toronto rent

Toronto is considering barring landlords from raising rent between tenants

Toronto rent prices are expensive enough as it is without landlords jacking the cost up whenever they can, and various levels of government have been taking some steps lately — like looking at a new framework to stop renovictions — to ensure that the market stays reasonable for tenants.

The guideline for how much landlords in Ontario can increase rent annually for existing occupants, though it is going up next year in light of inflation, is a long-standing measure that ensures people don't get priced out of their homes. And, the city is now considering an additional similar rule to keep units affordable.

The executive director of the Toronto housing secretariat is this week putting forth a report to city council that suggests, among other things, placing a limit on how much landlords can raise the monthly price on a unit not only each year for the same tenants as per the provincial rule, but also between tenants; a "vacancy control" to complement our rent controls.

Currently, there is no cap on the latter, leaving landlords to price a unit at whatever they think they can feasibly get after a unit becomes vacant — an amount that keeps on going up, with average apartment in the city now at nearly $2,500 per month.

Landlords will surely not be a fan of the move if it actually happens, as it will keep their units below what they may see as market value, especially given that the upcoming change to the provincial rent increase guideline isn't on par with inflation (it's climbing from 1.2 to 2.5 per cent, rather than the 5.3 per cent it would be if it were to follow current inflation rates).

But as most Canadians can't keep up with the rapidly rising cost of absolutely everything right now amid said inflation, it is crucial keep this "market value" as fair for the people who live here — unlike the city's housing market, which, despite prices dropping somewhat in recent weeks, is still ludicrously overvalued and out of reach for most.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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