Under Section 131 of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), tenants are entitled to an automatic rent reduction when their landlord’s property taxes have been reduced by more than 2.49 per cent from one year to the next. The City is required to send notices of rent reduction to landlords by September 15 and to tenants by December 15. While the tenant does not have to get permission from the landlord to automatically reduce the rent, it is recommended that tenants talk with their landlords prior to the effective date on December 31.
At the end of each year, a listing of rental residential properties is provided by the City. This listing outlines the reasons as to whether or not an automatic rent reduction applies to a property.
The RTA prescribes that if property taxes have been reduced by more than 2.49 per cent between two consecutive years, the rent reduction is equal to the percentage decrease in property taxes from one year to the next, and then multiplied by:
Below is an example of a rent reduction calculation for a multi-residential complex that is currently paying $800 per month for rent.
Previous Year Property Taxes = $10,000
Current Year Property Taxes = $9,150
Reduction in Taxes = Previous Year Property Taxes – Current Year Property Taxes
= $10,000 – $9,150
Tax Reduction % = (Reduction in Taxes / Previous Year Property Taxes) x 100%
= ($850 / $10,000) x 100%
Based on the prescribed rate of 15 per cent for residential or new multi-residential properties and 20 per cent for multi-residential properties (as stated in the RTA):
Rent Reduction % = Tax Reduction % x Prescribed Rate (15% or 20%)
= 8.5% x 20%
Please note that Steps 1 and 2 are unique and separate, and that the percentage of the property tax decrease is not equivalent to the percentage of the rent reduction. The rate of either 15 or 20 per cent must be applied to the property prior to calculating the value of the rent reduction.
Rent Reduction = Monthly rent x Rent reduction %
= $800 x 1.7%
New Monthly Rent = Monthly Rent – Rent Reduction
= $800 – $13.60
City Council approved that Expanded Notices be mailed to landlords and tenants of eligible buildings where property tax decreases of more than 2.49 per cent occurred as a result of changes that happened after regular legislated notices were mailed. Property tax changes may result from assessment appeals, tax classification changes or supplementary or omitted assessment changes to a property tax account.
The Expanded Notices are not notices for the purposes of Section 131 of the RTA, they are provided for information only. As such, the City cannot determine whether a tenant is entitled to a rent reduction after receiving these notices. Tenants can either come to an agreement with their landlord, or make an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board to determine whether a rent reduction applies, and the amount of the rent reduction, if any.