Rent cap introduced

Rent cap introduced

To support tenants and ensure they benefit from the proposed property tax measures, the government also implemented legislation to temporarily cap rent increases and require landlords to provide an acceptable reason to end a tenancy.

As part of the legislative changes, rent increases will be capped for one year – retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022, until Dec. 31, 2022 – at 3.8 per cent, which is the annual increase in the New Brunswick consumer price index for 2021. Previous rent increases set below this amount would not change.

Tenants who received a rent increase that took effect on or after Jan. 1, 2022, who continue to live in the unit, can deduct the amount owing for overpayment on their next month’s rent. No action would be required from the landlord to start this process.

 

Rent Increase Calculator

Complete this section if you have had a rent increased in effect on January 1st, 2022 or after to calculate the maximum allowable new rent amount
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Complete this section if you received a notice of rent increase and would like to calculate the maximum allowable new rent amount
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FAQ

What do tenants do if they have paid rent since January 1, 2022 with an increase of more than 3.8%?

Tenants that have overpaid their rent will be credited on their next rent payment. If their rent increase was in effect as of January 1, 2022, they will be credited their overpayment for January, February, and March on April’s rent. If the rent increase was in effect as of February 1, 2022, they will be credited their overpayment for February and March on April’s rent, and so on.

What if a tenant’s rent increase was in effect as of January 1, 2022 or after and they have since moved out of their rental unit?

The landlord will be required to return the overpayment to the tenant. The tenant should contact the landlord or the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to make this happen.

When are the rent caps in effect?

A rent increase in effect as of January 1, 2022 until December 31, 2022 is subject to the rent cap of 3.8% regardless if the increase notice was served prior to January 1, 2022.

When are the changes to terminating tenancies in effect?

The changes are effective on March 22nd, 2022. Any notices served on or after March 22nd, 2022 are subject to the new legislative requirements.

What are the new rules for ending a tenancy? The landlord may terminate a tenancy by providing proper notice and is terminating the tenancy for one of the following reasons:

  • The landlord or their immediate family want to live in the rental
  • The rental unit will be used for something other than for residential purposes
  • The rental unit will be renovated significantly requiring vacant possession
  • The tenant is working for the landlord maintaining or managing the rental, and the job ends

What if the landlord never had any intention to use the premises for the reason provided on the termination?

If a landlord is found by the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to have intentionally not followed through on the reason provided, the landlord may be ordered to pay compensation for the tenant’s losses due to the termination and a penalty may be imposed.

What if a tenant suspects their landlord has no intention of following through on the reason provided on the termination for ending their tenancy?

Tenants may apply to have a notice of termination reviewed by the Residential Tenancies Tribunal who will then undertake an investigation to establish the reason and validity for the termination.

What if a tenant finds out after they have moved out that the landlord had no intention to make the change to the premises as stated on the notice of termination?

Tenants may now make an application to the Residential Tenancies Act to compensate the tenant for losses. Landlords can also be charged a penalty. Two months must have passed after the date of the termination for the tenant to apply for assistance.

What type of renovations would be considered acceptable to terminating a tenancy?

The landlord must require vacant possession to complete the renovation, therefore the renovation must be very extensive. Examples of renovations that would require vacant possession are if, for an extended period tenants would be without water, electricity, heat, or safe, livable housing (safety hazard or noise) and would not include minor renovations.

How long does the landlord have to complete the renovations?

The landlord does not have to complete the renovations within a certain time frame, but they are required to begin the renovations within 2 months of the date of termination.

Who is considered a family member when it relates to terminating a tenancy to have a family member move in?

Eligible family members are the landlord’s spouse, a child of the landlord, a parent of the landlord or a parent of the landlord’s spouse.

What if a building sells and the new owner wants to occupy one of the units?

The new landlord must provide a notice of termination indicating they are terminating to occupy the unit. The termination notice period applies. Visit www.snb.ca/irent for information on terminating tenancies and notice requirements.

What if a tenant is causing problems, can a landlord end their tenancy?

Landlords may continue to address concerns regarding tenants who are not upholding their obligations through the Residential Tenancies Tribunal. A tenant who is causing a nuisance and disturbance will be ordered to comply with this obligation. If they fail to comply, the Residential Tenancies Tribunal may terminate their tenancy upon application by the Landlord and following an investigation.

For what other reasons can a landlord end a tenancy?

To terminate for a reason listed below, the Landlord must enlist the assistance of the Residential Tenancies Tribunal.
Unpaid rent
If a tenant does not follow the terms of their lease
If a tenant does not maintain their obligation to:

  • Respect the dignity and rights of other tenants and building staff
  • Ensure that they or their guests do not create a nuisance or disturbance
  • Repair any damage they or their guests may cause
  • Keep the rental unit reasonably clean
  • Respect the health and safety regulations of the building and ensure that they are not causing any health and safety risks to other tenants or the environment

The landlord must make an application to the Residential Tenancies Tribunal if their tenants are not meeting these requirements.

Will there be more changes to the Residential Tenancies Act?

The Residential Tenancies Act is reviewed frequently to ensure it meets the changing needs of New Brunswickers. Over the last few years there have been many changes to modernize the act such as limiting the frequency of rent increases, the addition of electronic service of documents, early lease termination for victims of intimate partner violence, the change to the department name and job titles to be gender neutral, to name a few. We will continue to consider changes to the Act on a go forward basis to keep it relevant.

Can a landlord increase rent more than 3.8% if a tenant is on a fixed term lease?

Effective immediately, rent cannot be increased by more than 3.8% between January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. This includes a week-to-week, month-to-month, year-to-year, or fixed term lease. Landlords who wish to increase rents at or below this amount must provide proper notice Rent increases.

If there was a change of ownership, can the new landlord increase the rent by more than 3.8%

No. Rent cannot be increased by more than 3.8% between January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. This includes a week-to-week, month-to-month, year-to-year, or fixed term lease. 

If a landlord cannot increase rent more than 3.8%, can they remove utilities as an inclusion in the monthly rent on existing tenancies?

A new or existing landlord cannot remove or change services that are included with rent such as power, heat, internet service or parking unless both the tenant and landlord agree to the change in writing.  For tenant’s that have resided in a unit for 5 years or more, the landlord may alter the lease agreement by providing proper notice.  The tenant has the right to have the change reviewed by the Residential Tenancies Tribunal to determine if it is reasonable and fair Changing a lease.

Can a landlord terminate a tenancy to sell their building?

A landlord cannot end a tenancy for the purposes of selling the property. If a new landlord is interested in occupying a unit, they must serve proper notice of termination to the tenant with the reason for the termination.  The termination cannot be served prior to the ownership changing hands. Should a building be sold, the new landlord must honour the tenant’s existing lease agreement  Ending a lease.