The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has awarded $12,000 to a Muslim couple, who claimed their landlord failed to accommodate their prayer times and notify the wife when she was home alone before bringing in prospective new tenants for apartment viewings. The tenants also faced harassment from the landlord relating to the religious nature of their accomodation request.
The decision is believed to be the first of its kind, relating to human rights based on creed and housing under the code.
Over the last year, the number of cases involving creed before the Tribunal has increased by 13%. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre states that inquiries based on creed (specifically Muslim identity) have increased by 39%.
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Ontario's Fair Housing Plan was announced on April 20th and includes a whole host of changes to tenant laws. Below are answers to some common questions that the FMTA has recieved since the Provincial announcement.
Q: When do the proposed changes take effect?
A: This isn't 100% clear yet, though the government has publicly said they hope to pass the bill by June 2017. The government has also said that changes that would end the 1991 rent exemption would take effect retroactively as of April 20th.
Q: If I'm in a building built after 1991 and I got a rent increase notice before April 20th that takes effect after April 20th, do I still have to pay it?
A: Under the current proposed legislation, yes. A landlord must give 90 days written notice (not verbal, email or text) of a rent increase. If your landlord gave notice before April 20th for a rent increase that takes effect after that date, then it will be valid notice and you will have to pay the increase (or move out).
Q: When the legislation passes, how much of a rent increase will landlords be able to charge in buildings built after 1991?
A: Under the proposed legislation, landlords will be limited to the Guideline amount (1.5% for 2017). The Guideline amount is based off of inflation and changes every year, but it can't go above 2.5%.
Q: Can my landlord still apply for above guideline rent increases (AGI's)?
A: Yes. Under the new changes proposed AGI's based on utility costs have been eliminated by the Province, though AGI's for taxes and major capital work remain. The Province is proposing new rules that would limit a landlords ability to apply for capital expenditure AGI's in some situations, though those rules have not yet been outlined and the date they will take effect is not clear. Additionally, when the new changes become law, landlords will not be able to apply for an AGI if they have an outstanding elevator work orders from government bodies.
Q: Can a landlord still evict me for if they (or their family member) want to move in?
A: Yes, however the governmnet is proposing changes that will make it more difficult. First, when the new changes become law, landlords will be required to compensate the tenant with at least a month's rent. Second, when the new changes become law, if a landlord rents out a unit less than a year after a tenant has been evicted, the landlord could have to prove to the courts that they acted in good faith for the eviction.
If you have any other questions about the governments new proposed changes, call our tenant hotline at 416-921-9494 or email [email protected]
UPDATE: Registration is now closed for the June Tenant School sessions.
Are you a tenant living in Toronto? Are you struggling to get basic repairs done? Ever felt nervous about your privacy, rent increases or evictions? Do you have questions about your rights under the law? Have you ever thought about working with your neighbours to improve conditions in your building?
The FMTA Tenant School is the place for you!
In collaboration with the Maytree Foundation, the FMTA is pleased to provide in-depth and intensive training on housing and tenancy law, by offering free legal training in a two-day tenant school which covers issues of tenant rights, repairs, advocacy and civic engagement. These workshops are designed to empower and educate tenants and build on the FMTA’s pnast work.
The first Tenant School is scheduled for June 10 and 17, 2017! It’s a great opportunity to learn about your rights, whether you are a tenant, a long-time tenant leader, a head of a tenant association or a FMTA member.
For more information about the upcoming tenant school, and to get registration forms, please write to [email protected] or call 416-413-9442.
“Together we are Strong!”
The tenant hotline is currently offline undergoing maintenance.
If you have a questions about your rights or what the law says, please email us at
Bretton Place Tenants’ Association (BPTA) was established over 30 years ago to represent the collective interests of residents of Bretton Place (44 Jackes and 33 Rosehill).
The Executive is comprised of resident volunteers who donate their time and effort to work with the property management company and the landlord on issues relating to the complex’s common areas, the buildings, grounds maintenance, the residents’ and property security and various matters affecting the neighbourhood that impact residents. The organization is funded entirely from the annual membership fees.
Issues relating to the individual resident and their apartment must be addressed by the resident directly with the Property Management Office. The BPTA has been instrumental in establishing standards for tenant enjoyment during renovations; has represented tenants at Above Guideline Rent Increase hearings at the Landlord and Tenant Board with considerable success; has worked with city councillors and others around pertinent development applications; has worked with city departments to provide training to residents with a view to improve safety and security.
For news and updates, including meeting dates and times, visit their website at:
The Toronto Alliance for Homelessness, in partnership with the City of Toronto, is launching a campaign to raise public awareness about homelessness in Toronto. The campaign intends to spark a much-needed conversation that challenges current misconceptions and leads to a broader understanding that an inclusive Toronto includes those who are currently experiencing homelessness.
To that end, we would like to welcome our friends The Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness to Facebook. Please LIKE and FOLLOW their page to keep up with their important coalition building work and #torontoforall! Also find them on Twitter @TAEHomelessness
It is a good day for tenants.
Long sought-after changes to the tenancy laws have been announced today by the Province. The FMTA - including Tenant Associations, individial members and the Board of Directors - has been pushing for decades for many of the tenant protections announced today.
The changes announced have been made possible by good old-fashioned campaign work from our members and volunteers, GTA ACORN, the Advocacy Centre for Tenants of Ontario, Generation Squeeze, RentLogic, MPP's, City Councillors and a host of other agencies and individuals pushing to improve tenant rights.
The changes include:
1. Expanding rent control to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991.
This creates one system of rent control for in Ontario and brings 100,000's of units under rent control. The FMTA has been working on ending the two-tiered system of rent control since our founding in 1977. It was the first campaign of one of our main founders, Nelson Clarke. He would be proud to see this exemption finally ended.
2. Developing a standard lease
This has been a main FMTA campaign since 2012 and will prevent a host of illegal charges and provisions for tenants throughout the Province.
3. Tightening provisions for "landlord's own use" evictions
Our members in Toronto and allies around the Province in Ottawa, St. Catherines, Owen Sound, Thunder Bay and other municipalities have highlighted this as an issue of major importance with tenants facing constant abuse. We're excited to see provisions brought in to protect against 'bad faith' evictions.
4. Prohibiting above-guideline increases where elevator work orders have not been completed
Reform to legislation that allows for Above Guideline Rent Increases is one of the most common demands we here from tenants in Toronto. We are happy to see landlords restricted from getting tenants to pay for improving their asset and are hopeful that other changes get brought in to further limit a landlords ability to pass these costs along to tenants while keeping high profits and claiming a tax reduction for the work that tenants pay for.
5. Actions to Increase Housing Supply
By far the most important need in the Province is increased supply of rental housing in general and affordable housing specifically. Many of the provisions today will help protect tenants in the short term, but the only way to tackle affordability in the long-term would be to increased supply of housing which would create more options for low-income tenants to afford. Any actions to increase supply are positive, but investment such as that which was done in the 1970's - 90's by the Federal Government is key.
While the FMTA is very happy to see protections extended to millions of tenants, the housing crisis will not be solved today. Increased investment in housing development is needed either directly or through well-tested government incentives. Hundreds of low-income government units are being shuttered. Tenants continue to demand a fair deal including the re - introduction of vacancy rent control, elimination of AGI's, strong penalities for landlords who break the law, expanded programs which help low-income tenants find and keep housing and improved repair and living conditions.
The FMTA will continue to push for improved conditions for tenants, but we remain excited today. Tenants have been brought under one system control and one system of contracts.
Together We Are Strong!
The FMTA is pleased to announce the return of our Tenant Community Development Project! We’re back in buildings developing and strengthening relationships with tenants across the City of Toronto. We’re also supporting leadership development, civic engagement and will be holding in depth training on tenant rights through our tenant school project.
Special thanks to Maytree for contracting us to promote poverty reduction, human rights for tenants and changes in the lives of tenants across Toronto.
Together We Are Strong!
Following a February 21, 2017 story which appeared in the CBC, involving CBC reporter Shannon Martin who was forced to couch serf after receiving a $950 rent increase- an unpleasant surprise courtesy a loophole tucked away in the Residential Tenancies Act, Ontario; similar stories from tenants from all walks of life began to pour in!
We know that buying in Toronto, with its sky-high house prices, is nearly impossible. Turns out landing an affordable apartment is also a veritable nightmare!
The law which exempts buildings built after November 1991 from rent control coupled with vacancy decontrol, has meant bidding wars and astronomical rents on condo rentals. Anyone on a fixed income, like a person on social assistance, is really feeling the pinch. Young people, eager to leave the parental home and start out on their own, are being pushed further and further away from Toronto’s downtown core- to the suburbs, fueling panic that Toronto is rapidly turning into an generational ghost town.
IN response to the incredible media coverage and amidst calls for reform to rent regulation rules in Ontario, NDP MP Peter Tabuns introduced a private members bill, to address the 1991 loophole which allows landlords to skirt rent regulation and which is largely responsible for a crisis in affordable housing in Toronto.
Here’s a round-up of the related news:
No fixed address: How I became a 32-year-old couch surfer
No Fixed Address: A first-time renter's guide to rental numbers in Toronto
Why Toronto's condo rental market is described as 'ridiculous'
No Fixed Address: These are your stories about renting struggles in Toronto
High rent could make Toronto a 'generational ghost town'
No Fixed Address: rental market for Torontonians on disability 'absolutely horrible'
In a major victory for tenants at 16 St. Joseph St, the Landlord and Tenant Board recently dismissed the landlord’s application for an Above Guideline Rent Increase. This unparalleled achievement was made possible through the tireless efforts of the tenants at 16 St. Joseph, with support from the FMTA. The 16 St. Joseph St Tenants Association is a member tenant association of the FMTA.
The order dismissing the application noted that on a balance of probabilities, the expenditures incurred by the landlord did not appear to be needed and nor did they meet the test for eligibility criteria. This represents a significant savings for tenants: the tenants avoided a 9% rent increase!
“Together We Are Strong!”