Tenants Losing Interest

A reader points out changes to Ontario rental law that affects tenants who have paid security deposits.

By Letter to the Editor
Published February 09, 2007

Tenants who live in multi-residential complexes will soon be losing much of the annual interest they have been earning on the "last month's rent" their landlords hold for them.

Last Wednesday, January 31, the new Residential Tenancies Act came into force in Ontario, replacing the Tenant Protection Act. The new Act allows for a fluctuating rate of interest based on StatsCan's annual cost-of-living as computed each May.

For 2007, that figure is 2.6 percent. For many years the amount has been calculated at 6 percent.

The Residential Tenancies Act contains a phase-in clause that allows for those whose lease renewal occurs in February to get the original 6 percent. The percentage reduces a little bit each ensuing month until February 2008.

The calculation for each month's interest rate is complicated but not impossible. A chart containing the figure for a tenant's particular month can be acquired from the Hamilton Tenant Education Project website www.hamiltontenant.ca or by calling the Hamilton Tenant HelpLine at 905-526-9119.

Andy Cranbury, Member
Hamilton Tenant Education Project

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