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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

Groundbreaking Tenant Protection Legislation Passes Final Hurdle

As Chair of the Tenants Issues Committee, I am very pleased to report that my colleagues supported our new Tenant Protection by-law to provide much needed protection for Toronto renters. The provisions in the by-law will be in force by July of this year.

This success was the result of years of hard work with local tenant advocates and city-wide organizations, including the Federation of Metro Toronto Tenants’ Associations, ACORN, Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario, and community legal clinics.

At present, far too many renters live in sub-standard housing.  The City’s Multi Residential Audit Building (MRAB) program has found over 58,000 deficiencies in approximately 1000 buildings since Building Audits began.  Leaking roofs, stained carpets, non-functioning elevators, and pest infestations are far too common.  And these violations are mostly from just the shared areas in buildings and don’t capture the serious problems tenants face inside their units.

Some landlords have ignored City orders to fix their properties for years with little consequence; they treat the small fines as the cost of doing business, drag out performing the repairs through court appeals, and are even granted time extensions.

The system certainly doesn’t give tenants the same leniency when their rent is due.

This comprehensive new by-law includes several motions I moved to address some of these concerns, including:
  • A “Rentsafe” rating program for buildings modelled off of the “Dinesafe” program for restaurants that requires landlords to post a colour-coded sign that displays the City's rating in a prominent, publicly identifiable location, along with posting the same information on the City's website.
  • Requesting that the Province grant the City the power to fine landlords for property standards violations
  • Establishing guidelines for when the Property Standards Committee can grant time extensions on work orders for violations and to limit those criteria to situations that are only extraordinary circumstances
  • Developing standard operating procedures for City enforcement officers which provide targeted timelines by violation category to bring landlords into compliance with City by-laws from the date an order is issued, and make the standards available to the public on the City website
  • Ensuring that landlords will not be able to rent vacant units if they have outstanding property orders in the building for vital services such as heat or water

These measures, and many others contained in the program, were the result of extensive consultation with tenants across the city.

For more information on this ground-breaking legislation, please see this article.


UPDATE, August 2017


Progress continues to be made on rolling out the Rentsafe program and new by-law.

 

Although still in the early stages, you can view the web pages for Rentsafe here and learn more about the program here.

 

The full by-law can be accessed here.

 

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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

   

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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

   

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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

   

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