After more than a year of a province-wide rent freeze, Ontario landlords are now able to start raising prices — but only a little bit.
The rent freeze implemented by the government of Ontario in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic expired at the start of 2022. Under the new 2022 rent increase allowance, landlords can raise prices by 1.2%. If a tenant were paying $1,500, for example, a landlord could now raise the rent to $1,518.
But just because the freeze is up doesn’t mean your landlord can suddenly hike the price out of nowhere. Rent increases can only be applied either 12 months after the tenancy began or 12 months since the last increase. Landlords must also provide written notice using an N1 form at least 90 days prior to the change.
It’s important to note, however, that the rent increase cap does not apply to residences that were first occupied after November 15, 2018, as well as community housing units, long-term care homes, and commercial properties. Retirement homes are subject to the guidelines only for the rent portion of a resident’s bill; it does not apply to the cost of services like food or cleaning.
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In some situations, a landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to get a larger rent increase approved, but this is only under specific circumstances where the landlord needs to recover additional expenses, such as significant costs from repairs and renovations or extreme changes in municipal taxes.
The 1.2% guideline is the lowest cap the province has seen since 2014, when the increase was limited to just 0.8%. According to the Province, the guideline is calculated using the Ontario Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation and economic conditions over a year.