Province passes rental fairness act for Ontario tenants

May 18 2017, 4:56 pm

The Government of Ontario passed the Rental Fairness Act on Thursday, a legislation that will help rental housing affordable for tenants.

The new bill has been in the works for quite some time, and Torontonians will be particularly relieved after stories of skyrocketing rent increases have became common in recent months. Along with Toronto’s units, there are approximately 1.2 million rental households in Ontario.

The Rental Fairness Act, 2017 expands rent control to all private rental units, including those occupied on or after November 1, 1991 – a loophole which was the reason this all came to light.

Now that the new legislation has passed, effective April 20, 2017, Ontario landlords cannot raise rents more than the rent increase guideline, which is 1.5% in 2017. Any rent increase notices above this amount given on or after April 20 must be reduced to 1.5%.

The Act also introduces additional protections for tenants, including:

  • Enabling a standard lease to help both tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities, while reducing the number of disputes
  • Protecting tenants from eviction due to abuse of the “landlord’s own use” provision
  • Ensuring landlords can’t pursue former tenants for unauthorized charges
  • Prohibiting above-guideline rent increases in buildings where elevator maintenance orders have not been addressed
  • Removing above-guideline rent increases for utilities, to protect tenants from carbon costs and encourage landlords to make their buildings more energy efficient.

Expanding rent control and strengthening protections for tenants are key components of Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan to help more people find more affordable homes, according to the Province.

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