THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay has a tight residential rental market. Finding good places to live, for many people is difficult. That leads to a market where rents are relatively high, and puts landlords into a position of having lots of tenants to choose from for their rental units.
“Looking for housing can be daunting, especially those who are renting for the first time. That’s why knowing your rights and responsibilities as a tenant can help you avoid problems and protect yourself,” states Ted McMeekin Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
According to the Canda Mortgage and Housing Corporation, in their latest report, the Rental Market Survey (RMS), the vacancy rate among apartment buildings with at least three units in the Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) fell to 2.3 per cent in October 2014, down from 2.6 per cent in October 2013.
CMHC expects the vacancy rate to increase in 2015 with the rate declining again in 2016 as employment growth picks up.
Continued in-migration led by area residents from Thunder Bay District, Rainy River District and Kenora District, for education, employment or retirement reasons and more international students seeking rental accommodation will be countered by households leaving due to reduced employment opportunities.
Getting the right tenant and the right landlord presents challenges.
The Ontario Residential Tenancies Act outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants for most residential properties in the province, and includes rules about:
- How to terminate a lease
- When rent can be increased
- Repairs to rental units
- Rent receipts and deposits, subletting, having pets and changing locks
To help your rental experience go as smoothly as possible:
- Be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant
- Keep open lines of communication with your landlord to minimize disagreements
- Ask your landlord to agree to rental terms in writing
- Always keep copies of documents that you provide to your landlord
- If your landlord has violated the Residential Tenancies Act or you have a complaint, contact the Investigation and Enforcement Unit