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“My housing charges are going up. Why?”

Housing co-ops are businesses. If they’re going to survive, they need to make sure they have enough money to pay their expenses.

Expenses include things like mortgage or lease payments, property taxes, utilities, insurance, professional fees, maintenance and the long-term replacement of things like roofs and windows. These add up and generally increase over time. Co-ops rely on housing charges (like rents) to cover those costs, so you should expect housing charges to increase.

Co-ops will usually tell you about planned increases at least two months in advance. Sometimes the increases will be very small, but sometimes they will be larger. The rent increase limits in the Residential Tenancy Act do not apply to co-ops. Co-ops offer other protections: generally, members must approve housing charge increases, and most co-ops try to offer support when housing charges become unaffordable to individual households. (Housing charges are usually considered “unaffordable” when they take up more than 30% of pre-tax household income.)

Can my co-op raise my monthly housing charge by more than limits set by the Residential Tenancy Act?
Yes. Because the RTA doesn’t apply to co-ops. Co-ops only increase housing charges so they can meet their expenses.