Ontario introduces new rent control law
The Government of Ontario has introduced legislation that, if passed, would cap the annual Rent Increase Guideline at 2.5 per cent. The legislation, called Bill 19, Residential Tenancies Amendment Act (Rent Increase Guideline), 2011, would also ensure that the annual rent increase never falls below one per cent.
The province’s Rent Increase Guideline is a government policy that is in place to ensure price stability for tenants.
In a release issued shortly after Bill 19 was introduced, FRPO CEO Vince Brescia argued that, “setting an arbitrary price ceiling fails to recognize that housing industry costs, like repairs and maintenance, are not subject to any price caps. The government is unilaterally imposing a cap without any discussion with an entire industry and is initiating a policy that will be particularly devastating for small landlords.”
Read a copy of their press release here.
OREA is opposed to rent control legislation. OREA President Barb Sukkau wrote the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Kathleen Wynne, noting that “while the current formula worked well in the past, recent economic conditions have caused fluctuations in the consumer price index hurting the economic circumstances of those who rent. While we agree with that statement, it is equally true that recent fluctuations have also hurt landlords. Their situation is expected to become even worse in future as electricity rates begin to rise dramatically.”