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December 14, 2011
Rent reduction for some Toronto residents
  
Rent reduction for some Toronto residents

Almost 40 per cent of Toronto tenant households are receiving notices from the City of Toronto this week that mean they can automatically reduce their rents. All tenants should check their daily mail and take action if they receive a rent reduction notice.

Addressed to the “Current Tenant,” clearly marked “Rent Reduction Notice Enclosed,” and in an envelope with the City of Toronto logo, the letters contain all the customized information a tenant requires to start paying a lower rent as early as December 31.

More than 167,000 households are eligible this year for a rent reduction under provincial legislation because the property taxes on their buildings have been lowered by more than 2.49 per cent. This is 32 per cent more than last year's 128,000 households.

Ontario's municipalities are required to send notices about the tax decrease and resulting rent reduction to landlords of affected buildings by September 15 and to tenants by December 15. Notices are based on assessment information provided by Municipal Property Assessment Corp. (MPAC), an independent organization established by the provincial government.

In Toronto, the number of tenants who receive the letters about an automatic rent reduction is growing because the City decided a number of years ago to more closely align business and residential property tax rates. This results in a lowering of business rates and rental properties are considered to be businesses.

Tenants of buildings with more than six units generally pay about 20 per cent of their rent toward property taxes, so if taxes go down, they are entitled to reduce their rent by 20 per cent of the reduction. For buildings with six or fewer units, the percentage is 15. All rules are established by the province.

The overall tax reduction on residential rental buildings in 2011 is 3.83 per cent which translates to a rent reduction, overall, of 0.61 per cent. Apply that to the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Toronto ($1135 a month), and the saving is about $6.90 a month.

The rent reduction provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act apply only to private rental buildings occupied as residences before November 1, 1991. Newer apartment buildings, including rental condos, are not covered. A number of other exemptions apply, including social housing and housing owned by educational institutions.

Tenants in buildings with property tax reductions of 2.49 per cent or less may be eligible for a rent reduction if they make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board. The website http://www.toronto.ca/housing has more information, as well as a link to a searchable database that provides information about 2011 property taxes for all rental residential buildings in Toronto.

Tenants can contact 311 with any queries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a multi-lingual service.

The Landlord and Tenant Board has a telephone information line, 416-645-8080, for inquiries, including those about the rules for calculating rent reductions and for above-guideline rent increase applications, as well as exemptions and rent reduction procedures for people living in buildings with tax reductions of 2.49 per cent or less. The Board’s website is http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Patricia Anderson
Manager, Partnership Development, Shelter, Support and Housing Administration Division
416-397-4328
panders@toronto.ca

 

 

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