Sharing Rents In Ontario To Level The Playing Field In Rent Negotiations

two people share a hammock slun between two porch posts
This scene was created by and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
Ontario renters do best in Canada, but that doesn't make it an easy ride.

Tenants and housing advocates in Ontario may be surprised that Ontario’s landlord-tenant rules on evictions are considered best practices in British Columbia1. Comparatively speaking, Ontario’s law does have more eviction protections for tenants. For example, landlords in Ontario are required to file a notice of eviction with the landlord tenant board, while landlords in British Columbia are not.

That said, Ontario’s landlord tenant legislation is doing little to prevent rocketing rent increases. In Ontario’s system, there is no rent control to limit rent increases when a tenant moves out and another moves in2.

A new tenant is expected to ‘negotiate’ the rent with their landlord. The negotiated rent could be based on the rent paid by the previous tenant, but it is uncommon that the new tenant will know what the previous tenant paid. The rents for other units that are vacant become significant in rental negotiations. This is so even though they are not directly related to the cost of owning and managing the building where the tenant is planning to move.

Tenants in Ontario have begun building a data base of rental information. Sitting tenants can enter details of their current home to a rent registry. The information is available for prospective tenants who are looking to rent at the same address. The registry is hosted by Vivre en Ville. To date there are records for 5,000 units in Ontario. Sitting tenants are encouraged to sign up. Read more about the registry at ACORN: ACORN supports Vivre en Ville’s New Rental Registry!


  1. For more on proposed eviction reforms in British Columbia, try try: Why And How To Change Eviction Law In British Columbia, Canada
  2. ‘Vacancy decontrol’ is often used as a short form.