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Leaking roofs, stained carpets, non-functioning elevators, and pest infestations are far too common for renters in Toronto. 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.
That’s why, as Chair of the Tenant Issues Committee, I worked with tenants from across the city to deliver a comprehensive new by-law that 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
- Requesting the Province grant the City 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 limit to only situations that are extraordinary
- 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