New details in Ontario rent reform bill promise great news for renters

Apr 27 2017, 7:50 pm

Ontario rent control is about to get a lot better… for renters.

Did you landlord just issue notice that your rent is about to increase 1000%?

Stories of such skyrocketing rent increases have become increasingly common in recent weeks but renters can finally relax, there’s new legislation on the way that is about to benefit renters in Ontario in a big way.

The proposed Rental Fairness Act amends the Residential Tenancies Act of 2006.

Bill 124 addresses some of the most anxiety-inducing concerns for renters including extraordinary rent increases, illegal clauses in leases, additional charges, and eviction for landlords’ personal use.

Highlights from the proposed legislation include:

  • The expansion of rent control to all units regulating rent increases set by provincial guidelines, and repealing the exemption on rental units built after 1991.
  • Rent increases above guidelines to require landlords to formal apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board, but increased utility costs will not be accepted as cause.
  • Landlords will be required to use standard government lease agreements as a way to invalidate illegal clauses in leases including security and key deposits, and prohibiting pets.

The Rental Fairness Act will also see tenants compensated in the event of eviction when landlords’ repossess a unit for personal use.

Currently, subsection 48 (1) allows a landlord to give a termination notice if the landlord requires possession of the rental unit for the purpose of residential occupation by the landlord, a member of the landlord’s family or other specified persons.

Under subsection 48 (1), as amended, the landlord must require possession for the purpose of residential occupation for at least one year. Under new section 48.1, a landlord who gives a termination notice under section 48 is required to compensate the tenant in an amount equal to one month’s rent or to offer the tenant another unit acceptable to the tenant.

If passed, the legislation would see new rent control rules come into effect as of April 20, 2017.

See also
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