Ontario says it’s limiting the max rent increase for 2023 to 2.5%. Critics say it’s still too high

Ontario has set the maximum allowable rent increase for landlords next year lower than the rate set by Canada’s current record-high inflation ratesthe government announced Wednesday.

Premier Doug Ford’s re-elected government said in a news release it’s limiting the increase due to the rising cost of living.

The Ontario NDP fired back, saying it’s “dead wrong” to greenlight a rent hike at all right now, saying in a statement “people are squeezed more than ever before.”

The provincial rent increase guideline — the highest a landlord can increase most tenants’ rents without the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board — will be raised to 2.5 per cent in 2023.

Based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index, inflation would result in a guideline of 5.3 per cent, according to a government press release. However, the province has capped that amount “to help protect tenants from significant rent increases.”

The rent increase guideline for 2022 is 1.2 per cent.

The guideline applies to the majority of rental households under the province’s Residential Tenancies Act — about 1.4 million of them. It does not apply to vacant units, community housing, long-term care homes or commercial properties.

Also excluded from the guideline are rental units occupied for the first time after Nov. 15, 2018 — the date that Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government scrapped rent control for new buildings.

The NDP is pushing for a rent stabilization law that would ban unlimited increases in between tenants, as well as rent controls on all homes in Ontario.

“It’s got to stop,” NDP MPP Jessica Bell said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“We need a premier focused on making housing affordable, not a premier taking more money away from people.”

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