The Correct Way to Increase Investment Rent in Ontario – the N1 Form

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We always recommend that our investors increase their rents annually by the maximum allowable rental increase. According to the rental guidelines, the allowable amount for 2018 is 1.8%. On a $2000 a month rental this works out to $36 per month and $432 a year. We hear many investors say they don’t raise rents for good tenants, but the guidelines are meant to reflect inflation and rising interest rates. Your tenants are still getting a good deal because according to Urbanation, rents for condos from Jan. 1 2017 to Jan. 1 2018 averaged $2,166 a 9.1% jump!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

In order for a rental increase to be “valid” in Ontario it must follow the procedure setout by the Landlord & Tenant Board and be on an N1 Form. Failure to do so could result in past rental increases being voided and improperly charged increases being refunded to the Tenant.

You are only allowed to increase rent once every 12 months and with 90 days notice. So 9 months after the last increase you can give notice for another increase.

HOW TO DO IT

All the information is provided on the Social Justice Tribunal Ontario website which is the governing body of the Landlord and Tenant Board:

Here are few keys things to remember:

  1. Notice must be given in writing (either dropped off at the place of residence, by mail or fax). Email alone is not currently considered sufficient but we always email the notice as well.
  2. Use the N1 form and complete it 100% properly. Any other form of written notice can be challenged and any errors or omissions on the form can void it.
  3. Keep a copy for your records. This should be obvious but not only is it important to have a copy of the N1 and the date it was delivered in case of tenant disputes – your mortgage lender and potential future purchaser will want to see them as well.
  4. You can’t go back. Forgot to increase rent in 2017? You can’t increase rents retroactively so leaving it for a few years will leave you out of pocket thousands of dollars!

All active landlords in Ontario should familiarize themselves with the forms and procedures from the Landlord and Tenant Board http://www.sjto.gov.on.ca/ltb/. While they are fairly straight forward a rental increase not submitted on the proper form with all of the information completed correctly will not be upheld. Using the forms correctly makes you look professional and your tenants will appreciate it. We are always here to help our clients with the process and to answer your questions.

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