With rent in Ottawa continuously increasing, prices are reaching all time highs. If you have recently looked for a new place to stay, you are already familiar with the struggle of finding a suitable rental arrangement that’s within your budget. From high prices to an even higher demand, the Ottawa rental market is experiencing something it has never seen in the past.
Fortunately, if you are already living in a rental unit you can rest assured, as the provincial government sets a maximum amount a landlord can increase a tenants’ rent during a year. This applies to most private residential units covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. Keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to vacant residential units, social housing units, nursing homes or commercial properties.
For Ottawa, Ontario, the maximum a landlord can increase rent is 2.2% between January 1 and December 31, 2020.
A landlord can increase rent 12 months after the tenants move in date or from the last rent increase. Regardless if the landlord increased rent from the previous years, the rent increase can not go over 2.2%.
A tenant must be given written notice of a rent increase at least 90 days before it takes effect. That means if a landlord decided to suddenly increase the rent without properly notifying you, you will only be obligated to pay the rent amount before the increase. Only after 90 days after being given a written notice will a rent increase come into effect.
For example: On January 1, 2020 (12 months after you moved in), you noticed that your rent went from $1,000 to $1,022 (2.2% increase). You never received a notice regarding a rent increase; therefore, you will only be obligated to pay $1000 for your rent. Your landlord then provides you with a notice of rent increase on January 5, 2020, which only comes into effect after 90 days. That means you will only start paying the new rent amount ($1,022) starting April 4, 2020.
There are some exceptions to the maximum amount of rent increase, which will require the landlord to get approval from the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board. These exceptions include: if the landlords’ municipal taxes have increased an extraordinary amount, there have been significant renovations to the unit, or the landlords’ costs for security services have increased.
Are you a landlord in Ottawa? Contact us and find out how you can benefit from a property manager