Rent control could stifle market supply


Rent control measures could stifle market supply if the past is any guide, says Toronto real estate lawyer Peter Neilson.

The legislature at Queen’s Park recently introduced legislation that extends rent control to all private units in Ontario. The Rental Fairness Act, 2017 caps annual rent increases by landlords at an amount set by the province, with the rate for 2017 set at 1.5 per cent. The maximum increase allowed in any year under the new law is 2.5 per cent.

Rent control has a long history in Ontario, but in 1991 the provincial government exempted any units built after that year.

Neilson, a partner with Shibley Righton LLP, says the 1991 exception was made in an attempt to spur development of new rental units.

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