Fairtaxfairrent.ca campaign exposes unique hidden tenant tax in some Ontario municipalities

FRPO Seeks Equal Treatment For Tenants – a Home is a Home

September 22, 2014 (Don Mills, ON) – The Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) wants Ontario’s cities, including London, Toronto, Windsor and Hamilton, to stop the taxing of tenants at two to three times more than homeowners.

“There’s an legacy of inequity hidden in the tax rates of some of our largest municipalities: many rental buildings in Ontario pay municipal property tax rates that are two to three times what single-family homes and condominium owners pay. Those higher taxes fall on tenants, who are on average making half the income of homeowners, but paying two to three times more than their fair share of taxes,” said Scott Andison, President and CEO of FRPO.

The FRPO is urging its members, tenants and the public to add their voice to the call for a more equitable, responsible form of taxation. Campaign facts and advocacy, including the ability to contact the appropriate municipal and provincial government officials have been compiled on a public website (www.fairtaxfairrent.ca). FRPO members are also distributing brochures and information packages to tenants to boost awareness of this unfair practice by municipalities. FRPO will continue to provide these facts to government officials in an effort to achieve fairness for Ontario’s tenants.

Highlights indicate:

  • The inequitable treatment of tenants is unique to Ontario, occurring in the majority of our municipalities.
  • Across Ontario, the tenant property tax rate is on average two to three times higher than the property tax rate paid by homeowners.
  • Some Ontario municipalities have done the right thing, and have set the multi-residential tax rate to be equal to that of a single-family home and condominium.
  • The average tenant in a two-bedroom multi-residential unit in Ontario pays approximately $180 in property tax per month; if the rental building tax rate was made equal to that of condo or homeowners, that amount would be almost cut in half at $95 per month
  • Landlords and building owners do not control property taxes, municipalities do; by law, Ontario landlords must pass property tax savings delivered by the municipalities through to tenants. This means if property taxes go down for apartment buildings, so do tenant rents.
Unfair Taxes on tenants graph

“In Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver, residents of a house or renters of an apartment pay the same tax rate. Not so in the majority of Ontario municipalities, where this practice of taxing a tenant two to three times the rate of a homeowner cannot be justified. It’s time to take action and bring about fairness for tenants. After all, a home is a home regardless whether you rent or own,” said Andison.

FRPO is the largest association in Ontario representing those who own, manage, build and finance residential rental properties. Our membership includes a diverse group of owners and managers, from those with one small building or a single rental unit, up to the largest property management firms and institutional owners and managers. The association also includes our colleagues and partners in industry, including service providers, suppliers, and industry consultants. With more than 2,200 members in every area of Ontario, and with over 350,000 homes, we represent the full spectrum of the industry in Ontario.