January 6th, 2013
Saskatchewan Landlords Want to Know The Rules For Raising the Rent in 2013
We have received many inquiries from landlords all over Saskatchewan with the common theme being confusion over “how much can I raise the rent in 2013?”
The questions about raising the rent in 2013 include people asking:
1. Do the new changes in the rules mean I can’t raise the rent?
2. Do the new changes in the rules mean I can raise the rent as much as I want?
3. Do I need the government to approve a rent increase?
4. If the tenants object, is there a change I will have to decrease the rent?
5. Do I have to join some group to raise the rent, and if they don’t accept me I can’t raise the rent?
The Saskatchewan system is different than provinces like Ontario where the rent increase guideline is capped at 2.5% for 2013 and British Columbia where the rent increase guideline is 3.8 in 2013.
The government has a good website page explaining things for landlords: Rent Increases
The following information is from that site.
If You Have a Fixed Term Lease With Your Tenants
No increases are allowed during a fixed-term lease unless the landlord and the tenant agree to the amount of the increase and time when an increase is to come into effect at the time they enter into the fixed term tenancy.
Fixed term leases in excess of three months duration must be in writing.
Advance Notice to Your Tenants
Landlords are required to inform the tenant at least 2 months in advance of the end of the tenancy, whether or not they are willing to renew the lease. If a landlord is willing to renew a term lease, the notice must include the terms of renewal, including any rent increase. See Form 15.
Periodic Tenancies – Six Months Notice
Periodic tenancies are week-to-week, month-to-month or any other term that will continue until terminated by proper notice or by agreement.
Give Proper Notice Using the Proper Forms
Any notice of rent increase must be given in writing using Form 5 – Notice of Rent Increase OR Form 5a Notice of Rent Increase for SRHIA members.
The Rules are Different if You Join a “government approved group” Or If You Don’t.
The following chart is a comparison of the requirements for notices of rent increase by non-members and by SRHIA members, respectively.
|Members of SRHIA
|Notice of rent increase
|Time between rent increases
|New tenancies – No notice of rent increase during the first …
|New tenancies – Earliest possible rent increase …
A notice of rent increase delivered during the first six months of a new tenancy will be deemed to be delivered at the end of the six months.
What if you make a mistake giving proper notice?
If insufficient notice is given, the tenant is entitled to a refund of any increase in rent paid without proper notice and to deduct the overpayment from future rent payments, if not refunded.
What If I’m Not Happy Joining that Particular Group?
We agree. The government has good intentions but giving special treatment for those who get admitted to a particular ‘association’ isn’t fair and needs to be changed.
What about SLA members?
We are reaching a huge audience across the province. Especially landlords who may not live in the big cities and don’t happen to own hundreds or thousands of rental units…they are busy enough with 1 or 2!
The SLA also helps Saskatchewan landlords by charging a low one-time only fee for good leases and credit checks from Equifax to help our members make sure they rent to good tenants.
Hopefully the well-intentioned current government will see the big picture as our province grows fast and becomes a leader in Canada and admired throughout the world. The SLA is reaching a big audience of really good people who also happen to be landlords who provide high quality affordable housing to thousands of tenants across our province. Our sister sites in BC and Ontario play a key role in helping the government create rental policy. Let’s hope our government also listens to the “little gals and guys” who work hard to provide high quality, affordable rents in Saskatchewan!