The bad news is that your rent might be going up, but the good news is that it’s not going to go up as much as it could have. According to the Government of Ontario, the province’s rent increase guideline for 2023 will be set at 2.5 per cent, meaning that’s how much your landlord might be able to raise your rent by without getting approval from the Landlord and Tenant Board, but hey, it could have been 5.3 per cent.
“As Ontario families face the rising cost of living, our government is providing stability and predictability to the vast majority of tenants by capping the rent increase guideline below inflation at 2.5 per cent,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark in a statement. “We continue to look for ways to make homes more attainable for hardworking Ontarians, while making it easier to build more houses and rental units to address the ongoing supply crisis.”
The guideline is based on Ontario’s Consumer Prize Index, which is a measure of inflation calculated by Statistics Canada over the past year. Obviously, if you’ve been following the news, the rapid increase in the inflation rate has been top of mind for many Canadians. In fact, it was barely a week ago that Stats Can released the update saying that the 12-month change in the CPI is 7.7 per cent as of May. Because of this big bump in inflation, the guideline might have posted a potential maximum increase of 5.3 per cent.
Now rent increases are not automatic or mandatory, but the guidelines do apply to the vast majority of rental units in Ontario, which is some 1.4 million households. The guidelines do not apply to any rental units occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018 as well as vacant residential units, community housing, long-term care homes or commercial properties. If your rent does go up, landlords have to give tenants 90 days written notice using the correct form, and at least 12 months need to have passed since the last increase.
Now the tenor of the media release from the government makes it seem like this is good news, but the official opposition party is not taking it that way.
“People are squeezed more than ever before, and the cost of ever-rising rents in Ontario is a big part of the stress,” said University-Rosedale MPP Jessica Bell in a statement. “It’s dead wrong for Doug Ford to greenlight a rent hike right now. And let’s not forget that Ford already eviscerated rent controls on rental units built after 2018, leaving many households facing unlimited rent hikes.”
The NDP, the Liberals and the Green Party all promised to bring in rent control during the recently completed election campaign.