Manitoba Family Services and Consumer Affairs advises the provincial 2011 rent guideline has been set at 1.5 per cent and will take effect January 1, 2011.
The 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. From 2006 to 2010, the average rent guideline was 2.1 per cent.
The guideline applies to most residential rental property including apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes. The guideline does not apply to:
• rental units renting for $1,120 or more per month as of Dec. 31, 2010;
• 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 the guideline will not cover cost increases they have incurred.
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, 2011, tenants must receive notice by Sept. 30, 2010. With few exceptions, rent can only be increased once a year.
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.
Landlords and tenants can contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at 945-2476 or 1-800-782-8403 (toll-free) to find out more about rent increases and other rights and responsibilities. Information is also available at www.manitoba.ca/rtb.