More Changes under Ontario's Fair Housing Plan - Sept 2017

On April 20, 2017 The government of Ontario passed the Fair Housing Plan which sets out the following major protections for tenants:

1. Expanding rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991.

This creates one system of rent control in Ontario and brings 100,000's of units under rent control. The FMTA has been working on ending the two-tiered system of rent control since our founding in 1977.  

The provision took effect retroactively from April 20. This means that rent increases will be indexed to the provincial guideline which is 1.5% for 2017 and is going to be 1.8% for 2018.

 

2. Developing a standard lease

This has been a main FMTA campaign since 2012 and will prevent a host of illegal charges and provisions for tenants throughout the Province. 

Consultations on a standardized lease are currently underway  and more information can be found at:

http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=24856&language=en 

 

3. Tightening provisions for "landlord's own use" evictions

 

Our members in Toronto and allies around the Province in Ottawa, St. Catherines, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay and other municipalities have highlighted this as an issue of major importance with tenants facing constant abuse.  We're excited to see provisions brought in to protect against 'bad faith' evictions. These provisions came into effect on September 1, 2017.

 

Thus, an eviction notice served (given) to a tenant for Landlord’s Own Use on or after September 1, 2017 (provided it is legally valid) will follow the new rules. An eviction notice for Landlord’s Own Use served  before September 1, even if the date the tenant has to move is after September 1, still follows the old rules.

 

Under the new rules, a landlord must compensate a tenant who is being asked to move out for landlord or purchaser’s own use, with either one (1) month’s rent or provide their tenant with a comparable unit. It is not clear as yet in what way the compensation will be paid out.

The new rules also create a situation where a landlord  must prove that they genuinely plan on moving in.

For more information, please look at the following links:

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2017/08/31/landlords-can-no-longer-evict-tenants-without-compensation.html

 

Or:

 

http://stepstojustice.ca/common-question-plus/housing-law/my-landlord-trying-evict-me-so-they-or-their-family-can-move-my?utm_source=CLEO+Email+Newsletter&utm_campaign=57f331d941-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_02_27&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d3ebfd2663-57f331d941-67077037

 

4. Prohibiting above-guideline increases where elevator work orders have not been completed

 

Reform to legislation that allows for Above Guideline Rent Increases is one of the most common demands we here from tenants in Toronto.  We are happy to see landlords restricted from getting tenants to pay for improving their asset and are hopeful that other changes get brought in to further limit a landlords ability to pass these costs along to tenants while keeping high profits and claiming a tax reduction for the work that tenants pay for.

 

5. Actions to Increase Housing Supply

 

By far the most important need in the Province is increased supply of rental housing in general and affordable housing specifically.  Many of the provisions today will help protect tenants in the short term, but the only way to tackle affordability in the long-term would be to increased supply of housing which would create more options for low-income tenants to afford.  Any actions to increase supply are positive, but investment such as that which was done in the 1970's - 90's by the Federal Government is key.

 

Recently, the provincial government announced plans to unlock land in Toronto to create 2000 market rent and affordable rental units. An article with more information can be found here:

 

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/09/13/toronto-to-build-2000-market-rent-and-affordable-units.html

 

To keep up-to-date on changes to the law or to get help with tenant questions, please call our Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494. Also, please refer to our

Q&A about the recent changes to the law, a vailable at:

 

https://www.torontotenants.org/news/questions-and-answers-ontarios-fair-housing-plan