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Ottawa Landlords: Rent Increase Guideline for 2014

December 30th, 2013 · Ottawa landlords, Rent Increase 2014

 Ottawa landlords Rent Increase 2014

How Much Can Ottawa Landlords Raise The Rent For Existing Tenants in 2014? You Might Not Like the Answer!

According to the Ottawa Sun the 2014 allowable rent increase for Ottawa landlords will be the second lowest since 1975.

Yes, that’s right, 1975

Where you around then? Or if you were around do you even remember?

If you weren’t it was the era of disco balls, the Bee Gees, and Frampton Comes Alive (Google it).

Prime Minister Trudeau ruled the name (his name was Pierre, not Justin) and Star Wars was still a year away.

If you were there it was also the time when we had to line up to get gas. And the era of deflation. And even worse the Village People were every where. 

To put it gently it was a long time ago!

Ottawa landlords can only raise the rent 0.8% in 2014

The rent increase for 2014 is the lowest in nearly three decades

The Ontario Landlords Association has alerted landlords about the 2014 allowable increase and how it is important for landlords across the province.

Ontario Landlords and Rent Control

According to the Ontario Landlords Association report on rent increases for 2014 many new Ontario landlords are unaware the province of Ontario has rent control.

Each summer the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announces how much landlords can raise the rent for their existing tenants.

If you want to raise the rent higher you have to apply for what is called an Above Guideline Increase, go to a Landlord and Tenant Board Hearing, and win your case by getting a government adjudicator to agree with you.

The Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board is notoriously ‘pro-tenant’ and landlords will be lucky to get an approved increase.

Toronto Sun News Report

The Sun reporter asked for comments from the Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Linda Jeffrey.

Her spokesperson said the annual rental rate is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index (CPI).

However, a member of the Ontario Landlords Association said to the Toronto Sun: “It has been difficult for these owners to absorb the 2010 HST hike and normal expenses with CPI-tied rent increases which don’t necessarily reflect the true cost of property management.”

According to this landlord many landlords are “selling their rentals in Ontario and either getting out the industry or investing someone else.”

Ottawa Landlord Rent Increase Guideline 2014

Let’s face it, a rent increase of only 0.8% doesn’t even come close to matching the increased costs landlords face.

Whether you are a London Landlord, own rentals in Windsor Ontario, or even invest in investment properties in Scarborough, the rate is too low.

This is yet another reason why tenant screening is so important

Once you rent to tenants in Ontario they might stay a long time.

And you can be trapped by Ontario Rent Control which will only let you raise the rent by tiny amounts next year.

This is yet another challenge for landlords in Ottawa beyond the vacancy rate we face in 2014.

We look forward to discussing this and other Ottawa landlord issues in 2014.

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Ottawa Landlords

December 25th, 2013 · Ottawa landlords

 Ottawa Landlords

According to the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CMHC) vacancies rates continued to rise in the Ottawa area in Autumn of 2013.

This information showing more vacant rental units follows a trend as reported by CBC news in June.

In that report landlords from across the Ottawa region explained the frustrations they feel when there aren’t tenants and their rental units remain empty.

What’s the Vacancy Rate in Ottawa?

According to the CMHC survey the Ottawa vacancy rate was 2.9% in October 2013.

This is slightly up from 2012 when the vacancy rate was at 2.5%.

While it seems like a small increase it shows a trend.

Furthermore, the Ottawa rate is higher than the Ontario average and less than other cities such as Toronto where landlords are not reporting any issues finding tenants.

Why Are There More Empty Rentals in Ottawa?

The economics of supply & demand are playing a key role. 

On the positive side for landlords, newcomers to Canada continue to come to the Ottawa region and rent.

On the negative side of things the job market has been weakening.

This leads a variety of factors leading to higher vacancies such as:

1. With fewer jobs available less people come to Ottawa and rent

2. A weak job market creates fear leading some renters to move back to their parents house

3. Higher unemployment means some renters leave the city

4. Tenants decided to downsize. Instead of renting two properties, they decided to move in together

5. Lay-offs lead to some tenants being evicted

Are There Any Other Factors Leading To Empty Rental Units in Ottawa?

CONDOS FOR RENT

2013 saw a large increase in the number of condos for rent.

There were 1,254 more condominiums for rent. This is an increase of 23%.

More condos in the market led to more choices for renters and more empty rental units as landlord competed for good tenants.

The vacancy rate for Ottawa condos rose from 3.2% in 2012 to 3.6% this year.

TOWNHOUSES FOR RENT

In addition to a whole new batch of condos on the market, there were a large number of new townhouses.

The survey showed the average number of people who wanted to rent together was three.

This led to more families choosing to rent townhouses over smaller condo units. This actually led to a decline in the vacancy rate for townhouse rentals.

CMCH Reports Landlords Are Raising Rents Lower Than The Ontario Rent Increase Guideline

With more competition and increasing struggles to find good tenants Ottawa landlords were cautious in attempting to get current tenants to stay renting from them.

This is show by the small amount landlords increased rent to current tenants.

The Ontario government’s Rent Increase Guideline (AGI) was 2.5% in 2013.

However the average rent increase in Ottawa was only 2.0%.

This isa significant amount considering many residential landlords already felt the Rent Increase Guideline was too low and didn’t account for the true increase in costs for being a landlord.

What Can Ottawa Landlords Do To Find and Keep Good Tenants?

It is a frustrating challenge for landlords in Ottawa and many other cities and towns in Ontario.

While British Columbia landlords are finding good tenants within weeks and some landlords in Alberta have line-ups and don’t even need to do much advertising, landlords here need to come up with constructive and creative strategies for marketing to tenants and keep tenants.

What Are Some Ways To Keep Good Tenants?

There are different strategies and methods. Some Ontario landlords are even giving Christmas gifts to their tenants in order to create a strong bond and get them to continue to stay in their rental property.

In the following months we will discuss this important question and help every Ottawa landlord in the new year.

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