NDP MPPs looks to close 'loopholes' on rent hikes
Ontario’s NDP wants to make it more difficult for landlords to jack up rents.
“If passed, this bill would ensure that when you move into a new apartment you pay the same rent as the previous tenant did,” said London North Centre NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan at a Tuesday news conference at the corner of Western Road and Platts Lane in London.
He was joined by NDP colleagues in Toronto and Ottawa who also held news conferences announcing the introduction of the Rent Stabilization Act: Pay What the Last Tenant Paid. The bill is to stabilize rents and crack down on renovictions.
“One of the most common stories I hear from renters is that when they move out their apartment goes back on the market costing anywhere from $200 to $400 more,” said Kerhnahgan.
He was joined by tenant Davis Whittington-Heeney, who said he and his partner have a baby on the way and they’re having a hard time finding a more suitable place to live than the unit they’re currently renting.
“I don’t know where I’m going to find an actual space where I can add a bedroom, still keep it in our budget, and still be able to live in this province,” said Whittington-Heeney.
Kernaghan said under the bill the only allowable increase would be limited to the annual government-regulated increase based on annual inflation.
In 2018 Premier Doug Ford’s PC government scrapped rental controls for new units. The government said it was meant to encourage more builds and increase the housing supply.
This was paused during the pandemic, but tenants in new builds will soon face a return to unrestricted rent hikes as the freeze comes to an end at the close of 2021.
Kernaghan said it’s a system that favours developers.
“It’s in their financial interest to keep moving tenants out and keep the rent prices going up.”