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Posts Tagged ‘Annual Rent Increase Guideline’

UPDATE June 4, 2013 –  The NDP Municipal Affairs and Housing Critic Cindy Forster says the time has come to make renting in Ontario more affordable, by closing a rent increase loophole in the Residential Tenancies Act.  For more details please refer to this link:  Rent increase loophole must be closed,

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The Rent Control Guideline in the Residential Tenancies Act is once again under scrutiny.  It appears that this legislation does not protect tenants residing in newer buildings (either regular rental buildings or condos built after 1991) from exorbitant rent increases.

The existing legislation only applies to rental units that were built, or came on the market, after November 1991. Some observers are rightly referring to the rent control guideline in the Residential Tenancies Act as a ‘loophole’ or an ‘exemption’.

Given the low vacancy rate in the rental market, condo owners have seen this ‘loophole’ or ‘exemption’ as an opportunity to exploit renters. Many condo owners have opted not to live in their units and instead rent their units at rental rates way beyond what is outlined in the Residential Tenancies Act.  Based on the existing legislation, the hefty increase in rent is allowed since the condos were built after 1991.

In particular, rents in the downtown Toronto are being jacked up to pressure existing tenants to move and then the units are rented out to newer renters who pay the highly inflated rents.  The downtown condos tend to attract those who to live and work downtown close to certain amenities. In some quarters this situation is also being described as a ‘two-tiered system’. Refer to this link:  http://www.virtually-sold.com/component/content/387.html?task=view

Presently, the Rent Control Guideline is being debated at a Meeting of the Executive Committee at City Hall. A motion has been put before the Meeting of Executive Committee on May 28, 2013 by Councillors Anthony Perruzza and Josh Matlow to address this ‘loophole’ or ‘exemption‘.

Whether the Rent Control Guideline is viewed as a ‘loophole’ or ‘exemption’ all renters should be concerned about the direction this debate could lead.  The more troubling question to pose is “Will this debate lead to an end to rent control?” Refer to this article for views on the end to rent control: http://www.moneysense.ca/2013/04/29/end-of-rent-control/

Unless there are changes to the current Rent Control Guideline that will apply to all rental properties, many renters will struggle to survive in this tight economic climate.  They will either be forced to move out of the city and travel great distances for employment or remain in the city and become more impoverished.

Those who are concerned about this issue should do the following:

You can write a letter to Councillors on the Executive Committee to share your views. You can also register to speak at the committee – refer to this link: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.EX32.23.

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NOTE:  Check this link for more information on the legislation being debated by the Executive Committee:

Rent Controls in Ontario
http://www.ontariotenants.ca/rent-controls.phtml

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