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INTERNATIONAL TENANTS’ DAY –  October 5, 2020

Online digital celebration on 5th October

Refer to this link for more details : https://www.iut.nu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Celebration-of-International-Tenants-Day-World-Habitat-Day-2020.pdf

Check this video:

Housing for all, a better urban future
Housing is a fundamental human right. It has also been central in the battle against the spread of the COVID-19 virus where it can be a matter of life and death. The spread of COVID-19 is spotlighting as well as worsening a pre-existing global housing crisis.

IUT Contact details:

International Union of Tenants (IUT)
P.O. Box 7514 · Stockholm 103 92 · Sweden
Website: www.iut.nu

 

By Sam Tekerai, Guest contributor

During the current health crisis of COVID-19, the Ontario Government suspended tenant eviction notices that had already been filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Although that action was commendable, the government was already in the process of amending the existing Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act, via its Bill 184 that was tabled prior to COVID-19.  Although Bill 184 legislation has so many facets to amend the existing 2006 Act, greater focus should be on needed changes to the ‘existing mechanisms of evictions’.

Bill 184, titled “Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community” was tabled by the Ontario Government prior to the advent of COVID-19. It has now passed its second reading in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and is working its way through the process to become an ‘Act’. Once it is passed it will implement varies amendments to the existing “2006 Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act”, which came into effect on January 31, 2007.  That Act sets out the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants who rent residential properties. One is left to wonder if this nicely titled legislation “Protecting Tenants and Strengthening Community” could be a smokescreen for the real intent of Bill 184. These questions need to be addressed: Is the real intent to make it easier for the landlords to evict tenants, particularly those who are financially vulnerable going through economic hardship? Have these tenants reached some sort of agreement with the landlord to pay their ‘debt’ during the COVID-19 crisis?

Tenant advisory groups and lawyers have expressed concern that Bill 184 legislation proposed by the Ontario Government will have a major impact on tenants in general, but more so, on economically challenged tenants.  Tenant advocates are alarmed that after the current health crisis (COVID-19) has subsided there is a high probability that a huge number of tenants may be ‘evicted’.

The existing 2006 legislation has in place a mechanism for how landlords can evict tenants or to deal with evictions.  In short, first a landlord should give the tenant a “Notice of Termination” with the reason(s) to evict them.  That Notice should contain provisions that allows tenants to be given the opportunity and reasonable timeframe to resolve the problem. If tenants have a legitimate reason and don’t move out after receiving the notice, or if the landlord is not satisfied with the tenant’s resolution of the problem, then the landlord can ask the “Landlord & Tenant Board” to end the tenancy by filing an application. Of course, Landlords should have a good or an airtight justification to evict tenants.  Then, the board will decide if the tenancy will end after holding a Hearing.  If the board decides to make an “Order of Eviction” it will inform the tenants when they must leave the unit. If the tenants do not move out, then the landlord can file the “Board’s Order” with the court enforcement office and legally evict tenants.

Unfortunately, Bill 184 amendments appear to bypass the Landlord and Tenant Board, hence giving more power to landlords to evict tenants.  In particular, tenants who have the added burden of financial difficulty because of the current health crisis, and had reached some sort of financial arrangement in order to pay an outstanding rent amount (i.e. Debt), and had a signed agreement document with the landlords ‘without knowing the intricacy of the agreement’, they may now find themselves homeless if they fail to fulfill their obligation. Apparently under this agreement or because of this agreement reached between the landlord and tenant, the landlord can bypass the Landlord and Tenant Board and enforce eviction.

Tenants should read and understand any agreement before signing. In fact, they should obtain legal assistance (free legal assistance) to understand what impact it will have on them; especially those tenants who are the most vulnerable. Those tenants should give it the highest priority, especially in our big city of Toronto, where homelessness is rampant in the current erratic economic climate.

Although the amendment to Bill 184 is not yet law, tenants should be vigilant in understanding and protecting their “Rights”.  Tenants should/must fulfill their obligation under the lease agreement and be careful not to give the landlord a reason to be evicted.

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Refer to the links below for useful information:

FMTA Statement on Bill 184
https://www.torontotenants.org/fmta_statement_on_bill_184_2020?utm_campaign=bill_184&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fmta

The province says Bill 184 protects both landlords and tenants. Here’s why both sides hate it
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/landlord-and-tenant-advocates-continue-to-disagree-bill-184-1.5646147

CBC- Advocates say new Ontario bill gives an unfair advantage to landlords over tenants
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-rental-tenant-bill-1.5636914

CBC – Changes to housing act a welcome change, Sudbury landlord group says
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/ndp-landlords-changes-1.5636899

CBC -Hundreds protest Ontario bill they say gives landlords more ways to evict tenants
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/new-bill-evictions-homelessness-new-powers-landlords-ontario-government-1.5639979

Legal Aid Ontario
https://www.legalaid.on.ca/

Petition to Protect tenants from eviction
https://act.leadnow.ca/stop-bill-184/

HYDRO ONE – COMMUNITY NOTICE
Main Transformer Station (TS) project located near the intersection of Main Street and Danforth Avenue
Demolition of Buildings at 155 and 157 Stephenson Avenue
June 2020
Please refer to this attachment for full details: Main TS – Demolition Notice – Final

______

Contact information:
Community Relations Tel: 416-345-6799 |
Email: Community.Relations@HydroOne.com
Website: www.HydroOne.com/MainTS

The provincial government is trying to pass legislation that will make it easier to evict tenants. It will turn the Landlord Tenant Board into a debt collection agency where landlords can chase tenants for rent and utilities payments they are unable to make for reasons such as financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FMTA opposes Bill 184 because it contains measures that will deprive tenants of a key safety net which protects them from eviction. This will be catastrophic for tenants who cannot pay their rent because of COVID-19, or for any other legitimate reason now and into the future.

Read the FMTAs full statement on Bill 184 and learn how to Depute for the Bill at the Standing Committee:

https://www.torontotenants.org/fmta_statement_on_bill_184_2020?utm_campaign=bill_184&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fmta

(Please share this with renters who have difficulties meeting rental payments due to the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19)

 

GOVERNMENT RESOURCES AND SUPPORT FOR COVID-19
from Brad Bradford, Councillor Ward 19 – Beaches-East York
March 24, 2020

 

Councillor Brad Bradford presents a consolidation of the latest Government Resources and Supports on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Refer to this link for complete details: https://www.bradbradford.ca/covid19/

 

 

FMTA (Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association) – City of Toronto COVID-19 Service Updates
(Updated – March 26th)

FMTA  has published recent updates from service providers in the City of Toronto that provide tenant or housing services …… e.g. Landlord and Tenant Board, City Apartment Repair and Public Health Enforcement, Housing Support – RGI Rent Payments, Shelters and Supports for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness and more …….

Refer to this FMTA link to access these recent updates:
https://www.torontotenants.org/city_of_toronto_covid_19_service_updates_march_2020

 

URGENT ACTION: Rent Freeze / Suspension of Rent & End NSF Fees & Internet for All!
Posted March 20, 2020

The Government of Canada released the Economic Response Plan to deal with the crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The response is timely as it lays out a range of benefits for Canadians as well as businesses to stay afloat in these extremely challenging times.

Refer to this link for full details where you can add your voice to support this action:
https://acorncanada.org/take-action/urgent-action-rent-freeze-suspension-of-rent-end-nsf-fees-internet-all

WHAT THE FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE MEANS FOR YOU
Posted March 20, 2020

We heard the Federal Government releasing an Economic Response Plan to help people deal with the crisis due to COVID-19. Here is a quick summary of what the economic package has to offer. However, ACORN Members and Leaders feel there are substantial gaps between what people need and what they will get with the stimulus package.

Refer to this link for more details:
https://acorncanada.org/what-federal-stimulus-package-means-you

 

The Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (FMTA) has initiated a petition to Enact legislation stopping the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario!

An Urgent Message for Doug Ford and Steve Clark:
Enact legislation stopping the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario! 

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, people across the province of Ontario people are facing layoffs, work closures, and public health directives to stay home and self-isolate or practice social distancing. This is causing significant financial hardship for working families across the province – and it is only the beginning. Experts believe that this will not be resolved in the coming weeks. The province of Ontario has taken important steps by banning evictions and enacting legislation to protect the jobs of workers who need to stay home because of COVID-19. But it is not enough. For most people, not working means not earning sufficient income needed to pay for the necessities of life.

Shelter represents the single biggest line item in most household budgets. In recognition of these facts, the federal government has announced measures to defer the payment of mortgages for homeowners. We need a similarly comprehensive approach to help renters through these unprecedented times.

That is why we are calling on Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, and Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to support public health and protect those who are the most vulnerable in the face of this crisis, by enacting legislation waiving the payment of rent on April 1st for all residential tenants in Ontario.

NOTE – You can sign the petition at this FMTA  link:

Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association (FMTA)

https://www.torontotenants.org/covid

 

 

 

 

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