Measures introduced today by the Ontario government largely targeted in Toronto will reach Hamilton. What can it mean for you? Contact me anytime to discuss.
- A 15 per cent tax on home purchases by non-resident foreigners in Toronto and the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Wynne said the tax would not apply to new immigrants who plan to live here, but are instead aimed at speculators who will “never set foot in Ontario.” The proposed tax would apply to transfers of land that contain at least one and not more than six single-family residences, including semi-detached homes, townhomes and condos. It would not apply to transfers of other types of land including multi-residential rental apartment buildings, agricultural land or commercial/industrial land. A rebate would be available for those who later become citizens or permanent residents, as a well as foreign nationals working in Ontario and international students.
- A move to expand rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded. Housing Minister Chris Ballard said the government would move to remove the 1991 rule after residents complained of massive rent spikes. The rent controls must come through approved legislation, but will take effect today, April 20. Annual rent increase for an existing tenant can be no higher than the rate of inflation. Rent increases will be capped at 2.5 per cent, even if the rate of inflation is higher.
- A rebate of development cost charges to encourage building of more rental housing.
- A standardized lease document for all tenants.
- A plan to look at practices that may be contributing to tax avoidance and excessive speculation in the housing market, such as “paper flipping” — a practice that includes entering into a contractual agreement to buy a residential unit and assigning it to another person prior to closing.
- New powers for Toronto and other municipalities to introduce a tax on vacant homes to encourage owners to sell or rent unoccupied units.
- A move to identify provincially owned surplus lands that could be used for affordable and rental housing development. in Toronto the areas identified include the West Don Lands and 27 Grosvenor St. and 26 Grenville St.
- A $125-million, five-year program to encourage the construction of new purpose-built rental apartment buildings by rebating a portion of development charges.
- A review of the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions. A government backgrounder on the measures announced today specifically mentions the practice of double-ending, when one agent represents more than one party in a transaction.