Archive for the ‘Rent Increase Guideline’ Category

Will There Be An End To The Rent Exemption That Removes Rent Control From Nearly All Rental Units Built After 1991?

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

OLA campaign 1

We Want To Hear From The Small Landlord Community. The Ontario Landlords Association Will Be Making a Submission to the Ministry Sharing Your Thoughts & Concerns on a Bill Which Could End the Exemption That Allows Rental Properties To Avoid Rent Control If The property Was Built After 1991

Real estate prices have appreciated greatly in Toronto and the GTA over the past several years. And it looks like property prices will continue rising in 2017.

With these rising property prices, many areas have also seen rising rents. This has led to politicians looking to make changes in how the residential landlord-tenant system works in Ontario.

Why are rents rising?

It’s because most of the new rentals on the market are due to the investments of hard working and risk taking small landlords and investors. These are often working people who invest in a “income property” as a nest egg to help their financial future.

With costs rising these small landlords need to charge rents that cover their costs of owning the property. With prices rising, they also have to spend more buy the property. As they are also small business people they have invested with the goal of attaining at least some sort of profit.

Who are these Ontario landlords?

Many of these investors/landlords are people like you reading here. They are people who have jobs and are working very hard to build for their retirement.

They save their money, and invest…taking a risk to provide high quality rental properties for tenants with the hopes of a fair and decent return.

These investors/landlords include teachers, fire-fighters, police officers, dentists, contractors, secretaries, nurses, truck drivers, small business owners, retirees, etc.  These are the people who make up the OLA community.

These investors and landlords are not rich corporations hoping to build their share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

What changes are being proposed?

An NDP member has put forward a private member’s bill that will end the rent control exemption for rental properties that were built after 1991. The NDP claims this exemption puts tenants at risk and is putting many people who rent in a difficult situation.

What is the 1991 exemption all about?

We have written about the 1991 rent exemption before. In fact, before the OLA began discussing this it was rarely mentioned in the media and few people even knew about it. As with so many aspects of the rental business in Ontario after the OLA began discussing the issue it became well-known and a “hot issue”.

Why is this such a hot issue now?

It’s because rents are increasing. A Global News report said the average rent for a Toronto condo is now over $2000/month. So many tenants are justifiably concerned about rent increases and being able to afford being able to stay in their rental property.

What Do OLA Members Say?

Our landlord community consists of landlords all over Ontario.  And we have owners of all types of rentals.  These range from condos to basement apartment rentals to duplexes and even larger buildings.

The issue of rent control has been a big issue for our community for years. When this latest development was announced landlords were quick to begin to share their thoughts and concerns.

Here are some of the thoughts and points of discussion in our busy member forum.

(1) This is a Business And I Need To Keep Up With Costs

Many landlords worry about being able to cover their costs. They aren’t out to “gouge” tenants (as successful landlords know how valuable good tenants are). If rents can’t be raised to cover costs it will lead to financial hardship, especially for small landlords.

Others stated that landlords take a risk when buying a property to rent out and our investments are important to the Ontario economy. As they are running a “business” they need some flexibility in how they operate.

An Ottawa landlord said investors like her  fund the construction industry and the building trades. We hire property managers and provide business to real estate agents.

We are also the people who are providing new rental accommodations. Changing the rules for rent control will impact jobs and the entire Ontario economy.

(2) I Bought My New Build Rental Property Because of the 1991 Exemption

Many new landlords who bought condos are shocked at the news that they may be covered by rent control.

One new condo investor wrote that if the exemption is stopped she will never ever trust this government again.

(3) My Rentals Aren’t in Downtown Toronto and If I Raise Rents Too High Tenants Will Just Move

Some landlords think the government is too focused on the situation in Toronto and not aware of how things work in the rest of Ontario where real vacancy rates are not that low. A Barrie landlord said while having the freedom to cover costs is important, if she raises rents too high her tenants will simply move.

(4) The 1991 Exemption Is Unfair To Landlords With Older Rental Properties Because The Rent Increase Guideline is Far Too Low

Many members of our Ontario landlord community own older homes. A Newmarket landlord said he buys older homes, invests his hard earned money to fix them, renovates them, makes them attractive, and then rents them out. He wonders why are these landlords punished with an extremely low annual rent increase guideline that is capped?

(5) Let’s Get Rid of Rent Control for All Rental Properties in Ontario Whatever the ‘Age’ of the Property

Some members of our community believe the real solution is to end rent control for all Ontario rental properties. This would lead to a lot more investment into rentals. This would give tenants more options and good landlords with great rental properties would be able to invest more with confidence.

Proposal To End the Rent Control Exemption on Properties Built After 1991

It seems so simple at first glance. The headlines are all about tenants who are being priced out of their rental property as rents rise.

In reality it’s more complicated.

The issue of rent control and rental properties requires serious research and the input of all stake-holders.

And small landlords are key stake-holders and our voices need be heard.

The Concerns From Tenant About Ridiculous Rent Increases Is a Serious Issue

Many of our members rented before and are concerned about the challenges tenants can face with a ridiculously high rent increase.  The problem is legislation covering both large corporate landlords and small landlords will hurt the ‘small players’ who take tenant concerns seriously.

For example one of our members wrote “Good tenants are the key to success as a landlord and investor.  I haven’t even raised rents on my good tenants for the past three years because I value them!”

Another landlord said: “Okay, make it fair for all rentals of all ages but make the annual rent increase more reasonable because now it’s far too low!”

Improving the Ontario Rental Industry to Benefit Landlords and Tenants

The stakes are high as any knee jerk media friendly policies could seriously impact the Ontario rental industry in a very negative way.  This will hurt both good landlords and good tenants.

Bad policy decisions based on media click-bait stories can lead to very bad results for landlords and for tenants. It’s important the government meets with all stake-holders before such an important policy decision is made.

We will make a submission to the province and want to hear your landlord and tenant concerns about rent control.  Contact us at landlordfairness@lobbyist.com.

We will make sure your voices are heard.

Any new policies regarding rent control need to be part of a much larger overhaul of the Residential Tenancies Act and the Landlord and Tenant Board. Let’s improve the Ontario rental industry for tenants and small landlords who have invested in properties.

Ontario Rent Increase Guideline 2015

Friday, June 20th, 2014

 Rent Increase Guideline 2015 Ontario

Ontario Landlords Can Raise the Rent 1.6% in 2015

With the cost of running a rental property rising Ontario landlords know raising rents to keep up with increasing expenses is important.

Each year the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces what is called the ‘Rent Increase Guideline.’

What Is the Rent Increase Guideline?

This informs residential landlords how much they can raise the rent on tenants.

How Does It Inform Landlords on Raising the Rent?

It’s tells you what the cap is for any increases of rent on your tenants. You can’t raise the rent more than the cap unless you apply and get it approved at the Landlord and Tenant Board.

When Does The 1.6% Rent Increase Cap Start?

This will starting on January 1st, 2015 and end on December 31st, 2015.

How Was The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline for 2015 Calculated?

It’s calculated by measuring inflation.

This measurement comes from data provided by Statistics Canada which creates the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

An Increase of Only 1.6% Is Too Low! My Costs are Much Higher!

Many small residential landlords in Ontario agree with you.

The Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI) upon which the Guideline is based does not include many inflation factors that small landlords face. The formula needs to change.

For example, BC landlords also have an annual rent increase guideline.

However, the government there understands the financial pressures landlords face and the limits of the basing the rent increase on CIP. This means they will take the CPI and also add another 2% to come up with British Columbia Rent Increase Guideline.

Some provinces encourage investment in residential rental properties by not even having this type of rent control.

Alberta landlords can raise the rent according to the market as long as they provide their tenants with proper notice.

Are All Ontario Residential Rental Properties Covered by Rent Control?

No. Some Ontario properties are exempt and don’t have to follow the cap. These are rental buildings built before November 1991.

But around 85% of rentals in Ontario are covered.

Rent Increase Guideline 2015 – With another low cap for rent increases it’s important Ontario Landlords choose good tenants for your rental properties.

Make sure you screen your tenants carefully and always run a tenant credit check to make sure you know who you are renting to.

Ontario Housing Ministry on the Rent Increase Guideline for Ontario Landlords

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

 

Answers to Questions about Rent from Ontario Landlords Association Members

Ontario’s annual Rent Increase Guideline is released pursuant to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) – the legislation that governs rental housing in Ontario.  We believe this legislation balances the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants.

Ontario’s annual Rent Increase Guideline is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Ontario – an objective and transparent measure that is calculated by Statistics Canada.

The 2012 Rent Increase Guideline is 3.1%.  This guideline applies to a rent increase that begins any time between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 and applies to most residential units in Ontario.  However, other provisions of the RTA allow only one rent increase every 12 months, and require at least 90 days advance notice to tenants of a rent increase. (more…)

The 2013 Ontario Rent Increase Guideline is 2.5%

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

June 23nd, 2012

How Much Will I be Able to Raise the Rent in 2013?

The guideline for 2013 is 2.5 per cent.  For example, if the rent is $1,000 the amount you can increase the rent is $25.

How Was this Increase Calculated?

In Ontario the yearly Rent Increase Guideline is a calculation based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.  This Index is managed the federal government’s Statistics Canada.

With All the Increases in My Costs, It Feels Too Low

The amount should have been 2.6% except there is a recent new law capping annual increases in Ontario to a maxium of 2.5%

Even 2.6% Is Too Low for Me to Recover My Costs

Agreed.  There is a lot of debate going on amongst landlords regarding changing the rent increase formula to add more weight to costs landlords’ face.  This issue has already been brought up by the OLA to MPPs and candidates in ridings across Ontario.

What Types of Property Does the Guideline Cover?

The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline applies to most of the  private residential rental accommodation covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA).

It’s important to note this guideline does not apply to

  • Residential units which are vacant
  • Residential rental units first occupied on or after November 1st, 1991
  • Units which are Social housing units
  • Units which are used as Nursing homes
  • Commercial properties

How Do I Give My Tenants a Rent Increase?

Usually the rent for a unit can be increased if the following situation exists.  At least 12 months must have passed since a tenant first moved in, or, if at least one year has passed since the last rent increase.

Please note, your tenants must be given proper written notice of a rent increase.  Proper notice means at least 90 days before the rent increase takes effect.

Can You Provide Me With a Clear Example?

Let’s say the monthly rent for your house is $1,000 beginning August 1, 2012.

With proper notice (written 90 days notice to the tenant), you could lawfully increase the rent 12 months later on August 1, 2013.

Let’s put that another way:

  • The Ontario guideline for 2013 is 2.5%.
  • The rent increase is 2.5% of $1,000 = $25.
  • This means the new rent on August 1, 2013 could be up to $1025 ($1000 + $25).

You find out more and add your opinions in the Ontario Landlords Advice Forum.