Is my rental unit under rent control?

As a Tenant in Ontario, you should know the rate your Landlord can increase your rent by. If you don't, you are too naive.

Author: Openroom HQ

Published: Wednesday, August 2, 2023 | Updated: Wednesday, August 2, 2023

What in the world is 'rent control'?

Rent Control is a tool used by the government to minimize the chances of a Landlord from increasing the rent beyond a reasonable amount within a specific time period - typically a year. The government determines 'reasonable' amount as a percentage increase that is correlated with inflation and other national trends.

For example, for the 2024 year in Ontario, the Landlord can only increase rent by a 2.5% of the current rent amount paid by the Tenant in a 12 month period. However, this only applies if to a ‘rent controlled’ rental unit.

What is a ‘rent controlled rental unit’?

Any residential rental unit within the 2006 Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) that is built before November 15, 2018.

To be exempt, the residential rental unit must be a new building or addition was first occupied for residential purposes after November 15, 2018. As a tenant, you should ask your Landlord and do your research on your unit to determine the date of first possible residential occupation date.

Example - Landlord rents a new condo building starting February 1, 2021

New condo buildings that completed construction after November 15, 2018 will not be rent controlled and technically, the Landlord can increase rent by any amount they wish to do so by issuing an [N2 - Notice of Rent Increase Unit Partially Exempt]( of Rent Increase & Instructions/N2.pdf) with 90 days' notice.

If a Tenant does not pay the amount requested by the Landlord, a Landlord could apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to request for an eviction.

Yes, it is absurd if you’re all settled in and the Landlord requests a 200% increase in rent all of a sudden. Until further notice from the government, unfortunately, this is how it is.

The last 33 years' rent increase guidelines

Back in 1991 and 1992, the rent increase went as high as 5.4% and 6.0%, respectively.

That could be quite a lot for some paying for detached houses in today’s market.

Fast forward to 2021, the rent increase was 0.0% due to the COVID-19 pandemic setting the world to a halt. Now, coming to 2023 and 2024, both years are set to 2.5%. Overall, the rent increase rate seems to be trending downwards but only time will tell if that will still remain the case if inflation isn’t curbed.

Dive deeper on your own

Check if your unit is exempt or not by first reading Residential Rent Increases. If you’re still unsure, call the Landlord and Tenant Board to confirm.

Tribunals Ontario – Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves: disputes between residential landlords and tenants, and eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives. The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Phone 416-645-8080 | Toll-free 1-888-332-3234

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST

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A little extra guidance for you

If you’re just about to sign a lease agreement, browse through the Guide to Ontario’s Standard Lease Agreement.

If you're in need of further clarification, we surfed the net for 7 Free Resources for Tenant Rights & Legal Assistance just for you.

It doesn't hurt to know a tad bit more about the complex rental ecosystem in Ontario. What are you waiting for? Get on it!

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