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Have you got a rent reduction notice yet?

It's that time of year again, when the City offers a small little gift for tenants throughout Toronto: rent reduction notices. According to a City of Toronto press release, "this year, 128,109 Toronto households are eligible for a rent reduction under provincial legislation because the property tax on their buildings has been lowered by more than 2.49 per cent during 2010."

That's good news, right? Well, mostly. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but don't count on saving a whole lot of money. Although a few properties do experience dramatic property value decreases, the average savings represented by these notices is around 60 bucks a year. Perhaps, more importantly, it's crucial to be aware that some landlords challenge these automatic reductions.

After we posted about the notices last year, a couple of commenters shared stories in which they were forced to return the funds that they initially saved. This obviously doesn't happen in most cases, but it's something to be aware of before one gets too celebratory about his or her $5 a month savings!

In light of this, here's a Q and A from the Federation of Metro Tenant's Associations (FMTA) that I think is more useful than the City's website. And, just in case you didn't get a notice but want to know if you're eligible, here's the City's list of property tax changes broken down by ward.


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