The rent increase guideline for 2015 is 2.4%
New regulations passed earlier this year also strengthen requirements for exemptions from the rent regulation when landlords make renovations, and will limit how often landlords can apply for those exemptions. The changes will also spread the cost of some improvements over a longer period, which could result in smaller rent increases.
The rent guideline applies to most residential rental properties, including apartments, single rooms, houses and duplexes.
It does not apply to units renting for $1,435 or more per month as of Dec. 31, 2014; personal care homes; non-profit housing with subsidized rent; approved rehabilitated rental units; and new buildings that are less than 15 years old, where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit first occupied after April 9, 2001, or less than 20 years old, where an occupancy permit was first issued or a unit first occupied after March 7, 2005.
About 1,000 more properties will be protected from large rent increases, Lemieux said in a statement.
He also said the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg in 2014 is $751, compared with $888 in Regina, $1,087 in Calgary and $1,050 in Toronto. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Winnipeg in 2014 is $969, compared with $1,053 in Regina, $1,267 in Calgary and $1,241 in Toronto.
Landlords can apply for an increase above the guideline if they can show the guideline will not cover cost increases they have incurred.
Tenants must receive written notice of a rent increase at least three months before the increase takes effect. For example, for a rent increase to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, tenants must receive notice by Sept. 30. With few exceptions, rent can only be increased once a year.
Tenants have the right to object to any rent increase. Objections must be filed at least 60 days before the rent increase is set to take effect.