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My landlord gave me a notice that my rent is going up on the 1st of the month. Can they still raise my rent during the COVID-19 emergency?

Question
My landlord gave me a notice that my rent is going up on the 1st of the month. Can they still raise my rent during the COVID-19 emergency?
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My landlord gave me a notice that my rent is going up on the 1st of the month. Can they still raise my rent during the COVID-19 emergency?
Reviewed: 
April 16, 2020
Answer

The Ontario government hasn’t made any announcements about a rent freeze during the COVID-19 pandemic. So as long as the rent increase is legal, it can still go ahead.

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 Landlord and Tenant Board’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 provincial guideline for the year (2.2 % for 2020)

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 and they use a Form N2.

If you can’t pay the rent because of the COVID-19 emergency, it’s important to know that the Landlord and Tenant Board is not scheduling eviction hearings or making eviction orders for rent arrears during the crisis. But even though evictions are stopped for a while, you will probably have to get caught up on your rent eventually.

The Ontario government hasn’t announced any new financial help for renters, but the government of Canada has created a new benefit program for some people affected by the pandemic. You can check this site for more information about these benefits and other income supports you might be able to get.

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