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Posts Tagged ‘Residential Tenancies Act’

RENTAL FAIRNESS ACT 2017
Amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006

The Rental Fairness Act was amended by the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario May 30 2017.

Refer to this link to access the amendment:   

http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/bills/bills_detail.do?locale=en&Intranet=&BillID=4755

NOTE – Here are 2 perspectives on the amendment:

1) FRPO Submission to the Standing Committee on General Government ~ Bill 124 ~
May 9, 2017

Refer to this link for the full article:
https://www.frpo.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/FRPO-Submission-to-Standing-Committee-on-General-Government-re-Bill-124-2017-05-09.pdf

2) ONTARIO’S NEW RENT RULE Get ready for a flood of AGIs (About Above Guideline Increases)
by L D Blake
June 29, 2017

Bill 124, the “Rental Fairness Act” (2017) have just achieved royal assent, becoming law.

Refer to the attachment for full details:  Ontario – New Rent Rules

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FMTA Response to Proposed Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act

In April 2016, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing released a consultation paper which discussed Proposals to Encourage Small Landlords to Provide Rental Housing.

FMTA was a core stakeholder in the process and provided feedback about proposals.  Although feedback on the proposals was originally due in late April, the government extended deadlines to June 30th in order to provide more time for feedback from tenants.

The FMTA Board is concerned that these proposals constitute the greatest attack on tenant rights since the Mike Harris government.  More importantly, there’s no evidence that these proposals will encourage small landlords to provide a single unit of housing.

Major Proposals:

1)      Require tenants to provide legal disclosure for any issues that they intend to raise at rental arrears eviction hearings to the landlord prior to the hearing.

2)      Explore whether any changes should be made to the process for tenants appealing decisions of the Landlord and Tenant Board to the Divisional Court

3)      Explore whether to allow landlords to terminate a tenancy based on violation of no-smoking provisions in tenancy agreements

4)      Explore whether to allow landlords to prohibit pets in tenancy agreements in small buildings where the landlord also resides

Concerns:

1)      There is no evidence that these proposals will create a single unit.  The FMTA asked for any quantitative evidence (a study/survey) that showed that these proposals would “encourage small landlords to provide rental housing”.  The Ministry didn’t have any.  In fact the Ministry provided no estimate of the number of units they expect to be created by these proposals.

2)      These proposals will encourage eviction of tenants. Three of the most concerning proposals (pre-disclosure of evidence, allowing landlords to prohibit pets, allowing eviction due to breeching a lease) can already lead to an eviction.  These proposals simply make it easier for landlords to evict.

3)      Lack of Fairness. Applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board are already dominated by landlords – 91% of all applications.  These proposals will make it harder for tenants to bring up counter applications and appeal to Divisional Court.

Better Options:

1)      Zoning.  Provincial changes to the Planning Act for second units came into effect on January 1, 2012.  Did these changes encourage small landlords to provide rental housing?  Evidence-based analysis would provide an answer.

2)      Licensing.  Many small landlords receive no training on the requirements and difficulties for running a rental housing business.  Licensing could help better prepare them.

3)      Standardized leases.  Many new, small landlords are shocked to find they cannot ban pets or smoking outright or that some fees included in their leases are illegal.  Standardized leases would help train landlords to understand and follow the law.

4)      Better law enforcement.  While good landlords follow the law in terms of repairs, charges and tenant rights, they face similar difficulties and penalties to landlords that flagrantly break the law.  Providing appropriate punishments for landlords who break the law and incentives for those who follow it could help spur rental housing growth.

Contact the Ministry!
Concerned about these proposals? The full list of changes can be found on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website. Public feedback can be sent to residential.tenancies@ontario.ca.

SOURCE:  Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association
http://www.torontotenants.org

Important note
FMTA Annual General Meeting –  Join the FMTA for the 42nd Annual General Meeting on Saturday June 18th, 2016 at 1pm.
Location: 120 Carlton St – Party Room. Corner of Jarvis and Carlton St. Closest station is College Subway.
Refer to this link for more details on the 2016 FMTA Annual General Meeting:  http://www.torontotenants.org/news/fmta-annual-general-meeting-2016

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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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UPDATE – Check this link for details related to the 2014 Annual Rent Increase as well as the Automatic Rent Reduction in 2014http://wp.me/pia0J-ZA

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Rents will be reduced in 2013 due to the decrease in municipal property taxes. The percentage amount that a tenant can reduce their monthly rent is 0.71%.  This means that tenants can look forward to a small reduction in their monthly rental payments effective December 31, 2012.

Tenants should note that they do not require permission from the landlord or the Landlord and Tenant Board to reduce their rent by 0.71%.  However, as a courtesy, you should discuss how the reduction will be done with your landlord.

More information about this decrease in property taxes and the reduction in rent has been mailed out by City of Toronto only to tenants who qualify for the reduction.  The rent reduction applies to tenants in residential properties. The properties excluded from the reduction include public housing, non-profit housing, non-profit co-operatives, etc.  For more details on how this reduction is to be applied and to see if you qualify for a rent reduction you should check these City of Toronto links:  http://www.toronto.ca/housing/tenant_notification.htm and  http://www.toronto.ca/housing/rentlowerfaq.htm,

You can also phone the City of Toronto hotline 311 for further clarification.

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NOTES

1. Additional information can be obtained from the Landlord and Tenant Board at TEL: 416-645-8080 or at their website: www.ltb.gov.on.ca

2.  The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) has posted a Q & A that provides clarification about the rent reduction. Check this link: http://www.torontotenants.org/news/automatic-rent-reductions-2013-questions-and-answers

IMPORTANT NOTICE ON LAST MONTH RENT (LMR) – The landlord must pay the tenant interest on the rent deposit every year. Under the Residential  Tenancies Act the interest charged on your last month’s rent will be equal to that year’s Annual Rent Increase Guideline amount. Landlords have the option to add that interest to your last month’s rent deposit or that interest can be applied as a reduction in your annual notice of a rent increase. Check this link: http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/Key_Information/STDPROD_098894.html

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UPDATE: A reduction in rent will also apply for the year 2013. For more details refer to this link: http://www.eastyorktenantsgroup.com/2012/12/13/automatic-rent-reduction-in-2013/
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The decrease in municipal property taxes will result in a reduction in rent for tenants in residential properties. This means that  tenants can look forward  to a small reduction in their monthly rental payments effective December 31, 2011.  Although the decrease in rent of 0.79% seems to be an insignificant amount most of us will welcome any reduction in rental payments in these troubled economic times. This modest decrease comes at an opportune time for tenants since the 2012 Rent Increase Guideline of 3.1% is a substantial increase compared to what was allowed in recent memory.

Tenants should note that they do not require permission from the landlord or the Landlord and Tenant Board to reduce their rent by 0.79%.  However, as a courtesy, you should discuss how the reduction will be done with your landlord.

Incidentally, not all residential properties are affected by this rent reduction. Information about this decrease in property taxes and the reduction in rent has been mailed out by City of Toronto only to tenants who qualify for the reduction.  The  properties excluded from the reduction include public housing, non-profit housing, etc.  For more details on how this reduction is to be applied and to see if you qualify for a rent reduction you should check:  http://www.toronto.ca/housing/rent-lower.htm.   For your convenience a sample calculation is provided at that website.  You can also phone City of Toronto hotline 311 if you have questions.

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NOTES
1.  The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations (FMTA) has posted a Q & A that provides clarification about the rent reduction. Check this link:  http://www.torontotenants.org/news/automatic-rent-reductions-2012-questions-and-answers
2. This reduction in rent is covered under Section 131 of the Residential Tenancies Act. Refer to this link:  www.ltb.gov.on.ca

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The 2011 Ontario Provincial election will take place October 6, 2011

At this time of fiscal constraints, inflation, jobless rate, environmental concerns and continuing economic uncertainties, the daily lives of many Ontarians are affected adversely.  In particular, many tenants seeking affordable housing face tough choices trying to keep a roof over their heads and feeding their families.  In this election it is critical that candidates seeking your support find creative (more…)

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In recent months there has been a noticeable increase of renovation and retrofitting activities in apartment buildings in the GTA. Most of these renovations are related to upgrades to promote energy conservation. Renovations include fixes to faulty plumbing and heating systems, installing smart sub-meters, and replacement of ageing balcony doors and windows for more energy efficient ones. While general repairs and renovations are long overdue in older buildings there are other newer buildings  undergoing (more…)

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The Annual Rent Increase Guideline and the Above Guideline Increase for 2010 have been announced. Much to no one’s surprise both rent increase guidelines are greater than those of 2009. The Annual Rent Increase Guideline has been raised from 1.8% to 2.1% and applies to a rent increase that begins any time between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. This annual increase is intended to cover the (more…)

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