Ontario province’s rent freeze is going to expire on 1st January 2022. Landlords have already started notifying tenants regarding next year’s rent increases. It is expected that tenants living in rent-controlled buildings will pay 1.2 per cent rent from the next year.
It is the maximum allowed rent increase according to the provincial guidelines. Tenants should receive a 90-day notice before the rent increases. People occupying rental units for more than a year will face rental increment this year.
It is going to be a tough situation for tenants, who are still not recovered from the loss of income due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
Dania Majid, who is Advocacy Center for Tenants Ontario’s staff lawyer, has expressed her concerns regarding rental increases. She has said that numerous tenants may face financial issues because landlords will certainly charge more for renting their property.
Many people have already started negotiating new rent. Even though tenants’ wages went down due to the pandemic, they will have to somehow manage to spend more on rent.
It will take more time to recover from the income loss and rent increase will seem like an unbearable financial burden in such situations.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. had disclosed that about 11% of rental households couldn’t pay the rent. People owe almost $55 million in rent in the Toronto region, which is one-third of the total amount owed in rent in Canada.
Most tenants in Ontario have paid their rents since the first lockdown. Some Landlords were also quite helpful for tenants, who couldn’t pay due to income loss, said Tony Irwin (president of the Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario).
He has also expressed his concerns for landlords, who have faced increased operating costs, such as insurance, taxes, and utilities. The new rent guidelines will help landlords in counterbalancing the increased operating costs. Many tenants will pay the increased rent for the first time if they are occupying the rental unit since 2019.
Tony believes landlords will help tenants, who cannot pay their rent. If someone is living in a non-rent controlled unit, that tenant won’t trouble due to rental increment. New rent control guidelines won’t apply to units built after 2018 and occupied for the first time , these units can be increased to whatever rate the landlord chooses. Many landlords will use this opportunity to charge more rent and gain more income from their properties.