This year the Ontario government put the cap on rent increases at 1.2 per cent for 2022, and all rent-controlled properties must adhere to Ontario's law and not go above that, unless they request an exception — and rent increases are not automatic or mandatory.
In order to be considered for an exception, landlords must apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for approval to raise the rent by more than the rent increase guidelines set out by the province and is granted permission.
Examples of an exception include after major capital work has been paid for and finished.
However, 2022's cap of a 1.2 per cent increase is not nearly enough to cover the rising costs of owning a property in Ottawa, and it’s hurting landlords, Stuart MacPherson of the Ottawa Small Landlords Association told The Sam Laprade Show on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, standing in a landlords shoes, the politicians for the most part don’t understand the business of small landlords,” he said. “Water bills increased in 2021 by 4.5 per cent and city property taxes by three per cent. A lot of landlords are required to provide the gas to heat the house and the gas prices went up in 2021. All of this was more of 1.2 per cent. Another big expense for landlords is property insurance, which went crazy over the pasts couple of years because some of the major climate change initiatives, the wildfires and things like that, the property has gone up in some cases over 20%. The landlord is obliged to pay for all of these things but they can’t recover it.”
And landlords are only allowed to increase a property's rent once every 12 months.
But unless a tenant moves out and a new one moves in, then upping the rent according to the market can help recover some costs and put the landowner back in the black, he explained.
The rent freeze due to the pandemic in 2021 didn’t help landlords to recuperate any costs either.
However, that rent freeze is set to end on December 31, 2021 and landlords are free to increase rent anywhere between zero and 1.2 per cent — as long as they file the proper paperwork in time, provide notice to their tenants within the 90-day window and provide them written notice.