April 12, 2010

The Toronto Star is reporting that Ontario’s 1.3 million renter households will be protected from rent increases due to the HST.

According to the report, in advance of the harmonized sales tax taking effect in July, the Liberal government will close a loophole in rent regulations that would have allowed landlords to apply for above-guideline rent increases based on the new 13 per cent tax on utilities.

Instead, the new HST costs for utilities may only affect rent as per the Consumer Price Index, which Ontario uses to calculate the annual rent increase guideline.

Ontario landlords warned last March that the HST would increase residential rents by 2.5 to 3 per cent and cost the average tenant $270 to $320 more per year. But, with the new rules, it seems landlords may be forced to eat a larger slice of the HST pie – as opposed to passing it off to their tenants.

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