The idea for mandatory inspections began after a particularly disturbing incident. I was knocking on doors in an apartment building when I met a young couple. The couple showed me how they were storing even their dry good such as pasta and flour in the refrigerator because that was the only space in their entire apartment that had no pests. Then and there, I promised them that I would do my best to help tenants like them.
One of my very first acts as a new Councillor was to organize a delegation of renters to present to council the seriousness of the situation. I followed this up with a resolution and direction to staff to come back with a plan to address the situation. The result is MARC - a new program to help tenants.
During consultations many tenants told me that they are fearful of getting bullied by landlords and property managers if they complain. The solution was mandatory inspections without tenants having to make a complaint.
I wanted inspectors to not only inspect the common areas but also individual apartments. Unfortunately, I ran into a problem there. Under provincial legislation, inspectors cannot enter an apartment without tenant permission. I was adamant to find a solution and did. As part of the inspections, City inspectors will hold tenant engagement sessions. At these sessions, tenants can share their complaints as well as request an inspection of their individual unit.
Here is a summary of the new rules under MARC
- Mandatory Inspection of all rental buildings by City inspectors. (Inspections begin fall 2022)
- Re-inspections of buildings with problems to ensure compliance.
- Landlords to respond to urgent tenant complaints within 24 hrs and pest related complaints within 72 hrs.
- Pest inspections by landlords at least once a month
- Bans on renting a unit to a new tenant if there is a property standard order issued by the city.
- A fine of up to $100,000 for landlords convicted of an offence under the By-law
- If you want some one who stands up for Renters, pledge your support for Dipika here.
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