report on the results.