Some condo-dwellers are seeing their rents double overnight
A lot of Toronto renters are vaguely aware that Ontario law forbids landlords from dramatically increasing rents without good cause, and that’s partially true. But here’s the thing: the province’s rent-hike restrictions apply only to buildings that were used for residential purposes before November 1991. Newer buildings—particularly rental condos—have no rent controls whatsoever, meaning landlords are bound only by whatever’s in the lease. A few tenants at some King West condo buildings are learning this the hard way.
The Star reports that tenants in at least two west-end towers, who had been renting their units from a housing developer called Urbancorp, recently received letters informing them that the rents on their apartments would be doubling, starting this summer. One tenant, Kim Zasadny, told the Star that the monthly tab for her one-and-a-half bedroom place would be increasing from $1,650 to $3,330. The sudden change is likely related to Urbancorp’s ongoing corporate restructuring: the company filed for creditor protection last year after collapsing under a mountain of debt.
The Ontario NDP has lately been agitating in favour of extending rent protections to tenants of newer buildings, which would curb these sudden price increases. (Housing economists, meanwhile, are starting to come out against the idea.)