By: Lindsay Newman
Toronto is cracking down on bad landlords with a new proposed by-law for apartment buildings.
The Licensing and Standards Committee has created a list of recommendations with hope to try to improve living conditions in the city. The new rules would require building owners and operators to register each year with the city and pay an annual fee. Landlords would have to develop a process for receiving and tracking all tenant requests, arrange and maintain a plan for waste management and cleaning, conduct regular inspections and take action when pests are detected, use licensed contractors for mechanical repairs and keep records relating to the operations of the building.
Landlords who fail to follow these regulations would be issued violation notices and fines up to $100,000.
Geordie Dent, Executive Director of Metro Tenants Association said that bad landlords have always been a problem in Toronto and that advocates have fought hard for the new rules.
“The main problem is landlords are not doing the maintenance they should be doing but now they are enforcing these rules that have always been around but the tenancy advocates have been actually arguing for this by-law and the consequences for 10 years,” Dent said.
Landlords are not keeping their properties well-maintained and tenants like Humber culinary student, Martin Aldecoa are noticing.
“ It’s important to have a person that keeps a well maintained property but some of them don’t and older by-laws clearly state that the owner must maintain its safety regulations,” said Aldecoa.
There are also rules that will be protecting new tenants. Landlords will not be able to rent out units that contained pests, such as bed bugs and cock roaches without cleaning first and they won’t be able to rent to new tenants if they have unresolved by-law violations.
The Licensing and Standards committee are reviewing the recommendations at a meeting on March 2 and the report will be considered by Toronto City Council on March 28.