Can my landlord raise my rent during the COVID-19 pandemic?

There is a rent freeze in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your landlord can't raise your rent at all from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021. This is because the government announced that the rent increase guideline for the year 2021 is zero percent.

The rent freeze also applies to newer units that are normally not covered by the guideline. So even if your building was first occupied or your unit was created after November 15, 2018, your landlord can't raise your rent in 2021.

Your landlord is allowed to give you a rent increase in 2021 but the increase can't start before January 1, 2022. The rent increase guideline for 2022 will be 1.2%.

If your landlord has given you a rent increase notice to take effect in 2021, tell them it's not legal. If you need more help:

  • Call Pro Bono Ontario‘s free legal advice hotline at 1-855- 255-7256
  • Find your local community legal clinic using your address or postal code at the Legal Aid Ontario website or call 1-800-668-8258

Rent increases in 2020

There were no changes to the rules about rent increases in 2020. So as long as the rent increase took effect in 2020 and is legal, it can still go ahead.

For more information about rent increases, read the question How much can my rent go up?

Your rent increase is probably legal if:

  • your landlord gave you written notice at least 90 days before the date of the increase
  • the notice is properly filled out on the 's Form N1
  • the date of the increase is at least 12 months after your last rent increase
  • the amount of the increase is less than or equal to the 2020 provincial guideline of 2.2%

But if your unit was never occupied for residential purposes on or before November 15, 2018, your landlord doesn't have to follow the guideline. In that situation, landlords can raise the rent by any amount, as long as they follow the other rules mentioned above, they use a Form N2, and the increase doesn't take effect in 2021.

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