What to do if your landlord asks for a rent increase

Whoever said only two things are certain in life was wrong. Three things are certain: death, taxes and rent increases. It’s very likely that your Toronto landlord will inform you that rent is increasing in the coming year.

Rent increases in Ontario are regulated by provincial law and there’s a cap on how high the increase can go. Your landlord, though, is within his or her rights to increase your rent every 12 months.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you get the news.

Make sure it’s within the proper guidelines

Rental increases must fall within a certain limit, depending on the rate outlined by the provincial government. This limit is different every year, and for 2017 it will be 1.5%. If your rent increase exceeds this rate, have a conversation with your landlord. You can show him/her the provincial law in order to stay within the limits. It’s always best to check with the government every year about rental increases, because they are variable. Never hurts to know what you may be in for!

Make sure it’s only once every 12 months

Landlords are only allowed to increase rent every 12 months, and only after the last rental increase or after a tenant first moves in. No matter what happens, you’ll get an entire year at the price you agreed to when you moved in initially. In addition, your landlord must give you 90 days’ notice prior to any rent increase – and give it to you in writing.

Get that writing

All rent increases must be issued with a notice of rent increase, essentially a letter that lets you know that the rent is increasing. If you landlord doesn’t supply this to you, it may not be legally binding. Just like any other transaction, you need to be notified beforehand and papers detailing the change need to be written up.

Always remember that being informed is in your best interest when it comes to dealing with your landlord. When you know the rules, you’ll also know what to expect so that rent increase won’t come as a surprise. It also leads to a fair and honest relationship between you and your landlord, which will help keep both of you happier!

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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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