Wondering about rental increases for your investment property?

Here are some good sources of information.

In my more than 30 years as a realtor in the Ottawa area, I have assisted many clients with purchasing a home or condominium, sometimes as their own home and sometimes as a second property that they plan to rent to a tenant for additional income.

I often receive questions from clients who own such an investment property and are wondering about the steps they need to take to increase the rent they charge, and how much of an increase is permitted by law.

In Ontario, as the website of the Landlord and Tenant Board explains, in most cases a landlord can only increase a tenant’s rent once every 12 months, following the guideline set each year by the province’s Ministry of Housing. The province sets out a maximum yearly rental increase that is permitted without the landlord having to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for a larger increase.

The amount can change each year, but for 2017, the rent increase guideline is 1.5 per cent. To increase the rental amount within that guideline, you simply need to submit a notice of rent increase to your tenant 90 days in advance of the increase and at least 12 months after the last rent increase or the beginning of the tenancy.

For example, if you had a tenant who was paying $1,000 a month starting in June of 2016, with written notice to the tenant 90 days in advance, you can increase the rent by 1.5 per cent, to $1015.00, on June 1, 2017.

To get permission for a larger increase, the landlord can apply to the Board but must meet specific reasons, such as if your property taxes or utilities costs increased by an extraordinary amount or if you did significant eligible repairs or renovations to the property.

Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board has a website offering information on that subject and others for landlords and tenants. The site includes videos, background information and answers to frequently asked questions, such as what a landlord can do if a tenant is consistently late paying the rent. Visit the site at www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb. For a list of frequently asked questions, click on the “Your Rights and Responsibilities” tab. You can also call the Board at 1-888-332-3234.

Another source for information for landlords is the website of the Ontario Landlords Association, at www.ontariolandlords.org.

Created to offer support for private small residential landlords who do not have the resources that large corporate property rental companies do, the Association offers general educational information and videos and information on how Ontario’s Landlord and Tenant Board works.

If you would like assistance in finding an investment property to rent, whether it’s a house or downtown condominium apartment, I have a lot of experience in helping clients find the ideal property. You can give me a call at 613-747-4747, or email me at nancy@nancybenson.com. I would love hear from you.