The FMTA is now on Paypal and can accept credit card or internet-based donations or membership applications. Donating or becoming a member of the FMTA has never been easier!
Membership dues and donations allow the FMTA Board of Directors to undertake campaings to strengthen tenant rights, seek out new and innovative services for tenants, provide membership benefits and hold annual events.
To donate or become a member, simply click on the donate button to your right. Donations or membership dues can be given to the FMTA without a paypal account (just click on the "Don't have a PayPal account?" link on the bottom left hand of the donations page.
Membership dues for the FMTA are:
Individual - $20 / year
Senior, Student, Unemployed - $5 / year
Supporter/Organization Member - $50 / year
- <10 members = $50/per year
- 10-50 = $100/year
- 50 - 100 = $150/year
- 100< = $200/year
Condo Tenants Association: $20/year
For questions about FMTA membership and or benefits, please contact 416-646-1772 or [email protected]
This year, over 170,000 rent reductions are going out to tenants in the City of Toronto.
Go to the City of Toronto's website to learn more and see if you qualify for a rent reduction: http://www.toronto.ca/housing/rent-lower.htm
You can also call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494.
The following are the most common questions faced by the FMTA:
1. Do I need to ask my landlord to take the reduction?
No. The reduction is automatic. You do not need to ask your landlord or obtain their permission. You can simply pay them less when you pay your rent.
2. My landlord is not giving me the reduction. How can I get them to do so?
Your landlord does not give you the reduction, the reduction is automatic. You can simply reduce the money off your rent and you do not have to ask their approval.
3. The notice I got says that my rent has been reduced to $800, is this true?
There is an example in the notice which assumes a rent of $800. This is only an example. Your reduction is based off of whatever your rent was last month.
4. How do I calculate what my new rent is?
There are several ways to calculate your new rent.
a) You can call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494 and we can do the calculation for you.
b) Use the hand written formula available on your rent reduction notice.
c) If you have a calculator with a % button, you can simply punch in your current rent, hit the minus button, punch in the reduction percentage and hit the % button.
d) Go to the City's rent reduction website: https://wx.toronto.ca/inter/housing/rentreduceA.nsf/Search?OpenForm and use the rent calculator.
5. I got notice of a rent increase a few months ago and notice of a rent reduction recently. How can I have a rent increase and rent reduction at the same time?
Provincial law allows landlords in Ontario to increase the rent once every 12 months. In 2012, landlord will be able to increase rent by 3.1%. Provincial law also forces all municipalities to reduce a tenant's rent when a landlord's taxes go down by 2.5% or more. It is quite common for tenants to receive a rent increase and rent reduction in the same year, and sometimes even on the same day. In these cases, a tenant's rent will go down by the rent reduction percentage and then go up by the rental increase percentage.
6. My landlord says that they will be challenging the reduction and I therefore should not take it. Is this true?
All landlord's are able to apply to challenge rent reductions at the Landlord and Tenant Board. They have until March 31, 2012 to apply, though the case may not be heard until much later in the year. Until the Landlord and Tenant Board says otherwise, you can take your reduction immediately if you wish.
You can also choose to pay your old rent and then claim your reduction (and any money owed to you) retroactively at any point in 2012. So you could choose to wait and see if your landlord will challenge the reduction before you take it.
Remember, you must claim the reduction before the end of 2012.
7. The Landlord says I have to give them a copy of the rent reduction notice before I can claim the rent reduction. Is this true?
No. The landlord received notification of the rent reductions in September. You are not required to give them a notice even if they demand it. You can simply reduce your rent by the amount on the notice.
8. The Landlord says the notice doesn't apply to me. Is this true?
No. The notice does apply to you. If you are a tenant in a long term care home, if you receive a rent subsidy, or if you live in a non-profit building, the rent reduction may affect you differently then other tenants. For more information please call the Tenant Hotline at 416-921-9494.
9. How do I check to see if I got the rent reduction myself?
All tenants can call the FMTA tenant hotline at 416-921-9494 to calculate their rent reductions. In addition, tenant can find out more information about rent reductions and search for their rent reduction on the City rent reduction website: http://www.toronto.ca/housing/rent-lower.htm
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Fall 2011 Rental Market Report show that vacancy rates for rental housing in Canada's major centres have fallen an average of 0.4%, from 2.6% in October of 2010 to 2.2% in the same month one year later.
In Ontario, the vacancy rate fell from 2.9% to 2.2% over the same period of time, and the most major drops were in the largest cities. The vacancy rate change in Toronto has been especially drastic, falling from 2.1 to 1.4% over the same time period.
When vacancy rates fall, it means that supply has shrunk relative to demand, and this is a major factor in driving up rents. In Toronto over this period, average rent for a two bedroom apartment has increased from $1,123 to $1,149, the highest in the country.
The reasons for the nationwide decreases in rent are varied, but one main reason is that fewer apartments have been completed, while the increase in demand for housing has remained steadily high. High demand for housing is influenced by a number of factors, notably that employment is rising for people under 25, a group that primarily rents, and immigration to urban centres remains high relative to historical trends.
Effective on January 1st, 2012, the changes in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirements will extend from public institutions to include businesses, including landlords and property management companies.
Some highlights from the new AODA requirements:
o Creation by management of an organization of policies to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access their services.
o Provision of notice of temporary disruptions or interruptions in service.
o Granting support people and service animals access to all spaces unless they are specifically prohibited by another law.
o Training for staff on working with people with disabilities and the requirements of the Act.
o Creating systems by which people can provide feedback to the organization about their accessibility.
o Formatting documents so that they are accessible.
Seminars on how to implement these regulations are being made available to landlords through the Federation of Rental Providers of Ontario.
To view the entire Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, click here.
The Centre for Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) has created a new website: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca
On their website, you can access a wide selection of resources with free, practical, and easy-to-find legal information.
Some of the resources come in many languages.
The resources have been compiled by CLEO, but have been produced by hundreds of organizations across Ontario.
There are also recent law-related news items, and listings of resource centres and community organizations that you can call or visit for further support and information.
Check it out!
As cold weather approaches, it is time to remind ourselves of our legal rights that we have forgotten in the warm summer months. Check out the laws that protect you with regards to heat, leaks, and snow removal.
Time to turn on the heat!
‚Ä¢ In Toronto, is your landlord's responsibility to keep the heat at 21¬∞C from September 15th through to the 1st of June.
‚Ä¢ Here's what the law says: "A landlord shall provide heat to a dwelling unit that is rented or leased and that is normally heated at the landlord's expense so that a minimum air temperature of 21 degrees Celsius is maintained in all areas of the dwelling unit from the 15th day of September in each year to the 1st day of June in the following year. (¬ß 497-2. Toronto Municipal Code. Heating: Minimum Temperature.)
Patch those leaks!
‚Ä¢ If there are leaks in your unit, it is your landlord's responsibility to deal with it.
‚Ä¢ Here's what the law says: Every roof of a building and all its components shall be weather-tight and free from leaks, loose, unsecured or unsafe objects and materials, dangerous accumulation of ice and snow, and hazards. (¬ß 629-20. A. Toronto Municipal Code. Roofs and roof structures.)
‚Ä¢ If you have notified your Landlord about the leak and they have not fixed it, and either your personal property gets damaged as a result or you can no longer stay in your unit, it is your landlord's responsibility to compensate you for these costs.
‚Ä¢ Your landlord is responsible for snow removal.
‚Ä¢ Here's what the law says: Steps, landings, walks, driveways, parking spaces, ramps and similar areas of a yard shall be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall to provide safe access and egress for persons and vehicles. (¬ß 629-23. B. Steps, walks, driveways, parking and loading areas.)
What can I do?
‚Ä¢ If your landlord is keeping your heat below the correct temperature, not repairing leaks, or refusing to remove from relevant areas, you can contact 311 and ask for Municipal Licensing and Standards. They can send an inspector to your house for free to check the temperature or other bylaw violations. If they find that there is a bylaw violation, they will issue an order from the city to your landlord.
‚Ä¢ If you have unresolved maintenance issues, you can also file a T6 application for maintenance at the Landlord and Tenant Board.
‚Ä¢ It's also a good idea to simply write your landlord a note reminding them what their responsibilities are under the law before taking further action!
If you have further questions, call our tenant hotline at 416-921-9494!
Come and help us wrap up International Tenants Month on the 25th annual International Tenants Day!
International Tenants Day Rally
October 3rd, 2011
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 777 Bay Street 12:00pm
Come out and show your support for tenant rights in the City.!
Coming Soon! FMTA's ED Geordie Dent speaking with CP24 about tenant rights.
Watch for it on the "Know Your Rights" section of CP24's website.
Currently, you can watch the interviews on the FMTA's facebook page.
The September 22 issue of NOW Magazine promoted the Tenant Summit, a day of FREE workshops on tenants' rights. The event is on Saturday, October 1, from 10am-2:30pm at Ryerson Unit Podium Building. The event is a part of International Tenants Month.
On September 23, the Toronto Star publicized International Tenants Month, citing the need for both the public and politicians to start focusing on tough questions about housing in Ontario, as the October 6th election looms closer.
The FMTA's Geordie Dent speaks to Metro News about the prevalence of discrimination against people with disabilities in the private market. Although this kind of discrimination is against the law, many landlords will simply not return the calls of prospective tenants who they know to have disabilities.
Also in Metro News, tenants discuss the need for political parties to address issues of rent control and affordable housing, as Toronto's vacancy rates and median tenant income continue to fall.
The report focuses on recent issues that have been particularly significant for tenants across Toronto including repairs, affordability, bed bugs, hoarding and discrimination. It reviews a number of reports on poverty in Toronto, and how socio-economic factors like affordability and gentrification shape neighbourhoods in the city, access to services, and tenant wellbeing. It also addresses recent political issues affecting tenants over the past year at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, including those issues that are shaping the upcoming provincial election in October. Finally, this year, the theme of International Tenants Day is Youth and Housing. To recognize this, a section on youth is included in the report.
The State of The Unit report is being released by the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations as part of International Tenants Month. Go to www.torontotenants.org/itd for more information.
Just a friendly reminder to register for the 2011 Tenant Summit if you have not done so already. Info on registration below.
Joe Fiorito from the Toronto Star will be speaking at this year's summit, while tenants will also be able to access workshops, some film screenings and discussions on tenancy issues in our City.
October 1st, 2011
Ryerson University Podium Building, POD 205, 350 Victoria Street (near Gould and Victoria)
FMTA & Friends present: 2011 Tenant Summit !
10am - 2:30pm
The Tenant Summit will combine workshops on tenant's rights, speakers and the release of the FMTA's "State of the Unit" report on tenant issues in the GTA. Registration required. Please register at 416-646-1772 or at [email protected]
This event is part of International Tenants Month. For more information, go to - www.torontotenants.org/itd
Also, please come out on October 3rd, 2011:
International Tenants Day Rally
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 777 Bay Street
Come out and show your support for tenant rights in the City.