Councillor Josh Matlow

Ford’s Rent Control Exemption Threatens Toronto Tenants: return of rental loophole not supported by evidence

November 15, 2018

City Hall – Doug Ford is threatening the security of Toronto tenants with today’s announcement that he will revive a loophole allowing landlords to charge unlimited rent increases in newly-built apartment units. Last year, the previous Liberal government closed the loophole after landlords took advantage of Toronto’s overheated housing market by doubling rents in some high-profile incidents of price gouging.

“Landlords and Doug Ford must be the only people in Toronto that think rents aren’t high enough already,” said Councillor Josh Matlow, Chair of the Tenant Issues Committee. “Tenants deserve to have the security of knowing they won’t be evicted from their homes because they can’t afford an overnight doubling in their rent.”

“Doug Ford’s decision to remove rent control from new buildings will make Toronto even less affordable. It removes tenants’ rights & drives young people out of our city. This affects people’s ability to make ends meet. Ford’s doing this for some landlords, not ‘for the people’.”

Today’s change to the Residential Tenancies Act is not only unfair to already overburdened tenants, but the move is also unnecessary. Claims that returning the loophole will increase apartment supply, eventually leading to lower rents, are not supported by evidence.

According to Urbanation, a leading condo & rental market analysis firm, the rental construction rate is the highest seen in at least 30 years:

  • new purpose-built rental construction surged in Q2, with 2,635 starts recorded during the quarter, raising the total inventory under construction to 11,073 units, 69% higher than Q2-2017 (6,539) before the loophole was closed
  • The inventory of rentals underway is now higher than all units in apartments built since 2005 (10,871).
  • During Q2-2018, new applications totaling 5,920 units were proposed for purpose-built rental development, nearly 3.5 times greater than the number of new units proposed a year ago during Q2-2017 (1,719)
  • As of Q2-2018, the inventory of proposed purpose-built rentals totaled 120 projects and 37,403 units, nearly doubling in size over the past two years to reach the highest level recorded by Urbanation since tracking began in Q1-2015.

The previous provincial government introduced the Rental Fairness Act, 2017 to end unlimited rent increases on apartments built after 1991 as a result of a long campaign by the Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants Associations, ACORN, ACTO, Councillor Matlow and his office, and many others.

Andrew Athanasiu

Senior Policy Advisor

Office of Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto – St. Paul’s

cell: (416) 892-7353


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