Toronto landlords face more stringent rental rules — and a litany of record-keeping requirements — after City Council passed a new rental bylaw last month.
The law is slated to take effect July 1, and impacts hundreds of thousands of units. It applies to apartment buildings with three or more floors and 10 or more units. Co-operative housing is exempt.
In general, landlords will be required to:
Register with the city and pay a registration fee;
Track tenant service requests;
Respond to repairs as early as 24 hours;
Document plans for capital repair, cleaning, waste management and pest control;
Provide a tenant notice board;
Use licensed contractors for pest control, heat, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing systems; and,
Maintain documentation of compliance for two years.
The bylaw requires that landlords respond to emergency service requests within 24 hours. Urgent needs include interruption of heat or water, or a security breach. Other complaints must be addressed within seven days. Landlords must track service requests from tenants, including whether the matter is deemed urgent, and how it was resolved.
Landlords will have inspection requirements regarding pest control. For instance, after a tenant complains about pests, the landlord must inspect the property within 72 hours. Indoor and outdoor common areas of a building must be inspected for pests at least once every 30 days. Landlords cannot re-rent a property with known pest control issues.
In addition to pest inspections, the landlord must inspect common areas at least once a day for cleanliness.
The bylaw includes implementation of a tenant notification board to be displayed in a central location to post information regarding:
Planned or unplanned service disruptions;
Emergency contact information;
The nearest “cool” location — an air-conditioned place in the building; and,
Copies of plans required under the bylaw, such as cleaning and waste management.
The measure was passed by a strong majority of council members. At this time, there are no provisions for a color-rating system to be displayed at the property similar to the DineSafe program, which previously had been proposed by a council member, although that proposal is still under consideration.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.