Money: Toronto rental program blasted by councillors for ‘failing’ tenants - - PressFrom - Canada
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Money Toronto rental program blasted by councillors for ‘failing’ tenants

09:32  14 november  2019
09:32  14 november  2019 Source:   globalnews.ca

As tenants protest 'renoviction,' Toronto councillor calls for new landlord rules

  As tenants protest 'renoviction,' Toronto councillor calls for new landlord rules Leslieville residents protested outside their apartment building on Saturday, saying they are being forced out of their building so the landlord can renovate and jack up rent.It's known as "renoviction," and one Toronto councillor says it's time to change the rules to stop landlords from getting away with it.

Councillor now says, 'we are failing '. By Emily MathieuAffordable Housing Reporter. More than two years after council signed off on new rules to protect renters the city is “ failing ” in their promise to improve conditions for tenants , said a city councillor who led the push for the RentSafe program .

Looking for an apartment, condo or house in Toronto or the GTA? TorontoRentals.com helps you find the perfect place to call home in Toronto & Greater Toronto Area. New rental listings are added daily from private landlords, property managers and rental agents.

Two Toronto councillors are calling for changes in a city-run program which they said is failing 30 per cent of the city’s residents who rely on it.

The RentSafeTO program was launched in 2017, with the goal of protecting tenants and holding landlords to account.

Coun. Josh Matlow said he once heralded it for being a progressive way to protect tenant’s rights. But ahead of the Housing and Planning Committee, he and fellow city coun. Kristyn Wong-Tam, blasted RentSafeTO for coming up short.

Ontario tribunal upholds Toronto rules on short-term rentals like Airbnb

  Ontario tribunal upholds Toronto rules on short-term rentals like Airbnb TORONTO — An Ontario tribunal has upheld rules passed by the City of Toronto on short-term rentals like Airbnb. The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal said in a ruling released Monday that it has dismissed an appeal by several residents who objected to the rules that put limits on how people can rent out their properties. The city put the rules in place in part over concerns that short-term rentals like Airbnb were reducing the rental stock as the city deals with a housing crisis. Tribunal member Scott Tousaw said in the decision that while the numbers of rental units being affected by the rules are in dispute, the phenomenon is not.

Leslieville residents protested outside their apartment building on Saturday, saying they are being forced out so the landlord can renovate and jack up rent . It's known as "renoviction," and one Toronto councillor says it's time to change the rules to stop landlords from getting away.

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public She has led efforts to defend the rights of tenants to obtain affordable and decent standards of rental housing and helped (Information provided by Councillor for the 2014-2018 term of Council).

Matlow said while there were some things to praise, not all the buildings registered in the program have been audited.

"Based on the feedback that I've heard from tenants across the city, the city has been failing them," said Matlow.

RentSafeTO is supposed to strengthen bylaw enforcement, promote maintenance for the upkeep of apartment buildings, and increase the amount of information tenants get. The audit and enforcement program applies to buildings with 10 or more units or that are three or more stories.

a close up of a tall building in a city: Condominiums and the CN Tower are shown along the Toronto skyline on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Real estate markets in Canada remain © THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston Condominiums and the CN Tower are shown along the Toronto skyline on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Real estate markets in Canada remain "vulnerable" despite an easing in overvaluation in cities like Toronto and Victoria in the third quarter, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

READ MORE: Tenant rights advocates want city to establish ‘Rent Safe’ program

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posting a tenant notification board and keeping it up to date. Owners of rental apartment buildings are required to register and comply with the program . If you are renting an apartment in a building that is not part of the RentSafeTO program , such as a condo building, a townhome, or a unit in a private

Midtown Toronto Condos. Liberty Village Condos. Leslieville Condots. King West Condos. Fort York Condos. Downtown Toronto Condos. “We have found Condo Rental Canada have responded efficiently to repairs needed on our rental property sending qualified and skilled professionals.

When it was launched, Matlow said he wanted the program to mimic DineSafe, which has a colour-coded rating system.

“It doesn’t exist, that is a fail,” he said.

Matlow said he also wants to address issues with a lack of standard operating procedures.

“A tenant should have some predictability as to when it will be addressed, when it should be fixed,” he said. “Right now it is completely open to discretion and interpretation,” he said, adding that time extensions at the property standards committee should be limited to prevent city work orders from being completed.

READ MORE: City to create ‘mixed income neighbourhood’ with new affordable homes in Toronto’s east end

Matlow said 12 new enforcement officers were supposed to be added to the team, but only five have been hired.

“A question that we have that still remains is ‘why not, what’s happened to the money?'” he said.

The complaints are much different from a staff report before the committee which said the program has been successful in meeting its objectives.

Still, that same report acknowledges there are opportunities for improvement. Those include requiring landlords to post the results of their evaluations in their buildings so they’re available to current and potential residents.

READ MORE: Ignored and Ignited: Affordable housing crisis has some Canadians feeling trapped

Not satisfied with all the report's findings, Wong-Tam said she would try and address the shortcomings at the committee.

“We need to do what we said we would do by way of policy and making sure that it is properly operationalized,” she said.

Matlow added they would also be asking the committee to request more powers from the province to crack down on landlords who practice so-called “reno-victions.”

Toronto city council beefs up requirements for landlords, but some tenants are skeptical .
Tenant advocates are excited that city council voted in changes Wednesday to the RentSafeTO program aimed at holding landlords more accountable for taking care of their buildings. But some renters are skeptical.The RentSafeTO bylaw, which was passed by city council in 2017, allows staff to enforce property standards across buildings in Toronto.

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