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Home » Legal & Official » Can Montreal landlords increase the rent by any amount they wish?

Montreal landlords can, in theory, raise the rent by any amount they desire. But it’s not quite as simple as that. Don’t forget, tenants in Montreal have rights.

Landlords can raise the rent by any amount they choose but the tenant must be in full agreement with the increase. Montreal tenants cannot be evicted for refusing a rent increase but in order to benefit from that protection, lessees must abide by the lease agreement and continue to pay rent on time regardless of any disagreement with lessors.

In order to minimize landlord-tenant disputes and tribunal hearings requiring the Quebec Rental Board’s attention, the Régie du logement sets rent increase guidelines every year under the guise of helping lessors and lessees come to a fair agreement without formal intervention from The Régie.

The Régie adjusts rental hike recommendations every year around January and relies on three major factors to determine fair rent increase guidelines.

 

  • Operating costs: how the dwelling is heated has an impact as well as whether heating costs are included in the rent.
  • Property taxes: if municipal and school taxes went up for landlords then it’s only fair that tenants carry the burden as well.
  • Renovations or major repairs: any upgrades and repair costs incurred by lessors can be factored in rent increases.

The Régie provides a calculation grid on their website to help landlords and tenants determine an exact and fair increase that factors in the variables above as well as each dwelling’s unique characteristics and situation. To speed up the process, The Régie also offers estimation guidelines to quickly determine whether the landlord’s proposed rent hike is within the set guidelines.

 

2011 Rent Increase Guidelines – A Quick Estimation

Operating Costs for 2012

 

  • 0.6% for unheated dwellings (was 0.5% in 2011, 0.8% in 2010, 0.6% in 2009, 0.7% in 2008)
  • 0% for gas heating included in the rent (was 0.6% in 2011, -0.5% in 2010, 1.8% in 2009, 0.5% in 2008)
  • 0.7% for electrical heating included in the rent (was 0.6% in 2011, 1.0% in 2010, 0.8% in 2009, 0.8% in 2008)
  • 3.6% for oil heating included in the rent (was 2.7% in 2011, -7.9% in 2010, 5.1% in 2009, 1.3% in 2008)

Therefore, a tenant who paid $700 rent with electrical heating included in it in 2011 could see that increase to $704.90 in 2012. 

Property Taxes for 2012

Find out if property taxes increased in your area by calling (514) 872-2305* to check municipal tax hikes and (514) 384-5034 for school taxes. It’s in your best interest to know because your landlord can tack on an additional 0.7% hike for every 5% increase (was also 0.7% in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011).

 

Renovations and Major Repairs for 2012

Renovations and repairs are factored in at 2.9% (was 3.0% in 2011, 2.9% in 2010, 4.0% in 2009, 4.3% in 2008). So let’s say a landlord spent $2,000 on specifically renovating your dwelling in 2011, then the lessor has the right to claim 2.9% of those costs, dividing that number by twelve months. Thus, the above landlord can add $$4.83 ($2,000 x .03 = $58 /12 = $4.83) to your monthly rent on top of basic guideline hikes covering operational costs and property tax increases.

 

If the proposed rent increase is significantly higher than what the above guidelines suggest it should be, then you might want to consider contesting the rent increase.

 

*This number is no longer in service. Residents are advised to call 311 instead.