Commercial, Government Relations

Ontario introduces new rent control law

7 Comments 16 January 2012

The Government of Ontario has introduced legislation that, if passed, would cap the annual Rent Increase Guideline at 2.5 per cent. The legislation, called Bill 19, Residential Tenancies Amendment Act (Rent Increase Guideline), 2011, would also ensure that the annual rent increase never falls below one per cent.

The province’s Rent Increase Guideline is a government policy that is in place to ensure price stability for tenants.

While the Government of Ontario has maintained that Bill 19 balances the needs of both tenants and landlords, the Federation of Rental Housing Providers (FRPO) disagrees.

In a release issued shortly after Bill 19 was introduced, FRPO CEO Vince Brescia argued that, “setting an arbitrary price ceiling fails to recognize that housing industry costs, like repairs and maintenance, are not subject to any price caps. The government is unilaterally imposing a cap without any discussion with an entire industry and is initiating a policy that will be particularly devastating for small landlords.”

Read a copy of their press release here.

OREA is opposed to rent control legislation. OREA President Barb Sukkau wrote the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Kathleen Wynne, noting that “while the current formula worked well in the past, recent economic conditions have caused fluctuations in the consumer price index hurting the economic circumstances of those who rent.  While we agree with that statement, it is equally true that recent fluctuations have also hurt landlords.  Their situation is expected to become even worse in future as electricity rates begin to rise dramatically.”

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7 Comments so far

  1. This legilsation will not affect rental units such as newer condominiums which are exempt from the rent control guideline.

    • Lyle McNair says:

      If the Landlord is the condominium owner, he/she/they will be under the same rent control restrictions as any other landlord, regardless of the age of the condo. But there are multi-residential high-rise properties that are purpose designed rental units, and there may be some exclusion built into the proposed legislation as a means of providing an incentive to property owners to continue to build rental housing units, something that is getting to be in short supply.

  2. Fred Mitchell says:

    Rent Controls out of control..My Pension increase over the past 5 Yrs.Has gone up .04%.Who is looking after us renters,and Pensioners By Asking that We Pay $26.a month increase,when times are rough and London is trying to get zerro % increase in Taxes? Thank You! Please responed as I will Persue this more thoroughly!

    • Lyle McNair says:

      There have been recent appeals to the federal and provincial governments to provide additional funding for rental housing; that’s because landlords are having difficulty getting investments in rental properties keep up with other forms of investment, so they choose not to build. In the end, if the supply is to be increased to meet demand, somebody is going to pay, either as increased rent, or as increased taxes. Price controls have never worked well in any economy, and they haven’t done so here either.

  3. Leo says:

    There are times when rent caps might make sense, but usually they don’t. If you limit the growth of the rental market, supply will decrease and the quality may too. Fair regulations for both landlords and tenants makes the most sense.

    http://www.mekler.ca/do-rent-caps-make-sense

  4. A says:

    Never mind a cap, there should be an outright freeze for like 4 or 5 years at least. And then a switch to dollar figure increases, not percent increases.

    Rent increases are slowly going exponential with compounded rent increases every single year, yet landlords cry poor and want unlimited increases. Low-income and middle income families in Toronto have a right to a decent home in a decent area as well.

    If landlords set modest and realistic expectations there is no reason they can’t make a profit without squeezing tenants dry. It’s just unbridled greed.


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  1. OREA Opposed to Rent Control Legislation | TRI-W Real Estate - January 9, 2013

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This post was written by who has written 49 posts on Ontario Real Estate Association Blog.

Matthew Thornton is OREA’s Manager of Government Relations. In that role he provides policy analysis, research, writing and strategic expertise to OREA’s Director of Government Relations and Government Relations Committee on legislation, policy and regulations that affect REALTORS® and the real estate industry. Matthew also manages all the government relations social media channels for the association. Prior to joining OREA, Matthew worked as a legislative intern at Queen’s Park in the Ontario Legislature Internship Programme. As an intern, Matthew worked for two backbench MPPs in government and on the opposition benches. Matthew is an active member of the Canadian Society of Association Executives and the Public Affairs Association of Canada. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario and recently completed his Certified Association Executive designation.