Residential Tenancies Act takes effect



    A New Era Of Balanced Protection Begins For Tenants And Landlords

    QUEEN'S PARK, Jan. 31 /CNW/ - The Residential Tenancies Act is now in
force, beginning a new era of balanced protection for tenants and landlords,
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen said today.
    "The Residential Tenancies Act, which takes effect today, ensures that
Ontario's rental housing system works for everyone while keeping our rental
housing market strong," said Gerretsen.
    Under the act, the five-day default eviction process is eliminated, the
annual rent increase guideline is now tied to the Ontario Consumer Price Index
and above guideline rent increases are based on real and necessary investment.
The Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal has been renamed the Landlord and Tenant
Board to reflect the intent and spirit of the legislation.
    Information about the act, the Landlord and Tenant Board and service fee
reductions is available at all Service Ontario outlets, Landlord and Tenant
Board Offices, Publications Ontario and online at www.mah.gov.on.ca by
clicking on Residential Tenancies.
    "The Residential Tenancies Act fulfils the McGuinty government's
commitment to provide tenants and landlords with real, balanced protection,"
added Gerretsen. "We are building stronger communities that offer a range of
housing choices that meets the diverse needs of Ontarians."

    
    Disponible en français

                 For more information visit www.mah.gov.on.ca


    Backgrounder
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                       RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES ACT, 2006

    The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 fulfils the McGuinty government's
commitment to provide balanced protection for tenants and landlords, while
keeping Ontario's rental housing market strong.
    The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 takes effect on January 31, 2007.

    The act:

    -   Eliminates the five-day default eviction process, so that every
        tenant has an opportunity to go to a hearing or mediation.
    -   Bases the annual rent increase guideline on a real cost indicator -
        the Consumer Price Index for Ontario.
    -   Requires rent reductions for sitting tenants when utility costs go
        down, if a unit's rent had been increased to reflect high utility
        prices.
    -   Requires rent reductions for sitting tenants when a capital
        expenditure such as a new roof has been paid for, if a tenant's rent
        had been increased to pay for those costs.
    -   Permits the Landlord and Tenant Board to disallow all rent increases
        if a landlord has failed to maintain the building.
    -   Creates a fast-track eviction process for tenants who vandalize their
        units or buildings or cause serious problems when the apartment is in
        a small complex where the landlord also lives.
    -   Continues to exempt rental units built since 1991 from most rent
        controls, and allows new tenants and landlords to negotiate starting
        rents in private rental units.

    The Landlord and Tenant Board

    The name of the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal is changed to the Landlord
and Tenant Board to reflect its mandate of enhanced customer service and
accessibility for tenants and landlords. Beginning January 31, 2007:

    -   Photocopying fees are cut in half from $1 to 50 cents per page.
    -   Fees to review and order are reduced from $75 to $50.
    -   Fees for audio recordings of hearings are reduced from $25 to $15.
    -   Fees for application for above guideline rent increases are reduced
        from $500 for the first unit plus $5 for each additional unit to a
        maximum of $1,000 to $200 for the first 10 units and $10 for each
        additional unit to a maximum of $1,000.

    Improving the availability, affordability and quality of housing

    The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 is just one way the McGuinty
government is addressing the housing needs of Ontario families. Other ways
that the government is improving the availability, affordability and quality
of housing in Ontario with a particular focus on helping vulnerable groups,
such as low-income tenants, include:

    -   The Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Program, which will fund up to
        15,000 units of affordable housing and provide housing allowances for
        some 5,000 lower-income families in Ontario. The program provides
        units for vulnerable Ontarians such as victims of domestic violence,
        persons with mental illness, families on social assistance and the
        working poor. To date, more than 6,500 units have been built, are
        under construction, or in the planning approval stage.

    -   The Ontario Rent Bank Program, which promotes housing stability by
        helping low-income tenants avoid eviction for non-payment of rent due
        to an unforeseen crisis. Since 2004, approximately 6,600 Ontario
        households have received assistance for short-term rent arrears.

    -   The Ontario Strong Communities Rent Supplement Program, which assists
        low-income households to obtain housing. To date, more than 6,600
        low-income households have received rent supplements.


    Disponible en français

                              www.mah.gov.on.ca
    




For further information:

For further information: Patti Munce, Minister's Office, (416) 585-6333;
Sonya Rolfe, Market Housing Branch, (416) 585-7398

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Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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