Toronto, Ontario, Canada News Release

December 14, 2010

Lower rents for 25 percent of Toronto renter households

About a quarter of Toronto tenant households are receiving notices of an automatic rent reduction this week. Tenants should check their daily mail, and act on this valuable information.

Addressed to the “Current Tenant”, clearly marked “Rent Reduction Notice Enclosed”, and in a City of Toronto envelope, these letters contain all the customized information a tenant requires to start paying a lower rent as early as December 31, 2010.

This year, 128,109 Toronto households are eligible for a rent reduction under provincial legislation because the property tax on their buildings has been lowered by more than 2.49 percent during 2010. This compares to 128,532 in 2009 and 330 in 2008.

Municipalities are required to send notices about the tax decrease and rent reduction to landlords of affected buildings by September 15 and to tenants by December 15. Notices are based on assessment information provided by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), an independent organization established by the provincial government.

Tenants of buildings with more than six units generally pay about 20 percent of their rent toward property taxes, so if taxes go down, they are entitled to reduce their rent by 20 percent of the reduction. For buildings with six or fewer units, the percentage is 15. All rules are established by provincial legislation.

The rent reduction provisions in the Residential Tenancies Act apply only to private rental buildings occupied as residences before November 1, 1991. Newer apartment buildings are not covered. A number of other restrictions apply.

If a household does not receive the rent reduction notice, it is not entitled to automatically reduce the rents. Tenants in buildings with property tax reductions of 2.49 percent or less may be eligible for a rent reduction if they make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board. More information: http://www.toronto.ca/housing

Tenants can contact 311 with any queries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, tenants can contact the City-funded Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494.

The Landlord and Tenant Board has a telephone information line (416-645-8080) for inquiries, including those about the rules for calculating rent reductions and for above-guideline rent increase applications, as well as exemptions and rent reduction procedures for people living in buildings with tax reductions of 2.49 percent or less. The Board’s website is http://www.ltb.gov.on.ca.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents. For information about non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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