Advocates across Ontario are calling on the Ontario government to change the system of Above Guideline Increases for residential tenants. HALCO wrote to the Minister of Housing to request that the system be amended immediately, as had been promised in the Ontario Fair Housing Plan.
The Ontario government sets the maximum rent increase guideline annually. In 2018 the guideline is 1.8% and it was 1.5% for 2017. But landlords can apply for Above Guideline Increases (AGIs) so that tenants have to pay not only the guideline increase but also AGI.
Too many tenants are unfairly absorbing the maintenance costs of landlords. Landlords should be responsible for improving the value of their own buildings.
Above Guideline Rent Increases (AGIs) allow landlords undue benefits when it comes to charging rent. Landlords get
1. Regular rent including any guideline increase
2. AGI rent increase
3. Increase in the value of property from maintenance
4. Federal and Provincial tax reductions for work that tenants pay for through AGIs.
AGIs are unfairly offloading landlords’ responsibility for maintaining their investments onto tenants and are contributing to the disappearance of affordable rental housing.
Tenants living on lower incomes are unable to pay the rent increases and are being pushed out of their communities. Wages have remained stagnant for decades but rents continue to rise. Even with Ontario’s minimum wage increases, people cannot afford the soaring rents.
You can read HALCO’s letter to the Minister of Housing (pdf): www.halco.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/AGIs-HALCO_to_MoH2018Feb.pdf
For more information about rent increases in Ontario:
- Government of Ontario: ontario.ca/page/rent-increase-guideline
- Community Legal Education Ontario: cleo.on.ca/en/publications/rentincs
If you are living with HIV in Ontario, you can contact us for free legal advice about this or any other legal issue.