March 29, 2017
A new bylaw affecting apartment landlords was passed at city council Wednesday. As of July 1, 2017, building owners will be required to pay $10.60 per unit per year while the program lasts, and will need to register their contact information with the city’s Licensing and Standards department. Over the next 15 months, city bylaw officers will be inspecting common areas of buildings, with the worst buildings receiving a full audit.
Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti was not in support of the bylaw. Before council voted, he called it a cash grab for the city, and says it’s not helping real tenant issues. “We already have the ability to fine landlords,” he says. “Our municipal level of government can put orders on buildings.”
Mark Sraga, director of investigations, says they are developing a system so that tenants can check up on the city’s enforcement of the apartment landlord. “One of the gaps we had was not having easily accessible information for the public, tenants and prospective tenants, so we’re working with our IT to develop a more easily navigable tool,” he says. “What we will be showing is if we’ve issued property orders on a property, they’ll be easily identified, as well as the status of that order.”
In the meantime, dedicated city staff will be assigned to respond to requests from the public about their buildings.
Eventually, if building owners do not comply, they could be fined a maximum of $100,000, at the discretion of a justice of the peace.