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Tenants

Ward 22 has the highest percentage of tenants in Toronto. I am committed to working closely with tenants and the provincial government to restore real rent control to curb spiralling apartment rates.

 

I also understand that the relationship between a tenant and a landlord can often be difficult and confusing. If you rent an apartment or house you 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.


The following contact information is for various organizations and agencies that are able to assist you with information, advice and support if you encounter any issues related to your tenancy. As always, please feel free to contact my office for help with any issue related to your
apartment or rental agreement.

 

City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards: 311 (toronto.ca/311)

Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants’ Associations: (416) 921-9494

Ontario Tenants Rights

Housing Connections (TCHC): (416) 981-6111

Toronto Rent Bank: (416) 924-2543

Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board: (416) 645-8080

My letter regarding issues at 263 Russell Hill Road

June 9, 2014

 

 

Jennifer Hossain

Property Manager

263 Russell Hill Road

Toronto, ON

M4V 2T3

 

 

Dear Jennifer Hossain,

 

It has been brought to my attention by several tenants at 263 Russell Hill Road, an apartment building owned by Akelius Ltd., that repairs to lockers and balconies in this building remain unfinished.

 

It is my understanding that in October of 2013, repairs began on both lockers and balconies in the building, and that today, after eight months, remain unfinished. The tenants are concerned that they have been unable to access their lockers and their balconies during this time. Many are frustrated by the lack of communication between Akelius Ltd. and themselves regarding these repairs.

 

I have heard additional concerns from residents regarding notifications they have received about the elimination of superintendents in the building.

 

I would appreciate your prompt response regarding an expected completion date for the locker and balcony repairs.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul’s

www.joshmatlow.ca

 

My motion to protect the rights of toronto tenants

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

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.

 

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.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support tenants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

 

Click here to download this letter as a print-friendly PDF file.

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

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.

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.

Recommendations:

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support ten

Chair & Members

Budget Committee

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.

 

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.

 

Recommendations:

 

1. City Council add $75,000 to the Shelter, Support and Housing operating budget for the Outreach and Organizing Program to support tenants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

 

ants from an adjustment to interest on investment earnings (Non-program revenue)

Sincerely,

Josh Matlow

Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's

   

Councillor Matlow and Robinson's Motion Supporting Free Visitor Parking for Tenants

Chair & Members

Planning & Growth Committee

10th Floor, West Tower, City Hall

100 Queen St. West

Toronto ON M5H 2N2

 

March 5, 2013

 

Re:  PG 18.7 (1)

 

Dear Chair and Committee Members,

 

We are writing to request that the Committee consider the accompanying recommendation to prohibit paid visitor parking in multi residential/apartment buildings.

 

While the City of Toronto has the authority to change the zoning in relation to apartments, removing this amenity may have complicated consequences for tenants and landlords under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006. Part VII, Section 125 states:

 

A landlord shall decrease the rent charged to a tenant for a rental unit as prescribed if the landlord and the tenant agree that the landlord will cease to provide anything referred to in subsection 123(1) [which includes a parking space or a prescribed service, facility, privilege, accommodation or thing] with respect to the tenant’s occupancy of the rental unit.

 

Allowing paid visitor parking may require each individual tenant to apply for a rent reduction (or challenge the removal of the amenity) to the landlord and/or the Landlord and Tenant Board. We submit that it would be unfair to subject tenants to such an onerous process.

 

Beyond the legal question, we do not believe that allowing paid visitor parking would address the problem of parking lot abuse, or "walk aways", as landlords contend.

 

Committee members have received correspondence from property owners and managers claiming that charging for parking does not bring in additional revenue and is solely aimed at better "regulating" visitor lots by keeping non-visitors out. If no differentiation is made in regards to who pays the ticket, adding a pay and display machine will not ensure that only legitimate tenant visitors are using the allotted spaces.

 

If the goal is to ensure that only those visiting tenants are using the lots there are many other avenues to achieve that end. For example, an electronic passcard issued to tenants that opens a gate or a pass issued by a superintendent to display on the dash are two possible solutions.

 

We urge you not to unfairly take an amenity away from the 50% of Torontonians that are tenants by moving forward with the Committee's recommendation to allow landlords to charge for visitor parking.

 

Recommendations:

  1. Direct that the draft Zoning By-law be amended to retain the prohibition on paid visitor parking in multi-residential/apartment buildings, previously recommended for deletion by the Planning & Growth Management Committee on October 12, 2012 (item PG 18.7 )
  2. Request the Chief Planner to set up a working group of tenants and landlords to address instances of abuse at visitor parking lots without charging for access
  3. Request that the working group identified in (2) report to the Planning & Growth Management Committee by June 2013

Sincerely,

 

Josh Matlow                                      and                            Jaye Robinson

Toronto City Councillor                                                         Toronto City Councillor

Ward 22 – St. Paul's                                                            Ward 25 – Don Valley West

www.joshmatlow.ca                                                              www.jayerobinson.com

   
   

Tenants' Frequently Asked Questions

What is the law that governs the relationship between tenants and landlords?

A: The provincial Residential Tenancies Act (2007). This legislation also governs the provincial Landlord and Tenant Board located right around the corner at Yonge and St. Clair.

 

Why can my landlord raise my rent every year? Who decides what the amount is?

A: The provincial government has permitted landlords to raise rents on an annual basis by a "Guideline" amount that is tied to the Consumer Price Index. In 2011 that amount was .7% so many tenants didn't notice if landlords even bothered to raise it. Unfortunately, for 2012 the amount was 3.1%. The provincial government realized this amount was too hard of a burden on tenants and is moving forward with new legislation that would cap the Guideline increase at 2.5%.

 

What is an Above the Guideline Rent Increase (AGI)? Can I appeal it?

A: An AGI is a rent increase above the "Guideline" that a landlord can apply for through the Landlord and Tenant Board to cover the cost of capital repairs such as replacing elevators or balconies. As a tenant, you have the ability to appeal this amount at a hearing before the Landlord and Tenant board. The City has a tenants' Defence fund that is setup to help tenants with legal costs associated with AGI hearings.

 

Is my landlord responsible for providing a certain amount of heat in my apartment?

A: A landlord shall provide heat to a dwelling unit that is rented or leased and that is normally heated at the landlord's expense so that a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius is maintained in all areas of the dwelling unit from the 15th day of September in each year to the 1st day of June in the following year. Please phone 311 if the minimum heat standard is not being met. MLS will come to your place and take readings and enforce the by-law if warranted.

 

Is my landlord responsible for keeping my apartment in a state of good repair?

A: A landlord is responsible for providing tenants with a clean, pest-free living environment with working appliances. Common areas must be well-lit and provide functioning elevators, hand rails, etc. Please phone 311 to have MLS investigate any of these issues in your building.

 

My landlord has put a lot of stipulations in my lease that prevent me from having children, a pet or guests over. Is that legitimate?

A: No. The Residential Tenancies Act super cedes anything written in a lease. If you think you have been discriminated against, you can call the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) at 416-944-0087. CERA also has a website at www.equalityrights.org/cera.

 

Can my landlord or Superintendent enter my unit at any time?

A: No. A property owner is also allowed to enter your apartment to:

  • do a maintenance inspection;
  • to allow a potential purchaser to view the unit;
  • or if you have indicated a reason for entry (like cleaning services) in your

The property owner must give you 24 hours written notice before entering and they may only enter between 8 am and 8 pm.

 

My apartment building does not have green bins? Is it possible for our building to get one?

A: The City of Toronto is in the process of phasing in the Green Bin Program for multi-unit dwellings. If your building is not using the Green Bin program, you could contact your building manager regarding the matter.

   

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