In a stunning victory for tenant advocates, Landlord Licensing has passed City Council.
Hundreds of tenants took part in consultations during the summer of 2016 which lead to recommendations passed by close votes on City Committees and City Council. Tenant advocates like the FMTA, Toronto ACORN, ACTO and Rent Logic having been working over 10 years to push for better maintenance standards for tenants and to force negligent landlords to do repairs. This month, City Council approved moving forward with many of those recommendations.
The proposed new regulatory system will provide more resources for maintenance enforcement, increase penalties for bad landlords and benefits for good ones through a Dinesafe-like rating program to separate good buildings from ones that are in a critical need of maintenance.
You can read more about Licensing here: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/12/14/city-council-toughens-rules-for-landlords.html
In another victory for tenants, the Province has passed legislation that will allow Cities to do Inclusionary Zoning.
Inclusionary Zoning allows Cities to mandate developers to include affordable rental and owner units in developments to help increase the stock of available apartments. The FMTA and other advocates have been pushing for inclusionary zoning for two decades as the amount of purpose built rental stock has dwindled.
Thanks to groups like the FMTA, who pushed for changes to the legislation at Queen's Park, the Province dropped a previous requirement that would have forced Cities to choose between Inclusionary Zoning (affordable housing) benefits and other community benefits that Cities can now take advantage of.
You can read more about the new bill here: http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2016/12/ontario-passes-promoting-affordable-housing-act-introduces-iz
In an extreme and ugly example of gentrification in Kensington Market, tenants living in 38 Kensington Rd and neighbouring properties are in an ongoing dispute with their landlord, who is attempting to induce tenants to leave their units or to raise their rents by as much as 50%.
The article quotes several different perspectives, the landlord and his paralegal, tenants, various community representatives and tenant advocates.
Part of the dispute arises out of the fact that several tenants do not have written leases. The Landlord is trying to get everyone to sign a new lease- something he cannot force under the Residential Tenancies Act. In the article, Geordie is referenced as saying that written, verbal and implied rental contracts all have legal validity.
On a positive note, there has been a great deal of community support and solidarity shown the affected tenants with the group “Friends of Kensington” organizing a barbeque to rally support.
To read the coverage in the Toronto Star, visit:
To read the coverage in the CBC, visit:
Join us at a community meeting to discuss a new program aimed a improving living conditions in rental apartment buildings. Your feedback will be used by the City of Toronto to improve the design of this program.
If you require accommodation to participate, please contact the City of Toronto as soon as possible.
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Metro Hall, Room 308/309
55 John St
Toronto, ON, M5V 3C6
(SE corner of King St & John St)
Saturday, August 20, 2016
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Broadlands Community Centre
19 Castlegrove Blvd
Toronto, ON M3A 1K9
(Lawrence Ave E and Victoria Park Ave)
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Etobicoke Civic Centre Meeting Room 1/2/3
399 The West Mall
Toronto ON M9C 2Y2
(SE corner of Burnhamthorpe Road and The West Mall)
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Domenico Di Luca Community Recreation Centre
25 Stanley Rd
Toronto, ON M3N 1C2
(Jane St and Sheppard Ave W)
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Scarborough Village Community Centre
3600 Kingston Rd
Toronto, ON, M1M 1R9
(Kingston Rd & Markham Rd)
Established by and for residents of 740-758 Kipps Rd in London, ON, the River Park Towers Tenants Association provides tenants with a platform to air common concerns by staying informed and sharing information. Their website and Facebook page has a number of links to useful municipal, legal and informational resources. Visit them at:
Did you know that buildings without air conditioning can get hotter than the air outside, and stay hot longer? Too much heat can lead to serious health problems. Get tips from the City of Toronto on how to keep your home cool this summer.
Check out the Beat the Heat webpage for info in English, Punjabi, Gujarati, Urdu, Tamil, Bengali, Somali, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, and Farsi.
In light of the public consultations scheduled on proposed landlord licensing in late August, the Toronto Star revisited 500 Dawes Road. This highly publicized building had the largest number of complaints received by the City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards department. Between 2010 and 2015, the city received 435 complaints pertaining to 500 Dawes and issued 238 violation notices. Problems have ranged from bedbug infestations, repairs not being done and tenant disputes.
The case of 500 Dawes underscores the need for landlord licensing: something that tenants and tenant advocates alike have been calling on the city to implement for years. A recent city council decision asked staff to conduct public consultations with a report projected for the fall. According to Geordie, quoted in the article, the current enforcement system (which is complaints based) is “toothless.”
Consultations are scheduled throughout the city for mid-to-late August.
To read the complete Toronto Star article, visit:
The Toronto Rent Bank provides limited, interest free loans and to seniors, individuals, and families facing imminent eviction for rental arrears. The maximum loan is two months rent. The Rent Bank also provides rental deposit loans to those who require first and/or last month rent to move to more affordable or stable housing. Loans are available through most Housing Help Centres.
If you are behind in your rent and facing eviction or need help with the first and last month’s rent, you can contact the Toronto Rent Bank at 416-924-2543.
The Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) is a grassroots initiative that seeks to link tenants from across Steel City in order to amplify our struggles through solidarity and direct action.
Our goal is to build a powerful working-class fightback against absentee slumlords, tenant harassment, and the rampant gentrification that is transforming our city into a bedroom community for the GTA professional class. We will accomplish this by organizing on a federated basis, block by block and building by building, providing resources, training and support as needed. Established and newly organized building committees and tenant associations will work together to bring our collective weight to bear against issues and injustices affecting tenants across the city. There is strength in numbers.
The HTSN website is a repository of information on recent events and resources. It can be visited at: