City council approves new bylaws to protect tenants in Toronto

Mar 30 2017, 1:41 pm

Landlords will now be required to register with the City as part of new Toronto bylaws to protect tenants.

City council voted in favour of the bylaws, which includes owner registration every 12 months, that includes information on the property along with an annual registration fee.

Landlords will also need to develop processes for receiving and tracking tenant requests, and responses to urgent requests have to be within 24 hours and non-urgent requests within 7 days.

Additionally, the new bylaws will have owners and operators of properties checking for pests monthly, and will need to have waste management plans.

The new rules come into effect on July 1, and landlords will be expected to register within the first four months.

As part of the bylaw, anyone who breaks the new rules is guilty of “an offence and upon conviction is liable to a fine of no more than $100,000.”

The cost of this new “Apartment Building Program,” as approved by City Council on
February 15, is $5.2 million. The cost is funded 53% from the $10.60 registration fee, 12% from audit and enforcement activity fees and 35% from the tax base, according to a City report.

Among several housing organizations at the council meeting, the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Associations and Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) expressed their content with the new bylaws.

The City is also looking to support the “Rent Protection for All Tenants Act” by writing to Peter Tabuns, Member of Provincial Parliament and the Honourable Chris Ballard, Minister of Housing encouraging the passage and implementation of the Act, which would provide rent-hike protection for all renters.

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