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How often can a landlord increase the rent?
Your landlord can only increase your rent once every 12 months. You must receive 90 days written notice before the increase.
When you rent a unit for the first time, the landlord decides the amount of rent you will pay and what services (e.g., hydro, parking) are included. Sometimes you can negotiate with the landlord what bills will be included in the rent but this is also often decided by the landlord. The amount of rent is based on current market prices but in Ontario, there are limitations to what a landlord may ask for rent.
The market price for a unit can be significantly higher than what the tenant before you paid. There is no maximum amount of rent that a landlord can charge a new tenant in a regular market rent apartment. Social, non-profit and student apartments may be different.
How much can my landlord increase the rent?
Once you have moved into a unit, the landlord must follow a rent control guideline. The Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing sets this guideline every year. The guideline limits how much your landlord can increase your rent that year.
In 2019, the limit is 1.8%.
In 2020, the limit will be 2.2%.
The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) must approve any increases above this percentage. For example, the LTB might approve a higher increase if your landlord has made large repairs or installed a security system.
NOTE: 2021 Rent Freeze
The Government of Ontario passed legislation to freeze rents at 2020 levels and will not increase in 2021 for the majority of rented units covered under the Residential Tenancies Act. This will be in effect until December 31, 2021.
The rent freeze applies to most tenants living in:
- rented houses, apartments and condos (including units occupied for the first time for residential purposes after November 15, 2018)
- basement apartments
- care homes (including retirement homes)
- mobile home parks
- land lease communities
- rent-geared-to-income units and market rent units in community housing
- affordable housing units created through various federally and/or provincially funded programs
For rent increases that will take effect in 2022, landlords can give proper 90 days’ notice beforehand.
Exceptions to this are:
- If special considerations increases were already approved by the Landlord and Tenant Board before October 1, 2020
- Tenants and landlords can still agree on rent increases in exchange for an extra service or facility (for example, air conditioning or parking).
Is my building rent controlled?
Under the Rental Fairness Act, 2017, any rent increases given to tenants must meet the annual rent increase guideline. Buildings constructed after November 1, 1991, are no longer excluded from this rule.
Read more about the recent changes to rental guidelines by the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
You can contact a legal clinic or housing help centre for more information. To find help in your area, go to Services Near Me.
For More Information
- Rent Increases - This guide explains how a landlord can increase a tenant's rent according to the Residential Tenancies Act. From Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).
- Landlord and Tenant Board - Provides information about the Residential Tenancies Act and how to resolve disputes between most residential landlords and tenants.
- What Tenants Need to Know About the Law - Topics covered include rent increases, deposits, and other charges, repairs and maintenance, privacy, moving out, and eviction. From Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).
June 10, 2021