New legislation to reduce rent hikes

Archived Release

New legislation to reduce rent hikes

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Misnamed "Tenant Protection Act" to be replaced by real protection TORONTO, April 20 - The McGuinty government will introduce legislation to suspend the automatic two per cent base portion of annual rent increases for tenants in 2005, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen announced today. If passed, the legislation will provide a "time out" while the government consults with tenants and landlords on replacing the previous government's misnamed "Tenant Protection Act." "The current law has neither protected tenants from excessive rent increases, nor spurred the development of sufficient new rental accommodation. Decent and affordable rental housing is fundamental to the strength and well-being of our communities," Gerretsen said. "By developing legislation that provides real, balanced protection to both tenants and landlords, and encourages new rental housing, we can improve the quality of life in our communities." The proposed amendment will be introduced this spring, and, if passed, means rent increases for 2005 would be based solely on the Rent Control Index, a formula which takes into account increases in operating costs faced by landlords. Currently, landlords are automatically allowed to increase rents by two per cent plus 55 per cent of the Rent Control Index. Consultations to replace the current Act will commence immediately with a view to placing legislation before the House this fall. Ontarians can provide their views through town hall meetings, e-consultation and stakeholder meetings until June 15, 2004. More information about the consultation is available at www.rentreform.ontario.ca. "Nearly one-third of Ontarians are tenants who depend on a healthy rental housing market," said Brad Duguid, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We need to hear from them, and from their landlords, to ensure that the new Act is fair, balanced, and contributes to building stronger communities, with a quality of life that is second to none." Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- NEW LEGISLATION TO REDUCE RENT HIKES Misnamed "Tenant Protection Act" to be replaced by real protection The McGuinty government announced today a proposed "time out" on the automatic annual two per cent base increase for rents and launched the Rent Reform consultation. The consultation begins today and runs until Tuesday, June 15, 2004. The consultation includes 10 town hall meetings, an e-consultation and stakeholder meetings. Brad Duguid, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (Urban) will represent Minister Gerretsen at these meetings. Annual Rent Increase Guideline The annual rent increase guideline is the annual amount by which a landlord can increase a residential tenant's rent without making an application to the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal. The current formula consists of a base rate of 2 per cent plus an increase based on operating cost increases. The operating costs include heat, water, hydro, municipal property taxes, insurance, maintenance, administration and miscellaneous costs. The government is proposing to amend legislation to remove the 2 per cent base as an interim measure while consultations proceed on the Tenant Protection Act. Consultation Materials To assist Ontarians in providing their feedback, the government has produced three documents: Residential Tenancy Reform Consultation Paper, the Residential Tenancy Reform Executive Summary and the Residential Tenancy Reform Questionnaire. The questionnaire is a concise, plain-language brochure that briefly summarizes all the issues. The consultation paper and executive summary also include a copy of the questionnaire. These documents detail options for improving the following areas: - rents for new tenants; - annual rent increase guideline; - rents and utility costs; - maintenance and rent increases; - regional decontrol (lifting rent controls in areas where there are high vacancy rates); - interest on rent deposits; - dispute resolution between tenants and landlords; - making landlords and tenants aware of their rights and responsibilities; and, - demolition and conversion of rental housing. People who wish to participate in the consultation are encouraged to read the executive summary or the consultation paper before completing the questionnaire. The questionnaire is also available in Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese. All publications are available in paper format at Publications Ontario, 416-326-5300, or toll-free at 1-800-668-9938, and at all Government Information Centres. Town Hall Meetings Town hall meetings are open to everyone. All locations are accessible. These meetings will include a presentation about the options presented in the consultation paper and executive summary followed by a question and answer session. There will be an open house from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. prior to each town hall meeting. Ministry staff will be available to answer questions and provide copies of the publications. Details of the meetings will be publicized in local newspapers, the ministry website and are available by calling the toll-free number 1-866-751-8082. They are: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ LOCATION DATE ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Kitchener/Waterloo Thursday, April 29 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ GTA East (Scarborough) Thursday, May 6 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sudbury Monday, May 10 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ London Thursday, May 20 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ GTA Central (Downtown) Monday, May 31 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Ottawa Wednesday, June 2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Kingston Thursday, June 3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Thunder Bay Wednesday, June 9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hamilton Monday, June 14 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ GTA West (Mississauga) Tuesday, June 15 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ E-consultation Ontarians can provide their feedback online at www.rentreform.ontario.ca. The webpage includes information on how to participate, online and consultation materials that can be downloaded, details about town hall meetings, an online questionnaire and a media room. The questionnaire can be completed online in English and French. The deadline for submissions regarding the proposed changes is Tuesday, June 15, 2004. Disponible en français For more information visit www.mah.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Patti Munce, Minister's Office, (416) 585-6333; Sonya Rolfe, Market Housing Branch, (416) 585-7398 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Patti Munce, Minister's Office, (416) 585-6333; Sonya Rolfe, Market Housing Branch, (416) 585-7398