There are new rent control changes in Ontario! The PC government just recently announced that any newly built units in Ontario that were previously unoccupied will not be under the control of any rent increase legislation from November 16, 2018 onwards. This will basically have the effect of splitting the market in two for rental units! Pre-November 16, 2018 units with very controlled rental increases and Post-November 16, 2018 units with no control as all!
This announcement certainly came as a surprise after the premier of Ontario campaigned on keeping rent controls in place leading up to the election. He’s even specifically quoted on the Ontario PC government’s website saying just that:
“I have criss-crossed the province, and from one corner to the other, the people of Ontario have told me they are struggling. I have listened to the people, and I won’t take rent control away from anyone. Period. When it comes to rent control, we’re going to maintain the status quo.”
So clearly that promise wasn’t taken to heart…
Obviously this is a heated topic, with people taking stances on both sides of the fence, but I wish there was an approach that married the views of tenants and landlords. After all, tenants want stability and reasonable annual increases, while landlords want to be able to keep up with being able to increase annual costs that come in the form of maintenance, tax, insurance and other expenses, all of which rent increases help to cover.
It seems naive to think that an annual prescribed provincial rent increase amount should cover all rental units in the entire province, no matter whether they are in a bustling or dying town. After all, 2018’s maximum allowable rent increase amount of 1.8% may be high for a northern Ontario town like Wawa, but extraordinarily low for a place like downtown Toronto. I realize sectioning Ontario into parts with different rental increase amounts would be extra work for the government, but wouldn’t it me more fair for Ontario landlords and tenants? Nobody wants tenants to struggle because of unexpectedly huge surges in rent, but nobody wants dilapidated units either, caused by landlords not having enough rental funds to justify improvements to a unit. There has to be a better balance.
Just my two cents…
In the end however, these are the new rules, so think carefully if you’re a landlord or a tenant about how these new rules will affect you and what choice you want to make about real estate in the future! As always, reach out to us directly to get more info on real estate in the downtown Toronto core.