Each year, the Ontario government announces the province’s rent increase guideline for the following year.
Ontario’s annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada. The rate of allowable rent increases for 2016 will be 2.0 per cent.
The guideline is the maximum amount that most landlords can increase a tenant’s rent during the year without making an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board. It is based on the CPI, which is regarded as an objective, reliable measure of inflation, charting the change in the price all goods and services in the provincial economy.
In most cases, the rent for a unit can be increased if at least 12 months have passed since the tenant first moved in, or since his or her last rent increase. The tenant must be given proper written notice of the rental increase at least 90 days before the rent increase takes effect.
The 2016 guideline applies to rent increases between January 1 and December 31, 2016.
The 2016 rent increase guideline is calculated by averaging the per cent change in the Ontario Consumer Price Index during the previous 12 months, from June 2014 to May 2015, as required by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (the RTA).
Note: The RTA sets out that the rent increase guideline cannot exceed 2.5 per cent, even if the CPI calculation is higher.
The monthly rent of an apartment is $800 beginning August 1, 2015. With proper written 90 days notice to the tenant, the landlord could lawfully increase the rent 12 months later on August 1, 2016.
Landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an increase above the guideline, if their costs for the municipal taxes or utilities have increased by more than the guideline plus 50 per cent.
Landlords can also apply for an increase above the guideline for operating costs related to security services and for eligible capital expenditures.
The 2016 rent increase guideline is 2.0 per cent. Fifty per cent of this guideline is 1.0 per cent.
To claim an above guideline increase related to municipal taxes, costs should increase by more than 3.0 per cent (2.0 per cent + 1.0 per cent = 3.0 per cent.)
A landlord can collect a rent deposit from a new tenant on or before the start of a new tenancy. The rent deposit can only be used as the rent payment for the last month or week before the tenant moves out. The landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every year. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, the interest rate is the same as the rent increase guideline.
The Landlord and Tenant Board provides information to the public through a network of offices across Ontario and on the Board website at sjto.ca/ltb. The Board can also be reached toll-free at: 1-888-332-3234, or at: 416-645-8080.
A copy of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, can be ordered from ServiceOntario Publications toll-free at: 1-800-668-9938, or at: 416-326-5300. It can also be ordered online at: www.publications.gov.on.ca.
The text of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is available on the e-Laws website at: www.e-laws.gov.on.ca