If you’re a student renting a place off-campus in Oakville, Burlington, Milton, or Halton Hills, you’ll be glad to know that the province is set to protect you against excessive rent increases on your student housing.
Anyone who has gone to post-secondary school knows how tough it is to afford an education – tuition is no joke. For those students who have to live away from home while they’re in school, the cost is even steeper.
Now, the province has announced that students living off-campus, including in condos, basement apartments, and houses will have their rent capped at an annual rent increase guideline of 1.8 per cent starting in 2018.
There are a whopping 600,000 college and university students that start school this month in Ontario, and Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan is set to accommodate student renters, including those in Halton, as rent control has been expanded to include all private units, including those first occupied on or after November 1, 1991.
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“Ontario has taken steps to protect those renting off-campus from unfair rent increases and evictions,” said the province in a statement.
The 1.8 per cent guideline is the maximum a landlord can raise a tenant’s rent without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board, and applies to rent increases starting January 1 of next year, just four months from now.
According to the province, the guideline is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index, which is a measure of inflation calculated by Statistics Canada that reflects economic conditions over the past year.
“Our government is committed to protecting Ontario’s students from unfair rent increases and evictions,” said Peter Milczyn, Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. “Students face a whole host of challenges as they embark on the next phase of their lives – new friends, new responsibilities, and a new place to call home. Knowing their rights and responsibilities as renters helps to ease the transition, while allowing them to keep focused on what matters most – getting a great education to help secure an even brighter future.”
Here are a few more tips student renters should be aware of:
- As of September 1, when a landlord ends a tenancy so that they or a family member can use a rental unit, landlords must provide one month’s rent to the tenant as compensation, or offer the tenant another acceptable rental unit. They also can’t re-rent your place for a year.
Landlords are responsible for your place’s maintenance, but you’re responsible for keeping the place clean.
You have to give your landlord 60 days’ notice before you move out if you’re on a monthly or fixed term lease.
A landlord can’t ban pets or guests, but if renting a condo, tenants have to follow any rules set under the Condominium Act.
Always ask for a written lease and ensure you understand it before signing anything, and keep copies of any documents you share with your landlord.
Know the rights and responsibilities of tenants.
For a dispute with a landlord that can’t be resolved for some reason, student renters can contact the Landlord and Tenant Board. For serious issues such as illegal evictions or disconnecting vital services like water, heat or electricity, contact Ontario’s Rental Housing Enforcement Unit.