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2002 rent hikes can hit 3.9%

Toronto Sun - Sunday, August 26, 2001
By ALAN FINDLAY -- Queen's Park Bureau

Landlords can hike tenants' rent come January by the highest amount in eight years, according to Ontario's 2002 rent control rates.

Rising energy prices over the past winter, which have translated into higher hydro and heating bills, have jacked up the province's annual formula-based rate cap on apartment and housing rents to 3.9%, according to the ministry of municipal affairs and housing.

The new figure, released yesterday, is a 1% jump above last year's 2.9% limit on annual rent hikes. It marks the highest increase in allowable rent hikes since 1993, when the cap was set at 4.9%.

"Landlords have been wanting 6%, but we're sticking with the formula," said Michelle Mason, executive assistant to Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Chris Hodgson.

The province continues to calculate maximum rent increases according to a formula established in 1987, Mason said. That formula considers housing-related factors such as the cost of maintaining apartments and the price of hydro and heat, she said.

Enbridge Consumers Gas, Canada's largest gas supplier, raised its rates in Ontario by 45% last Oct. 1. They raised them again by 17% on Jan. 1.

The maximum increase would translate into an additional $39 on $1,000 rent. Any landlord planning to hike tenants' rents must give 90-days notice.

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