Big changes for housing providers post-EOA
Most of the discussions on expiring operating agreements have focused on the financial impact resulting from the agreements expiring, including securing money for capital repairs. What we haven’t heard very much about is what happens when these non-profit housing landlords lose their exemptions under Section 7 of the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA), 2006.
Once operating agreements expire, housing providers will be bound by several provisions in the RTA, including the provisions dealing with:
- Rent increases (i.e., having to provide 90 days’ notice of rent change and being only able to do so once in a 12-month period)
- Allowing subletting and assignment
- Compensation for repairs or renovation
- Applying for above guideline rent increases
- Reducing rent when a facility or service is also removed or reduced
- Rent reduction when municipal taxes are reduced
As they move closer to the expiry of their operating agreements, housing providers will need to seek legal advice as soon as possible and review their leases, policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the RTA.
Can RTA exemptions be extended?
In order to continue to be exempt from certain provisions of the RTA, housing providers with expiring operating agreements must have entered into a qualifying agreement with their Service Manager.
Qualifying agreements will differ by project and Service Manager but the key component needs to be a commitment to keep units affordable for a number of years in exchange for some benefit from the Service Manager (usually funding).
Housing providers whose operating agreements are set to expire should contact their Service Manager now to explore their options.