Residential Tenancies Act
The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) was proclaimed and came into effect on January 31, 2007, replacing the Tenant Protection Act, 1997 (TPA). It created the Landlord and Tenant Board to help resolve issues between residential landlords and tenants. The purposes of the Residential Tenancies Act are to provide protection for residential tenants from unlawful rent increases and unlawful evictions, to establish a framework for the regulation of residential rents, to balance the rights and responsibilities of residential landlords and tenants and to provide for the adjudication of disputes and for other processes to informally resolve disputes.
In 2013, the Act was changed with respect to Non-Profit and Co-operative Housing. These changes were made to provide protection to members of non-profit housing co-operatives from unlawful evictions. This change allows non-profit housing co-operatives and their members access to the framework established under this Act for the adjudication of disputes related to the termination of occupancy in a member unit of a non-profit housing co-operative.
This legislation affects approximately 1.35 million renter households in Ontario, representing 32 per cent of Ontario’s population.
The RTA does contain some protections against above guideline rent increases for sitting tenants. (remove link:torontotenants.org/RTA.htm – pg not found) The annual rent guideline will be tied to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The 2015 rent increase guideline is 1.6%. To calculate your maximum rent increase, simply multiply your current rent by 1.016 for your new monthly rent. So, for example, if your rent in 2014 was $880.00 per month, multiply by 1.016 for $894.08 per month, it may be increased by $14.08.
Under the RTA, if you get a Notice of Hearing from your landlord, a hearing will automatically be scheduled at the Landlord and Tenant Board. If you miss your hearing, the Landlord and Tenant Board will rule against you and you may be evicted from your home. You will have to apply for a hearing to have your matter heard, and this hearing is not guaranteed. One of the main reasons for tenant eviction is that the tenant does not attend the hearing.
The RTA also covers such things as Landlord Responsibilities and Tenant Responsibilities. If you feel you have a matter that needs to be heard before the Board, and would like information on how to file an application, you can refer to the Landlord Tenant Board, Steps To Apply.
For more information regarding the RTA, please visit the Landlord and Tenant Board and the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario websites. These websites are excellent resources and will provide necessary information and tips sheets to assist you in maintaining housing.
The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario (ACTO) works to better the housing situation of Ontario residents who have low incomes including tenants, co-op members and people who are homeless. ACTO achieves this through:
- test case litigation;
- lobbying and law reform;
- housing policy work;
- community organizing; and,
- public legal education.
ACTO works with legal clinics, tenant associations and other groups and individuals concerned about housing issues. ACTO is funded by Legal Aid Ontario and has been in existence since September 2001.
Also see ACTO’s Tenant Tip Sheets about your rights under the RTA
ACTO, legal clinics across the province, tenants’ organizations, community groups and dedicated individuals have made detailed suggestions over the past few years about creating fair legislation for tenants. While the Act is an improvement, rents are still not regulated and a landlord can charge any amount once a unit becomes vacant.
Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has detailed information about the RTA and other housing related legal information at: http://www.cleo.on.ca/english/pub/onpub/PDF/landlordTenant/tenantsaccess.pdf
Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) is dedicated to preventing housing related discrimination. http://www.equalityrights.org/cera/