The Toronto real estate market affects not only home buyers and sellers but landlords and tenants as well. Currently, rental vacancy in the greater Toronto area (GTA) has reached a 16-year low. Steadily rising rents and lower vacancy may cause landlord and tenant issues in this part of Ontario, as more people opt to rent instead of buying homes in urban areas.
According to a recent report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp, the overall vacancy rate for the GTA has lowered to 1.1 percent, compared to 1.4 percent in 2016. In that time, the average cost of an apartment increased to almost $1,300 per month. The report cites low supply and high demand as the reason behind these trends.
The increase in monthly rent for existing tenants is capped by Ontario law, which can be increased if the landlord makes major renovations. However, there are no laws governing rent increases when taking on a new tenant. This has led to some landlord and tenant issues, including accusations that some property owners are taking advantage of legal rent increases to raise rents and push lower-income tenants out. Landlords contend that rising costs for property owners, including capital repair and replacements, are also a factor in higher rents.
The federal government recently released the National Housing Strategy, which hopes to address some of these landlord and tenant issues. In the greater Toronto area and across Ontario, developers are also trying to respond to demands for new rental units. Those facing landlord and tenant issues in this changing real estate environment should reach out to a lawyer for guidance.
Source: Toronto Star, "Rental vacancy rates lowest in 16 years", Emily Mathieu, Nov. 28, 2017