Updates for Landlords and Tenants in January 2024
The rent control guideline rent increase for 2024 is 2.5%
Exempted properties include: New buildings, additions to existing buildings, new basement apartments rented for residential purposes for the first time AFTER NOVEMBER 15, 2018.
Other exemptions are: new tenancy agreements (upon turnover of tenancy), community housing units, long-term care homes and commercial properties (not subject to the Residential Tenancies Act).
It goes without saying that only residential tenancies, that are also not shared tenancies with the landlord (sharing a kitchen and or bathroom with tenant) are subject to the regulatory rules of the Residential Tenancies Act.
Recent changes apply to any eviction of a tenant for ‘no fault’ of the tenant. This is normally when the landlord serves an N12 Notice of Termination for Owners (or Purchaser’s) Use, and the N12 Notice of Termination for Repairs or Renovation/Destruction of unit that requires vacancy.
The notice must be given in good faith, and the landlord must pay the appropriate compulsory compensation to the tenant for having served the Notice of Termination before the termination date provided in the Notice form.
If a landlord is found to have provided a Notice of Termination for these purposes in ‘bad faith’ a tenant can file a T5 Application for Termination in Bad Faith and the landlord can be penalized for damages to the tenant and fined by the Landlord and Tenant Board.
The tenant can be awarded the difference between their old rent and new rent rate for up to 12 months, and up to 12 months of the last rent charged (by former landlord) and reasonable out-of-pocket moving, storage etc. expenses the tenant has inured or will.
We routinely see T5 Applications for Bad Faith granted in amounts of $15,000 – $25,000 or more. The jurisdictional limit of the Landlord and Tenant Board is $35,000 in damages.
A ‘bad faith’ application is defined by the actions of the landlord after the tenant has terminated their tenancy either willingly after being provided Notice (formal Notice or implied notice), by not carrying through with the actions contained in the Notice – that the landlord / their family member intends to move in for at least 12-months, or, they do not conduct the repairs/renovation/demolition and then do not offer the tenant the right of first refusal to move back into the unit.
An individual landlord could be fined up to $50,000 and a corporate landlord up to $250,000 however the average in Ontario is about $2,000 fine for individual landlords.
When a tenant is in arrears of rent and the landlord serves an N4 Notice of Termination for Non-Payment of Rent, the Act encourages that the landlord offer an opportunity for the tenant to make a re-payment plan to catch up the arrears to avoid termination.
When a landlord and tenant make an agreement through a Resolutions Officer when an L1 Application for Termination hearing is scheduled the agreement can form a binding order that can be enforced if a tenant breaches the terms of the repayment plan by the landlord filing an Application for an administrative Order of Termination to be issued.
Landlords must use the Ontario Standard Lease Agreement created by the provincial government in March 2017. If a landlord fails to do so any non-conforming lease agreement may be found to be unenforceable both at the Landlord and Tenant Board and by the Superior Court of Justice.
Link to the Ontario Standard Lease Agreement:
A tenant that is not provided with an Ontario Standard Lease Agreement or a copy of a signed lease, they can withhold one-months rent. (conditions apply), and can also thereafter end your fixed-term lease early by serving the landlord an N9 Tenant’s Notice to End the Tenancy.
It is important for both landlords and tenants to understand their duties, obligations and rights under the Residential Tenancies Act.
SW Legal Services PC has over 15 years of experience representing landlords and tenants at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
We have strategies and tactics to maximize the success of all forms of Applications at the Landlord and Tenant Board for landlords and tenants.
We often hear from landlords who have grown frustrated with having their Applications for termination dismissed by the Landlord and Tenant Board for clerical and or technical errors. This can cost a landlords thousands of dollars in lost rent or productivity, and even lose out of the sale of the property and the gains that would have come with it. Don’t make the same mistakes and then come to us for help. Get the right advice before you start the termination process.
Tenants are often subject to improper termination processes initiated by their landlord when the true intention of the landlord is to get a new tenant at a significantly higher rate then current rent subject to rent controls. Don’t allow your landlord or the regulatory system to intimidate you. Get professional representation.