Councillor’s Corner- The Road to Better Rental Buildings

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Tenants deserve to live in a safe and clean environment, however the current system is not working for many tenants throughout our City.  The City has various bylaws in place to ensure that buildings are kept clean and well-maintained, yet there continue to be examples where this is just not the case.

In 2008, as a member of Toronto Licensing and Standards Committee, I worked with city staff to create a new specialized team of rental building inspectors that would proactively visit buildings throughout the city and conduct detailed audits. The first building ever inspected was in our neighbourhood, and since this program began, every building in our community has been inspected (some even multiple times).The system still needs improving in many ways.  For instance, in May 2013 I moved a motion at Toronto City Council urging Ontario’s Provincial Government to stop landlords of buildings in constant poor repair to collect guaranteed year by year rent increases.  Three years later, we still have not seen progress on this.

On November 2, 2016, Toronto’s Tenant Issues Committee, of which I am a member, debated a proposal to establish a new licensing system for rental buildings.  This report has been entitled a “Proposed Framework for a Multi-residential Rental Property License – Results of Public Consultation and Proposed Regulation”.This report seeks to establish a series of improved rental building regulations and stronger penalties when landlords are not maintaining their buildings.  This report will be debated at Toronto’s Licensing Committee on November 28, 2016 and hopefully, will eventually be heard by Toronto City Council.

The time for action is now, our tenants and our neighbourhoods deserve better.  For more information on this proposal, call my office at 416-338-5335.

 

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