Rent control in Ontario
Rent regulation was first introduced in Ontario under the National Housing Act 1944. After lobbying by business it was repealed in under a decade.
The modern history of rent controls began in July 1975 when the Residential Premises Rent Review Act 1975 was enacted after the demand for rent controls became a major issue in the period leading to the 1975 provincial election. In 1979, the Residential Tenancies Act was enacted.
The Tenant Protection Act 1997 was enacted by the Progressive Conservative government of Mike Harris and proclaimed in June 1998. The Act retained selected rights and obligations contained in Part IV of the previous Landlord and Tenant Act. (Parts I, II, and III were retitled the Commercial Tenancies Act.) The Tenant Protection Act both repealed the Rent Control Act and removed the dispute resolution process of the Landlord Tenant Act, including evictions and rent increases, from the Ontario court system and assigned jurisdiction to a newly created quasi-judicial body, the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal.
Under the TPA landlord applications for eviction were automatically granted without a hearing unless the tenant filed a notice of dispute within five days. This provision, had been the subject of a complaint to the Ontario Ombudsman and was removed from the new Act.
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is the current law in Ontario that governs landlord and tenant relations in residential rental accommodations. The Act received royal assent on June 22, 2006 and was proclaimed into law on January 31, 2007. The Act repealed and replaced the Tenant Protection Act, 1997 and created the Landlord and Tenant Board as a replacement for the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal.
Rent control in Ontario only applies to units that were first built or occupied before November 1, 1991. If the rental unit is in an apartment building constructed (or converted from a non-residential use) after November 1, 1991, then the rent control provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 do not apply.
On April 20, 2017, Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne, along with Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing, announced the Fair Housing Plan. The plan includes a provision to roll-back the post-1991 rent control exemption so that all private rental units, including ones built or first occupied on or after November 1, 1991 will be subject to rent control. This change will be effective April 20, 2017 regardless of when the legislation is passed.
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- "Bye bye 1991 loophole — rent control to expand to all rental units in Ontario". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
- Intertenancy Rent Decontrol in Ontario (PDF) by Lawrence B Smith (University of Toronto, 2003)
- An economic assessment of rent controls: The Ontario experience by Lawrence B. Smith (The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 1988, Volume 1, Issue 3) pp 217-231
- Consultations to address affordable housing shortage by Laurie Monsebraaten (Toronto Star, 20 July 2009)
- Pressure mounts for Ontario to extend rent controls to all tenants by Susan Pigg (Toronto Star, 31 May 2013)
- Ontario NDP wants to close rent control loophole by William Wolfe-Wylie (Postmedia News, 4 June 2013)