Today, many of us received a package from the City of Toronto to inform us that our rent is being reduced as of December 31, 2011. The package contained two notices(1.Your Rent is Being Reduced, Automatic Rent Reductions and 2. Tax Decreases Important Information) and a flyer (“Automatic Rent Reductions And Tax Decreases – The Residential Tenancies Act).

The reason for this reduction is a decrease in property taxes on our rental units.

Notice 1 indicates the percentage amount we are permitted to reduce from our rents.  A formula to calculate this percentage is given.  We ask our members to read  this formula very carefully, and to apply it precisely. 

The notice states: “YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ASK YOUR LANDLORD FOR PERMISSION TO GET THIS RENT REDUCTION.”  The notice advises tenants, however, to communicate with their landlords about the amount of the rent reduction and the new monthly rental amount.  

As mentioned in the notice, once you have calculated your rent reduction, give a copy of the notice to your landlord with the first reduced rent payment, and keep copies of your rent payments.

If the rent is not reduced, tenants may apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an order requiring the landlord to pay them back. This must be done by December 30, 2012.

Both tenants and landlord can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board if they believe that the reduction is too low or too high, or that it is incorrect.  The deadline to apply to the Board to solve this is March 31, 2012.  “However, once the Board has resolved the application, the Order will be effective going back to December 31, 2011”.

The notice states: “If a tenant has already received a Notice of Rent increase effective after December 31, 2011, it may or may not take into account the rent reduction.  Tenants in this situation are asked to discuss with their landlord what they are required to pay.”

The following contacts are given, for assistance and information:

The HPTA advises its members to read all notices and the flyer very carefully and to follow the steps mentioned.  This post is only an outline.  Get all the information you need and contact the organizations that can help you make the best decisions.  We have asked for an emergency meeting with the landlords to see how we can ease the process for our members.