TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to strengthen protections for tenants by holding the rent increase guideline for 2024 at 2.5 per cent, well below the average inflation rate of 5.9 per cent. The rent increase guideline is the maximum amount a landlord can increase rent during the year for most tenants without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board.
The guideline is based on Ontario’s Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation calculated by Statistics Canada using data that reflects economic conditions over the past year. Under the Residential Tenancies Act, the guideline is capped at 2.5 per cent to help protect tenants from rising interest rates that would result in higher rent. Without the cap, the recent rate of inflation would have resulted in an increase of 5.9 per cent in 2024.
“Our government knows the cost of living continues to be a challenge for many Ontarians, including renters, which is why we are holding the rent increase guideline at 2.5 per cent,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “This decision builds on the historic tenant protections contained in our recent Helping Homebuyers, Protecting Tenants plan, and demonstrates our commitment to help tenants across the province.”
In 2022, Ontario broke ground on nearly 15,000 new purpose-built rentals, a 7.5 per cent increase from 2021 and the highest number on record. This year, rental starts across the province total more than 8,500 new units, which is a 77 per cent increase over January to May of 2022.
- The rent increase guideline applies to the vast majority – approximately 1.4 million – of rental households covered by the Residential Tenancies Act. It does not apply to rental units occupied for the first time after November 15, 2018, vacant residential units, community housing, long-term care homes or commercial properties.
- Rent increases are not automatic or mandatory. Landlords may only raise rent if they give tenants at least 90 days’ written notice using the correct form. At least 12 months must have passed since the first day of the tenancy or the last rent increase. If a tenant believes they have received an improper rent increase, they can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to request a correction.
- In most cases, the rent increase cannot be more than the rent increase guideline. Landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for above-guideline rent increases, under certain circumstances, such as after eligible capital work has been paid for and finished.
- Tenants who may need help to pay their rent are encouraged to contact their local service manager to see what housing supports are available in their community.
- Ontario has the highest maximum fines in Canada for residential tenancy offences. The province is doubling the maximum fines for offences under the Residential Tenancies Act (such as bad faith evictions) to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations.
SOURCE Province of Ontario