Saskatchewan Rent Increase Law
Raising rent is part of the business of being a landlord. As a landlord, you can choose to raise the rent on your Regina tenants for a variety of reasons. This is why we at Leenan Properties have put together this article along with the below video, so landlords understand both how and why they could choose to increase the rent.
Common reasons to increase rent include:
To improve your property. Such improvements may include doing things like replacing the tiles or carpet, re-doing the bathroom or kitchen, or putting in a new HVAC unit
In the event the neighborhood becomes attractive. This may occur when new businesses and services come into an area like public transportation system upgrades or an influx of new stores
Other factors that may lead a landlord to increase rent include increased taxes and high cost of living.
Now, like many other landlord-tenant laws, the province of Saskatchewan has a rent increase law in place. The law helps regulate how landlords raise the rent in order to protect tenants from excessive rent increases. The following is a basic overview of the law.
Can a Landlord Increase Rent on a Fixed-Term Tenancy?
No, you are not allowed to increase rent on a fixed-term lease. The only exception is if both you and your tenant agree to such a raise and when it comes into effect.
The other option is to wait until the current lease term is over to increase the rent. To do so, you must first inform your tenant at least 2 months before the lease ends if they are planning to extend their lease term.
If they are willing to renew it for another fixed term, you must inform them of the proposed changes. This is done via a written notice.
If the tenant agrees to the new terms, they must notify you of this choice within 30 days following your notification of the new terms. However, if they choose to reject them, they aren’t required to notify you of their decision. The offer automatically stands rejected after 30 days, and the tenant must move out of the property at the end of their lease term.
How Should Landlords Go About Increasing Rent in a Periodic Tenancy?
First things first – what is a periodic tenancy? A periodic tenancy is a lease that runs weekly, monthly or any other term that will only be terminated via an agreement or proper notice.
If you’re looking to raise the rent for a tenant that’s on a periodic tenancy, you must notify them in writing. The specific notice you must use can either be Form 5a or a Notice of Rent Increase form.
The notice period must be at least one year for an existing agreement, and 6 months for new tenancies.
There are exceptions, though. Members of both the Network of Non-Profit Housing Providers of Saskatchewan Incorporated (NPHPS) and the Saskatchewan Landlord Association Inc. (SKLA) can serve their tenants with a 6 months’ notice.
What Happens If You Give Your Regina Tenant an Improper Notice?
When looking to raise the rent, you are required to follow certain procedures. A common mistake you’ll want to avoid is failing to give your tenant the proper notice period. If this happens, your tenant will be entitled to a full refund of the extra rent paid without proper notice.
What Happens When a Party to the Lease Breaks a Term Tenancy?
Both you and your tenant are obligated to abide by all terms of the lease until it ends. If any party breaks it, there may be certain repercussions. For instance, one could compensate the other party for any damages they may have caused by breaching the contract.
Now, suppose your Regina tenant moves out before the expiry of their fixed-term lease. In such a case, they will still be liable for paying for all rent remaining under the lease. Note, however, that you’ll still be required to make reasonable efforts to re-rent the unit to mitigate the costs.
*Disclaimer: This blog isn’t a substitute for professional legal advice. If you need further help, please consider hiring a legal expert or an experienced property management company based in Saskatchewan like Leenan Property Management.