Sunday, 31 December 2017

Many tenants' rights victories in 2017

As the year draws to a close, 2017 marks a milestone year for advances in tenants’ rights, as well as some key accomplishments for Park Vista tenants.

Here are some of the reasons why 2017 was a memorable year for tenants:

City of Toronto Changes

In March 2017, Toronto City Council approved new rules for landlords to help better inform and protect tenants, effective July 1, 2017.

Landlords have to comply with a number of new requirements including:

·         Posting emergency contact information for tenants
·         Developing a system for tracking tenant requests for repairs
·         Responding to urgent tenant requests within 24 hours and non-urgent requests within 7 days
·         Providing information to tenants regarding major capital projects (including nature of project, duration of project, units affected)
·         Using a licensed or certified contractor where required by law for activities including servicing heat, ventilation, air conditioning and plumbing systems
·         Pest complaints must be inspected in 72 hours and handled by licensed exterminators and tenants informed by a posted notice. 

You can get more info at the following link:

Provincial Changes

On May 18, 2017, Ontario passed new legislation that:

·         Broadens rent control rules to cover units built after 1991 (giving 250,000 more tenants protection against unlimited rent increases)
·         Prevents landlords from charging above-guideline rent increases for rising utility bills
·         Toughens the requirements for evictions from units for personal use by landlords. 
·         Prohibits above-guideline rent increases in buildings where elevator maintenance orders haven’t been addressed.
·         Ensures landlords can't pursue former tenants for unauthorized charges
The Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario praised the suite of new rules as the biggest positive change to tenants’ rights in over a decade.
The legislation also enabled some measures which have not yet been implemented:
·         Regulations to specify circumstances where capital expenditures would NOT be eligible for an above-guideline rent increase.
·         A standard lease to help both tenants and landlords know their rights and responsibilities.

The Park Vista Tenants’ Association will be keeping a close eye on these proposed measures in 2018.

Federal Changes

On November 24, 2017 the federal government announced a 10-year, $40 billion National Housing Strategy, including a $4 billion Canada Housing Benefit, to be launched in 2020. The benefit is delivered directly to individuals as a portable benefit they can use to help with the costs of housing.

Park Vista Tenants’ Association

We welcomed more than two dozen new members in 2017 and our achievements included:

·         Convincing CAPREIT to withdraw plans to impose plans to impose a seasonal fee of $125 per air conditioner unit on tenants, with long-time tenant Patricia Steward speaking out against the fee in the media.
·         Holding a tenants’ rights session with a lawyer from Flemingdon Community Legal Services.
·         Working with CAPREIT on our most successful holiday toy drive with more than 100 toys donated and $110 in cash.
·         Hosting a fire safety information session.

Thank you for your support in 2017. We look forward to continuing to help build a vibrant community on Park Vista. We encourage tenants to keep this email for future reference.

Best wishes to you and your family for a happy 2018 from the Board of the Park Vista Tenants’ Association.