Manitoba

Residential Tenancies Branch

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Section 13 

Rent Regulation

Sub-Section 13.11

Tenant Objection – Guideline or Less Rent Increase


  Legislation


s. 121,125(3) & (4), The Residential Tenancies Act


  Definitions

Annual rent increase guideline: the percentage that a landlord can increase rent without applying to the Branch for approval. The Government sets the amount each year. The guideline takes effect on January 1. For an explanation of how the annual rent increase guideline is calculated, click here. A landlord can apply for a larger increase if they can show that the guideline will not cover their increases in expenses. The guideline applies to most rental units, including apartments, single rooms, houses, duplexes, mobile homes and mobile home lots. The Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to rent increases on land leases.

Notice of Rent Increase: a form a landlord must give a tenant to tell them about a planned rent increase.

Rent: the amount of money paid by a tenant to a landlord for the right to occupy a rental unit and the use of common areas, services and facilities; rent includes any service/facility for which the tenant pays a separate charge (For example: parking, storage locker.)


Policy

If a rental unit is subject to rent regulation a tenant can object to any rent increase whether it’s at, above or below the guideline.

When objecting to a rent increase that is at or below the guideline amount, tenants must include reasons for doing so. The Residential Tenancies Act identifies the reasons for objecting to a guideline or less rent increase as follows:

  • The landlord is not maintaining the rental unit or residential complex
  • The landlord has reduced or withdrawn a service or facility
  • The landlord is not meeting any other obligation under a tenancy agreement or the act, or
  • The tenant believes the landlord’s costs have not increased.

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To object to a guideline increase, a tenant must file their written objection with the Branch at least 60 days before the date of the rent increase. While a tenant may discuss the increase with Branch staff, the Branch will usually consider only written comments when making a decision.

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To make a decision on an objection to a guideline increase, the Branch may need information from the landlord on their operating and capital expenses. If necessary, the Branch will ask the landlord to provide the same information as shown on an Application For Rent Increase Above the Guideline.

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The Branch’s goal is to issue an Order setting the rent before the date the landlord plans to increase the rent or within 90 days from the date it receives the application. If the Branch doesn’t issue the Order before the date of the proposed increase, the tenant must pay the landlord the rent increase the landlord requested. If the Branch later sets the rent increase at a lower amount and the landlord doesn’t appeal the Order, they must return the overpayment to the tenant. If the landlord appeals the Order, the tenants must continue to pay the requested amount until the Commission issues an Order setting the rent. For example: The annual rent increase guideline is set at 2%. The landlord gives the tenants notice that they plan to increase the rent by the amount of guideline on October 1. A tenant objects to the guideline increase and the Branch asks the landlord for information to support the increase. The Branch doesn’t issue an Order before October 1. The tenant must pay the 2% increase. On November 8, the Branch sets the rent increase at 1%. Neither the landlord nor tenant appeal the Order. The landlord must refund the 1% overpayment for October and November.

If the Branch finds that the landlord’s rent increase on one unit is not justified; the Branch may issue Orders setting the rent on the other units in the residential complex too.

The Branch can authorize tenants to set off an overpayment against future rent. The Branch also has the authority to re-direct rent to satisfy an Order to return a rent overpayment.

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When a tenant objects to a guideline or less increase, the Branch sometimes finds that the tenant is really concerned about something other than the rent increase. When this happens, the Branch contacts the landlord and tenant about the objection. The Branch tries to help the landlord and tenant resolve the problem. If necessary, the Branch opens a repair file.

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If a tenant objects to a guideline or less rent increase after the 60 day deadline, the Branch can’t deal with the objection. If the tenant has other concerns, the Branch will try to help the tenant and landlord resolve them.

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A landlord may "round " to the nearest dollar when increasing the rent. However, if a landlord chooses to "round" to the next dollar on one unit, they must "round" all rents in the complex to the nearest dollar. For example: The annual rent increase guideline is 1.5%. The allowable rent for Suite 403 is $502.00. The landlord may increase the rent $7.53 to $509.53. The landlord may round to $510.00 and still comply with the rent increase guideline. On Suite 605, the allowable rent is $478.00. The landlord may increase the rent $7.17 to $485.17. If the landlord rounds the rent on Suite 403 to $510.00, they must round the rent on Suite 605 to $485.00.

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A rent increase is calculated on the full monthly amount a tenant is supposed to pay the landlord. For example: The tenant’s rent is $500.00, which includes one parking stall. The landlord applies the rent increase to $500.00. If the tenant’s rent is $500.00 plus $25.00 for one parking stall, the landlord applies the rent increase to $525.00. If the tenant’s rent is $500.00 plus $50.00 for two parking stalls, the landlord applies the increase to $550.00.



Procedure

Overview   

An officer receives a tenant’s objection to a guideline rent increase. The officer contacts the tenant and landlord to discuss the objection. The officer may ask the landlord for information on their expenses. The officer tries to help the landlord and tenant resolve the objection. If they can’t resolve it, the officer issues an Order.


Steps ▼   

1.   The officer reviews the tenant’s objection and contacts the tenant to       discuss it. If the officer finds that the tenant’s objection is based on a       repair complaint or some other concern, the officer contacts the landlord       to discuss the objection. The officer tries to help the tenant and landlord       resolve the problem.

2.   If the officer can’t resolve the objection, they send the landlord a letter       asking for information on the landlord’s operating and capital expenses.       The officer asks the landlord to submit the same information as required       for an Application for Rent Increase Above the Guideline.

3.   The officer reviews the information. The officer then issues an Order:

  • confirming the rent increase; or
  • setting the rent at a lower amount on the tenant’s unit.

4.   After reviewing the information, the officer may also consider the rent on       the other units in the complex. This expanded review is done only with the       approval of a manager. If this happens, the officer will notify the landlord       and the other tenants. The officer may then issue an Order setting the rent       at a lower amount on all units in the residential complex.


 

 

Forms & Form Letters

Application for Rent Increase Above the Guideline. To see Form 3 click here

Notice of Rent Increase. To see Form 1A click here


 

 

X-Referencing

For information on a tenant’s right to object to an above guideline increase, see Application for Rent Increase Above the Guideline in this section.

For information on a new tenant’s right to object to a rent increase, see Rent Increase for New Tenant in this section.

For information on a rent increase when a landlord adds furniture, see this section.


 

 

Policy Developed

September, 1992


Last Revision

August, 2015


 

Other Resources

None


 

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