Renters Educating and Networking Together

RENT Forum 2019Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act

Being a Tenant in 2019? Forum Presentation Slides 

RENT Brochure

Current Ontario government has removed the hard won rent control of the rental units as of November 15, 2018. All unoccupied units, new builds and retrofits as of November 2018 do not need to follow the provincially set rent increase guidelines. In addition, the tenants will still be faced with the vacancy decontrol, that is no limit to the rent increase set once there is a new tenancy. 

Our Advocacy Work

RENT (Renters Educating & Networking Together) in Waterloo Region has been advocating for rent control since the 2000s. Ontario 2017 Liberal Government Budget recognized the hardship that the rent control exemptions have put on renters: ...the [Ontario] government will bring all tenants under the province's existing rent control system, ending the exemption that currently allows unlimited rent increases in units built after 1991. (CBC, April 20 2017). Congratulations to RENT and all tenants' rights advocates in Ontario for bringing this change to the private rental housing market. It is still in the current legislation to all the rental units that were occupied before November 15, 2018.

This does not mean that fighting Above Guideline Rent Increases is easy. There is no direct support given at this time to renters who have to collect all the documentation on their end, who have to request and review all the documentation provided by the landlord to the Landlord and Tenant Board and make sure they can present their case at the hearing. Waterloo Region Community Legal Services can give advice in this regard 519-743-0254.

Tenant Information and Education

Being a Tenant in 2019?Social Development Centre Waterloo Region has been supporting tenant initiatives and advocacy since 1990s and has been a part of the R.E.N.T. (Renters Educating and Networking Together) leadership since 2015. Our work converged closer through Neighbourhood Connection and community engagement in privately owned rental buildings. Challenges we faced were tenant under reporting of issues, complex and fragmented systems of support, lack of educational opportunities for all the parties involved, inconsistent procedures to support tenants living with multiple challenges, weakened capacity in the region for support to tenant organizing and advocacy and persisting challenges for settlement of immigrants and refugees. Renters Toolkit compiles a series of tip sheets, educational videos and a resource inventory for tenants. Our objective remains looking for avenues to support face to face tenant education, tenant organizing and ongoing collaboration among support agencies. We hope to see similar collective impact initiatives grow stronger in different municipalities in the region. Find out more in the Tip Sheet How to Respond to Issues that Arise During Your Tenancy and the video How to make sure your maintenance requests are completed.  

Tenants' Rights Enforcement Information 

Tenants Rights Enforcement videoStaying Housed and keeping a home is becoming more challenging with the persisting lack of available, adequate and affordable rental units.  Renter's Toolkit: Finding and Keeping a Home is a new resource for renters produced by the Region of Waterloo Community Services in collaboration with organizations and agencies providing housing supports in the region. Our contribution to the initiative grew out of the community engagement work in neighbourhoods with tenants and property standards enforcement agencies. Tenants' Rights Enforcement Information Sheet is a product of collaboration with Kitchener ByLaw and Fire Safety, Waterloo Region Community Legal Services and Police Services, R.E.N.T. and KW Tenant Group to assist renters primarily in Kitchener how to navigate multiple systems of support.