Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs advises the 2012 rent increase guideline has been set at one percent and will take effect Jan. 1, 2012.
The rent guideline is determined annually and takes into account cost increases such as utilities, property taxes and other expenses in the operation of a residential complex.
The guideline applies to most residential rental properties including apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes. It does not apply to:
• units renting for $1,130 or more per month as of Dec. 31, 2011;
• personal-care homes;
• non-profit housing with subsidized rent;
• approved rehabilitated rental units; and
• new buildings that are:
• less than 15 years old, where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit first occupied after April 9, 2001, or;
• less than 20 years old, where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit first occupied after March 7, 2005.
Landlords can apply for an increase above the guideline if they can show it will not cover costs they have incurred.
Tenants have the right to object to any rent increase whether it is below, at or above the guideline. Objections must be made at least 60 days before the rent increase is set to take effect.
Tenants must receive written notice of a rent increase at least three months before the increase takes effect. For example, for a rent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2012, tenants must receive notice by Sept. 30, 2011. With few exceptions, rent can only be increased once a year.
The rent guideline is being announced now due to the restrictions on publishing and advertising in the Elections Finances Act.
Landlords and tenants can contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at 945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403 (toll-free in Manitoba) to find out more about rent increases and other rights and responsibilities. Information is also available at www.manitoba.ca/rtb.