Multifamily landlords in Toronto must supply hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations at entrances and in common spaces after City Council voted on a temporary by-law intended to increase compliance with Toronto Public Health guidance during the pandemic.
Concerns over spotty compliance were raised after a survey of landlords conducted by a local tenant association indicated only half of landlords in the city had adopted the suggested cleaning practices.
That same survey also indicated that a large majority of landlords have not shut down common-area services. However, most landlords are avoiding unit inspections or showing units to prospective tenants at this time.
While hand sanitizer may have been more widely available at the beginning of the pandemic, tenants recently complained that they are being met with empty bottles that are not being refilled.
The hand-sanitizer mandate for multifamily units will continue until at least October. Landlords must supply hand-washing stations or alcohol-based hand sanitizer in all essential common areas that remain open, like laundry areas. As of July 15, a cleaning plan is required and must include a schedule for cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, including doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, common-area toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces, and keypads, with common household cleaners and disinfectants applied twice daily and when visibly dirty.
In addition, landlords must close non-essential areas, including gyms, playrooms, and similar high traffic areas to meet provincial restrictions. Those areas must remain closed until provincial restrictions are lifted. The by-law also requires landlords to post recommended signage to educate tenants on ways to avoid the COVID-19.
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