My landlord is increasing my rent. What do I do?

Renting in Toronto is expensive, and on top of that, tenants have to contend with rent increases. It’s no secret that every year, the average rent that tenants pay in Toronto increases, and frankly, there’s no end in sight.

If your landlord or property manager has notified you that your rent will be increasing, here’s what to do:

  1. Get informed.

Your first stop is learning about the rules and regulations within the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act. Landlords are allowed to increase a tenant’s rent, but the rules are laid out in the Act as to when and how much. Generally speaking, the rule is that an increase of 3% over last year’s rent is allowed every year. Check the wording in the Act for more details.

  1. Compare.

Check to see what other units in your area are renting for. Be sure to compare apples to apples: check your apartment against apartments of a similar size, with similar renovations/upgrades and in buildings with similar amenities. You might find that your rent is lower than the area’s average. Knowing this, you’ll be able to decide whether to negotiate (see #3), move out to a less expensive rental, or whether you’re already in an apartment with a comparatively low monthly price for a great area.

  1. Negotiate.

In some cases, a landlord or property manager might be willing to forgo the rent increase in exchange for something else, such as repairs to the property, or for signing a longer lease. If you’ve been a great tenant, the landlord may not want to risk losing you and might settle for working out a new lease agreement with you. Be friendly when you negotiate and keep in mind that rent increases are basically the norm, so creating a win-win situation is the goal.

How have you dealt with rent increases in the past? Share your story below.

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Born on the Prairies, Erin Cardone grew up knowing there was more to life than canola fields and AAA Alberta Angus. So she escaped, living in Europe and Australia, white-knuckling it through plates of calf brains and raw horse meat, and learning languages she can't remember anymore. After a stint as a jaded, skeptical journalist, she changed tack and began writing rather awesome blogs and showing businesses that advertising is dead, so long live social media, with her businesses Legendary Social Media. She now splits her time between various Canadian cities, Costa Rica and wherever else the wind blows.

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