RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 ("RTA") is the legislation that governs all residential tenancies in Ontario, regardless of whether or not the tenant pays market rent or receives a rent-geared-to-income subsidy. The RTA sets out the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants and created an adjudicative body called the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. Non-profit housing staff must simultaneously meet their responsibilities under the RTA as well as their responsibilities under other pieces of legislation, such as the Housing Services Act, 2011 and the Human Rights Code, 1990.
To assist staff and Board Members to better understand their roles, responsibilities, and obligations under the RTA, as well as those of their tenants, ONPHA has created RTA Online, an online education course.
It is vital that all non-profit housing staff be familiar with the RTA and its regulations (Ontario Regulation 516/06 and Ontario Regulation 517/06) and it is recommended that Board Members also familiarize themselves.
The Landlord and Tenant Board ("LTB")
As mentioned, the LTB is an adjudicative body that enforces the RTA. The LTB website contains helpful information for landlords and tenants. It outlines the steps that landlords and tenants must take in order to bring the other party before an Adjudicator at the LTB, as well as the forms that must be used. Further, the LTB website contains copies of select decisions made by the LTB in the past that can help you to prepare your case.
Have you appeared before an LTB Adjudicator
with an interesting or note-worthy case? Do you think other ONPHA
members would benefit by learning from your experience?
For more information visit the Housing Resources section of the ONPHA website. There you will find helpful information for members who have questions about the RTA, its application, and tips on taking your case to the LTB.
2014 Rent Increase Guideline
The 2014 Rent Increase Guideline is 0.8%. The Rent Increase Guideline is the amount that landlords are able to raise market rents without applying for special permission from the LTB; however, non-profit housing providers are exempt from this requirement.
The Rent Increase Guideline for 2013 is 2.5%, for rental increases that begin between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013.
Even though a non-profit housing provider can legally increase market rents above the rent increase guideline without making an application to the LTB, it may not make sense to do so. Depending on local rental market conditions, it may result in a vacancy loss in market units if tenants think they can get a better deal elsewhere. Also, if the non-profit is committed in its mission statement to house low-and moderate-income households, it may not want to have market rents track those in the area. As a result, it is recommended that non-profits increase their market rents by only the rent increase guideline each year.
If it is your policy to collect a last month's rent deposit from incoming tenants then this is also the amount of interest that will be payable to the tenant on that deposit each year.
Click here to see the Rent Increase Guideline for previous years and more information on calculating the interest owed on last month's rent deposits.