How to raise residential rents in Ontario

Part of managing residential properties is to manage rent increases. Rent increases are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act of Ontario.

 

The 4 considerations include:

1. Should you raise rents?

In the case of small apartment buildings the amount of the rents will affect the value of the building. In the case of “short term rentals” (for example students) you may or may not want to raise the rent. Sometimes NOT raising the rent will provide incentives for the tenant to stay.

When it comes to real estate there are certain costs that increase every year. Therefore, your operating presumption should be to raise rents.

2. How often should you raise rents?

Residential tenancies in Ontario are governed by the Residential Tenancies Act. Ontario law allows you to raise the rent every twelve months. Ninety days written notice to the tenant  is required to raise the rent.

3. If you decide to raise rents, are you restricted in the amount you can raise the rent?

It depends when the building became a rental property.

Properties that became rental properties after November 30, 1991 are not subject to restrictions on rent increases – AKA rent control

Properties that were rental properties prior to November 30, 1991 are subject to a maximum rent increase which is determined by the government of Ontario.

4. How much should you raise the rent?

As a landlord you must function in a competitive market. You want to both retain good tenants but maintain the value of your investment. Use your common sense. Remember that the best rent is NOT necessarily your highest rent. That said, you must be thoughtful. Under no circumstances can you increase the rent more than once a year. If you don’t raise the rent, you will lose that rent increase.