Ontario announces housing legislation
In April, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal Party introduced an ambitious plan to regulate the province’s runaway housing market. The proposed legislation will have a notable effect on the City of Toronto and Greater Toronto Area, which has driven much of the market’s acceleration. Politicians, advocates, and real estate lawyers continue to disagree over the plan’s impact on prospective renters and homebuyers.
Average home prices in Toronto rose 33 per cent between March 2016 and March 2017, spurring calls for action from a range of stakeholders.
“When young people can’t afford their own apartment or can’t imagine ever owning their own home, we know we have a problem,” said Premier Wynne. “And when the rising cost of housing is making more and more people insecure about their future and about their quality of life in Ontario, we know we have to act.”
A 15 per cent tax on foreign homebuyers is central to the plan, which also includes “measures to combat speculators, slash red tape, speed construction of new homes, levy taxes on vacant properties, change the way real estate agents operate, end questionable sales practices, catch tax cheats and standardize rental leases,” the Globe and Mail reports.
If you have questions or concerns about any of these measures, feel free to contact the real estate lawyers at Nanda & Associate today. The province’s sweeping legislation will affect all Ontarians differently; our team can help explain how you should react.
The legislation’s proposed rent control and tenant protection measures include a repeal of the 1991 exemption, which freed buildings built after that date from rent control regulations, and the Rental Fairness Act, which bars landlords from evicting tenants for the express purpose of increasing rent.
Opinions on the efficacy of these measures are divided: some say controls are essential to maintaining housing accessibility, while others suggest they could scare off investors and developers.
Toronto Mayor John Tory told the Globe that “it would be a real problem for this growing marketplace, this growing city, if we shut off … investment in affordable purpose-built rental housing, because we need it so badly.”
“This will have a very significant impact on small landlords and a very significant impact on condominiums,” Jim Murphy, president of the Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario, added in an interview with the Toronto Star.
However executive director of the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations told the Star the legislation would “disincentive landlords from acting illegally.”
If you are concerned about how the Province of Ontario’s new housing market regulations might impact you, contact Nanda & Associate’s team of real estate lawyers today to discuss your options.