rent freeze ontario

Ontario's year-long rent freeze is about to expire

It's been more than a year since the provincial government announced a rent freeze for 2021 in an effort to ease the financial burden of the pandemic on Ontario tenants, but that freeze is set to soon come to an end.

The province passed legislation to freeze rent at 2020 levels last year for the vast majority of rented units covered under the Residential Tenancies Act, and it will officially expire on Dec. 31. 

Starting on Jan. 1, 2022, landlords and property managers will once again be able to enforce rent hikes, and the province has set next year's maximum allowable increase at 1.2 per cent.

This means landlords cannot increase rents by more than this amount between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2022, unless given the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB).

Landlords must also provide written notice of the increase at least 90 days before it comes into effect, providing tenants with some advance warning before their monthly expenses rise at time when many are still struggling financially as a result of the pandemic.

"Rent increases are not automatic or mandatory," notes the province.

"Landlords may only raise rent if they gave tenants at least 90 days written notice using the correct form. In most cases, the rent increase cannot be more than the rent increase guideline."

"In addition, at least 12 months must have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase," the province continues. "If a tenant believes they have received an improper rent increase, they may dispute it at the LTB within 12 months."

The province encourages any tenants who may need help to pay their rent to contact their local service manager to see what housing supports are available in their community.

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