Support Ontario’s Rental Fairness Act
May 17, 2017 Make Change
UPDATE: BILL 124 PASSED ON MAY 18TH.
After years of pressure from tenant advocates the Ontario government is finally taking important steps to protect the rights of tenants. These actions could go a long way in tackling the affordable housing crisis in our province. The Rental Fairness Act (Bill 124) addresses issues that are vital to ensuring tenants' right to safe, adequate and affordable housing.
Right now Bill 124 is being considered by the Standing Committee on General Government.
There are many good things in this proposed legislation that will be of benefit to tenants. If passed, for example:
- The 1991 exemption will be ended. That is the exemption that applied to properties occupied by tenants living in rental units that were first occupied for residential purposes after 1991. These tenants will no longer be forced out by the landlord’s unlimited right to raise the rent at the end of each lease term.
- A new standard lease form will be introduced. The result will be that tenants will be protected from leases with illegal and misleading clauses. As tenants know too well, these leases are routinely used by landlords to misinform tenants about their rights and obligations.
- Rules for evictions will be tightened up in the area of “landlord’s own use.” These new rules are intended to discourage false claims of landlord’s own use. They should end the punishment of good tenants who are often victims of no fault evictions & displacement from their communities.
- Above Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs) will be limited. This should keep housing affordable for more tenants.
According to the Advocacy Centre for Tenants of Ontario (ACTO) “tenants will pay for any increases in utility costs in the following year as they are included in the Consumer Price Index, which the annual guideline is based.”
All in all this is legislation that should be supported. Not surprisingly, landlords and property developers, who like to portray themselves as tenant allies, are fighting back on some of these proposed changes.
It is important, then, that tenants, advocates and others speak out and make sure the government keeps its promise to tenants and makes rental housing fairer and more affordable for all Ontarians.
You are encouraged to remind the government to keep its promises to pass Bill 124, without any amendments that may water it down.
If you are interested in exploring the legislation further we suggest you visit ACTO’s website (https://www.acto.ca/). ACTO is a specialty legal clinic. Their presentation to the Legislative Committee can be found at