You can download a printable PDF of my letter by clicking here. I have also included an accessible plain-text version below:
Chair & Members
10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen St. West
Toronto ON M5H 2N2
December 20, 2013
Re: Protecting the Rights of Toronto Tenants
Dear Chair and Committee Members,
I am writing to request that the Committee consider the accompanying recommendations to support tenants across Toronto.
The relationship between a tenant and a landlord can often be difficult and confusing. The 50% of our residents that rent an apartment or house have special rights and responsibilities that are governed by City of Toronto by-laws and provincial legislation. Tenants have the right to live in a clean, well-maintained building and not be subjected to rent increases above the provincially mandated increase without reasonable justification, or eviction without a fair hearing at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
Unfortunately, my office has heard from too many renters that have been treated unfairly by their landlords. In most instances, these tenants were taken advantage of because they were unaware of their rights. Even if a tenant is knowledgeable, it is difficult for most people to assert their rights. That's why the City of Toronto established the Tenant Defence Fund. The Fund supports both a Tenant Support Grants Program and a Tenant Outreach and Organizing Program.
- The Tenant Support Grants Program provides direct grants to tenant groups wishing to challenge their landlord's application for a rent increase above the guideline (AGI) demolition of their buildings, conversion of their buildings to condominiums and other applications determined on a case-by-case basis.
- The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenant groups to organize and prepare for hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board for rent increase disputes, or at the Ontario Municipal Board for demolitions and condo conversion matters. The Outreach and Organizing Program helps tenants with other matters as needed.
Please support these recommendations that will restore funding to help protect our tenants.
- City Council add $75,000 to the Tenant Defence Fund from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue).
- City Council direct that any organization receiving a portion of the Tenant Defence Fund may not engage in, advocate for, or directly participate in partisan issues that are political in nature, either foreign or domestic, outside of their mandate to protect the rights and interests of tenants.
Toronto City Councillor
Ward 22 – St. Paul's