Rent and Increases

How is the rent on a rental unit decided?

When a rental unit is vacant, a landlord and the person looking to rent the unit negotiate a rent and decide what services (such as hydro or parking) are included. Once the tenancy begins, the rules about rent and the other rules in the Residential Tenancies Act (the Act) apply.  For more information on the rent rules under the Act, see the Board’s brochure on A Guide to the Residential Tenancies Act.

How often can the rent be increased?

The landlord cannot increase the rent for a new tenant until 12 months after the tenancy started.   Then, the landlord is allowed to increase the rent once every 12 months.

How much can a landlord legally increase the rent this year?

In most cases, a landlord can only increase a tenant’s rent by the guideline set each year by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. 

The annual rent increase guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Consumer Price Index is released monthly by Statistics Canada and is widely regarded as a reliable and objective measure of inflation.

The 2009 rent increase guideline is calculated by averaging the percentage change in the Ontario Consumer Price Index for each of the previous 12 months from June 2007 to May 2008.

The monthly rent of an apartment is $800 beginning August 1, 2008. With proper written 90 days notice to the tenant, the landlord could lawfully increase the rent 12 months later on August 1, 2009.

The guideline for 2009 is 1.8%.
The rental increase is 1.8% of $800 = $14.40.
Therefore, the new rent on August 1, 2009 could be up to $814.40 ($800 + $14.40)

Above Guideline Increases

Landlords may apply to the landlord and Tenant Board for an increase above the guideline, if their costs for the municipal taxes or utilities have increased by more than the guideline + 50%.

Landlords may also apply for an increase above the guideline for operating costs related to security services and for eligible capital expenditures.

 Sample Above Guideline Increase

The 2009 rent increase guideline is 1.8%.  50% of this guideline is 0.9%
To claim an above guideline increase, costs should increase by more than 2.7%
(1.8%+0.9% = 2.7%)

In 2008, a landlord’s utility costs were $10,000
In 2009, the landlord’s costs increased to $11,000 -- an increase of 10%

Hence, the landlord is eligible to apply for an above guideline increase because the landlord’s utility costs increased by more than 2.7%. 

Past Guildelines

Year     Guideline     Year     Guideline     YearGuideline

Does a landlord have to notify a tenant of a rent increase?

Yes.  In order for a landlord to increase the rent, the landlord must give a written notice of rent increase to the tenant at least 90 days before the day the rent increase is to start. The notice must tell the tenant how much the new rent will be and when to begin paying the new rent.  If the tenant thinks that the new rent is too high and they do not want to pay it, this allows the tenant enough time to give the landlord proper notice of termination and move out before the rent increase begins.


Does a landlord have to give rent receipts?

Yes, if a tenant asks for them.  The Act requires a landlord to provide rent receipts, free of charge, to a tenant when the tenant asks for them. A tenant can ask for a receipt for any payment or deposit the tenant gives to the landlord, including a payment for rent arrears.  It is an offence for a landlord to fail to provide a rent receipt when one is requested by a tenant.

This rule also applies to a former tenant – The landlord must provide a former tenant with receipts if they request it, as long as the former tenant makes their request within one year of the date they moved out.

What information must be provided in a receipt?

A rent receipt must include at least the following information:

  • the address of the rental unit;
  • the name of the tenant(s) to whom the receipt applies;
  • the amount and date for each payment received for any rent, rent deposit, arrears of rent, or any other amount paid to the landlord and shall set out what the payment was for;
  • the name of the landlord; and
  • the signature of the landlord or the landlord’s agent.

When is the rent considered late?

Rent is considered late if it is not paid by the day that it is due.  For example, if the rent is due on the 1st of the month and it is not paid by on that day, it is late.

If a tenant is late with their rent, what can the landlord do?

If a tenant does not pay rent on the date that it is due, the landlord can give the tenant a Notice to End a Tenancy Early for Non-payment of Rent (Form N4). This notice gives a tenant who pays rent monthly 14 days to pay the rent due or to move out. If the rent is not paid, and the tenant does not move, the landlord can make an application to the Board for an order:

  • requiring the tenant to pay the rent that is owing, and
  • evicting the tenant if they do not make the entire payment by a specified deadline