Ontario is poised to adopt a new amendment to the Residential Tenancies Act which will affect the rights of landlords. A significant burden will be placed on multi-family property owners, those who have six or more units. These landlords may face a requirement to pay for and maintain a rental licence.
Landlords who have encountered bedbugs may not be allowed to obtain or renew a rental licence until they have proven to the Board’s satisfaction that the situation has been resolved.
All landlords in Ontario will be affected by a new provision eliminating the ability to apply for a rent increase above the guidelines when utility payments go up.
Additionally, tenants will be allowed a longer period of time to file for relief under the Act.
New Licensing Requirement
Under the current version of the proposed rules, any landlord of a “residential complex containing six or more units” will have to obtain a licence from the Board. Landlords will be required to pay a fee at the time of application. The specific application requirements and fees will be determined at a later time.
A landlord cannot obtain a licence if they are not in compliance with work orders or other Building Code complaints, or have a rental property that is “infested with bedbugs, cockroaches or other vermin” if the landlord has not, in the opinion of the Board, made sufficient attempts to eliminate the vermin from the rental unit.
The Board will have the power to refuse to issue or renew, revoke or suspend a licence. A landlord who is required to have a licence, but does not, will not be allowed to apply to the Board for remedies, except to protest the refusal to grant a licence.
The licence will expire every two years.
The proposed amendment prohibits a landlord from increasing the rent charged to a new tenant by more than the rent increase guideline and abolishes landlord applications to the Board for above guideline rent increases where there has been a significant increase in the cost of utilities. This provision coincides with the implementation of the new Suite Meter rules.
Tenants will be allowed two years, not one, to apply to the Board in some cases. There are also a number of restrictions that relate to termination of a tenancy when a landlord wishes to convert the property for personal use. In that regard, there will be more situations where a landlord must offer compensation to the tenant.
If this amendment, named The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, 2010 is passed, its provisions will come into force one year after the day it receives Royal Assent.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.