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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?

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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?
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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: 
October 20, 2020
Answer

Yes, if the increase is taking effect during 2020. There were no changes to the rules about rent increases in 2020 because of 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 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 and they use a Form N2.

Rent freeze in 2021

The government has announced that the guideline for the year 2021 will be zero percent. This means that your landlord cannot raise your rent at all from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

Your landlord is allowed to give you a rent increase notice in 2021 but the increase cannot start before January 1, 2022.

This rent freeze will also apply 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 cannot raise your rent in 2021.

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