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Rent payments and increases  

 

Paying rent is how to secure your right to live in a place and treat it as your home. In order to maintain this right, you must pay your rent in full and on-time each month on the agreed-upon due date.

 

Important news about rent increases:

Ontario has partial rent control on private rental units.

If your building/unit (this could mean apartment, condo, or basement) was constructed prior to November 15, 2018, landlords cannot increase rent more than the amount set by the Government of Ontario, known as "the Rent Increase Guideline". The guideline is published by August 31st every year and sets the maximum percentage that rent can be increased in the following calendar year. For 2019, the rent increase guideline is 1.8 % for increases between January 1 and December 31, 2019.


If your building/unit first became a rental unit on or after November 15, 2018, however, there is no limit to how much your landlord can increase your rent.

You are also not covered by any rent rules if you share a kitchen or bathroom with your landlord. Your landlord can raise your rent as much as they want and whenever they want, unless your rental agreement says they can’t.

 

Rent can only be raised once in a 12-month period

This means that if your lease runs September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019, your landlord can only set your rent and not raise it during that entire time. If you plan to continue living in your place after this initial year, your landlord is allowed to raise rent in accordance with the guideline, and must provide you 90 days' written notice before raising the rent.

What does rent include?

If your building or complex has more than one rental unit, you also have the right to use the common areas (such as hallways, elevators, driveways, lobbies, and grounds). You also have the right to have your unit and all common areas properly repaired and maintained by your landlord.

Your rent could include other things, such as electricity, cable, parking, cleaning, or meals. Make sure your lease clearly says what is included and what is not included. If something you thought was included is not in writing, you may have a hard time proving it if you and your landlord disagree later.

When is rent due?

Your rent is owed in full on the agreed-upon date each month (or each week if you are on a weekly lease). Rent is considered late on the day after it is due: if your rent is owed on the 1st of the month, it is considered late from the 2nd onwards.

Payments and rent receipts

Methods of payment

You may choose to pay by post-dated cheque, but a landlord cannot refuse to rent to you if you do not wish to pay this way. You can pay by cheque each month or even by cash if preferred. Just be sure to pay what you owe in full and on-time each month. If you anticipate having difficulty making your rent payment, it is crucial that you let your landlord know in advance. 


Rent receipts

Always get a written rent receipt for any payments made, including your first and last month payment at the start of your lease. If the landlord does not give you a rent receipt free of charge upon request, they can be found guilty of an offence under the Residential Tenancies Act. Learn more about your rights, responsibilities, and what to do if your landlord will not give you a receipt.

Your rent receipt must include the following information:

  • the address of the rental unit
  • your name
  • your landlord’s name
  • the amount and date you made your payment
  • the reason for your payment (i.e., monthly rent, last month’s rent deposit, overdue rent)
  • your landlord or landlord’s authorized agent’s signature
Rent increases