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Ted McMeekin
M.P.P. - Ancaster-Dundas
Flamborough-Aldershot


tmcmeekin.mpp@liberal.ola.org
Mowat Block
22nd Floor
900 Bay Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1L2
Phone: 416-325-4562
Fax: 416-212-3720


Constituency Office
P.O. Box 1240,
Waterdown, ON, L0R 2H0
905-690-6552
Toll-Free: 888-566-6614
Fax: 905-690-6562


  Home / Weblog / BETTER APPROACH TO LANDLORDS AND TENANTS WITH THE NEW PROVINCIAL RESIDENTIAL TENACIES ACT  

BETTER APPROACH TO LANDLORDS AND TENANTS WITH THE NEW PROVINCIAL RESIDENTIAL TENACIES ACT

 

 

Is there anything more important and fundamental to our health, safety, security and happiness than our home? All Ontarians need a safe and affordable place to live. And with that fact front and centre in our minds, the McGuinty government has introduced important proposed legislation, the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Our proposed reforms are balanced and fair. They would give tenants more protection while keeping our rental housing market vital and strong.

For the rental housing market to work effectively for both tenants and landlords, it requires balance and fairness. That’s why we have taken the time to get the proposed legislation right. Our government had extensive dialogue and consultation with tenants, landlords, stakeholders and housing experts about changes needed to create more balanced tenant-landlord legislation.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing received approximately 1,200 phone inquiries, more than 5,000 completed questionnaires and 250 written submissions. We also conducted 10 town hall meetings in communities all across the province, including Hamilton. More than 1,500 people attended these informative sessions. In addition, 30 meetings were held with regional stakeholder groups across the province. Now we are acting on what we heard. We are confident that this proposed legislation would increase the availability, affordability and quality of rental housing in this province.

There’s nothing more central to this issue than rent. The proposed Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, would implement a fairer rent system that would benefit both tenants and landlords. Under the proposed legislation, the annual rent increase guideline would be based on a real cost indicator, the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

We want to protect tenants from increases above the rent guideline that are sometimes based on unnecessary capital improvements. Under the proposed legislation, all increases above the annual rent increase guideline would represent a real and necessary investment in a unit and or building. We would further protect tenants whose rents were increased due to capital improvements or higher utility costs by mandating rent reductions for those tenants when these capital items were paid or when landlords’ utility costs go down.

The McGuinty government is also making major changes to the tenant eviction process. Currently, tenants can be evicted without a hearing, if they don’t respond to an eviction application within five days. We think this is unfair. To better protect tenants, we would eliminate the current unfair eviction process and give all tenants an opportunity to attend a hearing that would consider their circumstances. For evictions due to arrears or application based on arrears, tenants would be able to raise any claim and the adjudicator would consider whether to order a remedy for their claim (i.e., rent abatement if there are maintenance problems). Tenants would have their “day in court.”

Better-maintained buildings are another priority for this government. Right now, tenants can have difficulty getting landlords to address maintenance concerns. The new bill would impose stiffer penalties on landlords whose buildings were not properly maintained such as allowing tenants to apply to the new Landlord and Tenant Board to stop all rent increases until maintenance issues were resolved. In serious cases, these penalties could include redirecting rent to the Board, until these issues were resolved.

Also we will protect our investment climate, which is good for our economy, and most importantly, our rental housing supply. We will do this by continuing to allow landlords and tenants to negotiate starting rents on vacant units and to exempt units built after 1991 from rent controls.

The proposed legislation, along with our $365 million investment in Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program and Ontario’s Rent Bank are part of our strategy to improve the availability, affordability and quality of housing in Ontario, while encouraging a robust and healt