August 01, 2012
Update: Ontario Rent Increase 2013
To assist tenants during these tougher economic times, the McGuinty government passed legislation in late June, 2012 to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) to ensure that the Rent Increase Guideline is capped. However, the Ontario rent increase 2013 has some people divided on whether it helps or hinders tenants.
Rent increases for the one million tenant households in Ontario cannot exceed 2.5% over the next year, unless a landlord makes a successful application to the Landlord Tenant Board. Without the cap, the guideline would have been 2.6 per cent in 2013.
The annual Rent Increase Guideline continues to be based on Ontario’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada. The 2013 guideline applies to rent increases between Jan 1 and Dec 31, 2013.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Kathleen Wynne, who presented the bill, said on June 12th, “If passed, this proposed amendment that we’d like to make to the Residential Tenancies Act would keep rental housing costs affordable and stable for tenants in Ontario. It would allow landlords to maintain their property and to make sure that any necessary repairs and maintenance costs are covered.”
While tenant groups laud the amendment, landlords are concerned. The cap comes at a time when property management and multi-residential building expenses are increasing. The cap may not allow property managers to cover the increased taxes and utility costs. They worry that the cap could mimic the housing market conditions of the late 70s and early 80s, when fixed rent controls were out of sync with rising housing costs and inflation.
Vince Brescia, Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario president and CEO, is on the record as saying, “We understand the government’s efforts to mitigate price volatility, but setting an arbitrary price ceiling fails to recognize that housing industry costs, like repairs and maintenance, are not subject to any price caps. The government is unilaterally imposing a cap without any discussion with an entire industry and is initiating a policy that will be particularly devastating for small landlords.”
Ottawa Sun columnist Anthony Furey argues that the rent ceiling may backfire, and end up costing tenants more, as the legislation only applies to occupied units. He contends that property owners may increase the rent once the unit is empty as a pre-emptive strike against the estimated –and perhaps exaggerated– rising costs.
What do you think? Will you be able to cover your costs with the cap caused by the Ontario rent increase 2013 in place? Are you actively searching out tools and technology to help you lower your expenses? Let us know in the comments below.
ONTARIO RENT INCREASE 2013 FACTS
- The average yearly increase from 2004-2012 was two per cent.
- The average yearly increase from 1993-2003 was 3.1 per cent.
- During the early 1990s recession it hit highs of 6% (1992) and 5.4% (1991).
- One million tenant households in Ontario are covered by the annual Rent Increase Guideline.
- The Ontario Rent Increase 2013 Guideline is calculated pursuant to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.