Real estate for rent in Canada
In 2006, in the 28 largest regions of Canada, the average rental price of a two-bedroom apartment increased by 3.2%. This list was headed by the provinces of Alberta (with an increase in prices by 13.3%) and British Columbia (4.8%). The increase in average rental prices was rather sluggish compared to rising housing prices. Between 1999 and 2006, the average rental price of a two-bedroom apartment increased by only 20%, while housing prices rose by 75%. The percentage of vacant apartments in 2006 was 2.6%, which is slightly lower than 2.7% in 2005, but still significantly better than the average of 4.3% in the 1990s.
The increase in net migration has generated demand for rental housing. However, the growing demand for home ownership, supported by low mortgage rates, has suppressed rental demand. Despite the widening gap between rising average rental prices and rising housing prices, Canada has so far managed to maintain its high incomes. Studies conducted by the Global Property Guide show that apartments are 100 square meters. m in Montreal and Ottawa bring the highest income of approximately 7.18%. The lowest income, about 3.10%, comes from homes and apartments in Vancouver.
The initial rental conditions can be freely established by agreement in all but a few provinces, for example, Quebec, where the initial contractual terms of the rent can be appealed if the rent established by the same landlord for the same housing was lower in the previous 12 months. In all provinces, if rent increases 3 months or 90 days before, written notice must be provided. The exception is Nova Scotia, where a notice must be given 4 months in advance, and Quebec, where the terms of the notice are stipulated in the contract.
In four provinces, rent increases are in accordance with established rules; the maximum allowable increase is determined annually. In British Columbia, the maximum allowable increase in rent in 2006 was established based on the inflation rate of + 2%. In Quebec, the landlord is obliged to inform the tenant what the minimum rent for the property in the past 12 months has been.
The new tenant has the right to challenge the proposed rent and contact the Regie du Logement (Housing Council) to determine the size of the rent. During the period of the contract, the amount of annuity can be adjusted if it is stipulated by the terms of the contract, but either party has the right to contact Regie du Logement to make changes. If the parties fail to come to an agreement, the amount of rent will be established by state authorities in accordance with the amount of rent established for this apartment earlier. For example, in 2005, for residential premises, the heating costs of which were borne by the tenant, the state recommended an increase in rents of 0.8%. If the landlord provides heating services using electricity, he is allowed to raise the rent by 1.1%, if the house is heated by gas – then by 0.5%, if by liquid fuel – by 2.0%. In some provinces, such as Ontario, under certain circumstances, a tenant may contact the local government to be able to reduce rents.
The circumstances may be as follows: the landlord does not make any repairs and does not improve housing conditions, does not provide services that are a condition for increasing rents; the size of the municipal tax is reduced; the provision of communal services or the provision of housing amenities is reduced or discontinued, while the lessor does not reduce the rent.
Landlords can request a guarantee contribution of half to one full monthly rent in all provinces except Quebec, where guaranteed contributions are prohibited, and except Ontario, where landlords can instead request payment for the last month. In British Columbia, the landlord may request an additional amount of half a month’s payment as a guarantee fee for those with pets. In most regions, an interest rate is established or there is an interest scheme that determines what percentage should be paid. In some provinces, the guarantee fee is not withheld by landlords, but by local real estate authorities. When the lease expires, the initial paid guarantee fee minus all mutually agreed deductions shall be returned to the lessee.
If the landlord and tenant cannot agree on the deductions, they must come to discuss this matter before the mediator or judge arrives who can resolve the problem. In most provinces, the guarantee deposit must be returned within a few weeks after the expiration of the lease.