© Fernando Calderón
As the contract is renewed each year, it is possible to renegotiate certain parts of the lease and modify this contract. The rent increase is one of the kinds of lease modifications that can be requested. However, both parties (landlord and tenant) must agree and you always have the right to refuse this increase and changes to the lease. In addition, there are specific deadlines for making these requests, your landlord cannot increase your rent at any time.
The deadlines for lease modifications and rent increase notices are strict and depend on the length of your lease (one year or more, less than a year, and indefinite):
If the notice is sent out of time, the notice is invalid.
If the notice is sent on time, you have 1 month to make your decision.
The possible answers
- You decide to leave: you must respond to your landlord within a month.
- You decide to stay and accept the increase: do not answer.
- You decide to stay and refuse the increase: you must respond to your landlord within one month.
Estimate your rent increase
The Administrative Housing Tribunal offers an online tool to calculate your rent increase. However, many of the operating expenses and information required to complete this calculation grid may not be accessible to tenants.
Thereby, there is a five-step method to estimate your rent increase.
PLEASE NOTE that this is an estimate of your rent increase, therefore there may be differences between the TAL calculation and this estimation tool. This calculation is indicative to allow you to see if the requested increase seems reasonable.
PLEASE NOTE: If your lease is renewed between April 1st and December 31st, you must use the tax amounts for the current and the previous year. But if your lease is to be renewed between January 1st and March 31st, you must use the tax account of
the previous year and the year before that (for example, in 2021, you would have to use the 2019 and 2020 tax accounts).
Step 1: Calculate the increase index provided by the TAL on your monthly rent
Multiply your monthly rent by the index provided by the TAL (exact calculation to do: your current rent, multiplied by the percentage of the TAL, divided by 100)
The Tribunal’s indexes are available on their website, you can find them easily using google keywords such as “TAL heating indices” or “TAL RCLALQ indexes”.
Calculation example: 750 (rent) x 0.5 (electricity) % / 100 = X
Step 2: Add up municipal taxes
Call 311: Ask for the amount of municipal taxes for the current year AND the previous year. You will then be asked for your address, then the amount of taxes will be given to you.
Calculation example if we were in 2021:
Taxes for 2021 – Taxes for 2020 = x ÷ (no of housing) = y ÷ (12 months) = z $
Step 3: Add up the school taxes
Call 514-384-5034 : (Press 0, and someone will take your call.). Ask for the amount of school taxes for the previous year AND the current year. You will then be asked for your address, then the amount of taxes will be given to you.
Online (click on “visitor” then on “image of invoices”): https://tfp.cgtsim.qc.ca/asp/tfp.aspx
Example of calculation if we were in 2021:
School Year 2020/2021 – school year 2019/2020= x ÷ (no of housing) = y ÷ (12 months) = z $
Step 4 (optional): Add up major repairs from the previous year (if applicable)
The work must have been completed between January 1st and December 31st of the previous year.
To do this calculation, there is, yet again, an index provided by the TAL. This information is available on the rent increase calculator tool in the section “Repairs and major improvements concerning the whole building – Major expenses concerning the whole building”.
The exact calculation to do:
for the works in my housing: the amount of work, multiplied by the index (%) divided by 100, divided by 12 months.
amount x (index (%) / 100) / 12 = y
For the works concerning the entire building: the amount of work, multiplied by the index (%) divided by 100, divided by the number of apartments, divided by 12 months. amount x (index (%) / 100) / number of apartments / 12 = y
Step 5: Add up all the amounts
Step 1+2+3+ (4) = _________ $
You now have an estimation of a reasonable rent increase for your home. However, it must be taken into account that the calculation does not take into account the increase in homeowners’ home insurance.
You can now decide to accept or reject your rent increase!
Have you decided to refuse your rent increase? Have you sent your notice of denial of increase? The ball is now in the hands of your landlord.
Your landlord has two options: do nothing or open a lease request. Indeed, as mentioned above, if the two parties cannot agree on the modification of the contract, a judge is called upon to decide.
If your landlord does nothing in the following month after your notice of denial of increase, there will be no increase. When your lease is renewed, you can continue to pay the same rent.
If your landlord opens a request for fixation, you will receive a notice from them and a court hearing date.
On the day of the hearing, you will have to present yourself and the judge will do the calculations necessary according to the criteria of the Administrative Court of Housing and decide on the new amount of rent.