At only 1.4 percent, the Ontario Rent Increase guideline for 2008 will be the lowest guideline since rent increase guidelines were introduced more than 30 years ago.

The 2008 Guideline was calculated for the first time under the New Residential Tenancies Act which took effect January 31, 2007, and is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index – a measure of inflation calculated by Statistics Canada.

The Provincial government says by linking the rent increase guideline to the price index, tenants will be protected from receiving a rent increase well above inflation. The move was made to ensure that landlords could recover the increase in their costs, while tenants can still pay their rent.

The rent increase guideline is the maximum amount by which a landlord can increase the rent of a tenant without seeking the approval of the Landlord and Tenant Board. Guidelines have been calculated each year since 1975, ranging between 1.5 percent and 8 percent. Most tenants in Ontario receive an annual rent increase that is at or below the amount of the guideline.

The 2008 Guideline will only apply to rent increases that occur between January 1 and December 31, 2008.

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