I get this question TOO often and I find it strange that so many people, even people actively involved in the industry, don't know about it. When I started investing in rental properties, my biggest fears were
1. having a professional-tenant (one of those tenants that knows all the ins and outs of the law to benefit himself or get away with not paying rent for a couple of weeks) and...
2. a tenant taking me to court!
I figured the only way to avoid this, or at least reduce the risk of such, was to learn as much as I could about the Landlord and Tenant Regulations in Ontario. So I went and bought myself a book used in law courses about Tenancies at Algonquin College. And oh boy...it was a very heavy book!
So, going back to our initial question.....can Landlords increase rents over the guideline? The answer is...A LOT OF THEM CAN! Many landlords and tenants are under the false impression that they are regulated or protected, in the case of tenants, by rent control regulations which are established by the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board (http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca/en/key_information/STDPRO....) and this is not the case with everyone.
Most older properties fall under the rent control regulation, however, because of a policy decision made to encourage developers to build rental units, and increase the supply of rental accommodation available in Ontario back in the 90s, any unit built or introduced into the rental market after November 1, 1991 is NOT regulated by the RENTAL GUIDELINE.
Get the right info! Knowledge is POWER....and this rule has a big impact when purchasing an investment property but should be something that tenants should consider too, when renting.
For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org